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2012 Project #6: Scuba Steve

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

  1. hurrafreak

    hurrafreak Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    Scuba Steve, 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. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    Nothing from Scuba Steve?
  3. scuba_steve

    scuba_steve Copepod

    I apologize for my tardiness.

    First of all, before reading any more on my experiment, know that this will cause death. No comforting statements about no animals were harmed will be made. In fact they will be documented.

    In my brief few years keeping reef aquariums, I have seen many people use various types of treatments that are deemed "reef safe". I have seen many tanks crashed as well by people using these products for their intended purposes and doses, as well as for other uses. On the contrary, I have seen a tank or 2 that thrived even with the addition of copper and other unfriendly chemicals.

    I would like to do my portion of a study on various medicines and treatments, to see what their effects are on various invertebrates. I will conduct this using small containers containing specimens treated with various medications and dosages. The containers will be partially submerged in a larger heated container to maintain temperature. An airstone will be placed in each to provide circulation. The setup will be lit with a spare PC fixture to sustain any corals. For each test, a control container will be used as well with the same setup used. I will observe and document various characteristics on the specimens such as mobility and general appearance, as well as the amount of time until death occurs if it does within the experiment time frame.

    My hypothesis is that even copper medication will show little to no signs of harm in small quantities, which many "reef safe" products will prove to be deadly to various invertebrates. I also hope to show which products are truly reef safe.
  4. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    To some extent, my first thought is that a pretty thorough experiment testing copper on invertebrates (i.e. Xenia) is something I've already read somewhere. So that puts a damper on things for me a little bit. On the upside, there's already a base experiment out there by which you could expand upon to go outside of "copper".

    My second thought is this - many of the "reef safe" products may in fact not cause crashes directly, but indirectly. In that respect, testing "invert safe" treatments in a controlled setting might reveal those that are truly not as they claim, vs. those that may have been deemed not reef safe but may in fact be so. A good example is the use of Maracyn SW in a reef tank - I have used this medication on multiple occasions in fully stocked reefs without any problems, but I have friends who DID have problems with it.

    And that's really the third thought - You won't be able to make any real claims beyond directly what you're able to test. I.e. Copper may wind up being completely OK with Aiptasia, but that doesn't mean copper is OK with all anemones. Be careful about what you choose to study and how you frame the experiment.

    Those are my gut reactions.
  5. scuba_steve

    scuba_steve Copepod

    First of all, I plan to use far more than just copper. Most assume that copper kills basically everything without a backbone. It in a sense will be a negative reaction baseline, although I believe it will have little to no reaction in small-moderate quantities.

    The basis of this experiment is really to identify treatments that are not as invert safe as they claim. As a byproduct, I will show that under my test conditions which ones are. I knew I shouldn't have used the statement "truly reef safe". I could only prove that by dumping it into a few large mixed reefs and watching every species contained. Any volunteers?... Just kidding...

    I do hope to pinpoint ones that truly are not. It will be obvious, even with a few specimens tested if a certain product kills everything it touches. I do plan on testing quite a few different specimens. Even pesky aptaisia and monjano as long as I can obtain a few specimens. I am counting on finding more than I could ever possibly need. Wouldn't it be a bonus if I could find something that seems to kill just them? Unfortunately, more expensive specimens will not be used. I am enlisted in the army afterall and not a real marine biologist. Who wants to donate 10 sunburst anemones?!?
  6. 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.
  7. 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 :) )
  8. melev

    melev Copepod

    Proving what kills and doesn't kill livestock doesn't seem like much of an experiment as it usually comes down to volume (of current issue in tank) vs quantity (of said product used). For example, I know many people that have used Chemi-clean with excellent results including myself, repeatedly. And I know of two people that have killed their fish and watched the water turn pink during treatment. These two candidates must have had an overwhelming amount of cyano bacteria in their system to yield such results.

    I look forward to seeing what your final project is and how it works out.
  9. 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!!
  10. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    No comments or additional questions from Scuba Steve?
  11. 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!
  12. hurrafreak

    hurrafreak Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    Alright everyone, I have some great news!! First of all, you should all have a PM AND an email in your inbox's, please respond to that PM and/or email and we can move forward with what is needed.

    Second of all, because of the news from RHM that is contained in that PM and email, we are able to give you a couple more months to work on your projects :). This is great news as it gives all of you the chance to be in RHM AND a couple more months to make sure the projects are finished. So now, the projects will be due at the August meeting. We are working on an exact date/place for the August meeting and will get that to all of you as soon as we come to a conclusion with the host. Thanks, and again, please respond to the PM and/or the email :)

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