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The Pond On My Window Sill, a DIY ecosphere experiment

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What tiny creatures live in pond water? After watching videos about window sill ecospheres, YouTuber Atomic Shrimp created his own ecosphere jar with pond water from where he lives in the United Kingdom. He writes:

Last week, I scooped a jar of muddy water and weed out of a local pond, sealed it and placed it on my north-facing window sill, in an experiment to create a sealed ecosphere. Let’s have a look at some of the things I saw in there during the first week…

first observations of the ecosphere jar
A north-facing window is key to his DIY ecosphere’s success; the jar is exposed to light but not to direct sunlight that would overheat it. His discoveries include copepods, hydra, flatworms, daphnia, other crustaceans, and more. The narration of his observations are calming and informative.

Week two’s update takes a closer look at these hydra and other small creatures as they begin to find some balance of oxygen, light, detritus, food, and life within the closed ecosystem.

ecosphere week 2

But in his week three update, the water, sediment, and weeds reveal a surprising new creature of the sealed DIY ecosphere. See how Atomic Shrimp’s ecosphere project ends and why he felt it was ethically and legally important to slowly and carefully release its inhabitants back into the pond.

“If you’re thinking about replicating this experiment yourself, please do not violate any lockdown protocols that may be in place in your locality… The other important point is not to violate any of your local wildlife protection statutes.”

Related: Who’s that in the jar?

His experiment was inspired by the Life In Jars and Journey to the Microcosmos YouTube channels.

Next, watch Seacosphere: One year inside an airtight jar of seawater, a Life in Jars video on TKSST.

Plus, from Mike Wilson: How do you find water bears (tardigrades) in the wild?

Bonus: Hunting for microbes in Central Park’s murkiest waters and Pond Scum Under the Microscope with Sally Warring.

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