Time for a tree-hugger blog:

My ecosphere turns three years old this month and it's still alive and doing very well.
Ecosphere picture

For those of you who don't know what an ecosphere is, you can follow the link, or you can just read my shortened explanation. Basically, an ecosphere is a self-enclosed, fully self-sufficient ecosystem. The basic components are listed below in the diagram. Inside of a glass orb are seawater, some algae, some bacteria, a couple of tiny red shrimp, and a piece of wood.

According to the vendor's website:

"Light together with carbon dioxide in the water enable the algae to produce oxygen by photosynthesis. The shrimp breathe the oxygen in the water while nibbling on the algae and bacteria. The bacteria break down the animal waste into nutrients, which the algae utilize. The shrimp and bacteria also give off carbon dioxide, which the algae again use to produce oxygen. And so the cycle renews itself."


My brother gave me mine three years ago for my birthday and I checked the other day and the little shrimp are still swimming around.  It's actually really cool that this tiny little ecosystem can survive for that long.  I've moved twice since getting the ecosphere, and one of the moves was several hundred miles, so you know the little thing is pretty rugged.  I've had a couple of algal blooms when I left it in too much sunlight, after which I had to banish it to a light-tight cabinet for several months to let the shrimp catch up on the algae eating, but other than that, it's been a piece of cake.  Easiest pets ever.  Also, the least interactive pets ever, but I don't even have to feed them, so I can't complain.  If only the real Earth were as easy to care for…
Close-up Picture of Shrimp in an Ecosphere

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