IO in Lab

Bio-Spheres FAQ

Bio Spheres
- Let your Bio-Sphere settle for 24-48 hours after you receive it. 
- Place your Bio-Sphere inside under specific Sunlite Lamp.
- If you purchased the Sun-Lite Lamp, place it next to your Bio-Sphere with the bulb at least 2
- Keep your Bio-Sphere at room temperature (13° - 27° C).
- Once every 1-2 week, gently turn your Bio-Sphere over to redistribute nutrients.
- Observe and enjoy your Bio-Sphere for years. Relax and watch as the lifeforms slowly wax and wane in 
natural cycles. - Watch the smaller animal with a magnifying glass.
- Do not shake your Bio-Sphere.
- Do not place your Bio-Sphere outside at any time.
- Do not place your Bio-Sphere in direct sunlight.
- Do not use warm white or cool white fluorescent bulbs, grow lamps, incandescent, alogen, metal halide, or
any     orange-colored bulbs.
- Do not place the Bio-Sphere ina room where the temperature gets above 27° C or below 13° C
- Do not assume the animals are dead if you cannot see them. Due to natural cycles taking their course,    
there are propably babies too small to see and/or adults in the bottom feeding in the destritus. Patience   will
Our planet is a closed system in which living organisms are sustained: a Bio-Sphere where nothing leaves or
enters axcept sunlight. Paragon Space Development Corporation as captured the essence of this process in
the Bio-Sphere.
Now you can literally have A World of your Own!
A complex interplay between plants, animals and the environment maintain a delicate balance. Energy from
the Sun drives biospheric cycles and promotes planet and animal growth. Light from the Sun causes
plants to undergo aprocess called photosynthesis which uses the energy from light to turn carbon dioxide
into oxygen. In return, the animals generate carbon dioxide and nutrients needed by the plants.
Paragon was started in 1993 by two of the original Biospherians, Ms. Jane Poynter and Mr. Taber
MacCallum, who were the principle designers of the agricultural areas and analytical systems inside
Biosphere 2. They lived and worked in the closed ecological system for two years. The glass and steel
structure, located in Oracle, Arizona, covers 3.15 acres and contains several different environments including
rain forest, savanna, desert, marsh, and ocean. Upon completion of the Biosphere 2 project, Ms. Poynter and
Mr. MacCallum pursued the research and design of miniature biospheres as scientific instruments for
environmental test and control applications. The elegant solution to balanced ecosystem design they
developed resulted in the Bio-Sphere you now own. The patented processes used to build your Bio-Sphere
are the same used to build Bio-Spheres that have flown in Space on NASA's Space Shuttle and the Russian
Space Station MIR (read more about these exciting space flight experiments on our web page)!
Your Bio-Sphere is a sealed, spherical enclosure con~aining plants and animals in perfect balance within an
aquatic environment. It is an elegant, completely-enclosed ecosystem teeming with plants and animals in
equilibrium. The environment is specifically tailored to support numerous life forms including aquatic plant
life and animal life such as small snails, crustecea, and small water-borne animals. The plants provide
oxygen (through photosynthesis) andfoodfor the animals which in turn provide carbon dioxide and
nutrientsfor the plants!


