the eco-sphere is a sealed self-sustaining saltwater aquarium/snow-globe (do not shake)
the brine shrimp in it do die, and they do breed and the whole thing is self-sustaining.
from what i've read the only maintenance you may be required to do is clean the glass with it's magnetic cleaner so algae doesn't take over the surface and everything inside would die
the smaller eco-sphere (if i remember correctly) has a garantee of about 6mo. the larger ones come with a 1year guarantee. some eco-spheres have continued running for over 10 years, ... this well exceeds any life-expectancy of the shrimp that inhabit the eco-sphere.
otherwise i could rant about people who fear what could go wrong without any idea of what is actually going on, but insist "would never work" for the only reason because they have never seen it. this is the biggest hindrance to creative genius to the world. the simple folk who would hold others back from perusing their dreams because they are scared to try.
yet isn't all invention by people who wouldn't take "no" for an answer ?