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2012 Project #4: the fish man

Discussion in 'MASC Science Fair Competition' started by hurrafreak, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. hurrafreak

    hurrafreak Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    the fish man, please post:

    What your project will be
    How/where you will research this

    Any other relevant information or questions you feel the judges will need to know or answer. Any posts that don't come from judges or entrants will be deleted.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2012
  2. the_fish_man

    the_fish_man Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    What am I doing?
    Well, first off I would just like to say I'm very excited to be able to work with you guys. I am looking forward to you guys being able to guide me in the right direction. My science fair is about Hydrogen Peroxide (H202). I have already researched Hydrogen Peroxide to a certain amount, however I still have more research to do. First I would like to explain the research I have already done. Hydrogen Peroxide (H202) is the simplest peroxide (Peroxide is a compound with an oxygen-oxygen single bond). Hydrogen Peroxide is often used as a bleach or cleaning agent, but has anyone thought of using it as a “super” additive for reef aquariums? Well some people have but not many.
    What research have I gathered?
    From the information I have already gathered Hydrogen Peroxide can do many things in the reef aquarium, the following is what Hydrogen Peroxide is said to do. Hydrogen Peroxide will oxidate ammonia to nitrate there for lowering your overall ammonia but raising your nitrate. Hydrogen Peroxide can also be used as coral dip. It is said to kill algae off within 30 seconds of the coral being in the mix of Hydrogen Peroxide and water from your tank (50/50 mixture) However it isn't clear if it kills unwanted pests such as flat worms nudi branches etc; I hope to find that out in my project. Hydrogen peroxide used as a dip is thought to actually make Zoas happier and cause them to open more often, (I need to research more on dipping LPS corals in the mix and will explain how later) however SPS are very sensitive to hydrogen peroxide dips and most will start to lose flesh within 30 seconds coral minute It is also thought to boost the growth rate and the color of all color including SPS, however not a lot of people have tested with this so it could be a coincidence, I hope to test this in my project too. The last thing that I have researched so far is that it can kill dinoflagellates. These creatures are actually microscopic plankton that are very tough to get rid of. However some reefers have attempted with a Hydrogen Peroxide dosing into their tanks. Many people have had excellent results using Hydrogen Peroxide to kill dinoflagellates, and it has been "decided" that the dosage amount is 1 ml per 10 gallons. Could Hydrogen Peroxide be dosed in your tank long term? Some aren't committed because they think the Hydrogen Peroxide will kill all their good bacteria, however it shouldn't penetrate it as it only kills free swimmers like dinoflagellates.
    How do I plan to continue to research?
    That is all the research I have done so far. I want to further research If this chemical can kill aiptasia. I plan to research this on the website reef2reef.com. This site has some good information on the use of Hydrogen Peroxide. I'm also hoping to be able to talk with some local reefers who have done this. Then of course find research from my project I plan to do in the future. My other subject I plan to research is if I smothered unwanted algae with a syringe would it die or have no affect? Again the website reef2reef has some good information about this and I plan to study their info. And of course gain research through my project I plan to do as well. I plant to combine all of the information I gather through my research and various trials to bring me to my hypothesis and conclusion.
    What do I plan to do?
    I will carry out my experiment with 2 JBJ Picotope 3 Gallon Aquariums. I want to use these aquariums for all the experiments and would "redo" them once the current experiment is done. I plan to have 1 experiment running at a time, We only have a 4 month period to do the experiments so I planned out a schedule of experiments. I plan that the first experiment I am going to do is going to be the color and growth of corals while dosing Hydrogen Peroxide. I plan on doing this over a two month period. (This does not include time for the tanks to cycle, but this is just a "rough draft" of a schedule) This longer period will give minimal growth and coloration for corals. In one tank I will have some coral (not decided on which ones yet), and in the other tank I will have the same corals. I am undecided on my main variables at this moment but that is subject to change. I plan to take daily observations of the selected corals color and growth and of parameters in a journal that is for recording data. That would conclude this experiment. I would then empty the tanks wash them and the rock out and "restart". My second experiment would be testing if Hydrogen Peroxide can decrease the amount of ammonia. I would set up the tanks as normal however what I haven't decided yet is how I plan to raise the ammonia in each of the tanks. I am thinking one of two options; the first one would be to create a cycle in both tanks or to add a piece of raw shrimp into both the tanks. I plan to do this in both aquariums however in one aquarium I would be dosing more Hydrogen Peroxide then the other. I would do this for only one month. I am thinking about (but not sure) on putting corals inside the tanks to make sure the doses of Hydrogen Peroxide will have an affect on corals. I would test the ammonia every day with an API ammonia test kit and watch for increases and decreases, and I would record the information in my journal. I would run this experiment for 1 month for accurate results. The next experiment I plan to do is test if Hydrogen Peroxide can kill dinoflagellates. I again would empty the tank and rinse it then start the tanks again. I plan to collect the dinoflagellates from a local reefer who is currently battling them. I would then split the dinoflagellates up evenly and put one half in one tank and one half in the other. I am thinking of letting the algae grow for one week and dosing for 2 weeks then for the fourth week I would see if the algae comes back. In this experiment I want one tank to have the light on and the other to have it off and see if it affects the algae. I would record if algae recedes or increases. For the last 3 experiments I would do them at the same time. I could do this because these experiments do not require the use of aquariums. The one I would do first (though it doesn't really matter) would be the coral dip. I plan to use a specimen sample cup with a 50/50 mix of Hydrogen Peroxide and tank water. I hope I can get a hold of some pest such as flatworms or unwanted nudibranches and let them attach to the frag plug. I would use the 50/50 mixture and see if the flatworms or nudibranches go off the frag plug. If I can't get a hold of any of those I would just use a bristle worm. I would do this project 3 times to make sure it is consistent. I would use the same coral and the same type of frag plugs. I plan to also wait a week after doing the dip to make sure the coral survives. And I would of course record the affects of the mixture. The second to last experiment I plan to do would be, if you smother Hydrogen Peroxide on algae will the algae die. In this I would do the experiment in a bagging *cup. I would take some algae and put it in the bin. I would put some water in the bin and then take a syringe and smother the algae with Hydrogen Peroxide and see if there's a difference. I would do this a second time , the same procedure but this time without water in the cup. In this experiment I would record by putting the algae in water and than waiting one week to see if it recedes or increases growth. The last experiment would be, can Hydrogen Peroxide kill aiptasia. I have a few aiptasia that could be used for the experiment. I would fill the fish bagging cup with water and then put one aiptasia in it. I would then let the aiptasia extend fully. After that I would fill a syringe up with Hydrogen Peroxide and inject it in to the aiptasia. I would then observe it for the next 10-20 minutes (not sure how long yet), I then would record the observations I made. I plan to do this experiment 2-3 times. All the experiments above are sub-points to my hypothesis and conclusion. Then wrapping up the 4 Month period I would be done with all my experiments.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2012
  3. the_fish_man

