Nebraska man turns old computers into new 'Mac'-quariums

(NBC/WMBF) - In a small village tucked away in Nebraska, you might not picture a thriving technology, but one man came up with a swimming idea.

Do you ever wonder what happens to your used technology, like that old iMac box? He's turning that trash into treasure - three gallons full of labor and hard work, add water, and you've got a bright idea.

"We threw one away at work. They were just like this thing is broken, go throw it in the trash can," says Jake Harms, who, as you might guess, did not throw away the computer.

"I've always been the kind of guy that likes to take things apart and see how they work," Harms said. "Everyone's like, 'oh, you're the computer aquarium guy,' and I'm like, yeah there's surely no title for it."

Back in 2007, Jake took a computer home, he cast a line, and made a splash.

"I had an iMac and I saw someone that made an aquarium and I was like, 'Oh, I'll make that.'"

So he dove in head first. Since then, the orders have been swimming in.

"After a while, one of my buddies was like, 'Hey, can you make me one of those?' So I made him one, and everybody's like, 'Hey, can you make me one of those?' So I made him one," Harms said.

Eventually, he wanted to expand his bubbling business, and so, Custom Creations emerged.

"I built 50 in a year, sold 50 in a year, and it's kind of snowballed since then," Harms added.

In seven years, he's sold over 1,000 aquariums.

It may look easy, but Jake gets these broken computers, takes them apart, polishes them down, and ships these aquariums all over the world.

"Sometimes, I can't even read the address, because they go all over the world," he said.

Despite the global sales, Jake still operates out of his basement in Nebraska.

"If it got bigger than that, it would be too much, and I don't think it'd be as fun anymore," Harms said.

He spends hours working to build the new marine home, and it's not just aquariums that he makes. He turns trash into treasure.

"I think it's kind of neat to know that something that was on its way to the landfill or to be destroyed is now turned around and sitting in someone's living room or office or something like that," Harms said.

The finished aquariums cost $299. Jake also sells a kit that allows you to assemble your own aquarium.

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