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Ecosphere

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by nic1, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. nic1

    nic1 Member

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    Hi,
    I asked my 14 year old daughter what she wanted for Christmas, she asked for an Ecosphere.... I have never heard of these things in my life so I looked them up, here's a link...
    http://www.eco-sphere.com/about.html
    Some people have claimed their shrimp have lived for 20 years..... now either they may be over exaggerating but I cant see how it cant be a happy life?
    Apparently, there's enough algae etc for them to thrive and obviously its a resounding NO to purchase of this little shrimp prison, but I really wanted to know if anyone has heard of these or purchased these and what are your thoughts on the Ecosphere?
     
     

     
  2. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    I read about 4 lines and was far too horrified to read on. Now, I confess I know nothing about shrimps - I've never kept them because they freak me out - but every creature on this planet needs food ... and that means shrimps too. 
     
    I can sum this 'ecosphere' up in one word = CRUEL 
     
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  3. nic1

    nic1 Member

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    That's what I thought, it seems so cruel to me too, it makes me wonder how people can actually get away with selling things like this.... its £100 for the cheapest smallest one available, cant really believe that people would pay for something like that!!
    LoL, Shrimps freak you out, thats funny.
     
  4. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    I'm a typical girl when it comes to anything creepy-crawly ... any spiders found in my house are flat squished spiders! Shrimps just remind me of creepy-crawly things. It's a bit like khuli loaches ... they make me think of wriggly worms. I'd not give one tank space even though some people find them so cute!
     
    I can't believe those things are even on the market. It worries me that people will buy them completely unaware that they are commiting animal cruelty
     
    I may not like shrimps but they still deserve a quality of life
     
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  5. Baccus

    Baccus We are not born just so we can die
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    I recall ecospheres being sold a while ago, thankfully I have never seen them in Australia. From memory there was even keyring sized ones available in China or there abouts.
    You are right to ignore the hype on these cruel little death traps.
    Water would still need to be changed in the "ecosphere" as we all know that tanks need regular water changes even if it is just to replenish the depleted micronutrients and minerals that all life requires. This is especially true for complex plants, even algae which they claim the shrimp live on will require micro nutrients and trace elements.
    B. I believe that  theses  units are a closed system which  does not allow for  oxygen exchange with the outside environment another important function of a working ecosystem. Because of barometric pressure (and outside air pushing down on any minute amounts of air/ gas trying to push upwards) and lack of air movement I suspect that the small area available at the top of the ecosphere would basically become toxic, much like the heavy gasses that sink around volcanic outlets and can poison unsuspecting animals.
    The shrimp generally used in these slow death traps are generally a Hawaiian native shrimp which is very adaptable to extremes in water conditions, however from memory these shrimp are becoming rarer due to habitat destruction, over trapping and introduction of cherry shrimp. Also just because a creature can "tolerate" extremes does not mean we have to push it to its limits.
    These ecospeheres basically remind me of those plant terrariums that where all the rage years ago, but even these fail without up keep. The soil goes sour and the plants deplete all the available nutrients.
    Even though your daughter may want one as a gift, honestly I would explain to her the cruelty involved in such a thing and if she still wants to keep shrimp set up a nice 20-30L nano with all the shrimps and plants requirements of heater, filtration, light and regular water changes. At least this way she will see the shrimp thrive and get a true feeling of the responsibilities of owning even a "simple" pet like shrimp.
     
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  6. RRaquariums

    RRaquariums Chatroom Moderator
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    Ok so an important fact is these are saltwater which makes them a bit different then freshwater in terms of how the ecosystem runs there is a lot of micro life in sea water and it's true everything builds off the different levels of life in the ocean. Think of a small tidal pool some of these are only the size a 5 gallon bucket and millions of little sea creatures live out there lives in this small space each feeding off the other and in turn being fed on by something bigger. Something that's very poplar in the reef hobby now is pico tanks which depending on what you consider pico can range from 5 gallons to 1/2 a gallon. I know a few people that keep a small reef along with shrimp and snails in glass jars like the ones you see bettas being sold in and they do remarkably well. Granted we are talking small shrimp here mostly things like the sexy shrimp which stay about half an inch in size and even in a big tank only live in an area very small. So it's absolutely possible to keep these saltwater shrimp in a very tiny place and still give them a good life. Now where I find fault in this product is there claim that it never needs a water change or fed. A big part of keeping a saltwater pico tank is the water changes you really have to keep up on them as such a small amount of water gets polluted very fast and since most of these tanks don't use filters but rely on only water changes or a very small amount of live rock and sand to do the filtering. Also while it's true these shrimp can and do feed off of very tiny organisms in the water column they will eat most of what the small tank has to offer in a very short amount of time and slowly start to starve so the addition of good food is a must IMO when trying to keep these guys in such a tiny place. So here's my advice on this one Nic if she wants a little slice of the ocean do your research on how to keep a pico tank then go buy one of the 5 gallon or 2 /12 gallon tanks they sell at the LFS and build it from scratch with a little live rock and some sand and then you can get a nice little colony of shrimp that will be happy and health. And to be 100% honest I've always felt a great sense of pride in building a saltwater tank instead of buying a kit you get to see everything develope and slowly build itself. There's all kinds of little sea creatures that will evenly end up in your tank such as micro starfish, hermit crabs, snails and sea worms, shrimp, pods and other small crustations. And you can add many beautiful types of ornamental algaes that thrive off of basic lighting.
    So can you keep a very tiny reef tank obsalutly it's work like every tank is but man to have a little chunk of the ocean in your house and be able to see what life looks like underwater in a lagoon somewhere in the tropics is an amazing thing.
     
