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Re: self-contained eco-system

Rice writes:

<<  She said that these shrimps live by eating
> the algae that grows inside the sphere, and, in turn, the algae grows on the
> waste. Light is provided by normal room florescent. She also says that the
> shrimps live from 5-10 years and by the time they die, they will have
> had many baby shrimps to replace them. I figured that the shrimp population
> this sphere is checked by the amount of food they have, which is dependent
> the amount of light. >>
The small red shrimp I have seen in these spheres are just brine shrimp.  They
will live only a few weeks and lay only a few eggs.  The algae part f the
cycle the lady told you about is correct, and the nutrients in the cycle are
very tightly balanced between the algae consumption/production and the brine
shimp consumptin/production.  If these are the spheres I have seen they are
available for about ten bucks. 
With any attempt you make at this, the balance in a sealed container system
will find its own balance between the photosynthetic producer and the animal
living off it.  The trick is to figure out what species to use, and then
introduce only those two species.

Bob Dixon