One of the new displays that was set up at the new ‘Transhuman House 2.0’ is a South American Biotope. A “Biotope” is a complete ecosystem and in this case, it means no chemical filtration and replicates a bit of a real one. The object is to showcase closed ecosystems along with the aquaponics and hydroponics systems.
This small biotope has essentially has 4 inputs, Sunlight used by the plants, Electricity to create water movement and larger gas exchange surface area and some minimal food, some distilled water now and then to account for evaporation. Coming out of the system is trimming down the plants as biomatter and this removes any of too much wast.
Given the size of the system, this is the only practical configuration where there is no real maintenance other than making sure the system is working. Even a biotope this size we can see the complex interaction in the water chemistry from the bacteria used in a bioreactor to feed the plants to the fish waste break down and the like. A larger system can be closed but there is a lot of factors in considering and striking balance is important. The larger a system is the easier it is to balance.
This kind of technology goes to space, understanding our environment and learning how to manipulate, repair or change to fit our needs any given ecosystem. This particular display is related to the Bio-Cell research project that is conducted in part at the facility.
Note: just a quick note about the above picture, you can see that the fish (simple live barrier species in the guppy, platy, molly, mosquito fish family) are reproducing as you can see the tiny fish near the bottom.