HOW TO: TV Aquarium

HOW TO: TV Aquarium

Hi, everybody Joey here again, and welcome back so [today]. I’m going to show you how to take this And turn it into this Now quite obviously it’s the television aquarium Simply put it’s a floor model television turned into a home aquarium Pretty neat right well it’s been done before [I’ve] seen it several times But the way they do it is unlike anything that I’m about to show you today What I’m going to show you is going to be pretty unique now Let’s first discuss quickly what I’ve seen in the [past] what I’ve seen previously is people getting floor model televisions taking out the insides of them and simply stuffing in a Regular aquarium a flat aquarium, so you lose the bow front It doesn’t even look like a TV anymore to me. I can spot them a mile [away] It looks like a fish tank stuffed inside of an old TV stand Nothing more nothing less there’s been a couple of cases where people have custom built or or had custom built aquariums built specifically for The actual floor model TV. So it ends up looking like the original Now what my intentions today is to surpass all of that. I want to use the front glass of the original tube of that Television and that’s exactly what I did we’ll get to seeing how I did that later on in the video Now with all of this said this was more of a test on my part This is a video that might not have ended up coming to be Reason being is because the risks involved with trying to get the glass from the front of the TV to cut in half Do you guys have ever tried to cut glass or have ever seen a television Tube? It’s impossible to do or near Impossible, I’ll show you exactly what I did and It allowed for this video to actually happen So let’s get started with what you’re going to need obviously you’re going to need a floor model TV. Where do you get them? Personally [for] me. I looked on my local classifieds ads online You might use Craigslist or [Kijiji] I? Found one for free. [I] decided you know what I always wanted to try that I’m going to go pick it up It’s free I’ve got nothing to lose and I seen a ton of them on there for free some of them were twenty thirty dollars You know either way, that’s still a bargain Mine was in complete working condition. So it was kind of sad to tear it apart and smash it knowing that This might not turn out at all and I’ve just ruined a nice piece of furniture Nonetheless my do-it-yourself side of me took over there, and I went ahead and did it so [I] got the actual TV for free now What about glass to build the rest of the aquarium you guys are going to need more glass? Well for me and for you guys if you’re ever shopping around online again on these local classified sites You’ll notice that sometimes people will [put] on an old aquarium You know it’s cracked doesn’t hold water might be good for reptiles, ETc. That’s music to my ears in my opinion That’s free glass go and get it. That’s what I did. I seen a [cracked] tank I said you know, what do you want for it? They said come and get it perfect so far my build is free all I have to pay for is silicone Which [is] five bucks, so this build is going to cost me five dollars You might experience other costs like you might have to [put] pay for your TV. You know 50 bucks Maybe or you might have to buy your glass another 50 Either way a hundred bucks for something this unique and a conversation [piece] is something that’s going to be add beauty to your home decor [it’s] kind of worth it in my opinion So now that I have my actual television. [I] have my glass. I have my silicone now Let’s rip this thing apart all TV’s are not the same They’re all going to be you know different in one way or the other and I’m no Electrician all I know is that make sure there’s no power and start cutting Wear protective gloves and make sure that you’re using a tool that has a rubber grip Maybe I’m wrong completely there, but that’s what I did anyways Again, no TVs are the same unless you bought the exact same TV. I have But chances are you didn’t anyways let’s get started on taking the TV apart So the first thing you’re going to want to do is take the back off of the actual television most of these older Style TVs are having press board backs They’re held in with screws all around the perimeter. I’ve already gone ahead and removed most of screws except for the last one when they come off [they] come off pretty simply And now you’re exposed with the circuit board and the actual Tube to the television From there what you’re going to want to do is make sure you put on some gloves because it’s actually quite dirty back here After several years twenty years of not being cleaned. It’s going to collect a lot of black dust from there first and foremost you’re going to want to cut some wires make sure the television has been unplugged for quite a while and Unplug, I’m sorry cut the power cord off first – located here. I’ve already done it with some wire cutters From there you want to make sure that everything is disconnected from the actual circuit board Including the television the actual Tube which which everything is tied into it so I’ve gone ahead and cut everything that is connected to the – Now I can’t actually remove the circuit board until I remove the TV it might not be the same for every TV You might be able to get in there and get all the screws to take it out But I can’t put this on so my next step is to actually remove the Tube removing the Tube is [going] to be as simple as unscrewing four screws they’re located in each corner, and they’re just holding the actual Tube in place as Long as I have all the wires cut and I remove those four screws the Tube will pop right? With the tube out [now] we can at least go ahead and remove the remaining screws that were holding the circuit board in [on] the power board whatever you’re going to call it Once you do that like I already have it comes right out. There’s nothing else holding it in From there obviously there’s some obstructions near that we’ll have to remove but they’re just tiny screws in here that might remove Each one of them will pop right off Once you get that done. You can move on to the next step with the actual TV Tube now out of the TV stand we can go ahead and Make the Tv [-] a lot more safer to work on Now these tubes have a lot of compressed gas in them We need to release that gas in order to move any further with this tank in order to do so what I suggest doing is getting some duct tape and There’s a glass tube. That’s right at the top here it’s a little glass cylinder grab some duct [tape] around it take your two both side and Smack it with a hammer you’re going to make sure you’re wearing