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Author Topic: Steampunk Aquariums: The Ocean At Home  (Read 9077 times)
Camellia Wingnut
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« on: March 19, 2014, 01:56:47 am »

My Dear Fellows,
It suddenly occurred to me - you know how it does - that antique aquariums, whether grand Victorian tourist attractions such as the one at Brighton,
or smaller domestic metal fish tanks, might be a secret source of the Steampunk aesthetic. So also might be old aquarium ornaments, like divers.

There is an absolutely fascinating account of the Brighton Aquarium in Peter Lovesey's purest Steampunk novel "Mad Hatter's Holiday". . . . involving the crocodile exhibit.
What do you think?
C.W.
P.S. This article says they were the television of the Victorian drawing room: http://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden/article/When-the-aquarium-was-a-novelty-Victorian-fish-2561206.php
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 02:10:48 am by Camellia Wingnut » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 02:30:49 am »

Just avoid this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/18/t-rex-cafe-fish-tank-bursts_n_4983530.html
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Camellia Wingnut
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 02:42:41 am »

Ah. Another thing to worry about in the middle of the night.
C.W.
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chironex
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 04:04:09 am »

I just asked about aquariums recently to try my hand at aquascaping. a 35L tank kit costs a good $400. I hate to think what the increase would be to have the tank framed in a decorative Victorian style structure.
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Camellia Wingnut
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2014, 09:18:52 am »

My Dear Chironex,
I see you are in Australia. There is a Free Google e-book, an issue of 'The Victorian Review' (1882) with an article called "An Aquarium for Melbourne," discussing the feasibility of building one for Melbourne or St. Kilda.
Of course, Australia is huge, and I don't know where you live. I wonder if the Aquarium was ever built.
C.W.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 09:21:26 am by Camellia Wingnut » Logged
chironex
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2014, 02:59:09 am »

Townsville.

There is one here but it isn't steamy looking.
http://www.reefhq.com.au/

There's AN aquarium in Melbourne...
http://www.melbourneaquarium.com.au/
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George Salt
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2014, 10:49:02 am »

I just asked about aquariums recently to try my hand at aquascaping. a 35L tank kit costs a good $400. I hate to think what the increase would be to have the tank framed in a decorative Victorian style structure.

I'm guessing from that price you're considering a marine nanoreef.

There are much cheaper options than buying something off-the-shelf if that is your intent.  And it would be easier to add SP embellishments to a cheap, square cornered tank than the typical curved commercial nano tank.  If the tank is square-cornered with flat panes it's easier to add frames around the base structure.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2014, 01:21:35 pm »



There are more things that could go wrong. I used to have a small aquarium with an open top. One night, one of the goldfish decided to commit suiside by jumping out of the water. Next morning, I went pass the aquarium (bare feet) and SQUISH!  Tongue

Back on topic. I've heared that some aquarium builders use Fimo clay to create the interiour.
I love the aquarium with the candles!
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2014, 02:30:00 pm »

My Dear Miss Wingnut,

It had not occurred to me that Victorians would have built  aquariums as magnificent pieces of furniture. But why not , this would be so in keeping with the Victorian ethos.  I had foolishly assumed that  aquaria would have been confined to  out door  ponds,  indoor conservatory and green house scenery.

One could utilise a vintage plan to design a wonderful steampunk aquarium centre piece or wall  decor .










 this may be showing off a little too much  to have in one's own home.

http://www.zoochat.com/1337/koi-pool-victorian-baths-matlock-bath-130333/


« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 02:32:28 pm by Hurricane Annie » Logged
Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2014, 03:44:45 pm »

 My aspiration is to have a front room  or foyer that would accommodate and facilitate this grand  inspired  instillation theme











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chironex
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2014, 03:17:47 am »

I just asked about aquariums recently to try my hand at aquascaping. a 35L tank kit costs a good $400. I hate to think what the increase would be to have the tank framed in a decorative Victorian style structure.

I'm guessing from that price you're considering a marine nanoreef.

There are much cheaper options than buying something off-the-shelf if that is your intent.  And it would be easier to add SP embellishments to a cheap, square cornered tank than the typical curved commercial nano tank.  If the tank is square-cornered with flat panes it's easier to add frames around the base structure.

