|Publication number||US3517649 A|
|Publication date||Jun 30, 1970|
|Filing date||Sep 24, 1968|
|Priority date||Sep 24, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3517649 A, US 3517649A, US-A-3517649, US3517649 A, US3517649A|
|Inventors||Holden Edward F|
|Original Assignee||Aeroquip Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (15), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
June 30, 1970 E. F. HOLDEN FLOATING AQUATIC SCENE Filed Sept. 24, 1968 R O T N E V N EDWARD F. HOLDEN ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,517,649 FLOATING AQUATIC SCENE Edward F. Holden, Ann Arbor, Mich., assignor to Aeroquip Corporation, Jackson, Mich. Filed Sept. 24, 1968, Ser. No. 761,925 Int. Cl. A01k 64/00 U.S. Cl. 119-5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An accessory for home aquariums comprising a unitary decorative thin-walled body shaped to resemble a floating body of land and having a concave underside and including structure on its underside forming at least one enclosed air cell to enable the body to float for prolonged periods of time.
A wide range of aquatic scenery is presently available for use in home aquariums. Plastic scenic views attached to the outside glass of the aquarium to form a natural background are available and other artificial items such as foliage, sea shells, sunken ships and the like are available for decorating the bottom area of the aquarium. However, floating aquatic scenery is unavailable, and it is an object of this invention to provide improved floating aquatic scenery useful as an accessory for home aquariums.
The floating aquatic scene of this invention consists of a thin-walled body having a generally concave underside and readily formed by the vacuum molding process from a sheet of plastic. The body is irregularly shaped to resemble a body of land and is appropriately decorated to further this land simulation concept. One of the important features of the present invention is the inclusion of structure onthe concave underside of the body forming at least one enclosed air space to insure that the body will rest at the surface of the water maintaining a normal balance at a prescribed depth. In the preferred form of the invention, this structure consists of a watertight film which is secured to the lower end of the body so as to enclose the air space formed by the concave shape of the body. Such a film is inexpensive to obtain and can readily be assembled in an airtight relation with the plastic body. In another form of the invention, one or more air cell forming bodies, such as a ball formed of any suitable plastic which contains enclosed air cells or a water impervious plastic shell, such as a ping-pong ball, is independently floated below the body so as to support the body at a prescribed depth. In another form of the invention, a mass of enclosed air cell forming plastic, such as a closed cell type polyurethane, is secured to the concave underside of the plastic body so as to be practically integral therewith. In all forms of the invention, the structure on the underside of the body insures the formation of the necessary air cell to maintain the body in a buoyant condition over a prolonged period of time. It has been found that the body, by itself and without this additional structure, will gradually descend into the aquarium by virtue of weight of the body forcing air on the concave side thereof into the water and by virtue of the absorption of water by the body.
Further objects, features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description, the appended claims and the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an aquarium illustrating the floating aquatic scene of this invention floating therein;
FIG. 2 is a transverse sectional view of the floating aquatic scene of this invention as seen from substantially the line 22 in FIG. 1;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are transverse sectional views, illustrated similarly to FIG. 2, of modified forms of the floating aquatic scene of this invention.
With reference to the drawing, the floating aquatic scene of this invention, indicated generally at 10, is shown in FIG. 1 floating in an aquarium 12 filled with water to the level indicated at 14. The scene 10 corisists of a unitary decorative thin-walled body 16 which is generally concave in a downwardly facing direction and is irregularly shaped to resemble a body of land. The body 16 also has its top surface 18 appropriately decorated so as to further this simulation of a floating body of land. The body 16 is preferably formed of plastic and is conveniently manufactured by the vacuum forming process so that it is provided at its lower end 20 with a peripheral flange 22 which functions to provide a flat bottom surface 24.
A sheet or film of water impervious material 26, such as plastic, is secured in any suitable manner, such as by adhesive, to the surface 24 so as to form with the body 16 an enclosed air space 28 on the underside 30 of the body 16. By virtue of the cooperation of the film 26 and the body 16 to form the enclosed air space 28, floating of the body 16 at a prescribed depth relative to the water surface 14 over a' prolonged period is insured.
It has been found that when the airtight and watertight cell 28 is formed by means of the plastic film 26, the depth at which the body 16 floats in the aquarium relative to the water level 14 can be adjusted to some extent by the aquarist. The film 26 is somewhat flexible, and as a result, if the body 16 is casually placed in the aquarium water, some air bubbles are entrapped below the film 26. However, if the body 16 is inserted into the aquarium by first tipping the body 16 so that one edge of the flange 22 is above the water level 14, some or all of these entrapped air bubbles can be eliminated, thereby enabling the body 16 to sink deeper into the aquarium water. Thus, the flexible nature of the film 26 provides a desirable result, namely, adjustment of the depth at which the body 16 floats relative to the water surface 14. This enables adjustment of the size and depth of the shallow water area 31 which surrounds the body 16 and is located between the flange 22 and the water surface 14. This shallow water area 31 provides a haven for small fish in the aquarium 12 to provide these fish with a place where they can rest and be secure from consumption by larger fish.
