My YouTube-inspired project - Jartopia

So I recently discovered the Jartopia YouTube channel. He makes what he calls ecospheres – aquatic ecosystems sealed in Mason jars. He starts with the native substrate, makes sure to add live plants, then adds the native water; then he lets it develop over time and sees what appears.

There is a creek flowing through town, forming a green corridor with its riparian willow woodlands. I decided to learn more about the life of this creek by making a set of three ecospheres from three different points along the creek. They have been going for a few weeks now, and things are definitely moving around in them – organisms that I doubt I could have seen from just staring into the creek as it flowed by.

I recall some users on this forum mentioning that you live in urban areas where there is seemingly little nature to be found. I offer this as an idea for ways that you might be able to discover more than you were aware was there.


Jartopia is great!
I’ve been doing this a few months now too and it is fascinating. I seem to have a nicely balanced system going. Haven’t opened it in a few weeks now and everything seems to be growing well.
I had got in to the idea initially after wanting a place to put my microscopic observations after viewing them instead of just flushing them or something. I feel like I have a nice copepod retirement community going. ha
I’m excited for better options to make more come warmer weather.
Here are two of the cooler things that showed up after a few weeks:

I’ve been meaning to upload photos of the lone snail who has taken up residence to try for an ID. Also had a “pet” water mite for a month at least, but sadly haven’t saw him for several days now.


I did a couple of these last year, they survived a few weeks but eventually everything died except algae and a single snail.

Here’s a project for them:

Also a discussion about how best to submit observations from jars (which date and location to use etc.):

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Thanks for the info!
Never thought to look for a project.

Jartopia is my favorite YouTube channel. It inspired me to make my own ecosphere from a local pond, which is now over 3 months old and doing well.

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