Ecosphere Wannabe - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Ecosphere Wannabe

I came across this neat little 1.3L "mini fish tank" on Amazon when I was looking for a new home for my Opae Ulas. I had them in a glass skull shaped bottle that once held Crystal Head Vodka; Dan Aykroyd's company. I have eight of the shrimp and they were difficult to see due to the distortions caused by the bottle's shape. This little aquarium on Amazon looked very much like the upright oval Ecospheres except this one had a removable base as well as LED's in the base. It's still a sealed system and the product's description states "..Keep the bottom lid of the tank open for 2 hours every 20 days to fresh enough air for your fishes...". That's probably a death sentence for fish but Opaes could tolerate it just like in sealed Ecospheres but we know of the fallacy of Ecospheres providing enough food and air for these shrimp. So I decided to drill a hole in the top of this mini aquarium (which is actually made of some kind of thin plastic) to provide the inhabitants with constant gas exchange. I could have drilled a tiny hole but opted for a large enough hole to accommodate a silicone plug that was previously part of my Biopop Dino Sphere which originally held bioluminescent dinoflagellates. Unfortunately I just learned that Biopop recently went out of business.
This silicone plug has a pinhole in its center. I can remove the plug whenever I need to top off the tank or if I decide to feed them. I rarely feed them since they seem to get all they need from the algae present in their tanks.
The mini fish tank came with a sad piece of black sea fan and some coral rubble. I decided to buy a nicer black sea fan and use some mini marimo balls instead of rubble.
I had to do some trimming on the new sea fan to get it to fit and I had to use some gasket lube on the bottom because without it there was a slow leak.
If I want to open the bottom for some reason I just have to hold my finger over the pinhole. If this isn't possible because I need to use both hands I can turn it upside down in a glass big enough to hold it and the amount of water coming out the pinhole is minimal for the short time I need to use the full size opening in the bottom.
Overall it has turned out very well I think. It looks very much like an Ecosphere and has been in use now for several weeks with no issues. I've attached images of Ecospheres, the ad in Amazon, and photos of my Ecosphere Wannabe.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 04:16 PM
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So that I know what I'm looking at, there's no filtration and the only way to do water changes is to flip it over and open the bottom? That seems like a PITA, but it looks cool.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Weidbrewer View Post
So that I know what I'm looking at, there's no filtration and the only way to do water changes is to flip it over and open the bottom? That seems like a PITA, but it looks cool.
Thanks, correct, no filtration and water changes are unnecessary so pretty much just sit back and enjoy. That's why I like these little guys so much. I've had other dwarf shrimp and these guys are the toughest by far. They are the easiest to keep pets in existence in my opinion. I rarely feed them and only top off what evaporates with distilled water. They receive indirect sunlight on my desk and I can observe them as I sit at my computer.
What usually kills them is overfeeding. It's safer to just let them feed off the algae or marimo balls in their tank.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 05:38 PM
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my cousin has the medium size ball version on his desk for years 8+ untouched and the shrimps were still alive.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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my cousin has the medium size ball version on his desk for years 8+ untouched and the shrimps were still alive.
The larger Ecospheres may last longer but my understanding is that the consensus is these sealed environments are a slow way to kill their inhabitants, that they're not truly balanced as claimed. That the Opae Ula slowly starve and suffocate within them. I may be incorrect as I haven't read data on how long these last but I've seen many that claim otherwise and information on how to break the seal on Ecospheres to free their inhabitants.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 09:26 PM
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I got one of those, never could put anything in it. But then I went to go change the water. It smells like rotten eggs. I threw the whole thing away. Thank God nothing died for real just the Java Moss rotting.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tibbi View Post
I got one of those, never could put anything in it. But then I went to go change the water. It smells like rotten eggs. I threw the whole thing away. Thank God nothing died for real just the Java Moss rotting.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Probably because it didn't have a hole drilled in the top like my modified one. Mine has been doing really well. I'm seeing a bit of algae on the sea fan but if it gets bad enough I can put some brackish snails in with the shrimp.


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