In FIG. 3, a modified form 10a of the floating aquatic scene of this invention is illustrated. The scene 10a is substantially identical to the scene 10 differing therefrom principally in the specific form of the structure employed to provide air cells for maintaining the scene 10a at a desired floating position in the aquarium 12. Consequently, like numerals are used in FIG. 3 to indicate like parts of the scenes 10 and 10a. In the scene 10a, the body 16 is of a somewhat different shape than the body 16 in the scene 10, but it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the body 16 is capable of being provided in a variety of different shapes, each of which depicts a particular floating island scene. In the scene 10a, a pair of air cell members 32 and 34 are floated in the aquarium water and disposed in supporting relation with the body 16 so as to position the body flange 22 a prescribed distance below the water level 14. Each of the air members 32 and 34 is preferably formed of a Styrofoam or polyurethane material which provides enclosed air cells, although the members 32 and 34 can also be formed of a plastic material 3 which forms hollow spheres like ping-pong balls which are water and air tight.
In FIG. 4, another modified form b of the aquatic scene of this invention is illustrated which is also similar in many respects to the scene 10 so that like numerals on the scene 10b are used to indicate like parts on the scene 10. The scene 1% includes a body 16 which is filled from the bottom side with a closed cell plastic material so that the body 16 has attached thereto a mass 36 of the plastic material which provides the air cells 38 that impart buoyancy to the body 16. The mass 36 is of a weight such that the body 16 will float in the aquarium water at a position such that the flange 22 is a prescribed depth below the Water level 14.
From the above description it is seen that this invention provides a buoyant aquatic scene which can be floated in an aquarium 12 so as to add to the apperance thereof and to provide a haven for small fish. The inclusion of the illustrated structures for forming one or more enclosed air cells below the body 16 insures that the body 16 will float at a prescribed depth for prolonged periods of time.
It will be understood that the floating aquatic scenes which are herein disclosed and described are presented for purposes of explanation and illustration and are. not intended to indicate limits of the invention, the scope of which is defined by the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A buoyant aquatic scene accessary for aquariums comprising a unitary decorative thin-walled body shaped so as to be generally concave in a downwardly facing direction and have a hollow underside and so contoured as to resemble a body of land, and means on the underside of said body forming at least one completely enclosed air space on the underside of said body for providing buoyancy.
2. An aquarium accessory according to claim 1 wherein said body terminates at its lower end in a substantially flat surface and wherein said means forming said enclosed air space comprises a film of water impervious material secured to said surface and extending completely across said body lower end.
3. An aquarium accessory according to claim 2 wherein said film is formed of a flexible plastic material.
4. An aquarium accessory according to claim 1 wherein said means on the underside of said body comprises at least one member separate from said body, said member defining at least one enclosed air cell.
5. An aquarium accessory according to claim 1 wherein said means on the underside of said body consists of a cellular plastic mass having enclosed air cells therein and secured to said body.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,327,686 6/1927 Holden ll9-5 ALDRICH F. MEDBERY, Primary Examiner 33 3 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION 3, 517, 649 Dated June 30, 1970 Patent No.
Inventor(s) Edward F. Holden It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
7 In the title block, cancel assignor to Aeroquip Corporation,
SIGNED MIL obT 271970 Q Attost:
Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.
mm E. 5051mm, m mung officer nmmiasionor of Patente
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3327686 *||Oct 20, 1965||Jun 27, 1967||Holden Edward F||Floating island sanctuary for aquariums|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3699921 *||Mar 24, 1970||Oct 24, 1972||Janicek Mark A||Aquarium platform|
|US4588618 *||Sep 18, 1984||May 13, 1986||Gulf Coast Aqua Leisure, Inc.||Ornamental floating apparatus|
|US4788938 *||Oct 13, 1987||Dec 6, 1988||Davenport James S||Floating shoreline and accessory holder for aquarium/terrarium|
|US4820556 *||Jun 1, 1987||Apr 11, 1989||Penn Plax Plastics, Inc.||Decorative shelf system for aquarium or terrarium|
|US4941432 *||Jul 3, 1989||Jul 17, 1990||Ferrari Patrick F||Fish protection system|
|US5121709 *||Mar 4, 1991||Jun 16, 1992||Wechsler Lawrence I||Terrarium basking accessory for use with aquariums|
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|US7086349 *||Jan 6, 2004||Aug 8, 2006||Zoo Med Laboratories, Inc.||Floating rail-guided aquarium dock|
|US7140936 *||Feb 12, 2004||Nov 28, 2006||John Roberts||Island swim raft|
|US7918187||Apr 5, 2011||Zoo Med Laboratories, Inc.||Floating aquatic structure|
|US20050145190 *||Jan 6, 2004||Jul 7, 2005||Bagnall Gary W.||Floating rail-guided aquarium dock|
|US20050181688 *||Feb 12, 2004||Aug 18, 2005||John Roberts||Island swim raft|
|US20060185610 *||Feb 9, 2005||Aug 24, 2006||Canady Wilbur Jr||Aquatic deck structure|
|US20070277743 *||May 5, 2006||Dec 6, 2007||Bagnall Gary W||Floating aquatic structure|
|U.S. Classification||119/253, 428/13|