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Enclosed ecosphere

LondonDragon

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Morning everyone,

Just a quick question in regards a tried and failed experiment with brine shrimp eco system in a sphere.

WhatsApp Image 2023-09-05 at 14.02.59.jpg


I have been running the little 15cm cube in the office with the 3D printed mods for around 5 months and that is all going well, snails love it and got a couple of shrimp in there also, so far so good.

I setup a little ecosphere on the left with brine shrimp eggs in salt water, with some algae in there to kick off the eco system and provide food for the brine shrimp, the eggs hatch fine and the baby brine swim around for about a week or so and then die off, I have tried this 3 times and every time the same results, I have tried some different salinity levels but that makes no differece.

Is this even possible? any pointers would be great :)

Cheers
Paulo
 
How are you handling the sphere Paulo? Brine shrimp need good levels of DO and water circulation, I'd also imagine they need fairly stable water temperature so how are you heating the sphere?

Feeding is tricky as they need regular (2-3 times a day) feeding, but overfeeding can easily foul the water and kill them off, particularly in such a small water volume.
 
.I think you have to feed them spirulina powder!
The idea was never to open the sphere again, so they won't survive on the algae alone?
 
Brine shrimp need good levels of DO and water circulation, I'd also imagine they need fairly stable water temperature so how are you heating the sphere?
Temp is stable at room temp, 22-23C, no movement, but I have a magnetic stirrer I could use, as closed system there is no way to get an airstone in there!
I was hoping they would survive on algae alone!

Guess its mission impossible then!
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Nope, and they'll suffocate - there is nothing in there to produce oxygen.
Ah bummer! guess this is a no go then! What if I cut a 1cm hole on top and plug it with a piece of breathable bag for gas exchange? would that work?
 
Guess its mission impossible then!

Yep I think so, they are an oxygen breathing organism, so they'll rapidly use the DO up.

I think these sealed ecosystems only work when they contain plants too, that can consume CO2 and produce O2 in a cycle with the bacteria and other animals inside it.
 
Yep I think so, they are an oxygen breathing organism, so they'll rapidly use the DO up.

I think these sealed ecosystems only work when they contain plants too, that can consume CO2 and produce O2 in a cycle with the bacteria and other animals inside it.
Won't the algae produce oxygen? I can see lots of bubble at the start when light is on, algae rises to the top of the tank with the oxygen bubbles!
 
Won't the algae produce oxygen? I can see lots of bubble at the start when light is on, algae rises to the top of the tank with the oxygen bubbles!
Suppose they exhale CO2 when the lights are off as the Algae is a primitive plant....I think?
 
Won't the algae produce oxygen? I can see lots of bubble at the start when light is on, algae rises to the top of the tank with the oxygen bubbles!

Possibly some, but likely no where near enough (think of the plant mass that represents), plus the brine shrimp will filter much of the algae out of the water column as their food source.
 
Possibly some, but likely no where near enough (think of the plant mass that represents), plus the brine shrimp will filter much of the algae out of the water column as their food source.
Many thanks, guess I will have to give up on the idea of an enclosed system.
 
Many thanks, guess I will have to give up on the idea of an enclosed system.

Perhaps you could try one with some sort of plants or macro algae in? Or maybe a dry one with some miniature hardscape and plants with some insects in?
 
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What if I cut a 1cm hole on top and plug it with a piece of breathable bag for gas exchange? would that work?
Cut a 6mm hole and add an airline tube with a small airstone.....I think you can get USB air pumps from Amazon!
 
Cut a 6mm hole and add an airline tube with a small airstone.....I think you can get USB air pumps from Amazon!
Yeah, that is plan B ;) just not an enclosed system any more!
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Perhaps you could try one with some sort of plants or macro algae in?
did think about that, but some say hard to survive in that small container and no water movement!
 
Was a great idea when you mentioned it to me and I did say that brine shrimp dont live that long too. But I imagined that it would keep on breeding etc

I think best bet is to collect water from a river or pond and then have it enclosed and that might fare better in the long run?
 
I have already started hacking the base of the ecosphere, and going to install a mini USB heater and USB air pump with air stone at the base, and plug a hole at the top, that way can still use the sphere just not an enclosed system! Just waiting for black silicone to arrive tomorrow to seal it all off at the base then its ready to fire up again! ;)
 
Hi all,
Just a quick question in regards a tried and failed experiment with brine shrimp eco system in a sphere.
Even the <"EcoSphere"> ones, they sold sealed with <"Halocaridina rubra">, (“Opae Ula” or "Red Volcano Shrimp"), were a bit of a con, because the shrimps died slowly, they are just incredibly tough so it took them a long time to die.

cheers Darrel
 
Yeah, that is plan B ;) just not an enclosed system any more!
Earth is an enclosed ecosystem in the grand scheme of the universe but it got some air.
Your ecoshpere was deprived of any ;). Perhaps not filling the sphere all the way up and leaving an air gap could have worked?
 
This is not my field of interest but I recall I've read some papers on enclosed systems and got an impression that it's much more difficult than it seems. I think the crux is that not all vital elements cycle at the same speed. Therefore, if the system is not complex enough, something soon gets missing. In your case, it's perhaps oxygen.
 
Perhaps not filling the sphere all the way up and leaving an air gap could have worked?
I did try that with one of the experiments but made no difference, that one lasted slightly longer which might highlight the oxygen deficiency!

Was worth a shot! ;) plan B into operation!
 
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