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Thinking about making a viewing dome


mysterygirl

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Ooooh a new idea for a summer project: a viewing dome above water! Have you guys seen these? Basically you anchor a perspex dome with a flange in water and suck all the air out with a wet vac so the fish can SWIM ABOVE WATER. Okay, I'm a little excited about it. 

 

If any of you have tried it and have cautionary tales, advice or encouragement I'd love to hear from you.  

 

The fish seem to like it as much as the humans, that is what is extra nice about the whole project.

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Sharon showed me how to do this and I used a 20 gallon long tank hoisted above water with 2 cement blocks standing tall:

It is a lot of fun and not difficult at all. Use floating food to get them to come into the tank. Some fish are more cautious than others :)

Edited by Kayla102968
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A tank is much better than a dome, since it doesn't distort the fish.  As Kayla said you just support the tank, upside down, a few inches below the surface, and then use a wet-dry vacuum to remove most of the air.   

 

It's fun for a while, but one gets tired of scrubbing off the algae.  

 

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/111538-a-penthouse-for-the-big-green-tub/

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Wow that is awesome to see the fish swimming above the surface like that! I love the ideas ;)

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It's an acrylic sphere I found on Amazon that is uv resistant. My fish got too big for it so I eventually took it down. They make them larger though. For the base, I just used a plastic plant stand and did a little diy. I used pvc to make the pole to suck the air out with a small shop vac.

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That is amazing Mysterygirl!  Would gasses build up in the pearl over time? Or would they be dispersed by the fish moving?

 

The biggest issue seems to be  algae build-up, but I have a UV light so I'm not as concerned about cleaning it. Some leave a tiny air pocket trapped at the top for feeding - to encourage them to swim into it. I have no idea about gases building up. I'd probably be cleaning it regularly. 

 

It's an acrylic sphere I found on Amazon that is uv resistant. My fish got too big for it so I eventually took it down. They make them larger though. For the base, I just used a plastic plant stand and did a little diy. I used pvc to make the pole to suck the air out with a small shop vac.

 

If you still have a link to the UV resistant sphere, please post it. I haven't started the project yet. My fish are still smaller than 30 cm.

 

Was it difficult to get the semi-sphere to stay submerged? I was thinking more of a doughnut-type weight over the dome, resting on the flange. But I see others have used any shapes, even extra aquariums.

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Once you suck the air out, it remains stationary. You'll still need a base of some sort. I'll have to find the link. I also had a uv and the algae would still build up :(

Edited by kelicans
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It's an acrylic sphere I found on Amazon that is uv resistant. My fish got too big for it so I eventually took it down. They make them larger though. For the base, I just used a plastic plant stand and did a little diy. I used pvc to make the pole to suck the air out with a small shop vac.

 

Thanks for the link! And the video! So inspiring.  

 

Today I found a 12" glass sphere with a larger bottom opening for $14 at TJ Maxx. I'd like it to have a flange...so I''ll continue to look for a while. At least there are some options under $20. I'd feel safer with the acrylic dome even if I needed to replace them when they get scratched. Now to look for a base. 

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It's an acrylic sphere I found on Amazon that is uv resistant. My fish got too big for it so I eventually took it down. They make them larger though. For the base, I just used a plastic plant stand and did a little diy. I used pvc to make the pole to suck the air out with a small shop vac.

Thanks for the link! And the video! So inspiring.

Today I found a 12" glass sphere with a larger bottom opening for $14 at TJ Maxx. I'd like it to have a flange...so I''ll continue to look for a while. At least there are some options under $20. I'd feel safer with the acrylic dome even if I needed to replace them when they get scratched. Now to look for a base.

Look into a biobubble top. I think that would work perfectly for this. Just a thought.
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Daniel, they don't seem to sell just the top dome separately. I've been looking at spheres, domes, hemispheres both glass and acrylic and am shocked at the prices. The 18" version of the one kelicans has in her video is $72.14 with shipping.  Yikes!  Thems aquarium prices.

 

I'm going to try the same one her fish outgrew:  Amazon offers free shipping on the 12" clear sphere she linked to so it is still less than $22. 

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Here's a video on what it looks like today. 

 

More photos and what base I finally went with on my blog.  Thanks to everyone who helped.

 

A nice side story is that a fish that wasn't getting enough food really likes it and it now eating more without competition or harassment. 

Edited by mysterygirl
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