Closed system salt water tank?

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by hlywkar, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

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    is it possible to create a closed system salt water tank?
    Such that it would not require water changes and only minimal cleaning?

    what if size was not an issue?
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    No, part of the major problems with raising food fish close to shore has been major water pollution. Do a quick Google on "fish farm pollution" and you will see that there are major problems with waste build-up. One of the more innovative solutions I have seen is a floating farm that can have a more natural water change.
     
  3. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

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    Well.... I'd assume if you could create close to as natural conditions as possible, it should theoretically work.

    The Ocean is pretty big. But there are closed off lagoons that can still house life. There is still going to be some water transference, but not as much.

    The problem is the nitrogen cycle, correct?

    what if there was a holding cell that vacuumed water went to. The cell has no fish, only bacteria or plants. I am guessing, ... the important would be plants.

    And then every so often take in water from the main tank. hold it. replace the water taken out with the water from the fish-less tank. Then put the fish water into the tank with the plants.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Functionally, what you are describing is akin to a refugium with a deep sand bed.
     
  5. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

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    But would it work?
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    With a big enough refugium, maybe but we are struggling with our earth's refugium breaking down now.
     
  7. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

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    well that's a whole other topic. breaking down? or changing? Global warming? or global climate change? C02 emmissions? or the sun getting hotter?

    The amount that man kind actually effects the planet in terms of Carbon emissions is minuscule in comparison to what the planet already puts out on it's own.

    I'll stop there cause I can go on and on. I majored in Geography after I did my degree in Psych. All we talked about was stuff like that.
     
  8. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Depends on what you are going to keep in it and what you consider minimal work.

    Is this a thought experiment, or do you really want to do it?
     
  9. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

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    Ya... more of a thought experiment.

    I am interested in building a large aquarium in my later years after all my student debt is paid off and we buy a house. Not sure if I'd use this form or not... But it could potentially come in use later. :D
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't disagree with the extensive reasons for our refugium to be in a concerned position nor do I pretend to understand the causes. It is only the fact that it is a growing concern that I make the reference. If you build something, it will be comarative small scale so the pollutants will be MORE impactive, not less. Even dying plants have to be reabsorbed somehow. There are very few marine plants. Most are brackish and need freshwater "rain" on a regular basis. Algaes play a somewhat similar role in saltwater.

    I suspect you would also need several different depths so that sunlight (artificial or natural) would get involved in the mix (feeding the photosynthetic, for vitamins and organic decomposition). A low waste environment (no fish and mostly photysynthetic inverts with algae cleaners) has been relatively successful with minimal (less than with vertabrates) water changes but a complete, enclosed bio system would require extensive knowledge of balancing decay and waste removal.

    Several years back, and I fail to remember the name of the project, they built a small enclosed system (for humans) that failed. As I recall, water and food supply were major parts of the failure. ... goes on a rabbit trail to locate info ... ah Biosphere II . I only briefly read the link and it seems CO2 rather than water was the major reason for killing the sealed part of the experiment (water was a problem though and is briefly mentioned in the link).
     
  11. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    It's possible to buy little "ecosystem in a glass ball" things that I think NASA developed as a proof of concept. They are completely sealed, and can sustain themselves for years with just sunlight. They had to do a whole lot of careful planning to get all the forces to balance, though. I've never bought one, so I don't know how long they last in practice.

    See http://www.eco-sphere.com/home.htm
     
  12. TheyCallHimNoah

    TheyCallHimNoah Larval Mass Registered

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    In response to Monty, I kept an EcoSphere that viably sustained itself with no outside interaction for 2.5 years.

    Interesting theories that work flawlessly on a small scale, but once the size of the organisms moves beyond tiny shrimp I would assume the sustainability would become much more difficult to achieve.
     

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