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How to Build a Simple, Inexpensive Aquarium in a Pint Glass

By SmoothP in Culture
Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 11:47:27 PM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)

If you've always wanted an aquarium, but were too afraid (or ignorant) to do so, a pint glass aquarium may be just the thing. In this article, I show how a simple fish tank can be put together for a minimal investment (about 5 pounds) and provide hours of relaxing entertainment.

Pint glass aquariums can be sited anywhere -- in your bathroom, home office, even the back of your van (optional lid kit recommended).

Me and my friend Brick were down to the bar the other night, half sodded off our faces. Brick says to me, "You know what I always wanted? Fish." So I says, "It's all you can eat on Friday-- why not wait the two days and save a little money?" No, says Brick, "I mean, like, fishies. Not the kind you eat, at least not right away."

Both Brick and myself happened to have suitable containers in front of us, and a few extra quid that we'd planned on spending on one last pint. So, off we go to the fish store, and here's what we did.

Short Form

Here's what you'll need:

1. A pint glass.
2. Water
3. Fish. Duh. In addition to looking nice, I mean, they're kind of the whole point of having an aquarium, aren't they?
4. Drinking straw.

Pint Glass

You can use just about any kind of glass, really. Me and Brick just stole the pints we were drinking. You know, they say you don't buy beer; you rent it. Well, we're not renting the pint glasses.

You can use any old glass, really. It doesn't even have to be made of glass. It helps if it's not opaque, though. We made one in a slurpee cup, and you just couldn't see a damn thing. A glass with some beer company logo painted on will save you money on decorating the thing later.

Figure out what you want to put in the pint glass. Right, I know, beer. But, stay with me. We're making an aquarium. Beer makes it harder to see the fish, and something about it must be bad for them, because they don't last as long. Water seems to work best.

You'll probably want to put something in the glass to make the thing pleasing to look at. Don't throw just anything in there. Brick put a fork, a two pound coin, and his car keys in his. You might want to go with something more natural, like plant life. Many plants will be too big for the pint glass, so choose things to scale. A dandelion, a handful of grass, or even just some oregano will do the trick. Legos tend to work pretty well, too.


I can't emphasize this aspect of your aquarium enough. Water is absolutely essential. It keeps the fish from getting all dried up. In fact, it's interesting to note that the word "aquarium" comes from the latin for "water something". Use clean water, and no ice cubes.


Here again, size is important. Measure across the width of the glass, and get a fish that's shorter than that. Lengthwise, I mean. Although fish can stand up on end, they normally don't do so on their own. Get a guppie or a goldfish or something.

Fish to stay away from include carp, walley, tuna, or anything that's not moving. Moving fish make a big difference in the overall quality of the aquarium.

Drinking Straw

This part took me an Brick a long time to work out, in many different ways. You'd think that fish wouldn't need air, I mean, they're fish, right? Maybe they don't, but they seem to like bubbles, nonetheless. You don't have to do this constantly, but if you blow some bubbles with the straw, it tends to help.

One big problem we had with this was, Brick kept sucking. It's mostly water, and a little fish crap, so it's not like it's too foul or anything. But one time Brick got the fish stuck on the end of the straw, and then it became a big game of how long can you suck, without the fish falling off the end of the straw. It was kind of funny at the time.


That's about it, really. The fish last about a week, even if you blow a lot of bubbles. It's a little bit of a mystery what they eat, around about day six mine started eating oregano. Hell, it's better than watching the local boys lose at footie again, and it's kind of educational. And when you're done, you can keep the pint glass.

My investment:

Pint glass, with beer: 3 pounds Water: free About an ounce of oregano: 3p maybe? Fish: 2 pounds

(apologies to graal, who wrote a really good story on how making a pond in a bucket, or something)


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How to Build a Simple, Inexpensive Aquarium in a Pint Glass | 61 comments (27 topical, 34 editorial, 1 hidden)
I've seen this somewhere before... (5.00 / 4) (#11)
by Ether on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 07:25:38 PM EST

Quoth the fish:

First seen here:

A voice of reason (none / 0) (#58)
by Wulfius on Fri Aug 09, 2002 at 06:02:17 AM EST

Whilst I do understand that this is meant as a joke (I hope) it is also cruel if attempted in RL.

The fish is a gods creature and will feel great distress and discomfort before it dies of starvation or aspshyxiation.

Both not a pleasant way to die for any organism.

If something really compells you to do something
like that get a Siamese fighting fish (also called a Betta). Those suckers are beautiful (long multicolored fins) and they breathe air.
But cover the lid otherwise they will jump out and dry to death.

And for gods sake, please feed it.

Cruelty is not funny.

"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

Humour is wasted on the humourless (none / 0) (#59)
by Tatarigami on Fri Aug 09, 2002 at 07:50:01 AM EST

Whilst I do understand that this is meant as a joke

Yes, but why not treat it as completely serious and post a finger-wagging lecture on the proper care of fish the author will probably never come into contact with anyway? Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

[ Parent ]
Actually (4.71 / 7) (#13)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 07:36:01 PM EST

You could put a betta in a pint glass, and it'd be relatively happy. They don't need you to aerate the water since they can come up to the surface for oxygen. They do fine in small places, but the problem is they're not very exciting. Bettas are pretty boring, as fish go.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
not true (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by Perianwyr on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 07:49:50 PM EST

They're very exciting, assuming you have a couple in one tank. Get them in two different colors, and hold a series of fights. Bet on which color will come out victorious overall, and then set the victors on one another for a evening of truly Roman entertainment.

[ Parent ]
Boring is as boring... (none / 0) (#19)
by 6502 on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 08:15:56 PM EST


.... Oh yea, they are boring.... whoops!

