Having put together two serious, blazing-fast systems I wanted to do something a little different. I also wanted to keep my budget down to a minimum. Building a fish-tank computer seemed perfect!
I think I'm going to give it to my little sister so she can further impress the nerdy boys in her dorm at UC Berkeley.
Eclipse 6 tank - Goodwill Store - $5
Lexan scraps - lying round from previous builds
Cold cathod lighting - ditto
PSU - ditto
Wireless card - purchased for Scorch, but had some kind of horrible driver conflict in the early days of Windows Vista 64-bit (shudder) before 64-bit systems were commonplace and well supported.
Old non-functioning computer - sister-in-law I
Power switch - www.mnpctech again
Mineral oil - veterinary supply store on Ebay - $70.
Aluminum project box - Fry's Electronics
Fasteners - Ace Hardware
Motherboard mounting screws - local computer repair store
Blue gravel, plastic underwater plants, and a bubbler setup - Capitol Aquarium
IDE cable extenders - www.pccables.com Nothing worth mentioning.
Finally, I'm going to try Linux (Ubuntu10.10) since I don't want to pay for another Windows license. All in all, I think I paid about $200-250 for everything I didn't already have lying around, with the big expenses being the aquarium supplies and the mineral oil itself.
I think this aquarium pc came out better than most. The bubbler is awesome, and the way the lid attaches to the case not only keeps the mess minimal, but also continues the style of the big transparent sides with metal l-brackets used on the motherboard tray.
The bubbles make some mesmerizing patterns.
A clear motherboard tray is a must for this kind of thing! And check out the 'temperature sensor'!