Light Bulb Shrimp Aquarium

I know, I know, there are already two instructables (to the best of my knowledge) about making a light bulb aquarium, but mine has step by step instructions with pictures for every step
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Step 1: Get your Materials

you will need:


1 globe light bulb
1 coat hangar
1 4" long peice of 2x4
.25 lbs of aged aquarium gravel
1 bottle water conditioner
1-3 ghost shrimp


1 Hammer
1 pair of needle nosed pliers or tin snips
1 screwdriver, or skinny scissors

Step 2: Copper Connector Removal

Use your needle nosed pliars or tinsnips to remove the copper connector on the end of the light bulb

Step 3: Break glass

On the end of your lightbulb, there is black glass. The best way to get that out, is to put your screwdriver or skinny scissors into the little indention where the copper connector used to be, and twist back and forth to crack the glass. Be careful, the glass shards are extremely sharp, and extremely painful once they are lodged in your hands.

Step 4: Break Glass

After you have removed all of the black glass, look into the stem of your lightbulb. You will see two things. A skinny long tube, and glass covering the stem. Point the stem away from yourself, and gently, with the screwdriver/skinny scissors, break it. It is pressurized, and will, on ocasion send a shard flying. then you can insert the tip of your tool, and give it a gentle rap with your hammer to break the glass that seals the lightbulb.

Step 5: Remove protrusions

Remove the extra points and protrusions on the inside of the stem.

NOTE!: do not attempt what i am doing in the picture. It is extremely stupid, but it was the only way i could illustrate the point that there was a lack of obstructions in the stem.
ewalsh51 month ago
This is a cool idea. But instead of shrimp, could small snails work too. And if you can put snails in ,
How many is to many
miwin10006 months ago
I like the idea of putting plants in it, hydroponics is great. Not live creatures tho...too small, not enough air, hard to clean...just not right for the living. Maybe a worm or snail...
But thanks for the instructable tho...I like it
sonny08jms9 months ago
i was starting a project yesterday and i just used a few sheets of toilet paper & the bulb 1/2 full of water shake well and rinse it out and it removed all of the dust
Concerning the coloring dust;If you don't have an old toothbrush, or want to make it easier on yourself, get some salt (about half to a whole teaspoon, put it inside the bulb, cover up the end with a paper towel or the like, shake, then add water, then shake again, and most, if not all except around where the thread mount is connected, should come off.
taria1 year ago
I think you did a great job. Very good intructable, very well written, despite the comments below.

I think this would make a great herb display. put a couple along a board and put some herbs into them. Nicely done. Giving me plenty of ideas to work off of.
Umm I know this is kinda obvious, but how about just use a clear lightbulb?
you do have a valid point but some don't have the clear ones at home and I think this person was just letting you know that if you don't have the 'clear ones' you have a way of cleaning it out as an option. :)

I know for myself I have no clear ones at home and really don't want to go buy a clear bulb just to try it out. :)
SIRJAMES092 years ago
on another instructable, there was a guy who used sand & water to "scrub" the inside of the light bulb to get the white film out. you may want to try that next time,,,

