Self contained echospheres (sic)

John Atwood atwoodj at ada.CS.ORST.EDU
Fri Jun 7 18:38:47 EST 1996

Let's get some biology types in on this; i'm crossposting.  The company's
web page does give quite a bit of information about the lifeforms used in 
the ecospheres.  They list
    plants:  chain of stars, hornwort
    animals: ramhorn snail, pond snail, trumpet snail
             amphipods, Daphnia, Ostracods and Copepods

I'd like to get one, but their prices range from $65 to $125.

Who's got a supply of hornwort?

liu at cs.unc.edu (Alan Ve-Ming Liu) wrote:

I was browsing through one of the mail order gift catalogs and
came across what they call a Biosphere.  This is a completely
sealed glass globe containing water,  plants, algae and small 
animals (snails etc) living in a closed ecology.  The ad claims
the system can be stable for years.

Has anyone bought one of these things?  Do they actually work or
are they a scam?  Does it arrive in working condition only to have
everything die off two weeks later?  It seems almost incredible
a self sustaining ecology with fairly complex organisms are possible
in such a small environment (the smalles is only 3.5 inches!).
How long do they actually last, and will it survive with just 
light from a desk lamp?

The company that actually makes these things have a web page,

I am not affilated with them in any way, just real interested.

Last and perhaps of greatest interest to me, how does one go about
making one's own self contained echosphere?

--Office phone: 541-737-5583 (Batcheller 349) home: 757-8772
  Office mail:  303 Dearborn Hall, OSU, Corvallis, OR  97331
--IBM holds patent #4,965,765 which covers the use of different 
colors to distinguish the nesting level of nested expressions. 

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