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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey everybody :)

i just found this thing while cleaning yesterday





as you can see its just an empty snowglobe. i have a really cool idea in my head to try and make a self sustaining enclosed ecosystem by adding some kind of substrate, plants and maybe some snails or, if i can get some at this time of year, some water fleas or something.
something along the lines of this :

http://www.eco-sphere.com/

what do you all think? could it be done with something so small? im looking for ideas/tips on what type of plants and animals might work best

heres an outline of my plan:

WATER: fresh rain water. its clean and naturally high in disolved oxygen

SUBSTRATE: some crushed coral or lava rocks from my planted tank. (straight from the tank it should have a good population of nice microbes) along with some sand or maybe even some soaked and leached out peat moss for extra biomass? not sure here. tips please! :)

PLANTS: a bit of fast growing pond weed thats good at oxygenating like hornwort or elodea

ANIMALS: snails. thats all i can think of really. they would keep the sides clean i guess. i need some ideas for this part. ive thought of getting some fairy shrimp since if found them before growing in some seasonal ponds. theyre cool but would get too big i think. and as far as water mites or water fleas, couldnt i get those from just useing some dirt from a dried up pond bed? they always seem to just magically appear so i think the eggs stay dormant until its wet, right?

anyways, thats all i can think of for now. ill get this going as soon as i do a bit more research
 

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I bet it could be done. Go for it!

There are DIY "recipies" around the internet, too, if you want to go that route.

I've had one of the smallest commercial eco-spheres for over two years now. All it gets from the outside of the glass is the EM spectrum (light, heat, radio waves, etc) plus gravity...
 

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This is brilliant! I cant wait to see what you do with it! People have the most genious nearly free ideas! lol
 

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Have a look at http://www.eco-sphere.com/ they sell stuff like that. I think plants are out of the question, you should go for some kind of algae instead. Plants grow way too slow, take up a lot of space and are hard to digest. Another problem would be getting the substrate in and planting every thing when the lid is at the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
err well theres nothing to really follow anymore.. the stupid thing shattered as i was dropping pebbles in! it was super thin. ill be looking around for a plastic one online now
 

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Yeah, you have to make sure that the plant and algae growth will be sufficient to feed the shrimp for its natural lifespan.
Just wanted to record for posterity that my little Eco-Sphere is now over five years old. It's been completely sealed and sitting on a table in the dining room the whole time. One of the three original shrimp is still scooting around.
 

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Just wanted to record for posterity that my little Eco-Sphere is now over five years old. It's been completely sealed and sitting on a table in the dining room the whole time. One of the three original shrimp is still scooting around.
Six, now. He's eked out another year. :) Amazed at life.
 

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thats amazing

so you're saying that shrimp is over seven years old now? Is that actually possible?
Yes, that's right. It's amazing. There were three shrimp at first, one didn't go a year, the second was several years.

I wonder if stability of its environment may have a lot to do with it. Stable temperature, consistent food, no predators or pathogens...

No stress in that little pod. Need to get one for myself :D
 

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Thanks for the video. I didn't realize it was quite so small. I think I'd feel guilty keeping him in there, but that's just me.
 

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I think I'd feel guilty keeping him in there, but that's just me.
Yes, it's an interesting question to discuss - is it fair to keep him captive?

To many people, a fully-enclosed sphere seems less ok than an open-top tank. Interesting to ponder why that is...

Some facts:
a) He's not starving, clearly
b) No companionship for the last few years (c.f. The Martian)
c) No stimulus like wind, rain, current, belly rubs; no intellectual stimulus either
d) Range of motion: The sphere's diameter is about 15x the shrimps body length, so longer than many of the larger fish in home tanks or goldfish or bettas. (I'm not proposing that those are fair! I think to be really ok, we need tanks so big that natural range isn't limited at all, like 1000x bigger)
e) No predators or pathogens
f) No chance to procreate

Does this case have a different moral situation than keeping any creature captive under any circumstances? Discuss. :)
 
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