Fifteen year planted sphere update
Long term system update, I pruned a lot of top growth back over the years but left some tall center shoots. Canopy outgrowth is a good eight or ten feet worth after this decade's pruning run. Enhanced substrate system never needs recharging, it has an indefinite biological lifespan all I do is add Ozarka drinking water + ei ferts annually + occasional shrimp feed. That keeps the plant pellet bed charging circular forever. One handy aspect is this system is not electric it can run on window light and I did that for five months before. The lighting is the only electric item, this system follows the temps of the season as they arise and it stays at 70 to 68 the better part of a year, that's cooler side for tropical stuff but it adapts
The upshot shows some light induced dead growths, that’s left as shading on purpose and there are times this bowl goes close to a year without anything other than topoff, the substrate upper layer details show stratified mulm layers but they are not stagnant layers which is critical, arenchyma fully inundate the entire bed and stick up from the surface the system is aerobic in the right balance, about four pounds of laterite are at the base of this ten inch deep substrate layer. There are times the water evaporates nearly out, but the shrimp pool and survive and eventually I notice / refill. Stress is applied by design, it’s not a coddled system. It’s been through sustained temps in the 50s and as high as 85 in the summer. My intent was to build the most stand alone capable planted system possible. No bed maintenance ever required, can be passed down generations of people not just one.
In the middle portion of the bed is fluorite from seachem, but with seven years pellets from wild type guppy interbreeding packed in. The substrate is layered/stratified over the course of a decade by design, it’s not a substrate that was arranged day one like most tanks. The hands off, leave it forever it’s permanently organic phase was a few years ago when all guppies were taken out, and shrimp added for the slow permanent mode. I capped off those years of guppy keeping with some fluorite for a clean top start, dirted bottom shrimp tank. Roots for ten feet of plant growth have plenty of food for tough times, but not so loaded as to be a stinky swamp, the right balance.
By building a non collapsible but highly aerated and organic bed that replenishes itself, the system should be the closest thing to a stand alone biosystem out there. It is the highest production, lowest hands on system I could possibly arrange. I’m going to build one to grow corn out of, wave of the future man.
Last edited by brandon429; 01-28-2018 at 10:08 PM.
Reason: Pic redo