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2012 Project #8: Wicked Demon

Discussion in 'MASC Science Fair Competition' started by hurrafreak, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. hurrafreak

    hurrafreak Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    Wicked Demon, 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.
     
  2. Wicked Color

    Wicked Color Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    I have decided to enter, calcitic electrolysis will be my experiment, more info to come.......electricity and water, good times!
     
  3. Wicked Color

    Wicked Color Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Reefs are being grown at phenomenal rates through electrolysis, I will be attempting to reproduce this in a captive aquarium.

    I am going t be using 2x 10 gallon tanks,
    #1 will be the control, standard frag racks, lighting, and filtration, specimens of corals.
    #2 will be fitted with a modified frag rack from hardware cloth and will have a low voltage charge, the rack will be split so that half acts as anode, and half acts as cathode, this system will be placed in line of a low voltage light to demonstrate the circuits completion.
    I will be attempting to use a variable low voltage DC pack initially, if breakers or grounding become an issue I may switch over to a battery system.
    I believe by placing the aquarium in circuit, the flow of electricity from cathode to anode will replicate the results shown in the wild.
     
  4. spracklcat

    spracklcat Copepod

    How do you ensure the current passes through the corals?What are the frag plugs made from?
     
  5. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    How will you be testing all this? How will you measure growth of corals to quantify your results? What corals will be selected...and how will you increase your sample size so the results are relevant?
     
  6. Wicked Color

    Wicked Color Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    I will be using SPS, LPS, and and few softeis, I am mounting fragments to plugs, and directly to the rack, corals height, and polyp count will be the easiest and most visual form of measurement, and I need you to clarify the last question.
    I am assuming that if I am successful the biggest issue will be maintaining mineral levels.
     
  7. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    My last question - can you lay out an example of your subjects? I.e. some of the experiments proposed here have very low / insufficient sample sizes to really provide for meaningful results. As I read it here, you have multiple types of corals being tested, but if you're only testing with 2 "frags" of each type (i.e. two ORA red planets, 2 orange digitata) you're throwing way too many variables into the mix without having any in a sample size where the results will be statistically significant. Afterall...you could learn that current helps SPS, hinders Softies, and is a non-issue for LPS. But without multiple identical frags of each type on each side of the test, you won't have enough data points to draw any realistic conclusions nor find anything that is bulletproof as a result. Thus, how will you be increasing sample size to ensure meaningful results?
     
  8. Wicked Color

    Wicked Color Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Do you think 3 frags of each type of coral would be sufficient?
     
  9. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    3 on each side (control and experimental) is certainly better than 1 on each side. Of course, 6 is better than 3. My thought, if you have a particular budget, space allotment etc...I would work towards fewer varieties of corals, and more individuals. Thankfully, there are corals that are often readily available in large quantities to frag (i.e. Monti Cap...get a big sheet or two from someone and you can easily make a bunch of dime sized frags to test). LPS is hard...softies is vague. I could see this test being much more relevant if you stick to a few choice SPS that are rock solid and inexpensively available...afterall think of having a frag rack with 6 digitatas, 6 caps, 6 seriatporas, 6 pocilloporas, and maybe 2 X 6 acros. That's still only 36 small frags in each 10 gallon tank...not a lot of corals in the grand scheme of things, but since these all have similar requirements you can light appropriately, maintain water chemistry, reduce or rule out aleopathic issues, and focus really on getting good sized data samples from multiples of similar types of corals.
     
  10. Wicked Color

    Wicked Color Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    I think mounting straight to the rack will be the best way to ensure flow passes through the corals, we will know for sure if they grow really fast!
     
  11. Wicked Color

    Wicked Color Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    I think 20g tanks is better, a little more volume should help stability.
    I have/can get plenty of LPS and softies, but think the results will be much more pronounced in the SPS.
     
  12. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    I wonder if there's a way to do this with PLUGS, and not straight to the rack. Counting individual polyps on SPS is going to be tedious at BEST...impossible at worst. If you then went to a volume or weight basis to quantify growth, you couldn't do that with the RACK method because you'd have to chip them off. For these reasons, I really think you need to look at plugs in some way.

    Matt
     
  13. Wicked Color

    Wicked Color Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Aragocrete plugs? (aragonite and portland)
     
  14. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    That I don't know. You might actually have to first build your tank systems, then find a way to test various plugs to see if they carry the current through them (and thus to the coral). Once you find a plug that works, then you run the experiment. So actually, you kind-of have two experiments...the first part being which plug will carry the current! And for that matter, even the rack that you use is something to think about...in the ocean I believe they just use things like rebar? That's not something you can or want to use in your tank. Eggcrate is inert, but will it conduct the electrical current?
     
  15. mpedersen

    mpedersen Copepod

    Also...something to note...what you really need to do is make sure you use the same rack in both setups....the only variable being that one has the current going through it, the other doesn't. That even means having all the wires and stuff on the second non-electrified rack. That way you eliminate any impact the rack itself could have (i.e. be it polluting the tank etc)...whatever the rack design adds into the equation, it will be uniform and ruled out if the racks are built identical.
     
  16. Wicked Color

    Wicked Color Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thats why I am using galvanized hardware cloth, and ceramic might be the plug of choice since it absorbs water.
     
  17. Thales

    Thales Copepod

    Are you worried about the hardware cloth adding toxins to the water? Metal in water in the wild is fine due to dilution, however, in tanks, you could run into toxicity issues very quickly.
     
  18. Wicked Color

    Wicked Color Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    galvanized should be fine as long as I leach it for a few days prior to use, especially since I will have to do so many water changes to keep up with mineral demand.
     
  19. Thales

    Thales Copepod

    I am still worried about it and about what any electrolysis will release.

    The 'electric' reefs don't seem to be growing quickly due to the electricity, rather due to a localized increase in pH and alkalinity, and the same results are found in tanks running with Kalk being dosed. IMO, those pH and Alk will be the critical parameters to track.

    I also suggest you track the growth via photos with a scale and measurements in photoshop - I did a coral growth study where we weekly took photos of the fragments from above (the side will work too), 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
     
  20. Wicked Color

    Wicked Color Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Good call on the electricity effecting the potential leaching, hadn't thought of that!
     

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