safety goggles for sure just in case when you hit it You’re going to hear some gas being released and it released quite quickly Once you do that [grayble] to take this right off and you can now start [working] on the actual tent along the actual [two] so with the television now taken apart I have the back off which is easy few screws Took out the circuit board and all the electrical pieces and pretty simple as well few screws and even took the television Tube out All that was really [easy] didn’t take very long as at all pretty heavy though My next step was to release the gases from the actual television Tube It’s under compression, so it could be potentially [dangerous]. [I] had to do that [outside] now This is a part of the video where I thought you know. I’m just going to try doing this first, and if it works great If not you know so be it so I had to do this all outside in order to Once it once the actual tube of that glass cylinder. I said was off I’m left with just a full thing of glass the entire Tube is made of glass But the thing is is that the the front half is a clear acrylic is a clear glass and the back was Not clear at all. I couldn’t see through it [I] wondered why I did some research and found out that that glass in the back the back half has a heavy concentration Of lead now the first thing I thought [of] well is well when you’re trying to combine two completely different things They don’t typically bond that well, so they should be able to come apart pretty easily as well So I took some my glass cutters, and I showed you guys how to cut glass before and I simply traced around Exactly where I needed it to break apart? You know that was having my fingers crossed [I]? Left the the metals or aluminum trim all around [the] the actual Tube I left it there as a brace from there took it outside and Took a hammer quite simply smashed out the back [I] didn’t smash it as hard as you would [think] but I smashed heard enough so that [it] started cracking and breaking apart Luckily for me it broke exactly where I needed it to or at least very closely it was pretty jagged But I didn’t worry about that because that’s going to be on the inside you’re not going to see it a little bit of sandpaper Makes it quite safe I didn’t realize all the innards of a television Tube until I actually broke into one lots of I think it was aluminium some tin lots of Wires [I] Had no idea. What any of it did but I ripped it all out threw it out So now I’m left with the just the front half of what I needed in the first place. Which is great I left the aluminium Brace along the sides or whatever that’s made out of steel Because what that’s going to allow me to do is put it right back in place where I got it Once it’s in place I’m able to actually build the aquarium around it obviously I needed to sand it off first and go from there so [I] sanded it off put it right back in place and started building the aquarium around it now the bottom of the Television Tube Was too tall to just sit flat So I had to brace it up with some two by fours to lift up the bottom pane So it actually ended up being Exactly level with the bottom of the television Tube the bottom of the television Tube had a lip in which the actual aquarium Sat inside now before I did any of this I had to make sure that I waterproofed the inside of the actual TV stand or the The inside of the actual television, I guess you could say to do that I simply sprayed some urethane inside of it what [that] was going to do [was] seal the wood I’m not looking to really Waterproof it. I just want to protect it from condensation because that’s going to happen I didn’t get a video of that either I did it outside didn’t want my camera around When I spraying that and I didn’t want it around while I was smashing glass didn’t know what could happen It’s nonetheless. That’s done So up until that point. I was home free I had the tank the the front glass ready to go was sand it down And I broke off right where I needed it to I also had everything prepared on the inside now. [I] Also had to brace the actual stand of the TV since they’re all different. You’ll have to brace it however you see fit although I use two by fours and [just] put them in the Corners where the the Underneath that’s the television This is going to add a lot of bracing to it and stop it from bending now the tank glass that I was using Was from an old 20 gallon tank I thought it was I did have to cut that glass Exactly how I showed you [guys] how to cut glass in the past in order to make it fit into the actual [two] I just had to cut two [pieces] that Was pretty straightforward it’s simple. I showed you guys how [to] do that before it’s not difficult at all Now the downside to this build was [the] tank that I actually used to build it was only 12 inches high Not very high considering the actual television Tube is sits at a boat I think it was 16 17 inches high so the water level is dropped in it which is fine This is more of a tutorial video and not to show you what it will look like as an end product Based on the fact that you should probably use some taller glass and fill that tank all the way to the top to make sure the water is all the way to the top of the Tube gives it a better look as you seen from the front of the First of this video you’ll have noticed that there you know there was a chunk of water missing from the top Ultimately, this was just a something fun for me to do so Glass is ready to be put in and I just put it in and built it like a regular aquarium [I] had to use a lot of silicone around the tube of the Actual TV glass the original front glass based on the fact that it was beveled on the inside So there was a slight curve not a lot, but I did have to add about a quarter inch of silicone all the way around to not only ask act as a To secure the tank in place, but to act as a gasket as well and fill in those gaps Turned out okay Never had any leaks not even on the first fill which is great [I] always use more silicone than less and Remove the excess if I have to it’s easier to do that than to not use enough and have to reseal it all over again So that was really about just about it Now I can take that back panel that I removed at the first of the video from the actual TV and I placed it back On it gave it a more finished look there are several holes in it, so it does allow for ventilation From there, I just placed a regular fluorescent light above it to light the tank, so that’s it folks That was my television aquarium Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed the video. I definitely want to thank you guys for watching and we’ll see [us] [next] time you

