so, for the last two decades, i have been putting various living things in jars and sealed aquariums in order to see how things progress. my original interest in this was born out of wanting to understand the bigger picture of how living things interact with their environment and each other. well, that is actually still my interest in hermetically sealed systems today. every time they start to degrade, i learn something. often, it seems that i can set two different tanks up in the exact same way and i will learn something different from each of them. i fully understand why nobody tries to keep a sealed aquarium with fish in it. several years ago, i wrote a post about it on a forum where people were talking about doing just that. my goal was not to discourage them, but to give them things to think about. let them know some of the challenges they would have to overcome.
i have always seen closed systems as the holy grail of ecology learning tools. if you dont get everything right, your critters and plants WILL die. i never cared about the fact that they will die, everything dies. what i cared about was HOW they die. i wanted to find out what i had not considered. i have ALWAYS been drawn to the unknown...
so, with that said, here is what i want to do: i want to put some heterandria formosa into a 125 gallon glass tank. i wont give them much room in the tank, maybe 10X20 inches, or something along those lines. the rest of the tank will be sectioned off in compartments, each with their own purpose.
i will manipulate the contents of the tank using lights, powerful rare earth magnets, and lasers that are powerful enough to cull whatever needs to be culled(snails, fish, etc). im also thinking about using wireless power transfer technology to power pumps and such to move water around inside the tank. that would eliminate a need for power chords going into the tank, which would potentially create a weak point in the seal. i could also use magnets to move water, but im not been able to think of a way to create water pressure great enough to circulate it around the entire tank. i am not sure if wireless transfer technology would produce enough power to do what i want to do. it is possible i would end up using a solar panel placed inside the tank, pared up with a battery and capacitors to power the pump. i dont know yet because i have not decided on a design yet. everything i come up with in my head has its pros and its cons.
and that brings to why i am starting this thread... i want honest feedback, honest criticism, and i want to know HOW it might fail. if i can defeat all of those and learn some NEW ways it will fail, i will consider the whole thing a success. actually, there is no success or failure. i will either learn from it or i wont. since i LOVE seeing things i dont expect, im sure i will learn from it.
i have been starting these kinds of discussions for years now. i have not sealed a tank in a about a decade, but i have always been discussing it. i want to bring the topic up here because i feel that there are a lot of people who are far more knowledgeable about limnology in general than i am. so, i think people here would be able to give me much better criticisms than challenges than what i find on regular aquarium forums.
i have kept hermetically sealed aquariums with H. formosa before. the last one was dismantled about a decade ago, and it had been running for a few years while sealed. the fish all ended up stunted as could be. i learned a lot from that experiment. i have learned a lot since then, and i hope to learn a lot more from my next attempt.
my next post will be a basic idea of how i want to set the tank up. basic layout and such. in the mean time, i will be happy to answer any questions or respond to any challenges. i want to do something that nobody seems to care about, and im pretty sure i have not thought about everything. it will likely be a year or more before i actually set up this tank. until then, i want people to challenge me. tell me how its going to fail, lets see if we can come up with a way to prevent that failure. i have no expectations for the tank once it is set up. i want to try and overcome the known issues and discover the unknown issues.
ill be posting more thoughts on this later. at the moment, i am doing some writing...