I am a fourth grade teacher looking for a way to demonstrate to students a properly functioning ecosystem. My desire is to have aquatic life (Sea Monkeys) as well as land decomposers (worms), producers (plants), and consumers (cricket?).
I am unable to find much information on the net to see if what I'm imagining is a fair and comfortable setup for the animals involved. I want it near maintenance-free. I plan to be fully responsible for these animals, however, and won't build it if I see it being too much upkeep.
Here is the setup I'm imagining:
Three soda bottles, one on top of the other. Brine shrimp (Sea Monkeys) on the bottom with water and a twig from our dead Ecosphere (we had it ten years). Above that will sit the coupler bottle, which will be attached to the top "earth" layer and will be home to the worm and perhaps the cricket.
My questions are:
Do Sea Monkeys *need* aerated water? I remember having them as a child in a plastic container that was not aerated. I understand a pump could be an addition, however this would introduce an unnatural setting to our ecosystem. My goal is to have a self-sufficient, self-contained ecosystem.
Is algae enough food for the Sea Monkeys? I understand how to maintain algae growth because of my success with our Ecosphere.
I know how to keep my worm alive, as they can feed on most any organic materials. However, will my cricket and worm live harmoniously and is a soda bottle going to provide a large enough space?
I want this to be as simple as possible. I'm the queen of over-thinking things, so if you have a better idea of how I can introduce aquatic life and land life which contains producers, consumers, and decomposers PLEASE let me know.
Oh, and I want this completed by Wednesday.
(Yes, I procrastinate)
Thank you so much!!