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This exchange takes place in a nutrient-enriched aquatic environment, which is the essence of the
technology. Algae and other microscopic organisms are also important to maintain the ecosystem balance.
As shown in the diagram, every~hing is recycled; nothing is wasted! The Bio-Sphere is a closed environment
with all it needs to live except light. It's a delicately balanced system!
Your Bio-Sphere is self-contained and will continue to thrive for many years if cared for properly. It is
completely self-sustaining as long as it remains cool and receives sufficient light.
Bio-Spheres with a "Sun-Lite" Lamp
Position your Bio-Sphere so that it does not receive any direct sunlight and place - the "Sun-Lite" Lamp next
to it. Before plugging in the light make sure that the bulb is securely plugged into the light socket by pushing
the bulb toward the socket until you hear a click. Orient the arrn so that the bulb is horizontal to the surface
on which the Bio-Sphere is sitting. If you have a 10-inch Bio-Sphere, the
bulb should be approximately 2 inches away from the glass; with the 8-inch it will be about 4 inches away;
and with a 6inch Bio-Sphere the bulb will be approximately 6 inches away. If you have an 8 or 10-inch Bio-
Sphere then you can also turn the arm so that the bulb shines through from the side or back. In this case
make sure that the bulb is not touching the glass of the Bio-Sphere, but remains at least 2 inches away.
Depending on ~ time of year and how light the area is that your Bio-Sphere is sitting in, you will want to
leave the lamp on for 8 - 12 hours each day. During Winter months you may need to leave it on longer than
during Summer months as the overall amount of light the Bio-Sphere receives in the winter is less due to the
shorter days. You may wish to purchase an electric timer at your local hardware store for daily use, but
particularly for when you leave on vacation. When changing the light bulb always turn off and unplug the
Bio-Spheres without a "Sun-Lite" Lamp
Providing appropriate lighting conditions for your BioSphere is critical for its prolonged health. Place the
BioSphere in a well lit room so that it receives only indirect sunlight or artificial light. Do not place your Bio-
Sphere in direct sunlight at any time. This may quickly overheat your Bio-Sphere and, as with all round
glass objects, may cause a "hot spot" to form behind the sphere. If you do not have sufficient light in
lhe room where the Bio-Sphere is to be placed, or would like more flexibility in the placement of your Bio-
Sphere, then it may be necessary to provide a lamp. We recommend a 9watt fluorescent light bulb,
preferably of 5000K or "daylight" color temperatures. Do not use a grow lamp, or warm white, cool white,
orange, incandescent, metal halide or halogen bulb as it may damage your Bio-Sphere. 
Call GLOBUS INTERNATIONAL for questions about lights or other accessories that are available.
Bio-Sphere Health Tips
Closely monitor the health of the Bio-Sphere. Watch to make sure that the water remains clear, that the plant
is green and healthy and that the animals do not become less numerous. If not you're not using a lamp, you
may need to move your Bio-Sphere to different locations from time to time to keep it in the right lighting.
For example, if you see fewer animals swimming around, then you should increase the amount of light your
Bio-Sphere receives by placing it where the natural lighting is brighter, or by leaving the light on a little
longer each day if you have a lamp. If the water begins to appear slightly green you should reduce the
amount of light by placing it in a shadier spot, or by decreasing the length of time the light in on. If the plant
begins to turn a pale green or sickly yellow color, it is probably receiving too much light.
Since your Bio-Sphere is essentially a miniature greenhouse, be careful not to allow it to overheat; don't leave
your BioSphere in a car, in a wmdow, outside, in the direct sun or on top of any appliances. Keep your Bio-
Sphere at room temperatures from between 13° C to 27° C; around 24°C will reduce the chance tbat tbe


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water tums green due to increased levels of algae (however the animals love this). If you notice leaves falling
off the plant, the Bio-Sphere is either too hot or cold. The glass should always feel cool to the touch!.
Your Bio-Sphere will change appearance with variations in light and temperature. Once you receive your
Bio-Sphere, a process of "self-organization" will take place where it will find its own balance dependmg on
the environment in which it is placed. Some Bio-Spheres have a pronounced cycle of rapid growth followed
by die off of part of the plant and some of the animals. This is a normal phenomenon, and part of the
fascination of owning and studying Bio-Spheres. If you do not immediately see a large population of
animals, do not give up. Even if you think a species has died, there are likely babies that will grow up. By
giving your Bio-Sphere more light, you will probably see more animals. Be patient as it may take a month or
more for the animals to grow and multiply. If you at any time have questions about how your Bio-Sphere is
behaving (or misbehaving) please call us at Globus directly and we will be happy to answer them. Or you
can e-mail the Bio-Sphere Doctor with questions, curiosities or for care advice at
Inside these water worlds are beautiful aquatic plants, snails, tiny shrimp (called amphipods), spinning
water bugs and microscopic organisms living in harmony. The life inside the Bio-Sphere comes mainly from
fresh water habitats in the United States, but relatives of these species can be found the world over. The
larger your Bio-Sphere, the more diverse and plentiful the life inside.
There are a number of different types of plants, animals, algae and microbes inside each Bio-Sphere. The tiny
lilylike plants floating on the surface of the water are called "Chain of Stars" and are amongst the smallest
plants in the world. They provide a safe haven and habitat for the small invertebrates as well as food for the
snails. In fact, you may see snails, hanging upside down to graze on their thin roots which grow down into
the water. The Chain of Stars rarely flowers so it reproduces vegetatively (not by seeds). Each of the little
leaves is a separate plant! This plant is placed in the Bio-Sphere primarily as a food source for the animals
during its initial development and may disappear later on. The large twisting plant with many "needle-like"
branches and leaves is called Hornwort. Hornwort, which floats in the water beneath the surface, is
harvested from the Florida swamplands. If there were moving water in your Bio-Sphere, the hornwort
would develop roots to anchor it in place. Whorls of rigid, dark-green, leaves are covered with soft thorns
that provide protectionfor small creatures. The animals do not usually eat the hornwort (it doesn't taste
good), however it does provide a good portion of the oxygen the animals need to live and absorbs carbon
dioxide and nutrients that are created by the animals as waste.
There are a variety of snails in your Bio-Sphere including the ramshorn, pond and trumpet snails (try to pick
them out!). The ramshorn snail,with the tall sniraling shell, is hermaphroditic (both male and female) and
may have babies even if it is alone in your Bio-Sphere. If you lobk closely, you might see small spherical eggs
it lays on the glass. The honey-colored dots inside are unborn baby snails. The pond snails (a more common
species of snail) may lay their eggs on the glass as well. However, the pond snail's eggs are smaller than the
ramshorn~s and are almost colorless and completely translucent. The trumpet snail has a long pointed shell
that looks like a trumpet. These peculiar snails, unlike the pond and ramshorn, don't lay eggs; they have live
young which they carry around in their mouths until they form their own shells. The mother then spits them
out and they are on their own!
Both the pond snail and the ramshorn snail graze on algae and the roots of the Chain of Stars and may be
seen pruning dead leaves off both plants. They are the window cleaners and gardeners of the Bio-Sphere!
The baby Irumpet snails almost exclusively feeds on algae growing on the glass, while the adults spend most
of their time scavenging in the detritus (dead plant and animal matter on the bottom). The most visibly
active members of the biospheric community are the small shrimp-like amphipods seen darting wildly
about. They tend to be most active at dusk and night, swinging from branch to
branch like monkeys in the jungle. To get them to swim, gently tip the Bio-Sphere so that the plants move.
Amphipods have an endless appetite, feeding on almost everything in the Bio-Sphere from microscopic
algae to detritus (dead plant and animal matter) or the roots of the Chain of Stars. During the molting


