An eco system is a collection of things that together can form a balance and survive without outside help. This collection of living things will work together to florish. Making a small eco system is easy and very educational. The small contained eco systems are called eco-sphere. You can make one really easily and it should require very little maintenance. I did this the following manner:
Get a big glass pot (Eat some bottled vegetables, or simply buy one. I got a really big 5 liter pot for around 5 euros)
Get some decoration. I made two eco-spheres. One with seashells (which I first cleaned with fresh water) and one with lots of small pieces of sea glass.
Get some fresh water. Either use water from the tab (which require a day or two before adding any life to the eco-sphere) or get some water from river or a pond.
Get some small water plants from a local river or pond.
Get some living things. I have a couple of small snails (which came with the plants I got from the pond), and I have two shrimp in each eco-sphere. The shrimp are the only animals I bought in the store for 2.50 EUR each.
As an extra I went online and bought a moss ball (around 1 EUR) on AliExpress. This is a (small) ball of moss which serves as the perfect decoration, and sometimes the shrimp will be found sitting on the ball, cleaning it a bit.
Put your eco-sphere in a nice place where they will have daylight. This is needed for the plants to make oxigen and to grow. Do not place the eco-sphere in a place where it will be hit directly by the sun. This will heat up the water way to much and you will end up with cooked shrimp. It there is to much light entering your eco system you should notice an abundance of green or brown algea. This tells you you will need the eco-sphere to a place where it is a little bit less bright.
The shrimp can eat the algea that will grow in the eco-sphere. The snail(s) will also eat the algea and everything else they can find. The snails should also keep the glass clear. The poop from the snails and shrimp should function perfectly as food for the plants, and thats it. You just made yourself a really nice eco system!
You can also try an eco system without so much water. You will then need to add some dirt and some plants. I tried this a couple of times, but after a while the plants just got to big or simply died. Making a water based eco system is much easier.
Our shrimp has some young. In the mini eco system that we have there where two shrimp living. I think they are happy with their home, especially since I started giving them some extra food every day. They must be happy because they decided to have kids. When I was giving them their food today I noticed a very small animal on the glass. A closer observation made it clear it was a very small shrimp. Great!
This year Alan started taking piano lessons, just like his big brother. Normally he goed to the classes with his mother but today was the first time I accompanied him. The class was filled with 6 kids each with one parent. Alan was quite happy to be in the class, but it was clear that this was not the case for the majority of the class. Four kids were quite unhappy, and some did not want to touch the keyboard. One even looked to be asleep. Only Alan and one other kid were learning. Now if we can try and get Alex to practice at home for a few minutes a day I’m sure we’ll have another musician at home soon.
Alex is a very unlucky person. At least it seems that way at times. A couple of months ago he broke his arm while playing, and luckily his broken arm healed very well. A few weeks ago it was the turn of his other arm. Once again a broken arm, this time the left one, and once again a visit to the hospital, a cast, and lots on inconvenience.
Meanwhile that have already removed his cast, but because the bone was not set very well he now has a strong plastic cast around his arm. Just make provide a bit of extra security for the time being. This way his bones can mend a bit better.
Alex has some extra English classes twice a week. I bring him to the classes in the afternoon, and enjoy a one hour run (around 7.5 km) and then I pick him up again and we walk home. Today Alex exited the class with a very strange story. During his class the kids needed to think about some fictional person and apperently some girl thought of the fictional name ‘Alex Berg’. Very very strange because his sirname does not exist in Spain, and is even hard to pronounce. This can’t be a coincidence. Probably his name was mentioned at the beginning of the class and somehow kept lingering in the girls mind, and then the ‘random’ name was easily selected.
As a test/hobby project I have been building a game similar to minesweeper, but with a completely different theme. Instead of looking for mines you will need to look for mushrooms. The game logic was easy because it is shared lots of times online. The entire app structure was for me, and was basically what I wanted to learn/achieve. What I was missing was the assets. Images and sounds to make it all look perfect. For this I used fiverr and I hired an indonesian guy to make around 20 images for me. Great to have such a huge international marketplace. What I am still missing it some soundeffects. I will probably try and convince the kids to help me with this, because Alex has already showed me he does this very well, like the shooting effect in our stopmotion.
It took quite a bit of preparation and quite a bit of time, but we did it! We ‘hatched’ a couple of Monarch butterflies at home! Months ago we started by getting seeds for the correct plant that is used by the butterflies. It is the only plant they will lay their eggs on and the only plant the catterpillers will eat. Slowly the plants grew and they even got some flowers. Then suddenly we hit the jackpot. 5 little catterpillers were walking around the leafs. After a couple of days only two remained, but these were growing fast. In about a week the catterpillers were very fat and started to create their cocoon.
It is still required to wear a mask when you go out on the street, and whats even worse, it is even required to wear a mark at work for 8 hours strait. Pfff.
It is almost getting normal. Wearing a mask when going outside is getting easier every day. In Spain it is even required since a couple of days.
Uf, today it is my birthday! I’m getting old. 45 years already. An old fart.
This birthday is in the middle of lots of chaos. A pandemic with viri everywhere. Kids that have been grounded for months. Tickets to the main land that gets cancelled all the time. A strange year! My with for this birthday was simple. A nice family photo that represents the times in which we are living right now. Nice for later.
As an additional cherry on the cake we also received some other good news. Alex finished his school year very well, and today we received this notes. All his notes were 9s or 10s. We are very happy with that. Alan also has some good results. The can add and substract all by himself!