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2012 Project #5: Tabasco

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

  1. hurrafreak

    hurrafreak Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    Tabasco, 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. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod

    OK, I will start with the basics and then post details in the next couple of days. In my project I will compare growth rates of zoanthids/palyathoas on a surface at different inclines to see if that affects growth rate as well as on a smooth surface vs. an irregular surface. I will have 5 different types of polps and they will be cut into 2p frags. There will be 3 different surface inclines: 1. completely horizontal or 0 degrees 2. 20 degree incline 3. 45 degree incline. Two polps of each type of polp will be placed on each incline. One on a smooth surface and one on an irregular surface.

    All polps will be in the same system, at the same depth, under the same lighting and flow. They will be in a 20g high, with 130w of cf lighting that is a combination of 10k, 420nm and 460 nm. There is approximately 1300gph flow through the tank. Corals will be be fed plankton every 10 days.

    A weekly record of growth with pictures will be taken. Also with a record of tank parameters.

    Please let me know if you what other considerations I should be taking to ensure good data.
  3. spracklcat

    spracklcat Copepod

    A few questions--

    What makes you think you will see a difference, ie, what are you basing your hypothesis on? Also, how are you going to measure growth--weight?
  4. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod

    I had read a thread about how zoas grow faster if they are not on a flat surface and another posted had chimed in that they had seen this as well with their zoas. So I am wanting to see if there is some truth to this or if it holds water ;) I was planning to measure growth by number of new heads. I don't have a scale that is sensitive enough to weigh them. I was also going to record growth by polp size, but I am not expecting to see much of a difference there.
  5. Thales

    Thales Copepod

    Do you think that is measuring growth or reproduction?

  6. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod

    I think that with a colonial animal it measures growth. Population growth. I can call it asexual reproduction. When I think of asexual reproduction I think of a seperate animal, such as a starfish splitting and then two entities living seperate lives. With this I more liken it to an aspen grove. I am measuring how fast the grove (colony) spreads.

    This would be a good question for the judges, would what I am measuring be better described as growth or asexual reproduction?

    Would the measurement be better if by weight or number and size of new polps or both?
  7. spracklcat

    spracklcat Copepod

    I'd think of this as reproduction--"growth" is when the polyps get bigger. Both measurements are interesting, but growth would have to be measured by weight. You can get a cheap kitchen scale that measures to milligrams on Amazon (like $15 or so).
  8. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    I like this! I worry about PAR being uneven and skewing results. The way I see this, I almost wonder if you'd have to use a linear bulb like some HOs to create an even light distribution, and then create a linear rack.

    I would also suggest that instead of 5 different types of zooanthids, you increase the quantities of one particular type. For example, this is how I take your current setup:

    Polyp type A, B, C, D, and E. We'll have 2 polyp frags of each type, 3 in total, with each placed at zero, 20, and 45 degree inclines. A total of 15 frags.

    The problem is that if one frag dies, you lose a data point completely. Another problem is that individual frags may recover at different rates - you can't address that or know if that's evening happening.

    The better way would be to use ONE type or maybe TWO types. And to use multiple instances of each setup. So, let's say you use "Eagle Eyes" - you'd want 15 identical frags of that type, and you'd place 5 at zero degress, 5 at 20 degrees and 5 at 45 degrees. You eliminate the differences in genetics, and you increase your data sample at each point for one specific type. If you really wanted to test more corals, great, but make sure you have sizable quantities so you can get meaningful data.
  9. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod

    Thanks for the feedback! I have linear bulbs so the par should be even across the tank. I am planning on setting them up linearly (is that a word??) in the tank as well so that one group won't be more under the actinics and one more under daylight.

    OK, still working on getting the frags. There were shipping issues this week and all was lost. Very bummed, but it was very cold the day I received. I am trying to resolve that at this time. I do like the suggestion of doing one or two types. I will modify the scope for that.
  10. 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.

    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.
  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.