Just a thought
beeingdana2 years ago
Sea monkeys (brine shrimp) might be able to find this a suitable home.
I apologize if someone already suggested it.
I've been really interested in making vases/aquariums/terrariums out of bulbs lately. Apparently it looks like fish and/or possibly shrimp are a bad idea as far as living animals go. Does anyone know about, or oppose, tiny aquatic snails for such a habitat?
I thought they might enjoy cleaning the inside glass and or rocks of the globe, under the stem of a bit of Pothos plant.
But I don't actually know much at all about keeping aquatic plants or animals. I'm not sure what these 'aged' rocks are that were suggested either. I'd love a little lesson or more info on any of this if you all would oblige. Personal e-mail message would be great too, even. Since I'm new here, and I don't know if I can subscribe to these comments for email notifications in case of replies.
Write to me here:
I made the instructible, I found using a very small drill bit, then a larger bit. I then broke the glass with an awl and then finally a really large bit about 1/2" or so. rest And used it to grind out the made taking out the inner glass much easier. Other than that rinsing the inside of the bulb with water took care of the white dust.
 what is the powdery stuff and how is it safe for shrimp
I think that it is powdered aluminum. It should be washed out. You want to see them anyways. :)
can I put a small guppy in one?
I would think so.
EbolaZaire3 years ago
I like the previous suggestion to make this a live plant aquarium. Anybody know of some good small plants to use? Possibly with the biggest lightbulb I can find.
j626no7 years ago
what is the problem with putting a beta in there? and where can i get ghost shrimp? im thinking of making one of these for my girlfriend as an extra little present for easter. good instructable btw.
esth0r j626no3 years ago
well, since beta fish are labyrinth-fish they can get oxygen out of air, if there is actually enough oxygen-rich air at the surface.
The beta wouldn't fit through the hole
 Many people say bettas dont need that much space and i think anything less than a gallon is terrible for one and this...this is indescribable try locking your self in your refrigerator(spacial-y that is)
ballagie Algag4 years ago
It's not just what "most people say", its absolute fact. Their natural habitat is small "puddles" etc.of rainwater. They've even been found living in water-filled buffalo prints in mud on the edges of rice fields etc.
Also its true that they do not need aeration of their water. They "breathe" by exposing the labrynth gland on their snout to fresh air.
And as far as water quality goes; a 100% water change once per week is sufficient as the beta has evolved to tolerate nasty water and rapid changes of temperature and salinity etc.
Algag ballagie4 years ago
 Yes they CAN tolerate them but you can tolerate 130 degree whether too. It is soo uncomfortable for them in there it is not even funny and their natural habitat is not puddles and buffalo tracks, those are mainly resulting from human-environment destruction/interruption. And that 100% water thing would not swim well with them either because they would be so stressed out, AND the most a bettas bowl should change is 72-80 degrees F. Although I agree with you one hundred percent on the aeration part.
obviously you do not live in Arizona.
ballagie Algag4 years ago
Oh, I forgot to mention that although betas CAN tolerate small environments, they do do much better in a larger tank. And for the record I also think this particular "aquarium" is too small for one. I was just letting you know the facts...
putting fishes in globes is animal cruelty
to much echoes from their

Lateral line

so please dont keep fish in those.
I did not know that! Thank you so much for telling me, i read that wikipedia article and now i see why it is so cruel. do the fish get traumatized from all the echos? i will never put a fish in a globe fish bowl again. from now on, only tank aquariums.
 What is this 'lateral line' you speak of? I'm a noob when it comes to animals. I liked the seemingly simple setup in this instructable, but I don't want to use a spherical tank if you could elaborate :) 
the lateral line is like a fish radar on their side

at least here in germany its forbidden to keep fishes in these goldfish bowls. 
 Hmm... interesting! Well, you convinced me and thanks for the info :)
chuckr44 j626no4 years ago
Ghost shrimp are probably too big for a space of this size. Try red cherry shrimp which are smaller, and are a hardy dwarf shrimp. (I've bred them since 2006.)

J@50n j626no4 years ago
 also to put it in there may be a little tricky! also, you have too clean it like every day.
I made this in my spare time today for some feeder fish I picked up. It made for a good 3 or 4 hour decoration piece.
Robot Lover3 years ago
I have to be honest, I don't care about this conversation. It's pointless, your not going to change peoples minds by commenting, and to that, I don't know why I am even commenting. But, the shrimp living in the lightbulb are most definately better off in the lightbulb than the ocean, because shrimp in the ocean are getting caught and sold for peoples eating enjoyment and they are also getting eaten by other animals. The shrimp in the lightbulbs are gurranteed to get food everyday, don't have to worry about getting caught and especially not eaten. My hat is off to you. Good job!
pkmn3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Mjem24 pkmn3 years ago
spongeguau3 years ago
can make small crustaceans?
HubertF4 years ago
the powder (step 6) is toxic!   Not a good idea to put an animal in there no mater how well you clean the thing!
zernie4 years ago
master lurtz is right.

If you can get hold of a tiny amount of concentrated nitric acid, it works wonders on removing just about any encrusted crud from glass and ceramic. I used to use it to clean lab glassware with stubborn burnt on bits.

WARNING You don't need much. But it is extremely corrosive. Not the stuff to get on your skin or god forbid in your eyes.
sdhardie4 years ago
I'm not sure I'd put a fish or shrimp or anything in there, but it might make a great little live plant garden!
sibiria4 years ago
I think this just as cruel and wrong as the biocubes or whatever those things are... I breed shrimp and fish and I would never put shrimp into anything without good filtration and in less than 2.5 gallon. I also would not trust any light bulb to keep a living thing in. This is just so wrong in so many ways, then again I just like giving my pets the best life possible no matter how small they are but thats just me.

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