I have to admit the headline is a bit misleading. It is not really an actual aquarium per say. Instead, the Ecosphere is a closed ecosystem, encapsulated in a glass sphere. You can watch the tiny shrimps moving around without any need for maintenance. For a fuss free experience, you can’t get better than this.
For the record, I am a hardcore traditional fish tank kind of guy. I came to have this because it was given to me as a gift during last Christmas. I never thought I would like it as much as I do. This shrimp tank sits are my office now and draws many conversation topics.
Why I liked it
I am breaking down the review into 2 parts. Here, I will talk about the positive side first.
- No Maintenance Needed: There is a lot to like about the Ecosphere. First, let’s talk about the actual product. I can appreciate what Ecosphere is trying to do. To expand the market, they need to have something that is traditionally different from what people thought about aquariums. Specifically, they need to take away the maintenance part of it so that more people can enjoy the sea creatures without too much worry. This is exactly what Ecosphere has done.
- Beautiful display: Besides the fact that you don’t have to do anything, the Ecosphere is a very beautiful decorative of home accessory. Placed it anywhere prominently in your home and I guarantee that your visitors will sing praises of it. The build quality is pretty good as the whole thing is made of high quality glass.
- Interesting to watch: In terms of the interior of the tank, it was quite nice as well. I was surprised that it had different shrimp species within it. I am so sure that the company will just use the same cheap shrimp but the variety made a difference. In addition, the shrimps were pretty fun to watch as they were active. I imagined them to be pretty uninteresting but it turns out I am wrong. I saw a similar review on Amazon whereby the guy said the shrimps created a ball out some algae forming in the tank?
What I think can be improved
I wouldn’t use the word dislike but there are areas where I think can be made better.
- Price: Despite its low size, this is not a cheap nano tank. It cost more than $50 and even more if you go for the bigger systems. I know nothing about manufacturing but I feel the prices can be definitely be lower to be comparable to other nano aquariums.
- Adding new shrimps: As this is a self contained eco system, you can’t really add any new things into. In a way, it is how the company prevent the customers from messing up the eco system. However, I do wish I was able to add in new shrimps in case some died. (Edited: Turns out I am wrong. A reader informed me that you can send back the tank with the dead shrimps and the company will replace the dead ones with new live ones)
Other than the above 2 points, there is no major complain what so ever.
Ecosphere pod vs sphere
One of the big question is the Ecosphere pod or sphere decision. Asethetically, they look different but is there any real differences beyond the design? Since I don’t own a pod, I decided to talk to some of the folks in my forum community who has the pod. The answer: there is no difference! Hence, if you are deciding between the two, it is down to
That is about all the difference between the an ecosphere pod vs sphere.
Here are some common questions that you might have
- Is is safe to ship: Yes, the company has done a wonderful job of packaging and shipping the product. It arrived in a secured box of styrofoam. The foam has a circle center but a square perimeter. In this way, the fish tank can be cradled inside but can still fit into a squarish box.
- Does it come with a stand: Unfortunately no. The fish tank has a square base for you to place on any flat surface but you need to buy your own stand, if this is how you want to display it.
- Do you need to feed the shrimps: No you don’t have to. The shrimps will survive based on the natural food cycle in the eco system.
- How many shrimps: The one I had comes with 4 shrimps. I checked and saw that mine is considered the large one.
- Will the water stay clear: Mine is still clear after having it for a couple of months. This is because the shrimps will eat up the stuff that makes the water unclear. As long as there are shrimps alive inside your tank, the water will stay clear
- Does the tank need real sunlight: The answer is no. As I said, I put mine at the office and the only light it is getting is the office lights and not real sunlight. So far so good.
- Will the the shrimps reproduced: From what I have read, the shrimps will not. Instead, the shrimps tend to shred their skin so you might be mistaken that they are giving birth.
- Is it suitable for young kids: It will make a perfect present for kids of any age even if they are 5 or even 3. They don’t have to take care of it. All they need is to watch the shrimps in action and laugh.
I hope you are now clearer on how an ecosphere works and whether this is something suitable for you. Given for a guy like me who likes multiple fish tanks at home, I still enjoy having this in my office, where I don’t need to spend time taking them of them.