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Re: [APD] Self-contained tanks

--- On Tue, 1/13/09, Robert T. Ricketts <rtricketts at verizon_net> wrote:
> Many have tried on a variety of scales, but so far as I
> know, none have
> succeeded.  Closed systems are interesting, but difficult
> and fragile and
> not at all open-ended.  Entropy gets you eventually.

Well, in truth that is a great deal more stringent than what I'm looking for. Basically, I just want to have a bunch of little fish bowls throughout the house without having to stop by them all daily for feeding (watering all my house plants is already becoming a chore). If they could even go a month or two, I'd be pretty happy.

I actually have an inadvertent proof of concept. In a recent move, I gave away all my fish save an angelfish, red-tailed shark, and a pleco. These I bundled into a 20 gallon tank where I also put as many specimens of my plants as I could reasonably fit.

A few weeks later, the angel and pleco died. I saw no sign at all of the shark, so I assumed he had also snuffed it and been devoured by snails. I left the tank with my parents until I could get out of my temporary apartment and into my new house. Since I knew I couldn't rely on them to watch the tank, it was left with a single CFL bulb that I left on 24/7.

After a month or so I got the tank back. 2-3 months after that, I am startled to see my red-tailed shark swimming around. Those things can hide. I don't know what he ate, but ultimately it was all fueled by no more than the constant cfl and maybe a little reflected sunlight.

(Incidentally, most of the plants seemed quite happy with the continuous light. There's more string algae than would be sightly in a normal tank, but it hasn't taken over either. Interestingly, the plants that have not done well in these conditions are the ones that are normally the hardiest; my anacharis and hornwort just barely limped by.)

Anyway, it can clearly be done for a several-inch-long fish in a 20gal. If I could drop that to 1 gallon or less and a smaller fish, it would be pretty cool.

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