Tank ecosystem?

SprouterApril 21, 2013

I have taken an interest in terrariums but want to do one where all plants compete similar to outside. It will contain self pollinating weeds like hairy bittercress and the smaller forget me not's ect which will grow after the other plants died. These weeds are normally found in gardens and are pretty hardy. I want to create a terrarium out of an old box aquarium. Put in gravel, charcoal, moss/netting, soil and then plant some dug up garden weeds. Place in a few large rocks and place some moss on them. Then throw in a few pillbugs as these will be beneficial for the soil, plants and terrarium and can hide under the rocks. I may also put in 1 or 2 earth worms to also help the soil and maybe some springtails if possible. The dead organic matter will feed the decomposers and if numbers get too high the pillbugs will resort to cannibalism. I may also add other species after the tank establishes like a few beetles or jumping spiders. I want to create a stabilised working ecosystem within a sealed container (I am not fussy about what it looks like.)
Does anyone here believe it would work and if anyone would be interested in this "experiment"? Also please can I have advice if there is anything wrong with my idea? Thanks for reading

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first of all the chances of this actually working are pretty slim. Have you considered the very high humidity that will be present inside the tank? Not all plants can tolerate this...the moss will but I doubt the other plants you mention can.Second do pillbugs actually cannibalize one another..not all animals do this you know....third it sounds to me that you would fancy the idea of a dart frog vivarium....thats if you have the money of course....fourth I would just try it anyway and then post some pics and your results so that future people can learn from your success or failures.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:25PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Sounds like a fun experiment!! probably the first thing to consider is the temps . Assuming you'll be keeping indoors
You'll probably want tropical type plants /insects for long term . While it is possible to keep temperate ,even seasonal terraria ,tough to do depending on your climate.
Sealed eco systems are really TOUGH lol
Never been a big fan of insects but have kept preying mantids,scarubs and several species of butterfly Definitely NOT self sustaining though lol good luck gary

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:35AM
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Yes I did think about humidity so figured I'd make a woodland terrarium and also yes pillpugs do cannibalise when food is in short supply.
And I have thought about frogs but I don't have the money and want something which doesn't need much work where I can leave it in a place where it gets indirect sunlight and all I have to do is rotate it at time to time and maybe open the container to add or release water.
Also I know it will be tough but if I pull it off right it will pay off for sure, if it doesn't work I can always try again :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 8:00AM
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