Introduction: Salamander RadioQuarium

About: Im a student with a passion for making things hope you enjoy my profile!

A RadioQuarium is a combination of a radio and an aquarium, as the title suggests. The idea came when I discovered that a large amount of salamanders lived in the pond near my house. Obviously I wanted to capture some and display their beauty for all to see. I found a radio soon after in my basement and suddenly a wild idea came to me. What if I were to combine my interest in a salamander aquarium with the radio I had just found? I was able to disassemble the radio so that a small Plexiglas glass container was able to fit within the radio and the radio would still work. Thus the Salamander RadioQuarium was born.


Tools for this project vary based on the type of radio you have and the materials that surround you. I used a small screwdriver, a chisel, waterproof tape, a drill with a large drill bit, gorilla glue, acrylic paint, a wrench, a sander, and a band saw.

Step 1: Find a Radio and Get It Open!

Pretty simple honestly. Find an old radio, in my case I found an old Sony Radio.

Once you've found one... Get it open. I had to use a small screwdriver to remove the screws in the back to get it open.

Step 2: Remove the Electronics

Once you've opened up the back of the radio there should be screws as well as washers that hold the speaker and other electronics to the front of the radio. Using a small screwdriver remove these screws and the washers taking care to document how each piece of circuitry fits together. I found that there were wires with grounding attachments that fit into screws and I made sure to remember these points.

Pictures of these are shown.

Step 3: Make It Look Nice:)

There was an ugly veneer glued to the sides, top, and bottom of this radio which I really did not like. I decided to remove this veneer using a paint scraper and a chisel. Using the chisel it was relatively easy to slip the blade under the veneer while not touching the wood and remove the veneer by sliding the chisel between the two layers. There is a great video on YouTube if you type in "how to get old laminate off wood".

I decided that the radio was still ugly so I decided to fully sand the exterior as well as paint it with a teal acrylic coat that I mixed from acrylic paint I found around the house.

I realized after finishing the project that I should've fully painted the radio but I was too eager to see the salamanders in action.

Step 4: Making the Aquarium!!!!!!!!

Now it's time to make the aquarium!

I found two plates of Plexiglas which were perfect for making a clear aquarium. I measured the space needed to fill about half of the radio with this plexiglas which turned out to be a box which was 3.25" deep by 5" wide by 6.5" long. I used a bandsaw to cut the Plexiglas glass into the necessary lengths to create a box that would fit into the half of the radio that I wanted the aquarium to fit into. I superglued the pieces of plexiglas together to create a basic box shape and then used waterproof tape to seal all of the small spaces between plexiglass plates. I finally poured some water into the box to make sure it was fully waterproof.

Step 5: Putting the Radio Back Together

I screwed the speaker back into place and then realized that the other piece of electronics would not fit in the space that it previously did because of the space taken up by the aquarium. I decided that the other electronics could fit on top of the speaker which is what I ended up doing. These electronics went back to back on top of the speaker so that the nobs would face towards the back of the speaker and be able to be turned. The aquarium box fit into the space that the big piece of electronics used to go but first I had to add water from the nearby pond.

Step 6: Finish Up

I added a back panel on top of the electronics with minimal labels to show what each nob controlled such as volume, tone, am/fm, and tuning. The water filled aquarium had salamanders added to it so that it became a "Salamander RadioQuarium"

Step 7: Turn on the Radio

Turn on the radio! And watch those salamanders dance to the music!

Step 8: Release the Salamanders

I don't have a picture of this but I realized the salamanders were not super happy being next to a speaker so I released them after taking a quick video. Be nice to animals please!

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