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  7. Asteria

    Asteria Member

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    That is just horrible :/ 
     
    Also just a jump in here. They are called 'tidal pools' for a reason. As the tide goes out they become viewable. Leaving behind the life and small warm pools of water. But at high tide they are washed out to sea again and new life is Brough back in with the next tide. 
    Only sea amenomes  (sp) and cockles and such that attach themselves to the rocks essentially stay there 
     
  8. DrRob

    DrRob It's life Jim, but not as we know it.
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    I've looked into ecospheres before. In principle, it works. You have a system where the nutrient broth grows algae, which is fed on by the shrimp, who then die of old age, are broken down by bacteria, which feeds the algae and so on.......
     
    However.
     
    If you don't supply the exact amount of heat/light as an energy input (and I'm sure all of you who've unintentionally grown algae in your tanks are all certain that you can get this balance perfect in future, aren't you), then the algae with either overgrow, or undergrow, throwing the balance and wiping out the whole thing. After that you have a fairly expensive and somewhat cloudy crystal ball.
     
    I personally can't imagine managing to micromanage the light/heat levels and still have it on display anywhere, so view them as a cloudy crystal ball in waiting and stopped looking at them.
     
    Honestly, get her a cherry shrimp tank, far more fun.
     
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  9. AmtotheBurr

    AmtotheBurr Member

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    "its a resounding NO to purchase of this little shrimp prison..."
    Oh, Nic. You had me at little shrimp prison. :lol:
     
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  10. RRaquariums

    RRaquariums Chatroom Moderator
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    That was my point these creatures are designed to live in these small areas but are provided with large water changes by the tides and constant fresh food at the same time. Point is for any tank water changes and food are two of the biggest factors to tank health and fish health.
     
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  11. stanleo

    stanleo Member
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    I think they look boring as all get out. Would never waste my money on them. What DrRob said was what I was thinking when I read the part about if they all die at once it means the heat inside got too high. It's like getting those Just Add Ice Orchids. If you don't find the perfect spot in your home for it, it won't stay beautiful. 
     
  12. nic1

    nic1 Member

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    Thanks for everyone's views, I agree. I just think that these things are there for the cool factor, but I have explained the other side of the coin to her and she does understand, she's really smart but has no common sense!
    I like the idea of the shrimp tank, I may get a shrimp tank set it up catered for them, moss, wood, etc and cycle it for Christmas with a bit of cash so she can buy the shrimp when its ready.
    Eco spheres are just another money making gimmick at the expense of a poor creature.
     
  13. StevenF

    StevenF Member

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    Actually the biggest reason we do water changes is the remove the excess minerals that are in tap water, in the food we feed the fish, and minerals from any treatments we apply to the tap water before putting it in.  If you don't let the water evaporate or add food the water chemistry will stay nearly constant.  
     
     

     

    Actually air trapped at the top of the ecosphere will slowly defuse throughout all the water.  Air diffusion through the water is not fast enough for fish but is fast enough for shrimp.  Additionally the alqae inside will produce oxygen and food the shrimp need.
     

     

    If you look on the web you will find comment people that own Ecosheres.  Many state that they have shrimp that have stayed alive in excess of 10 years.  Some as long as 15.  If you don't do water changes or feed fish in an aquarium, all the fish will die in less than a month.   Obviously something must be working right for a shrimp to live that long.
     

     

    People that own them have commented that after the last shrimp dies you are left with a cloudy crystal ball.  they also frequently state they are only left with one shrimp after 5 or fewer years.  in my opinion the  biggest problems with the Ecosphere is that it is too small and they don't specify the amount of light they should get per day (Lumen hours or PAR hours).  
     
    Most people probably over estimate how much light they are giving it.  Most are probably giving it insufficient light.  In sufficient light mean insufficient  algae growth,O2 production, and less food for the shrimp.  Also the small size will make it susceptible to larger temperature changes.  Also the smaller size means means a sudden change in light levels food will levels and oxygen levels to swing wildly.  
     

     

    I would second that.  However I would suggest using a sealable  glass container rather than a regular aquarium.  Such as the 2 gallon version of this ( http://www.diy-ecosphere.com/thread.php?lng=fr&cat=1&pg=319&id=2 ).  That way if she wants she can try and creat here own ecoshere.  On that she can open periodically if needed.
     
    "These ecospeheres basically remind me of those plant terrariums that where all the rage years ago, but even these fail without up keep. The soil goes sour and the plants deplete all the available nutrients."

     

    The link below goes to a story about a guys plant that has been growing in a sealed glass bottle.  The last time he watered it was 40 years ago, 12 years after he first sealed it.  A self sustaining environment in a sealed container is possible if you spend the time to set it up carefully and if necessary open it maybe once to correct an imbalance. The Ecoshere product is assembled and shipped with very little time to allow it to stabilize.  A lot of people have set these up.  How many that go past 5 years?  I don't know but some probably do.
     
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html
     
    https://www.google.com/search?q=diy+ecosphere&espv=2&biw=951&bih=604&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CCQQsARqFQoTCJm0q7KTgMkCFRfsYwodTkYO8g&dpr=1#imgrc=xJI3OS7QY6-_1M%3A
     
  14. nic1

    nic1 Member

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    Thanks StevenF,
    I really like that article on the bottle plant... 'I wanted to see what would happen if I bunged the thing up!' Love it!
    I remember my auntie had a plant in a bottle without the bung, it was huge eventually the plant just died and they filled it up with coins instead, maybe they should of bunged it up to.
     
    I'm still edging towards a little shrimp tank, the whole enclosed tank thing is so alien to me I'm afraid to do it in case I get it completely wrong and the worse part about that is its one of her Christmas presents.
    I may start a plant terrarium though they seem cool. and after Xmas there's bound to be a few empty large glass bottle floating about :)
     

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