Introduction: Pac Man Fish Tank

Picture of Pac Man Fish Tank

A Pac-man themed fish tank constructed with glass. The design is based on Pac-man for android devices. you can see the screenshot of the same here.

Step 1: Materials and Tools Required

Picture of Materials and Tools Required
Materials Required

Glass 5 mm

  • 2 pieces of 10" x 12"  (for the front and back walls of tank)
  • 2 pieces of 10" x 4" (for top and bottom of tank)
  • 2 pieces of 12" x 4" ( for sides of tank)

5 mm glass for the maze

  • 12 pieces of 1" x 4"
  • 12 pieces 3/4" x 4"
  • 5 pieces of 2" x 4"
  • 2 pieces of 21/2" x 4"
  • 6 pieces of 11/4" x 4"

2 mm glass for the maze

  • 14 pieces of 1" x 4"
  • 1 piece of 2" x 4"
It is advisable to have the height of all pieces required for the maze a thread's width less than 4" for proper setting of the front glass without any gap

Other materials

  • A square foot of press board for assembling
  • Araldite Epoxy resin adhesive or Gorilla glue
  • Anabond Instant adhesive
  • Marker pen
  • Steel ruler
  • An old container for mixing glue
  • A small stick for applying adhesive
  • Fish tank air pump
  • Air pipe

Step 2: Construct Base

Picture of Construct Base
You need to construct the sides of the tank other than the front and top portions

  • Place the backside glass piece on a press board
  • Place the side boards in position
  • Insert spacers inside the tank to keep the shape and tie the pieces with a thread
  • You can also use Anabond instant clue to keep the pieces from falling apart
  • Apply any epoxy based water-resistant adhesive on all the joints
  • Allow the joints to set for about 24 hours
There are few "T" and "U" shaped pieces required for the tank. These pieces can be glued together and can be kept separately for the adhesive to set in. 

Step 3: Guide Lines

Picture of Guide Lines

Drawing guide lines on press board will help in building the maze. Here I have drawn guide lines for the spacing and for the 5 mm thickness of glass. You need not to draw the entire maze on the board. The tank being built can be moved over the guide lines while fixing the individual pieces.

Step 4: Build the Maze

Picture of Build the Maze

We can start building the maze from the bottom. Here I have used the guide lines as reference and glued down the glass pieces to form the maze.

Epoxy resin adhesives take longer to cure. you can not hold down each piece till the adhesive sets. So, place each piece at the required spot and apply little amount of Anabond instant glue. the instant glue will take only few seconds to dry up. Now you can apply epoxy resin adhesive to each joint and make them water resistant.

Step 5: Glue Sharp Edges

Picture of Glue Sharp Edges

Apply epoxy resin adhesive to all exposed sharp edges of the glass pieces, which may harm the fishes. This will make the edges smooth and will help in easy movement of the fishes.

Step 6: Add Front Cover

Picture of Add Front Cover

Now we can add the front cover. Apply epoxy resin adhesive on front side of all the pieces and the place the glass. You can keep some weight on top till the adhesive dries up.

Thoroughly inspect all the joints before proceeding further and make sure all joints are completely water proofed.

Step 7: Wash and Test for Leakage

Picture of Wash and Test for Leakage

When all the glued pieces are well dried we can check for leakage and also wash the tank to remove any traces of chemicals from the adhesives used.

Step 8: Add Fish

Picture of Add Fish

You can add water and fishes to the tank. I got very tiny fishes which can move through the maze without any difficulty. These fishes also do not grow large and are suitable for this type of tank.

You can also add an air pump and filtration unit to the tank. 


tylerkat (author)2016-06-05

There are literally 100's of dead spots in that tank where the water will never move due to all the angles.

meteorainc (author)2016-04-26

To solve the cleaning problem, you should glue the maze pieces on a separate piece of glass, this can slide into the square fish tank. You can remove the maze for cleaning while leaving the fish in the tank as well!

Another cool feature is to add a back light where the mazes pieces will glow blue (depending on light color you choose).

Start by printing out a piece of black paper with the maze pattern scale to size of your fish tank. This maze pattern can be use as a template for linning up the glass maze pieces together. Cut out the maze pattern (blue parts in the picture) on the black paper. Glue the black piece of paper on the fish tank, lining up the cutout with the glass maze pieces. Add a blue light to the back for a cool effect, the maze pieces will glow blue.

