Question by Rain: Can a triop (triop longicaudatus) survive eating only algea or other aquatic plant life?
I’m doing a high school science fair project on closed evnciromental systems and I need an animal to breath all the oxygen that a plant would make or a way of absorbing the oxygen while supplying carbon dioxide. Other than triops, I am considering using Microbes or earth worms in soil.
Answer by emucompboy
Algae: no. Triops quickly grow beyond the algae-eating stage.
Other aquatic plant life: maybe. They’re omnivorous; I never tried setting on on an all-vegetarian diet. A problem I’ve found with Triops is that they tend to be fragile, die for no particular reason, and even when everything seems to be going well, die at about six weeks anyway.
A better choice for a “biosphere” might be either ostracods (“seed shrimp”) or cyclops for fresh water. You can get these critters from pond mud.
Near where I live, I used to be able to get small freshwater limpets that would eat biofilm algae. I’d find them on the sides of leaves of water hyacinth.
If you’re okay with saltwater, you can try brine shrimp.
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