For the third trip to the innovation lab we began to collect data. We used the dissolved oxygen meter to find the amount of dissolved oxygen in the supply every second over 30 seconds, intending to take the average of all the amount of dissolved oxygen. We also found the amount of nutrients in the system at the time and when we receive more data from future weeks figure out the correlation between nutrients and amount of dissolved oxygen in the system. Allegedly, the system is never supposed to fall below 4 mg/L of dissolved oxygen. Considering the amount of dissolved oxygen is almost double that at the current time, it is possible that dissolved oxygen does not have too much of an impact on the amount of nutrients.
With the design of our experiment starting to take shape, we began discussing the more specific details. Unfortunately, we were notified that the plants we were planning on examining were going to be harvested due to their overwhelming height (as shown in the image below).
Because of this, we had to change our focus to a different set of plants. System #3 has a very similar set up and has all of the same necessities we need to design our experiment. That is why this post is title “Change of Plants” – we are just studying a different set of plants than we originally planned. These are now the plants we will be using.
We are starting to get a specific plan about what exactly we will do with our data once it is collected. We would like to do a bi-variate analysis that will allow us to compare the growth in our trout and the growth of trout in the environment. It will still take brainstorming on our part to figure out exactly how we will compare the too, however, at this point we have a general idea that is slightly hard to put into words if I am being completely honest. We plan to get that information out as soon as we can though. Currently, we are also brainstorming uni-variate analysis ideas, but we want to be sure that they are relevant and will get us the answers that we need to truly answer our question. There is still a lot that we can do!
I figured I should start out by posting a cool picture of what exactly we are studying here. These are the trout, and as you can see there are more and more of them coming out of their eggs and swimming around freely. This is good since they seem to be on track in growth and staying healthy, which is what we would like to see in our observation. As we are becoming more comfortable around the lab, I think might be possible to start taking measurements of these little guys. We want to take ten of them and mark them, so we can track their specific growth. They will be our sample. Every week, we will measure their length and weight, and then take an average of it to see get a general idea of their growth. We plan to take this weekly measurement every Wednesday during tutorial, so it can be a convenient time for whoever might be helping us with our measurements.
This trip to the innovation lab helped us realize some difficulties in our original question (what is the relationship between fish growth and nitrate levels?). Looking at the growing fish we noticed it would be easier and more beneficial if we separated the fish tank into three chambers and measured the nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium levels in each and compared them. Our new question is what is the relationship between the different chemical levels in each chamber of the tank?
For our third trip to the innovation lab, we clarified our research question as to what our explanatory variable was, but our research question is essentially the same. For our research topic, we are planning an observational study to measure how much water (in gallons) is needed to reduce the nitrite and ammonia levels in the sea bass tank to 1 part per million weekly for 17 sea bass. The ammonia and nitrite levels would be the explanatory variables and the amount of water to reduce those levels to 1 part per million will be our response variable. Since there are two different explanatory variables, we will have 2 different graphs to plot the relationship between the concentration of each chemical and the amount of water needed to reduce that concentration. We expect to see a positive, linear trend for each graph, meaning that as the concentration of each chemical increases more water is needed to reduce that concentration. By finding the slope of the line for each graph, we can estimate how much water is needed to maintain the sea bass tank at the innovation lab based on the nitrite and ammonia concentration of the tanks.
Here are some pictures of our group in action:
This pink device helps separate the water from the harmful toxins by forcing the water to pass through a series of tiny balls.
The UV rays emitted by this device help filter the water and remove harmful toxins.
Every week we add water to the system to reduce the ammonia and nitrite concentrations. You can see the excrement build-up created by the sea bass.
Our group observing the sea bass tank and their behavior.
On our third visit to the lab, November 20th, Steven and I asked Mr. Grace about our question: “How would certain types of plants effect how the fish would grow?” It ended up being that our question would not work since it is actually the other way around, the fish(more specifically, their food intake and the Nitrates excreted from the fish) effect the growth of the plants. So, Steven and I had to come up with a new question to design our project on. We came up with the question: “How would different kinds or amount of food affect the fish and their growth?” We decided to design our experiment with using the yellow seabass that is already in the innovation lab and have 4 groups of 5 fish in each group in a different tank. Each of the four groups would have be fed a different kind of fish food(still looking into the different kind that there is). We would calculate their rate of growth over the span of three months.
On our second visit to the Innovation Lab, November 6th, I(Steven was absent on this day) observed the different systems of plants in the lab. The system that interested me the most is where the fish in the fish tank are helping the plants in the tub,that it was connected to, grow. From my observations of the system, I was able to come up with a question for the experiment we are going to design. The question was: “How would certain types of plants effect how the fish would grow?”
Back on October 30th, our Statistics class went to the Innovation Lab that was created by the science teachers at our school. Mr. Gardiner, Mr. Grace, and Mr. Cabrera gave us a tour of the Innovation Lab and how all of the systems there worked. There were two systems that interested my partner Steven and I(Drew). The first system that interested us was the system where the a group of fish in a medium sized tank was connected to a tub of water where the nutrients from the fish tank went to. On the tub of water, there was a panel where the roots of a few plants where in the water and the Nitrates from the fish were feeding the plants. The second system was of this fish tank that had about 20 fish in it and they were all huddled together and would not separate. Steven and I started to think of questions involving one of those two systems.
The design has finally come about. The decision has been to see what component or section of system 3(vertical tubes, rock and plant filtration, or plants on the float) is the most efficient in removing nitrites from the water? So each section will have water removed and tested under a certain amount of time.