100 thoughts on “HOW TO: TV Aquarium

  1. Since you are always doing fish tanks. How about a little bit of a change. Design a mineral oil computer cooling tank…

  2. They sell aquarium braces online. Not sure where, but google's your friend. I'm not sure how much they cost, but they should be cheap. If you don't use a brace, the weight of the water will create pressure to the silicone which makes the edges waterproof. If you fill it up right now and the aquarium doesn't break, it will eventually. I'll rather spend money on a new brace rather than having 55 gallon of water inside that might damage something and end up repairing for a lot of money.

  3. Found the website. It's called glasscages. If you scroll down, you'll find MISC on the left side. Just click on "Tank Frames". It costs 15 bucks. Not bad for a free aquarium. If you want to go the cheaper way, just find some scrap STRONG metal and bed it using heat. Dustinsfishtanks has a video of it here in Youtube when his friend's bowfront aquarium's frame broke. Again, I'll rather be safe than having 55 gallons of water inside my house. If you need any help, join DIYfishkeepers forum.

  4. Small tidbit, the small tube sticking out the back of the larger main tube is the electron gun, which is what produces the electron beam.

  5. Hello! I wanna pull this DIY on my old TV heh. Couple of questions. First, I'm not a huge fan of people able to see the inside of the TV through the tank, can I make a tank out of mirror glass instead? Or does that have some sort of negative side affect? Second, I can't find the video where you show how to cut glass, can you direct me? Thanks 😀

  6. hey joey i just bought a retro 1950's tv and looking forward to converting it to an aquarium
    your video has helped me out in many ways thanx again troy 🙂

  7. Hey joey, nice vid. Keep it up. Had a question for you. I have pretty much the same tv. Hitatchi I think and wanted to do the same thing to it. Its been gnawing away at me to do it for a few years. This really makes me want to do it. Was just wondering, do you think I could use the actual tube as an aquarium. Do you know if the lead is on the inside or outside? Thanks

  8. how did you get the bowed front of the aquarium to connect and be water proof to the bottom piece of glass?

  9. hey joey. you mentioned using urethane to seal the inside. is urethane aquarium safe? like for instance, if i spray the inside of a wooden aquarium cover with it to protect from water damage and water splashes up under the cover from an air stone or water being thrown in by the inflow and the water drips back into the aquarium will the fish be effected??? hope you understand what i am trying to say.

