5th Grade Science Project - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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Talking 5th Grade Science Project

Hey its xena (Elena if you have read "5th grade science project ideas"). In that topic I asked for some good science fair project ideas. I got some pretty good feedback and with that we can up with a project "Do Fish Effect the Growth Of Aquatic Plants."

I plan to use this topic as an ongoing journal for my science fair project.

For my experiment, I am going have two 5.5 gallon tanks (edit/added: spanning the two tanks with a single 36" T5 25w bulb) with plants in each one of them and then I am going to add guppies to one of the aquariums and day by day measure the growth of the plants. I want to see if having fish in the tank effects the growth of the plants.

My hypothesis is that I think that guppies will make the plants grow faster. By the end of three weeks, I expect to see about a one inch difference in growth between the two tanks. I expect that the fish manure will act as a fertilizer for the plants, causing them to grow faster.

So, it’s DAY ONE! We have set up our aquariums! Planted our plants and set the light up, and put in the filters. BUT we have not put our GUPPIES (duh duh duuuuuun) in.

We decided to use the following plants:
  • Red Root Floater (24 leaves per tank)
  • Rotala Rotundifolia (5 stems per tank, 10 cm each)
  • Sunset Hygro (5 stems per tank, 9 cm each)
We attempted to weigh the Sunset Hygro, but it did not work out very well. They were too light for our scale.












Last edited by Xena; 01-14-2010 at 09:10 PM.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 02:53 AM
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Very cool! I am looking forward to seeing more pictures as your project progresses! Good luck and do keep us updated (i'm a bit of a science nerd (and proud to admit it, I am a research assistant afterall ) so I'm really excited about this )


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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 03:00 AM
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Interesting experiment I remember when I had to do science experiments (of course, it wasn't that long ago as I'm only 14).

Do you plan to cycle the tank (establish the bacteria) before adding the guppies?

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZooTycoonMaster View Post
Do you plan to cycle the tank (establish the bacteria) before adding the guppies?
You know I was just wondering about that as well.

And I was thinking a good solution would be to take some filter media from one of your other tanks and put it in the filter when you add the guppies to the tank. Actually, to keep everything as similar as possible in both tanks you should probably add some established filter media to both tanks. Make sure you add the filter media at the same time you add the guppies though otherwise all of the good bacteria on it are likely to die without the ammonia they feed on from the fish to support them


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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 03:31 AM
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Cool project! I'll be showing your project journal to my 9yr old daughter tomorrow. She loves guppies and planted tanks!

What substrate are you using? Is it pool sand and gravel? Good luck, and have fun!!

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 05:09 AM
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I suggest ignoring the cycling of the tank. The only tank that would need to be cycled is the one with the fish in it, but the plants in both tanks absorb ammonia as a nutrient. And, they absorb it very quickly too. I never bother cycling my planted tanks, more than a week before adding some fish. And, I have never seen a problem from doing that.

I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this test too. I think I know what the results will be, but it takes an actual test to be at all sure.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 08:08 AM
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That's water lettuce, not Red root floater, FYI.

I'm interested to see if you really do get an 1"+ difference in growth.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 05:05 PM
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This is really cool! Keep us updated!

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 08:16 PM
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Nice project idea!

Looking forward to seeing your results.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 08:31 PM
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Great idea! Makes me wish I was back in school =D

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 01:03 AM
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I'm going to assume you only are trying to manipulate one variable right? If so you may want to consider that with fish there are two variables the fish and their food, so you may want to place an equal amount of the food in each of the tanks so you're actually testing the fish

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That's water lettuce, not Red root floater, FYI.

I'm interested to see if you really do get an 1"+ difference in growth.
Actually its neither, its Salvinia minima. Red root floater is Phyllanthus fluitans and water lettuce is Pistia stratiotes.


Enjoy your project!

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 01:28 AM
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If you are very careful feeding the fish so they consume virtually all of the food, you are back to the single variable. Adding food to the no-fish tank just introduces another variable, since decaying food also adds nutrients for the plants. Just demand that the guppies line up and eat one at at time!

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 05:36 AM
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Adding a why to your hypothesis might help you form a conclusion and set you up to test certain parameters in the water column.

And you have to learn how to calibrate your test kits. Oh boy! Fun!
Work it out with your POPs to what to test. I feel like I'd spoil your experiment if I say.


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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Since the first post, this has happened:
* Thursday the 7th, day 1 of project
* Sunday the 10th we got our heaters and put 3 fish in tank
* Wednesday the 13th we added 2 fish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZooTycoonMaster View Post
Do you plan to cycle the tank (establish the bacteria) before adding the guppies?
Well... we do not plan to cycle the tanks, well if we did we would have had to do it about a week ago. but we are not worring about it because the plants will absorb the ammonia. we are slowly adding our fish so there isn't a sudden build up in ammonia.

We finally have five fish in the tank, so i'm 'bouncing off the walls'

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Hill View Post
I'm going to assume you only are trying to manipulate one variable right? If so you may want to consider that with fish there are two variables the fish and their food, so you may want to place an equal amount of the food in each of the tanks so you're actually testing the fish
See, what i'm doing is like what Hoppy said "just slowly feed the fish." I do see your point, but what I'm trying to do is see how all the guppies effect the plant along with: manure, and reproduction. One of our guppies are pregnant.

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Originally Posted by Dollface View Post
That's water lettuce, not Red root floater, FYI.
Some people also asked about the plant whatever it is i plan to use it. we did look into it and found nothing. {dont want to sound stubborn}
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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we were observing our tanks and the plants where loosing some of their leaves and we don't know what we should do we could take them out or we could leave them in what do you think!?
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