You can also add UV light, some white / neon orange fishes will glow under the blue UV light adding extra effect.

antoniraj (author)meteorainc2016-04-26

thank you for the suggestion. I can not do any modification in this one. However, I will incorporate your suggestion in a future project

Simran Sharma (author)2016-02-09


antoniraj (author)Simran Sharma2016-02-09


zwhenry (author)2015-09-25

I recommend you add some softer edges to the inside pieces of the maze... Those edges could really hurt your fish. Even a tiny nick could be devastating if it gets infected with fungus.

samalert (author)2014-03-18

I also own a fish tank(Ible) and maintaining one is very hard. Now the theme is very good but cleaning the same is not so great. Imagine the same tank after few months when algae start blooming it will be a nightmare.

antoniraj (author)samalert2014-03-18

you are right... cleaning the tank will pose a problem. The tank has to be emptied for cleaning everytime

wrongname (author)antoniraj2014-03-18

for cleaning the tank you can use some water snails. and a tank filter

anguauberwald (author)wrongname2014-03-20

Snails will not clean the tank! They produce waste along with the fish. They will eat some algae, but will contribute to the overall bio-load of the tank, thus making it less clean. The only way to keep a tank clean is through manual cleaning, partial water changes and well-maintained water peramiters.

I think he meant clean the algae off the walls. and snails bioload is so small it's negligible. But yes, of course you still have to change the water.

antoniraj (author)wrongname2014-03-18

I will add a tank filter soon. I am not aware of water snails being used to clean tank. thanks for the suggestion

wrongname (author)antoniraj2014-03-18

i have a turtle and abig tank. once i received a jar full of tank snails from a friend and i dropped them in the tank. they are not cleaning the water, but for sure they are cleaning the glass. they are crawling and eating the algae. unfortunately my turtle eat them all, like sushi. :)

Trustthapo (author)antoniraj2014-03-20

Please don't do that. You shouldn't empty a tank completely for cleaning ever if possible. For starters, you're going to need a filter to keep the tank clean, but it won't do much work until the tank has been cycled. Aquariums need to undergo the cycling process in order to create a colony of beneficial bacteria and balance out your water levels to prevent fish deaths. I'm sorry, but this tank design may be very unique and cool, but it probably won't work in the long term- which is what you should aim for when keeping fish.

DragonTamer458 (author)2015-02-11

Two things: Black background and a pipe connecting either side so the fish can swim out one side and in the other. Otherwise, I love it. Good luck cleaning it.

design4ever (author)2014-06-30

I would so make this if I had fish I would just edit it a bit

jckozzie (author)2014-04-18

You can also use a magnet cleaner to scrub any algae... plus snails will help a bunch! :)

marydecorator (author)2014-03-25

I'm not sure I fully approve of this one, but the idea was quite cool

nemoyoder (author)2014-03-24

u cant even feed them

apapai (author)2014-03-23

Would be great to upload high quality images! I'm more interested in the final fish tank.

aborah (author)2014-03-21

Excellent original idea for giving the fish a obstacle course or an adventure trail. I am sure they would love it. Only problem is maintaining it as others have commented. Many a time we get flashes of innovation, but they may not be feasible. That should not stop us from thinking. Do think-out new-original-ideas and keep us posted.

EdyStauch (author)2014-03-21

How are you going to clean the fish tank???

ndonart (author)2014-03-21

I love the concept... With all the cross bracing, it should be a pretty sturdy tank. Good luck cleaning it though. :)

compudude (author)2014-03-20

Very clever, and fairly hilarious! I do agree that cleaning that thing is going to be a nightmare... and it's probably not the best environment for fish, long term.

For what it's worth: Any local hardware store should carry, or be able to order, standard pure 100% silicon adhesive. It's standard construction material. Get "GE Silicon I" which is plain, pure silicon with no additives that will harm your fish. It's the EXACT same material as the "aquarium sealant" sold for a high price in fish shops. 100% silicon is 100% silicon, and absolutely fish-safe. WARNING: AVOID the "GE Silicon II" which contains mold inhibitors that are extremely harmful to your fish.

compudude (author)compudude2014-03-20

Incidentally, you can sand the sharp edges of the glass, or have your glass cutter do it. That would help protect your hands during the build, and the fish once it's built. :)

bryan3141 (author)compudude2014-03-20

Depending on the type of glass, fire polishing the edges would also work. Also, I think I would be inclined to make this tank horizontal rather than vertical.

compudude (author)bryan31412014-03-20

Depends on whether you're used to playing the table top version of Pac Man or the upright console version. ;) LOL

xenobiologista (author)compudude2014-03-20

It doesn't have to be GE brand, various silicone glue manufacturers have products that are aquarium safe. Sometimes it will only say so in small print and you have to read the package carefully.

compudude (author)xenobiologista2014-03-20

GE Brand is just really easy to find, at least here in the US, since Home Depot and Lowes and almost every little hardware shop carries it. Lots of other types will indeed be aquarium safe whether they say or not, the key point is it needs to be 100% pure silicon with no additives, mold inhibitors, etc. Pure is pure.

