A Pond in a Jar

in #creativity3 years ago

I've been learning about closed ecosystems lately and did a few experiments.

Browsing the web I found amazing terrariums made by other people and it amazed me how incredible plants are and how they can thrive in such a little space.

I sealed my jars a few days ago and I'm taking a picture everyday in order to document their progresses. If I did it right the ecosystem in the jar will be completely self sufficient and perennial.

pond (copy 1).jpg

This is my first jar and the one with the lower chance of success because...because a lot of reasons.
The jar was really small and I was able to fit just a tiny bit of moss and a few stones in it.


As long as I know aquatic jarrariums should be kept open in order to allow air circulation; it would probably need a bigger variety of plants and a few animals. Also, the small amount of soil and stones I put into it doesn't contain enough nutrients and micro-organisms.

But, as I said, I'm no expert and I have a lot to experiment and learn.
Anyway, after a few days it still looks exactly the same.


I probably did better the second time.
I used bigger jars and I find it easier to deal with terrestrial plants and to understand what's going on in there.

I filled it with a few layers:


Volcanic stones to prevent waterlog;


a fiberglass net should keep the rocks layer separated from the other ones and ensure the soil don't settle on the bottom;


Activated charcoal is supposed to add nutrients in the system over time;


The substratum is mostly soil from my garden and compost. It also swarms with springtail larvaes, tiny white insects that don't like the sunlight, so you can see them walk aroun only during night time.

I then added the plants. It's actually just moss and a few decorations at the moment, I'm still looking for suitable species of tiny plants. They will need to be local species as I don't want them to depend on lamps and artificial heating.


Something I wasn't able to understand from my readings is: Is it possible for seeds to germinate and grow in a sealed bottle?
So I put a few dwarf clover seeds in my last bottle.


And apparently they do :)

I took this picture today and so far looks like the conditions are good enough to let them grow.

I'm going to monitor the growth of the jars for a while and, when I will be self-confident enough, I'm going to set up a bigger one with a few species of plants and insects.

Meanwhile, I wanted to share this with you :)

Wish you a good day,

Creepy Turtle


Thank you for sharing ! They look amazing !! I must try this sometime...... 👌

My pleasure... 😃

These came out amazing @creepyturtle. It looks like fun.

Thank you @tryskele, indeed it's interesting

Wow, I love it. The tiny one is still pretty cool a mini garden. I guess I'm going to have to try this at some point. I wonder how many different bugs you could have in one?

Hi @coinsandchains, it depends on the size of the jar and on the species you put in there.
The springtails feed themselves on dead plant matter, so if you bottle an evergreen or just moss (as I did) a couple of them should suffice. They're going to reproduce anyway.

I had troubles in picking the right amount of them as they're supertiny and I picked them from my vermicompost bin, so I accidentally collected also a few eggs.

Well, you would think that it would eventually balance it's self out, as long as the initial imbalance was not too great.

Yes, it should.
If not I'm going to remove some of them myself and put them back in the compost bin

Hello @creepyturtle, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

Thank you! :)

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P.S. This looks so cute, I want one for myself now, interested to see how it goes and may make one up if all goes well. bookmarked for later. :D @insideoutlet

Thank you, guys :)
@insideoutlet I would send one of them to you in Australia, but I'm pretty sure you would get just a bunch of broken glasses :D
You have apes of interesting species of plants and insects over there, though. I'm sure if would be nice and fun for you to harvest stuff around and make a couple of jars. (in case you do it, keep me updated!)

wow...thats interesting, i have so many empty jars , I will definitely be trying this ..

Sure, give it a try!

This is pretty awesome, I curated it through the @asapers as it was too cute not too, I hope you get more love on it :D

Thank you! <3 <3 <3

I am so interested to see how these turn out. I have mixed feeling about jars in general, since the plants are sort of trapped inside, but then again if they are growing, they must have what they need. Either way, it is fascinating how they grow. I didn't realize you could put animals in there, as well. What types?

Hi @yvesoler :)
With "animals" I mean tiny insects, they're important to mantain a certain level of cabon dioxide in jar, otherwise the plant couldn't breathe anything but oxygen at some point. Also they break down dead plant matter, releasing nutrients in the soil.

This video is about the first bottled garden, it's been alive and well for 40 years so far and I think it's fascinating

I have seen the video and love it. I always wondered around the C02 and O2 levels. I figured that since many plants reverse their breathing patterns at night, they recycled their own air. I never thought about having tiny insects in there as well. I hope it is enough room for them to have a good life. I wouldn't want them to feel trapped in what we perceive as Utopia and for them, a prison!

When I see the bottled garden that has been living for 40 years, it really brings home the fact that plants could live in this planet without us. They have no need for human intervention--it is us that needs them!

The natural habitat of springtails is compost (or anyway they live in very moist and high in organic matter soil). I didn't bought mine, they just come spontaneously in my vermicompost bin, so I thought: if they're cool living in a bucket it probably won't harm them to stay in a jar.
If it makes you feel better they're already reproducing and during night time they come out from the soil and walk around. If I will notice there is something wrong with them I would immediately open the jar and put them back into the compost :)

As long as I know plants "breath in" CO2, keep the C (=carbon) that becomes more leaves, trunks etc, and expell O2 (so oxygen) plus a little bit of carbon they weren't able to process. So with time the carbon would end without further inputs.
(Sorry for the bad english, I hope you will be able to understand anyway. If not, please just ask :) )

Plants were on this planet waaaaay before us, so yes, I guess they don't need us people in order to survive.
We mostly bother, eat, and weed them :)

About the morality issue: I feel you, I believe this kind of sadness comes from our tendency to humanize non human creatures.

So, as we wouldn't like to be locked in, we perceive it as horrible for a plant as well, while we're completely ok in seeing flowers in a pot, for example.

The fact is that the plant in a jar (if it's done properly so that you allow an ecosystem to be created) is self sufficient and in balance with the existing microfauna. They have everything they need, that is food, air, water, sun, without human intervention. While the plant in the pot will always need your intervention to survive and, unless you periodically add compost or nutrients, keep it moist and shaded, the soil will die and the microfauna living in it will die with it.

Now we are talking about morality issues, so I believe there is no right or wrong. I just wanted to share with you my personal view about this

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