Inside the Inverted Aquarium: An Immersive New Trend

Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 8:35AM

Inside the Inverted Aquarium: An Immersive New Trend

There's a new trend in the world of aquariums--one that lets the fish see what we see! 

The inverted aquarium makes use of clever science and careful construction to provide fish in natural spaces (like small backyard ponds) with a chance to peek out above the surface of the water.

See how it works, and why we like this innovative idea, in the blog below!

The science of inversion

If you've seen an inverted aquarium in action, you may be wondering--what's holding it all up? While it can seem tricky to achieve the delicate balancing act between natural pond and elevated "viewing" tank, the trend actually has its roots in simple science!

Due to a combination of forces--atmospheric pressure and surface tension--the water in the elevated part of the aquarium stays in place, instead of dispersing throughout the natural body of water. It's kept in place by a suction-like effect, the same kind that you can observe at home by putting an index card on top of a glass of water. Once you flip that glass, you should notice that the index card--strangely enough--is a sufficient barrier for holding all that water back!

A hybrid view

So what is it that makes sense about inverted aquariums--why are they catching on among DIY lovers everywhere?

For starters, the project is a relatively simple one. While we won't get into the step-by-step instructions here, they mainly involve designing a structure that 1) the fish can swim through and 2) can support the weight of water and a glass casing, the outer shell of the aquarium.

Still, why all the work? It gives homeowners (especially those who love spending time outdoors) a chance to see their fish in an all new way. Even more so, the structure lets the fish interact with the open-air environment, without ever having to leave the safety and sustenance of their aquatic home. We imagine it would be quite a thrill for them to see their surrounds in an all new light--much like we love walk-through aquariums and other attractions that let us see what a fish sees, but from a dry perspective.

If they catch on, inverted aquariums seem poised to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience for fish (and a unique visual one for us, too!).

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