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

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.

Step 6: Cleaning

Take your lightbulb to the bathroom to clean it out. There is a dust in the bulb that coats the inside. To the best of my knowledge,it is non-toxic, but probobly isnt the best thing for your lungs. Fill it halfway with water, cover the stem with your thumb, give a couple good shakes, and rinse. There may be some stubborn bits that "wont come off", but you can get those easily with an old toothbrush.

Step 7: Clear

Now your lightbulb should be crystal clear

Step 8: The Stand

Now this is when the coat hangar comes into play. Use your tinsnips to cut off the staight part on the bottom of the coat hangar.

Step 9: Bending

Bend your wire into a rough shape, like this. Make sure you get a corkscrew at the top, that closelt resembles the threads on the lightbulb.

Step 10: Dog Leg

Make sure you dog-leg the bottom end of the wire, and then staple it thusly to the 2x4.

Step 11: Screw!

Screw your lightbulb into the make-shift corkscrew on your threads. Be very carful not to screw to far, you you will end up cracking the glass.

Step 12: Add to It

Put in about 2 or so inches of AGED aquarium gravel. The gravel doesnt have to be aged, but it will aid in biological filtration, due to the beneficial bacteria that grows in the substrate. Then fill it to within 1/2" with water treated with chlorine/chloramine neutralizer. Then you can add 1-3 ,depending on their size, ghost shrimp to the tank. You can feed them a SMALL pinch of very crushed fine fish flake, once every three days. Due to the extremely small bioload that ghost shrimp contribute to in their habitat, water changes do not need to be frequent, about once every two weeks to keep the ammonia at bay. Use a dropper every couple days to vaccume up all of the uneaten food at the bottom. And There you have it!

P.S.: DO NOT even think about putting a betta in this light bulb!

Step 13: Oops!

As expected, you might mess up a few times, as did I. Its a trial and error process, so dont get discouraged.

Step 14: Fin!

Well, now your done. You can use it as some weird sort of modern art(i still dont understand that crap), put it on your desk at work, or put it into your room as a nice addition to your 55 gallon green severum tank.




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    140 Discussions


    9 months ago

    I've seen another similar project in which they mounted a terrarium, and I think it's a great idea as long as you don't think about putting a fish inside. I can't understand people who think with their asses.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Shrimps are small

    I wish you wouldn't put any living creature in this I believe you know about shrimp more than I but I hope it isn't too small :) Thanks for writing "DO NOT even think about putting a betta in this light bulb!" :) Betas around the world thank you :)

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Can i put a 5 bettas in a 10 ft clear light bulb with a sponge filter a led light live plants and a marimo moss ball ?


    Reply 3 years ago

    No no no no no no no no. That bulb is way too small for fish and you capped off the air supply with those corks.


    Reply 3 years ago

    But that comment is only too late by 5 years


    Reply 3 years ago

    I think there are way too many geniuses around here


    4 years ago

    I would like to do this, maybe ill put it in my 20 gal once i set it up


    4 years ago

    I'm really sorry for every animal that has to live in this thing. yes it's cute and all but it is just too small!


    4 years ago

    you can also put salt or sugar in the light bulb and shake it around to get the white powder stuff out of the light bulb. great job on the 'ible :)

    I was thinking about doing a similar design using a larger transparent light bulb and a female beta (siamese fighter fish)

    the crafting guy

    5 years ago

    hi, I have just made one one of these and I was wandering how you would put the shrimp in:-) thanks


    5 years ago on Step 14

    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


    5 years ago on Introduction

    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


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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


    6 years ago on Step 6

    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.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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. :)