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season, amphipods shed their skin-like exoskeleton (an external bone-like framework that holds them
together) and grow a new one; you may see empty amphipod shells floating around for a few days until
they are broken down by microbes. The amphipods will replicate at a rapid rate (about every four weeks).
The females carry their eggs for up to a week even after they have hatched.
In addition to the larger animals, there is a vast population of little critters (tiny invertebrates) inside the Bio-
Sphere including Daphnia, Ostracods and Copepods. Some of these little critters are difficult to see with the
naked eye, but if you focus on the opposite side of the sphere, you may see them as little specs of "dust" (or
try looking at your Bio-Sphere through a magnifying glass).
Though seldom seen, these creatures are important to the process of lite going on inside. There are also small
worms that live exclusively in the soil and many microscopic organisms living in the water that help with
waste recycling.
In nature these tiny animals form an important part of the food web" providing prey to larger predatory
species of invertebrates (animals without backbones) and fish. If you shine a light through the Bio-Sphere,
you might see small transparent animals called Daphnia swimming clumsily along. They flap the flat fins on
their sides like paddles to move through the water. If you look really closely, you might see tiny circular
pouches filled with eggs inside their translucent abdomens.
Ostracods, with their "ringed" shell, resemble tiny mussels. In fact they are sometimes called mussel shrimp
or seed shrimp. The small eyelashes tha~ extend infront of them are actually antennae that they use to
navigate the huge (from their perspective) world they live in. Small claw-like extensions on the bottom are
used to rake microbes or extremely fine detritus suspended in the water into its hungry mouth. Ostracods
are visible to the naked eye as small dark gray or brown dots moving in a straight line along the side of the
glass as they scurry, using tiny legs, busily along.
The Cyclops Copepods (named after the mythical one-eyed monster), can likewise be extremely small; even
as small as a pinhead. Copepods carry "egg masses" that look like bunches of grapes slung over their backs
as they swim along wobbling back and forth like drunken sailors. They are primarily "filter feeders" which
means that they eat microscopic algae and microbes floating in the water or the debris on the bottom. Don't
be alarmed if you don't immediately see these small invertebrates because they are always there, working
behind the scenes in your Bio-Sphere !
Turbid water:
The turbidity and green colour of the water is due to the inflorescence of the algae, which is caused by a
combination of high temperature and intense light. Whenever the temperature reaches 20°C you should pay
particular attention to the amount of light that you throw on the Bio-Sphere.
High temperature encourages the growth of the algae inside the water (small quantities of which, however,
are necessary for the ecosystem), which start to reproduce very fast. If in addition you provide the Bio-
Sphere with too much light the algae will grow even faster. If you notice the turbid water at once, this
problem can easily be solved just by putting the Bio-Sphere in a cooler place (between 20°C and 22 °C) and
reducing the amount of light from 12 to 8 hours. The Bio-Sphere should become clear again after two weeks
at the latest. Should, however, the number of algae inside the ecosystem not decrease, you have to further
reduce the amount of light that you throw on the Bio-Sphere (attention: do never reduce the amount of light
to less than 6 hours a day for a long period; this could cause the Bio-Sphere to die). Should you not see any
improvement, you have to go on with the treatment and the Bio-Sphere needs to be put in an even cooler
Lack of visible animals:
A lack of visible animals is due to a level of light that is either too week or too short as well as to low
As already mentioned in your user’s manual, the Bio-Sphere passes through periods of great fertility and
liveliness, followed by periods of few animal life, because just like in a real ecosystem fast and drastic
transformations take place even inside the Bio-Sphere. These transformations correspond to the various
seasonal, reproductional and vital phases of our world. So do not worry if you cannot at once see the
animals described in the user’s manual, or if you can just see some of them. There is life inside the Bio-


