Introduction: Gumball Machine Fishtank

Picture of Gumball Machine Fishtank

Do you have a old gumball machine hiding around your house? Instead of an ugly unused , why not recycle it into a fish tank that's perfect for your desk! Inspired by many pictures of strange fish tanks I decided to create a tank that would look good wherever it was placed. The result was a fish tank inside a gumball machine.

This gumball machine is the perfect house for a betta fish or any other small caged aquatic animal. If you enjoyed this instructable, Please vote.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

For this project you will need

  1. Gumball Machine
  2. Glass
  3. Aquarium Sealant (cannot use regular silicone or the fish will die)
  4. Sharpie
  5. Glass Cutter

That's all you need!

Step 2: Take Apart

Picture of Take Apart

Start by taking your gumball machine and taking it apart. Not all gumball machine are the same so I will list the general steps

  1. Unscrew the lid
  2. Take bowl off
  3. Unscrew and discard the plastic pieces inside
  4. Clean
  5. Put back together excluding the plastic pieces

Step 3: Draw Circle

Picture of Draw Circle

Flip the bowl upside down and draw a circle around the base of the bowl. Trace the side that is the opposite of the lid.

Now you can see the basic idea is that the circle will fit into the bowl and seal the water.

Step 4: Cut Circle

Picture of Cut Circle

Using a glass cutter, cut out the circle.

The trick to this is to keep making cuts. Each time slowly put more pressure onto the cutter. After a while you can simply peel the glass around the circle off.

Once the circle is off, Sand so that it fits very tightly into the bowls base of the gumball machine.

Step 5: Seal

Picture of Seal

Place the glass circle into the bowl and seal off using the aquarium sealant. Now reseal it again so it completely seals the water into the bowl

You should now place it in a well ventilated area to let it dry for one day.

Step 6: Test

Picture of Test

Fill with a small amount of water and see if it holds for 1 hour. Now fill with more water and see if that holds for 1 hour. If it has passed fill it all the way and let it test for 1 day. If no water has leaked your gumball machine can now hold water!

Step 7: Finish

Picture of Finish

Your Done! Just fill with water and your new fish tank is complete! The only thing that you need now is a fish and since this is a pretty small tank, your pretty much limited to 1 betta fish.

Now place your tank anywhere you want!


Phoenix Flare (author)2014-07-04

OHHH! I'm totally sorry, in the first photo the tank looks tiny!

In the next few photos the tank looks HUGE!

Sorry about my previous comment.

Keep shining!

Thank You, Finally someone agrees with me!

Phoenix Flare (author)2014-07-04


Phoenix Flare (author)2014-07-04

Don't you need a bigger tank and a filter?

It looks cool but it is rather cruel.

Sorry, I prefer NOT to be negative!

You seem creative, why not
a bigger tank out of a seemingly useless object?

ccoppola6 (author)2014-05-02

It is cruel to keep ANY fish in a tank this small.

ratashunke (author)ccoppola62014-06-29

i absolutely agree, it's cruel.

to those who don't agree: if you were a fish, would you like to be the one fish put in such a tank with no plants, no other fish? i don't think so.

so please stop tormenting animals.

Constructed (author)ratashunke2014-06-29

1) My fish loves it.

2) This tank holds around 3.5 Gallons. The minimum is 2. This tank is MASSIVE compared to the tank I purchased it it (see picture below)(not mine)

3) Two male betta fish in the same area will fight over territory until a clear winner. In the wild, the loser can swim off, In a tank it will be killed by the winner with no escape. Thats cruel. If your going to criticize someone, at least know what your talking about.

Research here.

Your calling my tank small? (not my picture) Here is how they are shipped

Constructed (author)ccoppola62014-05-03

Actually its slightly larger then most betta tanks and it holds gallons more then the tiny cage it same in.

While it might be cruel to put a goldfish or any other larger fish in this, a small betta would be perfectly fine in a cage this size.

botoole91 (author)2014-06-07

can goldfish survive in it ? I have an old gumball machine & fish coupon, so. lol.

Constructed (author)botoole912014-06-07

Probably not, Goldfish need a little more room

Mixey 101 (author)2014-05-12

Smart idea

Lefty4ever (author)2014-05-07

What kind of glass cutter did you use?

Constructed (author)Lefty4ever2014-05-08

Just a normal steel wheel glass cutter

horseygal2014 (author)2014-05-02

cute betta!

About This Instructable




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