How to create a 'complete ecosystem'

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loachaholic

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Was channel surfing the other day and stumbled upon Poplular Mechanics for Kids: Building an Aquarium. I thought it would be interesting to watch, and certain parts of it were (setting up a giant exhibit tank at a undersea garden).

Then they cut to a 'Science Project' section. It involved the guy making a 'fully-functional eco-system'.

Ingredients:

1 gallon jar
Gravel
3 Cabomba
4 Snails
1 Flying Fox fish.

Fill jar with water, let sit for 2 days. Put in plants. Wait 3 days for the plants to oxygenate the water. Add snails and fish. Screw lid on tight. Set under desk lamp and never touch it again.

Umm. WHAT?!?
 

Meenu

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How odd. What's the flying fox supposed to exist on? Or is it that the snails are supposed to exist on his starved remains?
 

Elodea

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That's ridiculous! Ok, so here's what should happen:

Day 1: Everything looks nice.
Day 2: Flying fox gasping for air. How strange.
Day 3: Flying fox twitching and gasping. Hmmm...
Day 4: Flying fox feebly wriggles on its side at the bottom of the jar.
Day 5: Flying fox dead. Snails eat flying fox.
Day 6: Jar is very cloudy and gross.
Day 7: Jar is still cloudy and gross. Camboma starts to wilt. Well...
Day 8: Cambomba starts shedding leaves.
Day 9: Snails die. Cambomba die.
Day 10: Empty jar. Flunk science class.
 

Meenu

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Elodea said:
That's ridiculous! Ok, so here's what should happen:

Day 1: Everything looks nice.
Day 2: Flying fox gasping for air. How strange.
Day 3: Flying fox twitching and gasping. Hmmm...
Day 4: Flying fox feebly wriggles on its side at the bottom of the jar.
Day 5: Flying fox dead. Snails eat flying fox.
Day 6: Jar is very cloudy and gross.
Day 7: Jar is still cloudy and gross. Camboma starts to wilt. Well...
Day 8: Cambomba starts shedding leaves.
Day 9: Snails die. Cambomba die.
Day 10: Empty jar. Flunk science class.
pretty accurate, I would think.
 

josh11551

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loachaholic said:
Was channel surfing the other day and stumbled upon Poplular Mechanics for Kids: Building an Aquarium. I thought it would be interesting to watch, and certain parts of it were (setting up a giant exhibit tank at a undersea garden).

Then they cut to a 'Science Project' section. It involved the guy making a 'fully-functional eco-system'.

Ingredients:

1 gallon jar
Gravel
3 Cabomba
4 Snails
1 Flying Fox fish.

Fill jar with water, let sit for 2 days. Put in plants. Wait 3 days for the plants to oxygenate the water. Add snails and fish. Screw lid on tight. Set under desk lamp and never touch it again.

Umm. WHAT?!?
Fish friendly version :
'fully-functional eco-system'.

Ingredients:

1 bath tub
boulders
1 pond lily
4 Snails
1 person dumb enough to try the first experiment

Fill tub with water, let sit for 2 days. Put in plant. Wait 3 days for the plant to oxygenate the water. Add snails and person. Give person a snorkel and goggles stretch plastic wrap on tight. Set under spot light and never touch it again.
 

Elodea

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josh11551 said:
Fish friendly version :
'fully-functional eco-system'.

Ingredients:

1 bath tub
boulders
1 pond lily
4 Snails
1 person dumb enough to try the first experiment

Fill tub with water, let sit for 2 days. Put in plant. Wait 3 days for the plant to oxygenate the water. Add snails and person. Give person a snorkel and goggles stretch plastic wrap on tight. Set under spot light and never touch it again.
 

josh11551

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it would feed them snails FOREVER!! lol
 
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loachaholic

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I was just so shocked when I saw that. I mean, minus the flying fox and the lid, it could have worked. The snails woulda devoured the plants after a while, and as long as there was the occasional water change snails are pretty resilient. But seriously?? Did anyone even try this before they got on TV telling millions of little kids that this was OK? You'd think a show that's supposedly about science would at least know a little about it. The only thing in the entire segment that was actually correct was letting the jar stand for 2 days for the chlorine to dissipate.
 

Meenu

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Even the snails don't really work - where's the calcium source?
 

ColumbianShark3

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josh11551 said:
Fish friendly version :
'fully-functional eco-system'.

Ingredients:

1 bath tub
boulders
1 pond lily
4 Snails
1 person dumb enough to try the first experiment

Fill tub with water, let sit for 2 days. Put in plant. Wait 3 days for the plant to oxygenate the water. Add snails and person. Give person a snorkel and goggles stretch plastic wrap on tight. Set under spot light and never touch it again.
 

TheSwampFox

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Some people are just dumb ya know... I'm new to the hobby and even I know that that won't work.
 
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