by Kaci Jones
When going around and telling people what I wanted for Christmas, it was like I was speaking a foreign language, because I asked for a Table Top Biosphere. A Table Top Biosphere has everything that the Earth’s biosphere has, just on a smaller scale. Here are the components my present will have:
- Enclosure: the biosphere will be in a glass jar that transmits light, but doesn’t allow anything else to enter or exit the jar.
- Econaut: the biosphere has a shrimp that consumes algae and the plant matter. The shrimp like all animals consumes oxygen and gives off carbon dioxide.
- Photosynthesizer: this is where the plants within the biosphere go through the photosynthesis process and converts light energy and carbon dioxide to oxygen for the animals to consume.
- Energy source: the energy source that is used in the photosynthesizer comes from either light from the sun or from a bulb.
- Scavengers: these are animals like amphipods, ostracods, and copepods— they eat tiny bits of plant and animal matter.
- Recyclers: these are microbes include photosynthetic algae and decomposing bacteria. These consume all the chemical nutrients.
- Cleaning Crew: these are assorted snails that are added to consume algae, clean the walls of the container and reproduce freely.
- pH Buffer: these are added to the bottom of the container and are made up of: rocks, shells, or mineral powders that help stabilize the pH in the biosphere.
- Refuge: this is an aquarium ornament that provides shelter and hiding places for small or stressed animals.
Things you’ll need:
- 1-quart glass canning jar
- Clear bottles or plastic containers
- Tap water
- Small river rocks
- Tap-water dechlorinator
- Aquarium ornament or other glass or ceramic obstacle
- Fine fishnet or kitchen strainer
- Freshwater minerals such as “Kent Freshwater” or “cichlid salts”
- Amano shrimp (1)
- Snails (4) of assorted species
- 8 inch stem of hornwort
- 2”x2” piece of duckweed
- 1 Tbsp powdered calcium carbonate
- Assorted amphipods (2-8)
- 1 to 2 Tbsp pond sludge
3 easy steps to creating your very own biosphere are:
- Gather the supplies from the aquarium
- Gather the pond life organisms
- Then bottle all the supplies up
To me recreating a biosphere is one of the coolest things to me, and is going to be the greatest Christmas present ever!