  10. Thanks for the heads up. I'll probably end using glass like you did.. Though I'm tempted to water proof the whole cabinet and use the whole thing as an aquarium.

  11. Very nice Joey,!

    I've a blue imac g3 and i want to make a macquarium and i want to use the original screen glass from the imac.
    You taked the whole tube outside and came back with a single screen. How did you get the tube away from the glass and the "screw points"
    Did you use a saw to cut to whole tube of or something else??


  12. Hey i was just wondering on how is the upside down tank doing with the saltwater? I'm thinking about making one for my saltwater tank

  13. Saw tv tank before but yours in definitely the best.
    How I would love to have something like that in my living room.

  14. question! I am building a sump for my aquarium and I oicked up that exact same silicone, and I went about zhalfway through the first bottle and noticed really fine print that said not for use under the waterline or dod aquariums, and it is the identical silicone you are using… there a reason behind it before I return the rest of my silicone for more expensive stuff?

  15. No offense i did this without the front glass and it looks great. Yours looks a little crappy. But i like your idea of keeping the front glass. I would have kept the front glass and just dropped a tank in behind it. It would of looked great . ( I did love the video.) Your videos are great. Just a little constructive criticism.

  16. I did get the exact same t.v also free in working condition and fortunately on the way home I seen a 33 gal tank with the front cracked in someones trash so I also nabbed that….. oh to good to be true!!

  17. use GE silicone 1, let it cure properly and you will have no problems, I would imagine the fine print on the bottle is so youll pay $20 for the exact same silicone with a different label at your lfs…. same with coral glue just use cyano acrylite gel and its exact same as what they sell for $20 at your lfs

  18. Great video. Watched most of them tonight. Just a hint: keep your talking at minimum and you have the best videos. You got a lot of unnecessary explanations which could be avoided. Thanks.

  19. how long does new freshwater need to settle down and have appropriate nitrates for the average freshwater fish

  20. I do mine weekly, no matter the size of tank… Due to ammonia build up. I do a 25% to 50% weekly depending on how stocked the tank is 🙂

  21. What about the CRT charge?? Everywhere I read said you have to discharge it… Even take precautions to ensure it has been discharged…. Since some TVs can hold the charge for days to even years…

  22. Have you every made a de-nitrator filter? Found a link on a coil denitrator filter and it worked ok but you have to keep feeding them.

  23. Discharge CRT is easy, should be first step in this video, strapped across the back of the tube is a thin braided metal strap, this is the ground to prevent possible shock from any static build up, wrap a length of wire round this then round the shaft of a screwdriver then push the screwdriver tip under the HT cap on the top of the tube back into the middle, if you hear a loud crack its done, if not its been off a long time. 22" around 20kv, wont kill you (high V low I ) but dam it hurts lol

  24. Another tip, at the end of the tube neck, there is a plastic ring with pins, in the center is a small nipple of glass, this is where the air was vacuumed out and the glass melted shut, take a hard pin like a masonry nail a tap tap tap until you hear the air starting to hiss into the tube, then go and have a beer as it may take 20 mins to fill. If it accidentally gets broken now it wont implode showering the area with shards of glass.

  25. Hi Joey,
    I would like to try this build making my own tank out of acrylic. Do you think I could use the existing tube as a mold in order to get the "bow" effect??
    Or, will it shatter from the heat?

    Thanks man….and thanks for the DIY inspiration.

  26. I don't think it would shatter. Glass can tolerate high temperature, but if it shatters, the tv is not that expensive.

    There are actually old box TV's that has a flat screen. They're not the vintage kind, but similar to the box TV's 10 or 20 years ago.

  27. Nice diy 1 qustion can this be done with a none floor model tv would be neat if possible i would take old tv out of closet and try this.

  28. Nice work mate, I have two fish tank TVs, the first one is simply the tank inside a TV box, not the look I wanted, as you explained, but the front glass part was securely adhered to the back tube, I didn't even think of cutting the back off like you did Doh! but it still turned out well enough. The second project (still in pieces) I got lucky as this particular TV had a separate bowed glass piece to the tube WOOT, this one will be an awesome fish tank TV!

