Making the Inky Fish Tank

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Tankin' ain't easy

Let's face it, making a fish tank is no simple task. If it were, you'd see custom tanks everywhere this side of Tijuana - from bedrooms to boardrooms. The fact of the matter is tankin' ain't easy, but honestly... nothing cool ever is. For our next helmet video we knew we had to take on the impossible, nay, the improbable. To do that we took the Airflite Inky, a helmet that flows air easier than Conway Twitty can sing a country ballad, and sealed it up wicked tight. We're getting a little ahead of ourselves here. Join us, won't you, on this aquatic adventure of discovery and creation while we walk you through the steps to make a helmet fish tank of your very own.

To build this tank we used the following materials:

  • Size Large Airflite Inky Helmet
  • 2mm Black Acrylic
  • Super Glue
  • 100% Silicone

You're gonna need some tools, but we're not going to tell you what they are. We're jerks like that.

Step 1

The first thing you're going to want to do is rip the helmet's freaking guts out. Just get in there and go nuts. Once you've clawed most of the helmet's insides out, be sure to halt your frenzy and spare the the eye port gasket, base gasket, wing and the shield pivots from your violent wrath. You're gonna want those.

Still Step 1

In addition to sealing off the head entry port in the helmet, we used black acrylic for a base that would hold the helmet in a natural oriented position. You can use what ever color you want, we could care less. To do this, first set the helmet up at the desired angle, then make a base that roughly matches the inside shape of the empty helmet. Then make transition piece that would goes between the top edge of this base and the inside shape of the empty helmet shell. Sure, some people look at this, think it's too difficult, and just give up. How will we ever enrich our lives by turning things into aquariums with that attitude?

Step 3 - It's the magic number

It’s much easier to work around inside the hemet before it's attached to the acrylic base. Sure we told you to base it up in Step 1, but try not to be such a literal person. Ok? How about you make the access hole at the top of the helmet where the fish will go in? This is Step 3 after all. After that you're gonna want to take your 100% silicone tube and seal up all of the nooks and crannies where water can get out. Let it cure overnight and then check it the next day for leaks.

The Glue that binds

Now that you've done all the sealing of holes, you need to get that base rockin and rollin. In order to give this piece some structural integrity beyond just silicone, use super glue to bond all the sides together. This means that the silicone would only be keeping the water in and not keeping the sides together. Once the base is together and cured, then a transition piece will need to made.

ok computer

Here's where technology helps out. Make a rough CAD template like seen here, applying this to a piece of acrylic with a piece of printed vinyl, ensuring accuracy and no residue when you remove the template from the piece. After the bridge piece was the correct shape, you can Seal it up"Kiss From a Rose on the Grave" style. Start by adding silicone to all the seams of the base. Then place a bead around the top edge of the base and place the helmet in position. Don't know how to use a computer? No problem, wing it! Pretty sure it will turn out exactly the same.

Nothing really matters

You're following along, yeah? Doesn't matter. Take your transition piece and place it inside the helmet through the eye port and pressed down onto the base, making sure everything is square and to your liking. Once the silicone is applied to the seam between the transition and the helmet shell, don't even think of moving it, Buster. If you're happy with where everything's at, apply a healthy bead to the seam and press/wipe it into shape. Leave it to cure overnight and then checked for leaks.

Can't believe you made it this far

The final stage of assembly is going to be the hardest, but hey... that's life, babe. In order to give the helmet the appearance of being an ordinary helmet, you'll have to place a clear panel on the inside of the helmet that Seals against the eye port. The easiest way to do this is to cut down an Airflite shield so it fits inside and then place bead of silicone was placed along the inside edge of the eye port. Once the final position was set, place some weight on the shield from the inside to keep it pressed against the inside edge of the eye port. Leave it to cure overnight then test for leaks.

Get a fish, name it ICON

Now it's time to set this mama-jama up. Add gravel to fill the base, get a fake plant or two and maybe some bubbling coral. Once everything is placed, drain the tank once again and pre-cycle the water to kick start the filter. Now it's time to get some fish, name them, and live out the rest of your life known as that dude who has a helmetquarium. You'll be almost as popular as us.