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Sphere nevertheless and it goes on and grows, even if we cannot see the small animals jumping from one
side to the other, like we may have expected.
So you will have a more fertile and lively world in the summer time, followed by a calmer period in the
winter times.
Please make sure that during the summer months the surroundings of the „Sunlite“ lamp are always well-
ventilated, because it may be possible that microclimates come into being in warm areas near the Bio-Sphere.
This may sometimes lead to the fact that in one Bio-Sphere the algae will grow, whereas in another one
nearby no algae will grow at all.
During the very hot summer months we advise you to control your Bio-Spheres every day and to follow the
above mentioned instructions as soon as you realize the slightest turbidity of the water.
Bio-Sphere and Beachworld are completely different ecosystems and have to be treated in a completely
different way.
How to care for your Bio-Spheres:
Do NEVER place Bio-Sphere or Beachworld near a window; minimum distance: 4 meters.
1.  Use the light supplied together with the products, or a type of light having between 5000 and 6200°
2.  The level of light needs to be higher than the one necessary for Beachworld; use either „Sunlite“ lamp or a
type of light having between 700 and 1000 lux.
3.  Provide the Bio-Spheres with light for at least 48 hours without interruption as soon as you receive them.
4.  The Bio-Spheres need 12 hours of light, followed by 12 hours of darkness. In winter, when there are lower
temperatures (22°C and less), you may increase the hours of light up to a maximum of 16 hours, also in
order to provoke greater vitality of the animals. In summer, when it gets warmer (between 22°C and 24°C),
provide the Bio-Sphere with at maximum 12 hours of light a day; you may even reduce the number of hours
to a minimum of 8 hours a day.
5.  In case of temperatures above 25°C please control the clearness of the water daily; in any case follow the
above mentioned instructions.
We know what a wonderful world the Bio-Sphere is and we are confident that you will love it too. The Bio-
Sphere is a unique gift as well as an educational tool for parents, teachers and children of all ages! Display it
prominently on your coffee table, desk or bookshelf. Observe the magic of nature through your Bio-Sphere.
Ranging in size from 6 inches to 10 inches in diameter, the Bio-Sphere is an ideal accent to any setting. The
larger your Bio-Sphere, the more diverse the life inside and the more complex their interrelationships. The
Bio-Sphere stimulates conversation wherever it may be. Take it to work, show it at parties or simply put it in
your study for hours of fascination. Your family and friends can watch the animals and plants as they


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multiply and grow. Show them this illustrated booklet, specially designed to guide you step-by-step through
the process of life unfolding inside. You'll enjoy your BioSphere for years to come.
GLOBUS International warrants that this Beachworld will be free from defects in materials and
workmanship for a period of 1 (one) year starting on the purchase date. If this Beachworld proves defective
the customer shall return the product to GLOBUS International for replacement, on condition that it had not
been subjected to modification, violent opening or misuse.
If all the shrimps die within 30 days after the purchase date, the Beachworld will be replaced, provided the
customer returns the dead Beachworld. If the customer does not follow the instructions attached to the
Beachworld, this warranty or part of it shall not apply. For further information about how to return the
Beachworld, as well as for any technical questions, please do not hesitate to contact GLOBUS International at
Ph. +39 0182 559 495 or fax +39 0182 559 482; you can also send an e-mail to inf
The costs for transport shall be borne by the customer.
This warranty is limited to the replacement of the Beachworld and does not cover any incidental or
consequential damages, personal injury, loss or damages caused by the customer’s or another person’s use
of the Beachworld.
Please fill the registration card at the date of purchase and send within 30 days to validate your warranty . 
This is a didactic product. Not suitable for children under six years. Treat carefully.