I asked about using a different tank and buying the other components separately (the kit in question is probably not for marine use) but there wouldn't be much saving if I simply got a different tank, using a chemical method to impregnate the water with CO2 would give vastly inferior results, as would using a different substrate. The seller I spoke to aquascapes, and had to scale the system up (she has a much bigger tank).
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2014, 10:14:08 am »

The entrance to the aquarium at Bristol Zoo, while not really steampunk, has a lovely art nouveaux aesthetic
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2014, 12:28:31 pm »

The entrance to the aquarium at Bristol Zoo, while not really steampunk, has a lovely art nouveaux aesthetic


 Bristol Zoo Post Card




 Snake & Keeper 1901



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CapnHarlock
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2014, 02:47:18 pm »

Something important to keep in mind when designing / building a Steamed-up aquarium: Copper compounds in just about any form can be extremely toxic to most fish and aquatic invertebrates, so be VERY careful with the brass / paint, etc., even on the outside of the tanks.

If you choose to do decorative brass framing etc, an enclosed terrarium for plants can be much more "forgiving"
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chironex
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The typing jellyfish monster


« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2014, 03:29:33 am »

I was just going to have the waterplants, as my place is covered by two Raid automatic units.
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George Salt
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2014, 09:26:54 am »

I just asked about aquariums recently to try my hand at aquascaping. a 35L tank kit costs a good $400. I hate to think what the increase would be to have the tank framed in a decorative Victorian style structure.

I'm guessing from that price you're considering a marine nanoreef.

There are much cheaper options than buying something off-the-shelf if that is your intent.  And it would be easier to add SP embellishments to a cheap, square cornered tank than the typical curved commercial nano tank.  If the tank is square-cornered with flat panes it's easier to add frames around the base structure.

I asked about using a different tank and buying the other components separately (the kit in question is probably not for marine use) but there wouldn't be much saving if I simply got a different tank, using a chemical method to impregnate the water with CO2 would give vastly inferior results, as would using a different substrate. The seller I spoke to aquascapes, and had to scale the system up (she has a much bigger tank).

You don't need a CO2 injection system for a planted tank, only if you're going for a very high standard of aquascaping and using plants that are difficult to maintain without CO2.  I ran a basic yeast bottle CO2 system for a while and it was effective, but I don't bother with it any more and the plants I grow in my freshwater aquarium are perfectly happy without.

Tank, filter, lights, heater.. look for them all second-hand but replace the bulbs/tubes in the lights when you get them.

The Ward-style wooden framed tank posted further up the thread looks quite straightforward to replicate.  Finding the right varnish will be key, something that will protect the wood and not leach something into the water from condensation.  The high hood leaves lots of room for concealing the light fittings.
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Camellia Wingnut
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Take my camel, dear. . . .


« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2014, 08:30:04 pm »

P.S.
Perhaps a more manageable project?
Here are some interesting fish-bowls:
C.W.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2014, 09:11:55 am »

 They are beautiful Camellia . More like  well designed furniture pieces than a common or garden fish tank
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Aubreay Fallowfield
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« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2014, 03:32:38 pm »

I concur with the last statement they are indeed fabulous!!
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Arabella Periscope
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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2014, 10:09:54 am »



Don't forget the wonderful Wardian Case -- You could put an aquarium in it, or just light it creatively and keep ferns, mosses and orchids in there for a deluge-risk-free alternative.  It is like having your own little Crystal Palace.



P.S. Hurricane Annie -- I do enjoy the scale of your visual imagination!
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 10:11:59 am by Arabella Periscope » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2014, 08:18:20 pm »

for some reason I've just started daydreaming about submersible clockwork coelecanths...
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« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2014, 08:46:15 pm »

Those fish bowls.  Oh My.
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Camellia Wingnut
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Take my camel, dear. . . .


« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2014, 12:14:19 am »

My Dear Girls,
Lovely! A miniature Steampunk world could be created in one of those.
Mr. Bailey,
Your remark suggests a new topic: "Steampunk Dream Interpretation." Dare I?
Gt.-Aunt Camellia
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2014, 10:14:13 pm »

My Dear Girls,
Lovely! A miniature Steampunk world could be created in one of those.
Mr. Bailey,
Your remark suggests a new topic: "Steampunk Dream Interpretation." Dare I?
Gt.-Aunt Camellia

  Oh Yes -  be a Dare Devil   dear Camllia
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Arabella Periscope
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« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2014, 10:23:53 pm »

for some reason I've just started daydreaming about submersible clockwork coelecanths...



Have you been reading James Gurney's 'First Flight?'
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