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Project Aqua

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 




Shortcuts:
Update 1 - Received the first shipment of hardware
Update 2 - Received my acrylic
Update 3 - More items and assembled case
Update 4 - Started making rad brackets
Update 5 - Finished rad brackets
Update 6 - Mounted the brackets
Update 7 - Cut up the lid
Update 8 - Leak test part 1
Update 9 - PSU mounted
Update 10 - Leak test part 2


Hello everyone, this is going to be the start of my first custom case build from scratch, so bear with me on this one.

I am going to build an aquarium to house my computer and fish, if it all works out
I plan to use 1/4" thick acrylic. The tank is going to be 14"x14"x12". I am going to separate the fish half from the computer half. The computer half is going to be submerged in mineral oil and the fish half in water, of course

I got lucky and Directron decided to generously sponsor me on this build They put a new Intel DH67GD motherboard in the mail today! My RAM should be coming this week too. Tomorrow I am going to the local vet and picking up 5 gallons of mineral oil. I have a ton to buy yet but I know this build will take some time to complete.

Here is a quick model of what I hope to get out of it. Not the finished product.


I need to order a motherboard tray, radiator, pump, tubing, fittings, CPU, PSU, GPU, lights, and probably a bunch more I can't think of yet.

Not sure if this is in the right place because I have a sponsor, but if it needs moved can the mods do that please?

Do you guys think 1/4" acrylic will work for this idea or will I need thicker?
Edited by bigchieftaco - 10/17/11 at 6:46am
post #2 of 52
wow, i really want to see this done, it would look amazing...
the obvious problem will be garenteeing that no water mixes with the oil, AFAIK, the water should sink to the bottom, so it might be worth having a valve down there to drain any water that manages to get in

Best of looks

+rep and subed
Edited by corhen - 8/15/11 at 8:52pm
    
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post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by corhen View Post
wow, i really want to see this done, it would look amazing...
the obvious problem will be garenteeing that no water mixes with the oil, AFAIK, the water should sink to the bottom, so it might be worth having a valve down there to drain any water that manages to get in

Best of looks

+rep and subed
Thanks man. I was thinking about installing some sort of valve at the bottom in case I need to drain the oil too.

Here is an updated model of what I want this to look like.


A big thanks to my sponsors Directron and Superbiiz.



And hopefully SVC soon.
post #4 of 52
Thread Starter 



Update #1

Still waiting for my acrylic to ship from estreetplastics Ordered the 19th

I have been receiving a lot of packages in the mail lately.
But I can't do much without that acrylic.

Here are some of the items.

Mobo from Directron


Some cheap 8gb DDR3 1333


Mineral oil from the local vet


Mobo tray and 1/2" UV blue tubing


Fans and lights from Superbiiz

Edited by bigchieftaco - 9/29/11 at 6:15pm
post #5 of 52
What are you going to use to bond the acrylic? I heard somewhere that the silicone that is typically used for acrylic has the tendency to allow the mineral oil to leak.
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post #6 of 52
Don't use silicone for acrylic! The only leak free method is to bond the two surfaces using proper spacing and Weld-on type solvent "glue".
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post #7 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinkledork View Post
What are you going to use to bond the acrylic? I heard somewhere that the silicone that is typically used for acrylic has the tendency to allow the mineral oil to leak.
I plan to bond the acrylic using weld-on #4 and #16. The only silicone I would use is to seal off the weld-on on the fish tank side, it might be toxic to fish
post #8 of 52
Thread Starter 



Update #2


Hello again. My acrylic came yesterday!


I made some progress tonight! I got my acrylic yesterday and have successfully dado cut 2 of the sides and the bottom to fit the divider.

Here I marked lines and then taped one side, 5" from the front


My original plan was to use a straight router bit, but a dado cut seemed to work really well.






I eagerly assembled the pieces using some tape, I needed to see if it was the perfect fit!




Looks like I need to do a little sanding in the channeled area. The divider is a hair too long and pushes the sides outward.

Dogs thought they had to get their pictures taken too...




At this point, I am waiting for the weld-on to arrive in the mail. I will post updates when I can.
Edited by bigchieftaco - 9/29/11 at 6:16pm
post #9 of 52
Looks promising so far, keep the pics comin'
post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UsedPaperclip View Post
Looks promising so far, keep the pics comin'
Thanks! I really enjoy it.





Update #3

Good Evening! I have made a good amount of progress since my last update.
As of tonight, I have welded the entire case. The welding process took some time and a few extra hands to help with clamping.

First off, I got some goodies again!


The center divider was a hair too long, so I figured I could sand enough out of the dado cuts.

About an hour into it, I finally realized I needed to do this a different way.

So my brother lent me his sander.


And then I began to sand the edges of the divider.

After a half hour it fit in place perfect.

Before I could weld anything together, I needed to get holes drilled and tapped for my fittings.

Lined up and ready to pilot drill. The end holes needed to be 7/16"

Time to tap these holes for my barbs!


One done

Both one


Time to test the welding cement.

I was shocked at how fast this stuff dried and became strong

Able to hold its weight within 45 seconds.

Now I was ready for the real deal.

My first 2 pieces.



Third piece added. I let this sit overnight.

The next day I began working on this after I got off from work. But I had a problem with my car on the way back from the hardware store, I had no brakes
After taking my tire and brake drum off, my brother noticed the brake cylinder was leaking.
Luckily he fixed me up in no time But it still put a hinder on the project for a day.

After all that, I finally was able to get the ball rolling again. I started by welding 2 more pieces to the case yesterday.


I let this sit overnight again.

Today, I got the divider in place and welded in. I plan to let that sit overnight as well.



Edited by bigchieftaco - 9/29/11 at 6:17pm
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