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Any advice on a real underwater display? e.g. in a fishtank

BOBJACK_JACKBOBBOBJACK_JACKBOB ScotlandMember Posts: 539
edited July 2015 in Building and Techniques
I've got a large bowl in which I would like to build a display with some atlantis/aquaraiders type stuff then fill it with water. Has anyone done this already? Any tips? I'm worried that the water will go stagnent and algae will form.
Cheers, Bob.

edit - I'm not planning to have any real fish or plants or anything in the bowl, just Lego.

Comments

  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,302
    I recently saw a good one that used LEGO for some parts...there's a bit of instruction in there on fish safe waterproofing stuff too

    http://imgur.com/a/6l6cc
    ricecakeBOBJACK_JACKBOBLegoboyGothamConstructionCosnowhitie
  • FurrysaurusFurrysaurus Hiding in the kitchen.Member Posts: 156
    i had a tripod invader in my fish tank at work (complete with fish).   I ended up having to build it onto a baseplate and then cover the baseplate with the tank gravel - otherwise it just floated to the top.

    algae wise, it was a back and forth problem.   i put in a snail who took care of most of it, up until one of his fish buddies decided they had enough of his jive talk and ate him.   

    during a move, i decided i'd pull it out and replace it with something new.  what was interesting is that as soon as it was out in the air, the tripod collapsed - as in all out destruction.   clutch power of the bricks was shot. i thought it might be algae, but even after a soak and a scrub, the parts are decidedly no longer viable for a standing display.   our club had an alien invasion display coming up, so that tripod ended up being one that had been taken down by the resistance, but i ended up chucking the parts afterwards.

    LegoboyGothamConstructionCo
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 865
    edited July 2015
    I just wonder if the water is absolutely necessary?
  • bendybadgerbendybadger 127.0.0.1 ::1Member Posts: 1,141
    ^For fish it is a requirement  ;)
    For Lego less so :)
    GothamConstructionCoThe_Mad_VulcanFurrysaurusSirKevbagsFarmer_Johnhewman
  • ricecakericecake Maryland, USAMember Posts: 879
    I've seen plans for making a fishtank PC, and they used mineral oil instead of water. I wonder if this would also be viable, as I don't know if the mineral oil will react with the plastic of the bricks.
    https://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php
  • BOBJACK_JACKBOBBOBJACK_JACKBOB ScotlandMember Posts: 539
    @Furrysaurus That is worrying. How long was it under water for? If it's going to ruin the clutch power, there's not much point in going ahead. Thanks for the heads up.

  • nexandernexander Glasgow Member Posts: 897
    Even without real fish a small filter might be a good idea as it would give the tank some movement and make it look more natural. And as @Furrysaurus motioned, a few snails might be an idea. Long term exposure to water might not be too bad but add fish and you add ammonia, defiantly not Lego friendly! I don't think the water temp would help either. A well cycled tank would minimise this but I wouldn't put anything in it you don't want back. I fancy doing something with the new city sets and my spare small tank. Add a betta for that monster feel and you are laughing!
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited July 2015
    If you don't have a filter, water conditioning and things like plants and fish to create an organic ecosystem, the water will get nasty.  You will likely have to take as much care and cleaning of this thing as for a real aquarium.

    @Aleydita is on the right track.  Get bluish lights and fake the water.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,561
    Or encase the lot in liquid perspex.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,101
    As already mentioned, the hardest part will be to keeping it from floating from all the air trapped in the bricks. Personally, unless it is part of a thriving fish tank, I think water would be more bother then it's worth. 
  • nexandernexander Glasgow Member Posts: 897
    Having seen the 'fake' underwater displays in the Glasgow Lego shop they look very static. The floating problem can hopefully be solved by building it underwater. I might put the small set in my main tank and see how it goes. Its not much more cost wise than a new ornament anyway.
  • GallardoLUGallardoLU USAMember Posts: 644
    another option which could be rather easy to do is to get a glass dome over the Lego and seal in the models under the water, the only tricky part is getting a good seal on the protective dome. but once complete you could turn it into a full aquarium without worry of the harsh effects of the water/fish.
  • FurrysaurusFurrysaurus Hiding in the kitchen.Member Posts: 156
    @Furrysaurus That is worrying. How long was it under water for? If it's going to ruin the clutch power, there's not much point in going ahead. Thanks for the heads up.

    It was in water w/fish for probably the better part of 2 years.   That also included whatever sludge the snails left behind, leftover fish food particles, probably a bout or two of water clarifier from my cube mates when i left town.   I doubt it was the water itself that led to the clutch going awry (after all, they make plastic reefs and boats and such), but rather other things in there.

    one other item of note, is that cleaning the tank itself became a bit of a chore - trying to suck the leftovers out without completely destroying the tripod itself.   
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,667
    Or just use the tank and add blue plates to the top to simulate water and it then as a bit of the look of a tank, and under water, but without the water which will likely either turn nasty or become damaged. I guess you can use a fluorescent light with blue gift paper as a filter to simulate the 'under water' like others have been saying.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    another option which could be rather easy to do is to get a glass dome over the Lego and seal in the models under the water, the only tricky part is getting a good seal on the protective dome. but once complete you could turn it into a full aquarium without worry of the harsh effects of the water/fish.
    A dome wouldn't need sealing.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,111
    If you are interested in an under water theme using real water and real LEGO then just do it. If it is something you want to do enjoy it! Otherwise it's the opposite. If you don't want the water use something fake.
    Mordoor
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited July 2015
    Weights...lots of weights.

    Also, you need to make sure the air is out from inside the pieces to reduce the buoyancy.
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,418
    edited July 2015
    What if you use distilled water that consists of only H2O molecules (well at least for 99,9%)?!

    Then nothing should happen to the ABS, and the other types of plastics from which Lego is made, as Lego decrapitation must be prevented at all costs of course.
     
    Any chemists in the house who can confirm or falsify this?

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