New digs for sea monkeys
A Tucson company sells an ecosphere in a bottle that lets shrimp, algae and bacteria thrive.
(FSB Magazine) -- Ecosphere Associates sells what appear to be plastic eggs full of bilge water. But look closer. Inside each Ecosphere you'll find a self-contained ecosystem - replete with shrimp, algae, and bacteria -that requires only sunlight to thrive.
The average Ecosphere lives for three to five years, says Dan Harmony, 53, who runs the Tucson company with his wife, Michelle, 51.
The Harmonys created Ecosphere Associates in 1986, after Dan - a former technical designer - learned that NASA was developing ecosystems that could survive in space and bought the right to commercialize the technology.
Last year they sold $1 million worth of Ecospheres - which retail at $58 to $450 - on their website, eco-sphere.com, and through retailing partners such as Brookstone. The Harmonys sell Ecospheres in Europe and are looking to grow the business in Asia.