    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

    Matt's advice sounds sound, and the idea of this project is interesting. Try to glue them down evenly so the solvent doesn't nuke your candidates.
  13. 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!!
  14. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod

    Thank you for the advice so far. I have taken the advice above and narrowed down the project to two types of polps with 4 of each at each incline for total of 12 2p polps of each, so there should be some safety in event of a loss. I will be using Whammin Watermelons and Radioactive Dragon Eyes. I have the mini colonies at this time and letting them get over shipping and planning to frag in about a week.

    Thank you very much Hurrafreak for putting that outline together as it has been many years since I have done an actual science project. Amazingly there was not great information on the web about how to document one. I am hoping to get a good write up tomorrow. Finally slowing down at work so should be able to put a good chunk of time to getting this off the ground.
  15. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod

    What are thoughts on marking the frag plugs for identification in case they get shifted? Sharpie? haha. Nail polish? Something less toxic that will be permanent? I can try to etch them, but won't know if that is possible til I get them.

  16. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod

    BUMP For this question!! :)

    Also, Monday will be frag day. I'll be fragging up the two mini colonies into 4 frags for each incline degree with equal number of polps and doing the intial weigh in. Also, building the incline frag racks. Monday will be a very exiciting day.

  17. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod

    Elevator Pitch: The typical frag system grows zoathids and palythoas on a 0 degree surface. There has been anectodotal evidence that growing zoanthids and palythoas on an incline will increase growth rate. My experiment will measure growth rate by weight and increase in number of polps to ascertain if there is indeed a correlation between incline and increased growth rate.
    Objective: The main research goal of this project is to survey growth rates of two different species of zoanthids on an incline of 0 degrees, 22.5 degrees and 45 degrees to determine if there is accelerated growth rate on any of the inclines observed.
    Hypothesis: If a zoanthid/palythoa is placed on an incline of 22.5 degrees, it will achieve optimal growth rate by weight and number of polps.
    Method: Two types of zoathids/palythoas will be fragged into twelve 2 polp frags. Four frags of each will be placed on frag racks at 0 degrees, 22.5 degrees and 45 degrees for a total of eight frags on each incline. Fragging will take place on the same day. The axis of each frag rack will be placed at the same level and placed under linear bulbs to ensure uniform light distribution. Two powerheads and the return all point to front of tank and provide uniform flow. Tank parameters and measurements will be recorded each Monday for weight and number of polps.
    20G high DT
    5G refugium-3lbs live rock, calerpa, feather worms
    5G sump-SC65 cone protein skimmer, heaters
    2G return-Mag 5 unrestricted providing 300gph with head
    130W PC-1 65w 460mn/420nm 10 hours, 1 65w 10k 6 hours, 1w LED moonlight
    Flow-1450 gph total from two opposing powerheads
    30lbs live rock
    CUC-4 hermits, 4 turbos, 2 star astreas, 4 ceriths, 4 nerites, 1 emerald, 2 cucumbers, 1 peppermint shrimp, various large sponges
    No fish at this time

    Variables: (1) I do not have access to a PAR meter to test lighting across the linear bulb is equal. The frag racks will be set up in a linear fashion under the bulbs to reduce variance as much as possible. (2) I do not have a way to test flow is equal across the frag racks. Visually, flow looks very equal. I am judging this by the sway of the skirts on individual polps. There are no “dead” areas, but there could be small variances in flow across the linear rack.

    Results: TBD
    Conclusion: TBD
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2012
  18. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod

    Please let me know if there is additional information that you would like provided in the initial write up, if that prompts any further questions or suggestions from the judges panel. Thank you for your time in judging these projects!
  19. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod

    OH, one other question. I was toying around/planning ;P on mounting 2 of the 4 frags on a flat uniform plug and the other 2 on an irregular plug. Too much?
  20. Tabasco

    Tabasco Copepod


    Frag racks have been completed. There is a slight change, just cuz it was easier and more exact than trusting my angle cutting skillz. I found various plumbing adapters at 0, 22.5 and 45 degrees. So I will be changing the parameters from 20 degrees to 22.5 degrees. I measured all bases for the racks and placed the axis (middle) of each rack at the same height so that the center line of all racks will be at 2 1/8". It is a little difficult in the pic to see the height marker line on the black fitting, but trust me it is there.

    Attached Files:

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