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Enclosed Ecosystems?


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Has anyone experimented with enclosed ecosystems? or ecosystems with human tampering? i am interested to see what types of organisms people would use in such setups. i am wanting to experiment with food producing self sustained ecosystems but lack the space right now (i may be able to talk the better half into a 90 gallon size enclosure, pretty tiny)


if food was the game and air tight was the name what would you start with? substrate? water? plants? animals? micro's? light? etc etc.


i was thinking we could get something going and have a virtual ecosystem going.

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Take note of UncleAl's second link. This is a marvelous facility and really captures the essence of a closed ecosystem.

I also suggest checking out the Eden Project in England.

Here's a link to their home-page:



As for me experimenting with enclosed ecosystems: only on very small scales... I mean like back yard kind of scale. I just used plants though... no insects or animals.


If you really want information on enclosed ecosystems... check out the sources that UncleAl and I suggest.

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I gave a synopsis of “closed systems” post #169 of the “Spaceship Design” thread, along with a link to my source, Kevin Kelly’s long, rambling book “Out of Control”.


More interesting in some ways than closed systems intended to sustain human inhabitants is the “Ecosphere”, a sealed glass ball containing algae and brine shimp (see the ”Mail-order Gaia” chapter of “Out of Control”). These “Science toys” can still be purchased for $57.95 - $412.95, depending on size. They last on average 3 years - the longest lasting one is currently 14 years old.

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i have seen those but many of them do not seem like they would last long. i have never tried them though.


i was thinking about those links a bit (thanks they are great) and thinking in what ways can they be scaled down? say for jsut one person, makign it as small and streamline as possible. i would think that food would be the biggest obstacle.

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