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Old 09-20-2004, 08:44 AM   #1
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Science fair

i have to do a grade 8 science fair. is there any experiment i could do on marine fish, coral, water, inverts whatever. respond quickly i need to start soon.
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Old 09-20-2004, 08:57 AM   #2
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i want to do something with invertabrates

any ideas?
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:34 AM   #3
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5 gallon tank full of active live sand (as many worms, snails copepods etc that you can manage) and some hermits, maybe some algae, etc. maybe a piece or two of LR.

Demonstrate the ecosystem of a marine reef.

Talk about the food chain from the fish at the top to the bacteria at the bottom, etc. Show how the reefs are self sustaining and self maintaining.

Then discuss how delicate the balance is. Removing any one part of the pyramid and the system falls out of balance.

good and "sciencey" and will also get you environmental awareness brownie points
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:36 AM   #4
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PS: Just don't use any fish. The small tank, hundreds of ppl walking by tapping on the glass, etc, would be torture on the fish, IMO. stick with inverts and tiny life (provide a few inexpensive magnifying glasses for viewers!).
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:36 AM   #5
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i need to experiment on something

but that sounds cool

is there a way i could incorperate an experiment into what you just said
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Old 09-20-2004, 10:29 AM   #6
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hmmm.... There must be...

You could look at a number of debated topics here and find one that you would like to answer yourself.
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:55 PM   #7
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Do a side by side.
Set up two 5 gallon tanks identically and adjust a single parameter such as lighting or heat or filtration and note how the different systems involve.
What about a test of CO2 injection on plants, for example.
You have tons of possibilities. It will be fun.
Is there a prize?
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:09 PM   #8
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Like Cafe Jeff said, you'll need 2 tanks. One would be the "control". I'd look in the "Monster Topics" section of this forum. It has many debated topics. Pick a side of one debate and state that as your hypothesis. Then setup two tanks to prove or disprove your hypothesis.
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:12 PM   #9
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When I did a science fair project in middle school, I had a pet hamster. My experiment was whether or not I could make my hamster sleep at night (instead of during the day). I got an award for it. Just thought I'd mention it to maybe spark some ideas.
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:24 PM   #10
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The problem I see with your project is the time frame.
But I think Gatorfreak is on to something. What about showing how some fish are nocturnal. Take two plecs. Put one in a lit tank and the other in a hooded tank and each night switch the hood. With a flashlight you could see how the plec was busy eating in the dark while the other one simply hid.
Another idea would be to take two fish, one in each tank. Actually, better make that two--just in case. Feed one low grade flakes and feed the other one higher quality food that had coloration in it (I can't remember) what they call this. Aside from different colours of poo hopefully you would be able to show how the higher quality food led to a better looking fish.
The possibilities are endless.
Jeff
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Old 09-20-2004, 03:46 PM   #11
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so i have been finding out that the hotter my tank gets in the day the more algae i have to clean off my glass. you might want to look in to some thing like that. dose algae need a higher temp to grow? if so them why are people keeping there reefs at 80?
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Old 09-20-2004, 03:54 PM   #12
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What about something like this:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...carboy&start=0

I think people might find a completely self-contained ecosystem very interesting. Jeff
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:13 PM   #13
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Hi there !

I'm a high school science teacher and have been running science fairs for about 16 years now.

I'm sure that you have been told about sci method ( controls, constants, independent variable, and dependent variables. Seeing as how would need to run at least two tanks ( control and experimental) make yourself a budget.

I would think that looking at an aspect of water chemistry could be fun. For example, you could run an experiment to see if a change in temperature will change the pH of the water.

You could look at temperature change and dissolved oxygen content.

You could look at lighting and biological oxygen demand ( reply for more info if you are not sure about this one.)

You could look at circulation and biological oxygen demand.

You could look at temperature and bacteria colony population.

You could look at circulation and bacteria colony population.

You could look at temperature and saltwater water density.

I could go on and on 8O . But if you need advice or more info, feel free to ask.
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:22 PM   #14
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Alas, I am reminded of that great Simpson's episode where Lisa tries to determine which is smarter, Bart of her hamster. Bart and the hamster run through a series of tests with Bart losing everyone including a particularly nasty one with a lit light bulb. Bart, however, ends up winning the fair by putting an aviator cap on the hamster and sending him up in a model airplane. By rights, Lisa should have beaten Bart as her experiment, at least, was not all flash, unlike Barts. However, Bart did know that to win you had to make things a bit exciting.... To win this pupply you need a little showmanship. Marconi used it to show how to communicate accross the Atlantic as did Edison with his talking machine. All the best and keep us informed. I really wish I could participate! Jeff
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Old 09-21-2004, 04:28 PM   #15
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An interesting twist might be to see if you can find a readily available, homemade, all natural, yet reliable indicator for saltwater pH. Many plant pigments will change color in an acid or a base. It would be neat to make your own aquarium supplies. This would have the "flash" of some neat color changes, have a real world application, and would not be terribly expensive.
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