    the_fish_man Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Okay I have a question for you big shots. How would I scientifically measure growth for the corals, as I know the human eye is not 100% accurate
     
  4. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    You could measure volume displacement (simply first idea that comes to mind). You'd have to be fairly accurate in your measurements of volume as I could potentially see growth being represented in individual ML. The downside to this idea is that coral flesh can inflate and deflate, which could throw off the measurements and botch that idea.

    Obviously polyp counts or surface area are other methods...i.e. if using zooanthids, the size of a colony increasing by polyp count would be rather easy. Other SPS coral frags could simply be measured in linear growth and branches (i.e. starting with a staghorn frag). If you track each individual frag from start to finish, as long as frags are close in size and makeup, I wouldn't be worried about a mm or two in difference at the starting point. corals do decidedly offer a great way to obtain genetically identical samples, but we all know that frag size and mounting can affect how a coral grows.

    More on your concept in a second.
     
  5. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    I was going to answer point by point but I think we can start more basic - you have way too many ideas going on here. Pick ONE question you want to answer in relation to the chemical at hand. Formulate ONE hypothesis to test.
     
  6. spracklcat

    spracklcat Copepod

    Agreed. And if H2O2 is the thing you are testing, then when you set up two systems, one should be the "with H2O2" condition and one should be "no H2O2" condition. You can't change multiple variables and get any meaningful information. Tanks identical except for the peroxide. Good work doing your up-front research though--
     
  7. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

  8. the_fish_man

    the_fish_man Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Okay, do you have one you would particularly like to see?
    Okay thanks for letting me know
    That is quite interesting
     
  9. hurrafreak

    hurrafreak Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    I've had multiple people ask me about timelines for their projects. Here is the timeline copied from the original science fair thread. All project need to be finished by the meeting that takes place in June. This gives the judges a few weeks to collaborate on who they think will be the winner, plus gives the sponsors time to book everything for the winner. I will copy this in all of the science fair project threads.
    TIMELINE!