  29. I did a blender fish tank 🙂 sounds sorta bad when you say it, but I took out all the wires covered the blade with rocks, I didn't know how to take the blade out. Then I put my beta fish in, I picked a beta since they don't need a lot of space 🙂

  30. Do you know how to put in speakers in an old suitcase and a dock for an ipod at the top?
    still not sure how to do the fish tank part. wish you had an in person class so that I can make it there…

  31. don't touch the capacitors…You should add a disclaimer that taking a tv apart has significant risk to it that can be life threatening.

  32. ok, im building an tv aquarium, got the front glass out, and cleaned it off and it seams to be textured/sand blasted, did you experience this? a friend thinks its a coating but its not coming off and to me looks textured/sand blasted…
      i really wanted to use the original glass for the shape and overall original look, but i guess i can use a flat panel of glass and just do some body work and mold the existing frame to it.. the tv is a 1970 zeneth 22" 

  33. Great instructional video! Definitely going to try this. Would you recommend using a bow front aquarium? I'm worried about whether or not the bow on the television screen combined with the bow of the aquarium will effect the display. Thanks in advance!

  34. Pretty awesome! Btw.. I would suggest as a add on you could cut the top and add some joints and some arms like a turn table for easier access to the tank.

  35. By any chance do you sell any of your items on here, sorry if I didnt catch it or see it I have bad hearing

  36. By any chance do you sell any of your items on here, sorry if I didnt catch it or see it I have bad hearing

  37. Damn! I just followed your excellent tutorial but only to find out my front screen is not completely see-through! It's kind of dim even after a good cleaning, double damn…there goes my 60'ies kinky red tv-aquarium…

  38. Thank you so much for this video. I plan on converting my fathers old Curtis Mathis tv into a dog house for my mothers Wiener dog. My biggest concern so far has been how to gut the tv. I've read plenty of websites but your instructions were clearer to me and gave good tips on how to be cautious. Your project looks great and good idea for keeping the screen! I thought the same thing… putting a fish tank in a gutted out tv looses the effect. I am trying to keep the buttons and the speakers on the right side of the tv because I feel the same way…. they add to the effect of it being an old tv. Anyways subscribing and thanks for the help!

  39. Hello, I would really appreciate that you tell me how to cut the front of the screen, it is a very thick glass. Thanks

  40. one thing ill say to do before discounting ever thing on the tv but after cuting the power cord is cutthat red wiere that on the sid of the tube keep it long that leed to the capater and you take it and you tap it alog the end of the toob and it will dicharg any charg stord in it then prseed to remove the rest

  41. I did not see how I removed the layer of phosphorus that has the glass behind.
    Did not you have any danger in removing that layer?

  42. Your disclaimer is not worded nearly strong enough. People have been seriously injured, blinded and even killed from mishandling a Cathode Ray Tube. The tube is a hard vacuum, if it implodes the glass and components can rebound as dangerously sharp shards, the shell acts as a capacitor that can store a charge as high as 30,000 volts and the whole thing uses coatings that are highly toxic. They should be handled with extreme care.

  43. you are so lucky to be ok Joey! those old fashion TV have enough voltage in their caps (electricity storage) to liquify you instantly if you touch it. I know an electrician who is scared of them.

  44. Not sure id do this as most TV tubes are made of leaded glass and could be toxic, also the rest of it is considered a bio-hazard because of the leaded glass and has to be disposed of properly.

  45. Be EXTREMELY carefull removing and crack the main tube. It is vacummed. (sorry, don't know the right word) It may very well explode, or actually implode. Anyway, the result is glass flying everywhere. Best is to break of the thin back end first, to "release" the vacuum.

  46. Hi. I am trying to get in touch with you about using (small parts of) the audio of this video in one of the songs by our band, but nothing seems to work. Can I contact you in any way?

  47. you are biggest nerd on earth. So happy that my bizarre search found your video. it completely answers all my questions related to creating a fish bowl from an old tv. Many thanks. aboooot…….

  48. you 100% skipped over discharging the tube. this video is reckless and will get someone electrocuted

  49. How do you angle the glass as I would fill the hole space more volume custom fitted around all the other bits like filters and that as wouldn't mind building one out of a projector flat screen that would be ok for a couple of fancies or more

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