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, some minimal food and some distilled water now and then to account for evaporation. The output coming from the system is trimming down the plants as biomatter and this removes any waste.
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 in 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 breaking down and the like. A larger system can be closed but there are a lot of factors to consider and striking balance is important. The larger a system is, the easier it is to balance.
This kind of technology relates to living in space, understanding our earthly 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.