Ecosystem in a Jar

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Creating an ecosystem can be as simple as setting up a container or as complex as creating an ecosystem on a planet like Mars. The Earth's ecosystem consists of billions of species interacting in ways we don't always understand. If one species is eliminated a new species will take its place and the ecosystem survives. To colonize a planet we would want to make it self-sufficient and in order to do this we would have to set up an ecosystem. A very complex task. We can make a mini-ecosystem simply by using an aquarium or water bottle. 1

Step 1

Buy or find a green or brown container such as a plastic drink bottle, milk bottle, glass fish bowl or aquarium. Thoroughly rinse it out. Do not use soap. If necessary, use salt or baking soda for scrubbing.

Step 2

 Add gravel to your container about 3/4 inch deep.

Step 3

 Create a funnel with a piece of rolled-up paper and pour dry-to-lightly moist garden soil through to about 1 inch deep.

Step 4

Plant your plants using plant species that fit the size of your container. Do not over plant, leave room for growth.

Step 5


Position a thermometer inside your ecosystem so you will be able to read the temperature, if you want to keep records.

Step 6


Decorate your ecosystem by adding stones, woods or other items similar to those found in aquariums.

Step 7

 Add some animals to your ecosystem such as ants, worms, or flies.

Add some insect to your ecosystem.
Add some insect to your ecosystem. | Source

Step 8

Seal your ecosystem with a lid and tape and then place your ecosystem out of direct sunlight.

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Comments 2 comments

tedcampbell2792 profile image

tedcampbell2792 5 years ago from NY

Very cool alternative to a biosphere, love it!


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

This seems easy enough and a great idea for the grandkids. Great idea.

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