EcoSphere is a self-contained micro ecosystem. It requires no maintenance, is completely sealed and just needs indirect sunlight and stable temperatures to do its thing.
Inside each sphere is a combination of miniature shrimp, bacteria, algae and other micro organisms. Sunlight allows the algae to generate oxygen which the shrimp breathe. The shrimp eat the microbes and algae as well as their own discarded exoskeletons while exhaling carbon dioxide. The algae convert the CO2 to oxygen and you’ve got the whole circle-of-life thing sitting there on your desk.
Prices vary from US$79 for the 10cm diameter sphere up to US$489 for the 23cm version. The small spheres should last 2-3 years until the shrimp die, the larger ones up to 5 years. You can also send your dead sphere back for a shrimp infusion and best of all they come with a minimum 6 month shrimp replacement guarantee.
The Original EcoSphere� is the world’s first totally enclosed ecosystem – a complete, self-contained and self-sustaining miniature world encased in glass. Be wary of inferior and lower quality imitations. Easy to care for, an EcoSphere is an incredible learning tool that can provide powerful insights about life on our own planet… and provide a glimpse of technology that’s shaping the future of space exploration.
Tags: gadget, ecosphere, self+contained+ecosystem
Too bad that the second law of thermodynamics says that closed systems degrade. these things might last a year, but i doubt it. eventually you'd just have sludge.
Steve, the blurb on the website says they had to find shrimp that didn't breed to much. Too many shrimp and they'll starve, too few and the algae takes over. This I guess is a compromise.
The EcoSphere, like the Earth isn't a closed system. The sphere is sealed, but energy in the form of sunlight powers it, just like the Earth. To close the system you'd have to seal it in a lead box and then chill it near absolute zero, but that's not as pretty as a glass globe on your desk. :)
I have one that's 7 years old. It's the small model. Started out with 4 shrimp and now I'm down to one. It went from pink to clear last year and now it's back as pink. Keep in indirect sunlight and just leave it alone. Neat stuff!
Thanks Phreqd, glad to hear it's going well.
The website mentions that they come with a magnetic algae scraper inside them as well. Do you have to clean the inside very often?
@Dan I agree with you that it is not a closed ecosystem.
It is also not a true sustainable ecosystem because the shrimp don't reproduce.
you would have to have animals that would reproduce for it to be a truly sustainable ecosystem, and then there is still the sun powering it.
I am building my own ecosystem that I will never allow to go into the sunshine
It will have poison dart frogs , aphids, and ladybugs with ivy and a pool of algae-rich water.