Closed ecosphere info?

Sofiafish17

Hi everyone. I have been thinking about trying to make an enclosed ecosphere. Has anyone done this before? I have no experience but I’ve been researching. I was thinking getting large jar and filling it with water from a mature tank, and a few pieces of filter media from a cycled tank to put into the substrate. Then I would use some clean baked dirt and cap it with aquarium safe sand. I would then add some plants from my tank, and maybe get a new plant for it if I feel like it. I would add a lot of plants, making it heavily planted to absorb nitrogen but not so heavily that enough algae couldn’t grow. Then I would leave it for a little while until it has quite a bit of algae. I was thinking of adding 2 maybe 3 neocaridina shrimp. I know the plants will bring in some biofilm, and the mature tank water will have some stuff as well. And of course they will have their molts to eat. Also some Ostracods will ride in on the plants, so the shrimp can eat ones that die as well. Do you think this will be enough food. Do you think that with the plants and algae the water will stay safe? I have never done this before, so if I am completely wrong please tell me. If I am wrong, please tell me how to improve or make another setup so that it will work. My idea of enclosed is no feeding, no water changes, also no filter or heater either, they would stay at constant room temp. I have seen people do this, but will it be successful? Like I said, I’m new to the whole idea of making an enclosed ecosystem, so please share with me anything you know and don’t hesitate to say that I’m completely wrong. Thanks!
 

SouthAmericanCichlids

SnookusFish might have experience.
 
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SnookusFish

That sounds like it should work, maybe drop in a blanched veggie once in a while because it's fun to watch them get eaten. I had 3 shrimp and snails in a jar for almost a year no problems
 
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Sofiafish17

Ok cool thanks so much! I won’t get it actually up for maybe a week or two. When I do I’ll be sure to share pictures!
 
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Magua

Love this idea! Please post “during” pictures too so we can see how you build it and what materials you use. Can’t wait to follow along!
 
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Sofiafish17

Sure of course! I can find a food jar to reuse that seems big enough, so I will probably order one online. Then deciding plants! Oh so many choices :)
 
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Debbie1986

Check out Serpa Designs on You tube. He has a ton of videos on this very subject.

He's a great You tuber with step by step videos and serious artistic skills , imo.

here's 1 example:

 
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Sofiafish17

I’ll look at that thank you!
 
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Sofiafish17

Hey everyone!
So I know I posted this a long time ago and never gave updates, sorry about that. I didn’t end up being able to do it then, but now I can do it so I’ll update you throughout the time I work on it. I got a 1 gallon jar instead because I couldn’t find a 2 gallon jar with a sealing lid.

image.jpg
The jar is a lot more clear than it looks in the picture.
I got some crypts and Java moss at my LFS today, everything else including substrate is coming from my established tank so the shrimp can go in tomorrow. I’m planning on getting them either tomorrow or Tuesday. I’m going to start putting it together now, I’ll attach pics later today hopefully!
 
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Flyfisha

I don’t wish to stop you or slow you down.
My point is simple.
If you open the jar from time to time to add even a tiny tiny amount of food “ because it’s fun to watch“ you no longer have a sealed ecosphere .All you have is a poorly maintained tank with a lid.

I should say I have been subscribed to Tanner from Sherpa Designs for 3 years . I watch with interest his content. So many of his sealed containers have been tossed away recently.

As I wrote at the beginning I don’t want to stop you at all.
I do play around with containers myself. Mine are currently not sealed but are still some kind of ecosystem?
image.jpg
 
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Sofiafish17

Okay, I had been thinking about that a bit but wasn’t sure what I was thinking. I don’t think I will drop food in after I close it. I got almost everything I used from an established tank, so there will be biofilm and some algae is in it too. I made sure to take things that looked like they had more algae no them than others. Of course if there is a ever a time when there isn’t enough food I will address the problem accordingly. I do have a tank that I can move them into if things go wrong. If things start to go south then I am okay with doing water changes and getting a sponge filter. The reason I don’t do that now is because I love ecology and a self sustaining ecosystem is super cool and just fascinating. Thank you for bringing that up and reminding me of thinking about that.
On another note- I went to my LFS earlier and I got some Java moss, a red wendtii crypt, and another crypt that I can’t remember the name of. I am also using my own Java fern and Anubias. I’ll post pictures once it have it scaped and put together.
 
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Flyfisha

Here’s a quick snapshot of some fava moss that I pulled out of an aquarium. I wrapped thread around a pleco cave standing on end. In this case I am able to fill the terracotta cave with water that slowly wicks out. Point is the moss transitioned to air really easy.
image.jpg
 
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Sofiafish17

Okay so I forgot to post a picture when I finished, sorry about that. But here it is now!

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image.jpg
I just got back from my LFS and I have 2 Neo cherry shrimp drip acclimating right now. I’m Excited!
 
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TheAnglerAquarist

Okay so I forgot to post a picture when I finished, sorry about that. But here it is now!

image.jpg
image.jpg
I just got back from my LFS and I have 2 Neo cherry shrimp drip acclimating right now. I’m Excited!
Update?
 
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TheEcoAquarist

I have a lot of experience with closed ecosystems. I've made many freshwater closed ecosystems I i have three now 2 have been closed for a year and another has been closed for over 2 years all three still have snails in them.
 
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