    1. There would be a 2 month period for people to submit to the judges what their experiment will be about. This will also include a detailed report about how they plan on researching and doing the experiment. This should end at the end of January.

    ------------------The judges would then give them ideas/comments on what they are presented with, at the end of the period. Basically, to guide/coach them to do things that will make their projects successfull. This is probably the biggest and best change. Last year, the special judges were not there to help coach you along the process, and thus were not able to give a concise opinion about what they were looking for. This process would immediately began after #1 and would take about 1 month. This should take us to the end of February

    2. There would then be another 4 month period for you to actually get the experiment done. This would also give you the opportunity to create your formal project, as well as your formal project packet, including pictures, reports, etc. This should take us to the end of June.

    ------------------The judges would then judge all of the final projects and pick the winner. The winner will NOT be announced until all of the RHM and MACNA details are worked out.
     
  10. Thales

    Thales Copepod

    On measuring - I did a coral growth study where we weekly took photos of the fragments from above, with a plastic ruler in the shot each time. The we used Photo Shop to figure the area. You could also use it to determine the length of branches. As long as you are constant you should be fine.

    http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/video_workshop/?id=vid0029
     
  11. hurrafreak

    hurrafreak Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    The end of February signifies the end of the judges "coaching" process. Please do not wait until then to get your experiments going. SO, what this means is if you have any question, or comments about your project that you would like to get an opinion on from the judges, it needs to be soon! The judges have asked a lot of questions, hopefully you all are answering them, and taking their opinions/comments into consideration as they ultimately will be sending you to MACNA 2012 with $500 CASH in your hand!!

    I also have had a few requests from the judges so I'm her to oblige.

    Please come up with an "elevator pitch" for your project. Basically what that means is that they would like to see 1-3 sentences on what your project is, and why (nice idea Rich :) ). Short and sweet.

    Also let's try and see if you can get started on your official format.

    Objective
    Hypothesis
    Experiment
    Variable
    Results
    Conclusion

    I understand that some of those things won't be able to be filled out until the conclusion of the project, but it may be nice to fill it out with what you do have at the moment. (thanks Christine :) )
     
  12. melev

    melev Copepod

    I agree with the other judges that you have too many topics to test during the contest period. Some things you can test more quickly for personal knowledge, like:

    Does H202 kill Aiptasia? bristleworms? pests? algae?
    Does H202 reduce Ammonia levels? This could be done in a bucket of circulating saltwater, with testable results within the hour. How much reduces what quantity might be nice to know.

    The dinoflagellate test may be your best one, especially if you had them with corals in the tank. That way you can determine what corals can't take it, and if the dinos indeed perish in what period of time, as well as if they return and when. I'm a little concerned that you want to do this in 3g pico tanks because the volume is so small that flow would be almost impossible to provide adequately for the corals. If you use 1ml per 10g, and this is 3g of water the dosage is almost nil. Go bigger if possible.
     
  13. the_fish_man

    the_fish_man Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Okay thanks for the input I'll see if I can get some 10 gallon tanks, I just need one more
     
  14. tlsrcs

    tlsrcs Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    i think you can pick up a ten gallon at wallmart for like 10bucks...use it and return it. lol they will take anything back! just say it leaked
     
  15. the_fish_man

    the_fish_man Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Lol good point
     
  16. hurrafreak

    hurrafreak Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    Everyone remember to be taking LOTS of pictures and to document EVERYTHING!!! We will need all of this information later!!
     
  17. the_fish_man

    the_fish_man Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Okay if i get some ten gallon tanks would I need a very high power light? Would you guys suggest having some light needy corals in the tank (like SPS) or do you think I would be fine just having some low light zoos and mushrooms?
     
  18. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    The type of corals would be dictated by what you're trying to test...which I can't say we really have nailed down at this point?
     
  19. the_fish_man

    the_fish_man Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Sorry I haven't replied till now. I have decided to not do spa as I would need to get a beer light than I already have. So Im thinking LPS, like candy canes
     
  20. hurrafreak

    hurrafreak Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    Sorry for my non existance lately, it's been nuts on my end!! We are in the last phases of ths process!! You all should be in the middle of your projects! The end meeting in June/the end of June all of the projects need to be finished!
     

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