[ Parent ]

BullSh*t (none / 0) (#40)
by Andy P on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 12:02:36 AM EST

Bettas do not do well in small aquariums.  The most obvious point is that they are a jumping fish, so those fishbowls with the plants on top made popular by florists are stupid.  Get a real aquarium.

[ Parent ]
Are those (none / 0) (#41)
by mindstrm on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 01:08:34 AM EST

those japanese fighting fish? They do very well in small glasses, they have low oxygen requirements.

Don't get 2 together though.

[ Parent ]

i liked mine (4.00 / 2) (#42)
by jnemo131 on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 01:37:24 AM EST

i could hear its teeth chomping when it ate. it was cute. i called it chompy. then i threw it bits of rabbit and watched until the water grew too red with blood, and all i could hear was the hungry, methodical chomping of my cute little beta.

"I heard the droning in the shrine of the sea-monkey"
-The Pixies
[ Parent ]
No... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by 0xA on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 04:44:05 PM EST

Please note the difference between "continue to live" and "happy". You have used the wrong term.

Bettas in pint glasses are pretty fucking boring, what are they going to do? Poor fish can barely turn around. Do you think being locked in your bedroom closet would be boring?

Yes this is nasty rant. I am sorry if I offend but this is an important issue for me. I hate seeing those poor fish jammed up like that. A nice male betta in a proper tank is anything but boring.

[ Parent ]

I have no choice but to put this bluntly... (3.50 / 2) (#55)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 11:06:09 AM EST


jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
5 pounds?!? (4.25 / 4) (#25)
by roam on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 08:46:01 PM EST

That's like a couple of weeks of slim fast... come back when you have a solution where I don't have to lose any weight.

Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman

Five pounds in two weeks? (none / 0) (#27)
by SmoothP on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 08:56:35 PM EST

Heck, with a little bad luck and a meth habit, you can lose 20 pounds in a few minutes. Keep taking that slim fast, though.
- - - - - - - - - -
You say "tomato", I say "fuck you".
[ Parent ]
You're a fish Nazi (n/t). (1.30 / 10) (#32)
by JChen on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 09:12:06 PM EST

Let us do as we say.
I know its humour and all (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by sypher on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 10:09:27 PM EST

But three quid for a pint?, of what, vodka? I would expect some of those lickle neon fishy's free with it at that price.

You are obviously from the south of our glorious land.

If you leave it for a week you can go to the fair and 'win' a little fishy for a quid.

Funny 'tail' though.

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
Three pounds... (none / 0) (#44)
by gordonjcp on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 06:05:59 AM EST

... buys you a two pint jug of Deuchars in certain Glasgow pubs. And that's Imperial, not American pints...

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
hmmm (none / 0) (#60)
by phuzz on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 10:01:41 AM EST

The other day I spent £3.08 on a pint of Guiness and a pint of Fosters, I think it was at a wetherspones in exeter but with beer that cheap is it any wonder I can't remember?

[ Parent ]
ROTFLMAO! (4.50 / 4) (#45)
by bgarcia on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 07:05:22 AM EST

But one time Brick got the fish stuck on the end of the straw, and then it became a big game of how long can you suck, without the fish falling off the end of the straw.
This just made me break out in uncontrollable laughter at work. Luckily it's early, so very few people heard me.

Thanks for the chuckle!

Waste of a pint glass (none / 0) (#47)
by jabber on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 10:02:27 AM EST

Really.. I can think of better things to put in a pint glass than fish and oregano. In fact, my preferred items are also mostly protein and an herb of one kind or another, but fish and oregano belong in the kitchen, not a pint glass.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

worst.story.ever..... (1.50 / 2) (#48)
by gr00vey on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 12:08:12 PM EST


Sorry I don't have the time to vote on stories ... (1.40 / 15) (#49)
by levsen on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 12:17:41 PM EST

... but can you "funny" people please stop posting this crap just by yourselves? It's the 3rd or 4th so-called-humor story this week. They are not funny. Go home.

This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.

El conspiriado grande (5.00 / 2) (#50)
by SmoothP on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 02:00:12 PM EST

Yes, you've caught us. Me and 172 of my closest friends posted this story, and voted it up.

Sorry to have bothered you.
- - - - - - - - - -
You say "tomato", I say "fuck you".
[ Parent ]

!# Funny (none / 0) (#53)
by carwashi on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 10:56:05 PM EST

I usually dont like to see the funny stuff here on K5 but this was agreat story. It was funny but very realistic (Did this really happen).

You are an American pretending to be British (5.00 / 1) (#54)
by davidmb on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 06:26:37 AM EST

I claim my 5.

Funny story though, more please.

Drunk fish are fun (none / 0) (#61)
by Rizzen on Wed Aug 14, 2002 at 02:35:24 PM EST

My old roomie had a fish (the name of which escapes me) that we had to feed goldfish to every few days.  Well, we were drinking one night and wondered what a drunk fish would be like.  So we caught one of the goldfish, dunked it in a bit of beer and fed it to the other fish.  Seemed to like it, but nothing happened (other than the goldfish swam on its side until it was eaten).  So we tried dunking a goldfish in Amaretto.  Now that really screwed up the other fish.  It swam vertically, on its side, floated on its back for awhile, and had the worst case of the runs we'd ever seen from a fish.  Stayed like that for two days, then it was fine.  Every couple of weeks we'd let it party.  :)
----- The years of peak mental activity are undoubtedly those between the ages of 4 and 18. At age four, we know all the questions; at eighteen, we have all
How to Build a Simple, Inexpensive Aquarium in a Pint Glass | 61 comments (27 topical, 34 editorial, 1 hidden)
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