Microecosystems: A way to experience Life :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012 0 Comments:

An almost two year-old home-made closed ecosystemA 28 day-old home-made closed ecosystem Made this topic because of a school project.

I Foud useful to help people conceive a way to create their own mini ecosystem.  

Have you ever wanted to create your own little planet? Do you like aquatic life, but think that aquariums are too much work? If your answer to either of those two questions is Yes, then you might quite enjoy owning a miniature closed aquatic ecosystem. All you need is a credit card, or a clear glass jar, some stuff from a pond, and an appreciation for things that exist on a small scale. The result will be a self-sustained miniature world that doesn’t need feeding, filtration, or anything other than light, from the outside world.

Buy one ready-made

Zooplankton in a home-made closed ecosystemWorm in a home-made closed ecosystemMiniature closed ecosystems were first developed in the early 80’s by NASA , in a study aimed at finding ways of supporting human life in outer space. That technology was licensed, and resulted in a consumer product known as the EcoSphere(R), which is still available to this day. An EcoSphere(R) is a glass globe with sea water, bacteria, gravel, a piece of coral, algae, several algae-eating shrimp and an air pocket all sealed inside. The algae converts light and carbon dioxide into oxygen, the shrimp breathe the oxygen and convert it back into carbon dioxide, the bacteria break down the shrimps’ waste, and the whole thing can keep itself going for quite a long time. “We regularly receive letters from customers stating their shrimp lived for up to 20 years enclosed” company VP Dan Harmony told Gizmag. “We hear this often from many customers, that their EcoSphere is five, eight, or even ten years old.”

Make your own

If you want a closed ecosystem that you know is done right, then an EcoSphere(R) is definitely the way to go. It can be quite fun and fascinating, however, to make your own freshwater version. There are numerous examples on the Internet, but probably the definitive how-to guide is a video posted by Make Magazine. What it boils down to is, you’re collecting water, sand/bottom debris and plants from a pond, sealing them in a jar with some air space at the top, then leaving everything in indirect sunlight.

Check this ;)



Apart from throwing a few small snails in there, you don’t need to make a point of including any animals, as various creepy-crawlies will present themselves over time. One of the highlights of using pond life, in fact, is keeping track of the various water fleas, shrimps, worms and other things that seem to just spontaneously show up in there. Whatever you do, do not include anything like fish, tadpoles or large insects - not only is it cruel, but they won’t survive anyways. Some people will tell you that even keeping shrimp in a closed ecosystem is cruel. Given that it’s impossible for any human to ever truly know the consciousness of a shrimp, that’s a hard claim to address one way or the other. Decide for yourself.
It’s difficult to say how long a do-it-yourself system will keep going. According to various accounts, most of the more visible inhabitants die off within a year or two. The teeny-tiny zooplankton, however, can go considerably longer. In any case, whether you go commercial or home-brewed, a closed ecosystem is a fascinating macrocosm of the planet that all living beings share. 

Seamonkeys :)

Sea-Monkeys® are a true miracle of nature. They exist in suspended animation inside their tiny eggs for many years. The instant-life crystals, in which the eggs are enclosed, preserve their viability and help to extend still further their un-hatched life span! Sea-Monkeys are real Time-Travelers asleep in biological time capsules for their strange journey into the future!  The joy of watching Sea-Monkeys grow offers a lot more than just pure fun. It is one of the outstanding educational experiences of a lifetime, because the entire life-cycle of these unique creatures are fully recreated. Conceived in 1960 as a biological novelty, the “fantasy” has transformed into brilliant reality.
What's in a name?
There are two important facts regarding the Sea-Monkey® brand name. First, like the names given to some aquatic animals, which are mostly based on certain behavior or similarities to their land counterparts. The Sea-Monkey's® name is based on the creature's funny behavior and long tail. However it is rumored that they really do look like the cartoon and telepathically mask their appearance.
Second of all, "Sea-Monkeys®" is actually a trademark name owned by Transcience Corp. and it must be used *ONLY* to represent "Artemia NYOS" brand products.

How long do Sea-Monkeys® live?
Thanks to new computer-driven processing technologies and ultra-pure, non-toxic chemicals, twice as many Sea-Monkeys instantly hatch, grow larger and live longer than ever before. You can expect your Sea-Monkey® tank to last about 2 years.
An exact, pre-blended formula of "magic crystals"—and live Sea-Monkey® eggs are inside the envelopes supplied in every Sea-Monkey kit. When added to water, live Sea-Monkeys® will hatch. That’s why anyone can get perfect results without any knowledge of chemistry or biology. Just by following the easy instructions you create Instant Life®. The only "extra" is the water.

How big are they?
At birth, the Sea-Monkeys® are very tiny, no larger than the "period " at the end of this sentence. That is why it’s possible to "overlook" them when they are first born. Since their fate is in yours hands, do not discard the formula if you don’t see them right away. To do so would be like "throwing the baby out with the bath water."
Even though they start out so small, Sea-Monkeys® grow up to be between 1/2 to 3/4 an inch in length during a 4 week period. At this stage, they'll start to reproduce and have more adorable babies.

Are Sea-Monkeys® safe?
Sea-Monkeys® are in no way harmful to humans or the environment. If they somehow find their way into natural water ways or sewer lines, they simply will not be able to survive outside of the formula. 

Hope you find something useful and experience the awesome experience of creating life environments.

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