An entire ecosystem inside two soda bottles (HGTV)

Here is an interesting publication on ways plants can be grown on or in a bottle, serving as an “aquarium”.  I find this once again a very nice way to “recycle” plastic (PET) bottles.  The publication is nicely illustrated.

Read at :


Science in a Bottle

Environmental expert Michael Fritzen explains how to build an entire ecosystem  inside two soda bottles.


two 2-liter bottles with labels removed
gravel, boiled to sanitize it
aquatic plants
small fish or snails
candlewick, cotton string or shoelace
drill or hammer and nail
coarse sand or pumice
fast-growing plant seeds such as radishes, peas or marigolds


  1. Cut off the top and base of one of the bottles, leaving just the middle section
  2. To create an ocean, lake or pond, cut off the top of the second bottle and add clean gravel, aquatic plants and room-temperature water to the bottle. (The plants add oxygen to the water and provide food for the snails and fish, which will be added later.)
  3. Fit the middle section from the first bottle inside the second bottle to add height, then poke holes in the sides of the added section so that air can circulate in the bottle.
  4. Add fish or snails to the water.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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