Thursday, November 12, 2015

Our Ecosystem comes to a Close

This is Desiree's interpretation of our last day with the terrarium. 

The top of our ecosystem is very moist after adding water to its desert like qualities, i.e. drought. The mold doesn't seem to be growing like it has life, but seems to stay the same in furriness and in grayish size.  Though there is condensation that implies that it rains inside, but when it rains it hails, however, it is a terrarium so it won't's just an expression. Take it to imply that we are breeding death, for still no little green life has arrived.

The water is still pretty clear and allows for keen eyes to see the salt and pepper mold (we have determined that it is mold, because nothing has hatched and we are left with disappointment) has spread like the plaque on the surface of the water and spreading to the elodea. The so called salt and pepper eggs that we have determined are mold are clustered around the string in a mob like formation. Our elodea last week seemed to foreshadow its fall of the fragile staircase, because upon inspection the length of the elodea has detached itself from the roots dooming the plant to a slow and painful death of starvation for it is now unable to get nutrients from its roots.

Water level is 3.8 inches.

Our glimmer of hope and life in our terrarium has been our snails throughout our observations. The three older and larger ones seem to continue to move and climb, but other than that they are snails and aren't up to much in their day to day lives. Just a sparkle that we didn't kill everything. The babies can be seen in the pebbles and they don't seem ready to leave the nest of the purple shelter...for maybe they are doomed to death if they leave.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Observation 5

I come as the bearer of bad news. We have found our elusive crustaceans...they are dead. Two of their bodies flowing peacefully in the water with the rotation of the bottle. Hopefully the afterlife is kinder to our crustaceans than the ruthlessness of our terrarium, for it has been unforgiving. On lighter news, the snails are on different parts of the elodea reaching close to the surface of the water. They seem to be growing in size and moving as actively as a snail can throughout the bottom. Their babies, that were conceived during the first week, seem to be slowly growing and un-burrowing from the depths of the purple peebles. The twisted stairway of the elodea are the snails only chance to rise, but it too seems destined to fail. For near the base the elodea it is turning brownish, black and the leaves are slowly falling off, drifting through the water. Also the top of the elodea that is outside the water is also brown and dying...and on news of more death the leaves all around the spiral staircase are turning brown on the tips.

The water level is slowly declining and standing at a current level of 3.7 inches.

We are hopeful that we will have green thumbs and will see life in the top half of our terrarium. For we have contemplated the idea and decided to add 100ml of water in an effort to see life. The soil looks moist and the seeds now have a sliver of a chance for new life. Though technically our 4 spots of fuzzy, gray mold are life they are a constant reminder to the death that has occurred  to our original plants on the top half of our terrarium.

Here are the pictures of the catastrophe, the death and a bit of our hope as we continue our efforts for life within our terrarium.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Observation 4

Snails were discovered sunbathing on top of elodea near the surface of the water.  They seem to be growing in size and the mold we thought on top of the water seem to be more like eggs. They are white and black and clustering around the strings on the surface of the water. The salt and pepper eggs add a new element of excitement to our ecosystem, because with death there is new life. Or could the salt and pepper eggs be dirt? Or are they eggs like we think...only time can tell. The baby snails from the first observation are now burrowed deep in the purple rocks. The water clarity it still pretty clear and the elodea continues to grow and wrap around. The crustacean is missing once again and we are on high alert to find him, but we believe he is hiding in the elodea or the rocks. We are keeping our eyes peeled and so should you for the elusive crustacean.

The water level remains at 4 inches.

In the top half in the soil environment...still only life is the 5 clusters of fuzzy white mold. With little to no condensation on the top half of the ecosystem and the soil is as dry as the desert. Now we continue to wait to see if the radish and flowers will grow; the warmth and sunlight is our only hope for green life on top.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

3rd Observation

Water level is at 3.7 inches tall.

Once again our crustaceans are missing and our baby snails have burrowed into the purple pebbles. The larger snails are spaced throughout seemingly blending into their environment. The elodea has grown two more roots that have start to grow down along the bottom of the liter into the pebbles (This roots start around the middle of the plant and not the base...odd). It is also in the process of completing its second rotation. There are white little circles that are on top of the water and sides of the bottle, we are unsure of what these circles are, but the best guess is that now we have mold on the bottom too. seems we don't exactly have green thumbs, but gray thumbs (Is that a thing? It is now).

The mold has continued to grow and is larger this week than last. The four spots are still gray/white and fuzzy.  The mulch looks dry, but condensation is around half of the two liter.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Observation Two:

Our previously budding plants have now died. Mold has appeared in four different spots.

Our snails are still apparent. However, only two baby snails are visible. The other snails seem to look bigger in size. There are now roots coming off the Elodea, they appear to be attempting to plant themselves within the pebbles. Also, the Elodea appears to have gotten longer, it has started to spiral within the water. The water definitely looks less clear. Our water has dropped to 3.8 inches, which is .2 less than our observation last week. We have found one fish swimming in our water ecosystem! Maybe the other fish are hiding within the pebbles and we just cannot see them right now. There is also not much condensation as last time.

Some pictures of our 2-tier terrarium:

Growing Elodea!

Budding plants replaced by mold :/

The beginning

Today, we created our 2-tier terrarium in a bottle.

In our water ecosystem, we included the following:

  • 650 mL of water
  • 18 cm Elodea
  • 3 snails
  • 1 1/2 flakes of fish food
  • 5 fish 
In our soil ecosystem:
  • 3 Zinnias
  • 2 Hollyhocks
  • 2 Radishes
  • 4 1/2 cups of soil 

Our goal for this terrarium is to have thriving plants and living creatures to ensure we have created a successful/efficient self-contained ecosystem. We have documented our beginning and will continue to update with our observations within. 

Here are some pictures of our ecosystem in a bottle!

The top of our 2-tier terrarium

Our ecosystem in a bottle

Our bottom half of our 2-tier terrarium

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Observation One:

Life in the terrarium seems to be thriving. We have spotted four baby snails, creating a total of seven snails within our water ecosystem. Things are already getting interesting and it is has only been a week. However, the water has definitely gotten a little murky as it is not as crystal clear as last week (the beginning). It also appears that our five fish have disappeared, whether they have survived or not is questionable, for we have no proof that either has occurred, but we will keep you updated on the fishes m.i.a. status. We have measured our water to be about 4 inches at this point. A lot of condensation is present as well.

 There are currently two budding plants. They are still quite small at this point, but there is progress!