Broken Xbox 360 upcycled into nano-reef aquarium

These days, video game consoles are much more than devices that allow you to play the latest first-person shooter or role-playing game. 

Video game systems now come equipped with WiFi capabilities and sophisticated media streaming technology. 

In fact, thanks to services like Hulu and Netflix, all you need is a monitor and a console, and you can ditch the cable company altogether.

All these extra capabilities mean that video game systems spend a lot more time in the ‘on’ position. In addition to sucking up extra energy, it also means that these delicate electronics are more likely to burn out within a few years of purchase. 

All complaints about built-in obsolescence aside, the mind boggles to think about how many gaming systems must end up in the landfill every year. 

Troubled by the idea that its plastic components would take thousands of years to degrade, designer Spencer Shepard decided to upcycle a broken Xbox 360 into something equally as entertaining: a fully-functional saltwater aquarium.

“Once all of the internals were removed, the tank was built to fill as much of the console as possible while still allowing room for filtration components,” writes Shephard.  “The viewing window in the console was cut perfectly by water jet.”

The tank itself is made of glass, and is approximately 6″ long, 8″ tall, and 2.5″ wide. Water volume inside the tank is 0.45 gallons. The tank is lit with a color-changing (RGB) LED strip. Lighting color and intensity is controlled with a wireless remote.

The existing power cable and connection were reused and routed for the new system’s wiring required for the filtration process and the lighting. Even though the Xbox 360 aquarium is shorter and more narrow than most saltwater tanks, Shephard managed to fill it with a variety of colorful marine life, including live corals, fish, crabs, snails, and shrimp.

* Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling