I’m making a self sustaining ecosystem which has both a terrestrial part with plants and bugs, and a water part with some pond water. I’ve had it for a few months, and then this started popping up everywhere. Anyone know what it is?

Entire thing

  • Has your set up received any sunlight in the last few weeks/months? It's not clear where the algal growth is occuring from your photos - I'm assuming its in the water bottle at the bottom?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 17:56
  • Yes, I have a close up posted as well. I’m just wondering what it is. Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 3:56
  • wow, this is certainly a massive project! If this is a close up of a leaf you are wanting to cultivate, I am looking at chemical deficiency. Have you fertilized? How often is the water moved, recycled, aerated? Plant roots need oxygen. Plants that we humans want to grow to fill our needs need us humans to understand the plant's needs. Photosynthesis takes sunlight, proper water, drainage within the soil medium (so water doesn't take up valuable pore space that needs to be filled with O2), water moved so algae and fungus are not so happy and take control of the resources as well as NPK.
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 8:03
  • 1
    Weakened plants are vulnerable to disease, insects and fungus amongus. Whatever it is you are looking at is NOT the culprit. It is a secondary problem, the first being no available plain old NPK. Exacerbated with stagnant water and too low O2, drainage in the soil for the roots.Sunlight, water in proper amounts, great drainage and available O2, bare minimum chemistry added...general knowledge of biology and botany and soils and chemisty...are minimal. Humans can never make a self sustaining ecosystem. Humans do not live long enough to manage our artificial gardens.
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 8:13
  • I'm unable to say precisely what aquatic algal life form it is - it is an inevitable event in a closed, water filled environment like your bottle that receives daylight, and especially sunlight; the same thing is likely to occur in fish tanks which are exposed to any sun at all (as I well recall!). It happens eventually even in just daylight without direct sunlight, but direct sun will mean it occurs much more quickly I'm afraid.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 11:00


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