Schuyler (author)2014-03-20

"Clever" is not always "smart," less often is it "nice." When keeping fish the foremost consideration is to create as natural an environment as possible. This does not preclude decorative aspects which might appeal to our eye or our imagination but at the same time provide appropriate habitat(i.e., an underwater "castle"). I can hardly imagine a more unnatural environment than the one you have created here--utterly lifeless, utterly unintelligible to the fish. If they swim around in the maze at all, it would only be to get the hell out of it. Your photos indicate they, in fact, are not inclined to explore at all, but to congregate, as is the instinct of most small fish. Coupled with the impossibility of cleaning the tank, with or without fish and/or water in it, and the utter disruption of the lives of the fish could you actually clean the tank after removing the fish, I think this idea should be relegated to the "interesting, but not practical" pile.

Trustthapo (author)Schuyler2014-03-20

Thank you for this comment! I keep seeing really neat looking- but impractical and often cruel- aquariums making the Instructables mailing list, and it's awful. I understand that people making the 'ibles may not know about fish husbandry, but I would hope that somebody in charge of running the site would recognize that any novelty pet cages like this are generally a not-so-great idea. Any newcomers to this article should read on how to cycle a fish tank, what fish are appropriate for beginners, what size tank you will need, and calculate the costs of ownership after the aquarium, filter, heater, testing kits, and so forth are all figured.

Fish are living pets- not decorations.

anguauberwald (author)Trustthapo2014-03-20

You took the words right out of my mouth! Thank you for advocating on behalf of those poor little Guppies.

Schuyler (author)Trustthapo2014-03-20

Hear, hear! Caring for animals, whatever the species, whatever the purpose, is one of the most awesome(in the old-fashioned sense of the word) and humbling responsibilities we humans render unto ourselves. Do not take it lightly!

hunter999 (author)2014-03-19

Looking good! This is a very ingenious idea :-). I'm quite surprised no one has done this before. Voted :D

antoniraj (author)hunter9992014-03-19

thank you hunter999...

hunter999 (author)antoniraj2014-03-20

No problemo!

mdeblasi1 (author)2014-03-20

To make it more easily cleanable, you might make the maze a slide out component.
To mollify the advocate of guppy rights, there are more than a few places in there to tuck water plants. Use some in the orange and yellow color palate and they will look down right thematic.

capnbob (author)2014-03-20

Not trying to spoil your fun, but how could you ever possibly clean it?

mikefromspace (author)2014-03-20

Neat idea. I'd use colored plastic so the fish see it coming better. I'd also have a large tube area connecting the left to right sides just like how it works in the real Pac-Man.

If you make this only half the tank and then feed them in the center of the maze, well there would be an actual reason for them to run the maze : ) unless they're trying to escape enemies. Next step; making one large enough to have growing plants or anenomies on surfaces of the maze walls. (I'm into saltwater , clown fish and various types of anenomies and coral.)

kyle9977 (author)2014-03-18

Very cool. You might even be able to suspend some yellow plastic be-bees between the plates if you want to

antoniraj (author)kyle99772014-03-18

thank you. I thought of sticking rows of colored beads in between the plates, but they may get dislodged by fish and can't be refixed easily.So I left as it is

Cabe (author)antoniraj2014-03-20

What about putting the dots on the back of the tank outside?

antoniraj (author)Cabe2014-03-20

yes, that can be done on the backside. thanks for the suggestion...

Attmos (author)2014-03-19

Looks cool. I like the painted back and LED idea, that would look awesome. I have just one suggestion: they make a clear silicone fish tank glue that really should be used. You can buy it at most pet stores. It will completely seal the tank and withstand the pressure of all the water in the tank. I only bring this up because I see some water around the base of your tank. This is just a helpful hint, not a criticism 'cause I really love the idea.

antoniraj (author)Attmos2014-03-19

thank you for the information, Here in the pet shops near my home town, they don't sell the silicone glue. I will have to search in the big city nearby

Attmos (author)antoniraj2014-03-19

Your local hardware store might have it. It comes in a squeeze tube but not advertised as fish tank glue. It will say 100% silicone. I'm basing this off of what's available in the U.S., I don't know what's available in India. Anyway, have fun, cool project.

antoniraj (author)Attmos2014-03-19

thanks again... sure, I will look for it

Attmos (author)2014-03-19

Oh, another thing, where did you get your glass and how much was it to cut? I might try something like this myself, I love fish.

antoniraj (author)Attmos2014-03-19

I got my glass from a shop run by a professional glass cutter. It is 5 mm thick glass so, I asked him to cut all the pieces for the tank. I did all the markings on the glass. He charged me about 600 rupees (that is about 10 US Dollars) for all 5 mm and 2 mm thick glasses including cutting

I bet it's really entertaining watching the fish swim around like pac man

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things more simple with easily available resources. My favorite quote: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan ... More »
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