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How To Make Your Own Wave Tank

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You can make your own wave tank to explore liquids, density, and motion.

You can make your own wave tank to explore liquids, density, and motion.

Anne Helmenstine
Wave tanks use liquids with two different densities that won't mix together. Here's an easy, non-toxic method.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Add water, mineral oil (baby oil), and food coloring to a clear container.
  2. While this works well in a bottle, consider using an aquarium or plexiglass tank with a windshield wiper motor to get real wave action.

Tips:

  1. I'm told that windshield wiper motors are available from American Science Surplus, JerryCo, or JC Whitney.
  2. Other liquids will work equally well or better. Choose liquids with different densities that won't mix.

What You Need

  • Mineral Oil (baby oil)
  • Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Clear Container

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