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Science Fair Project


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#1
NanoJrFL

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Yeah, I have to do a science project and I decided to TRY to do something with coral reefs or with my tank. And I'm in middle school so I don't have the greatest resources. Also, I don't wanna spend alot of money on it. Heres some ideas.

Can small-polyped stony corals have good growth under Power Compact lighting? (montipora, I know the answer's yes, but....)

SOmething about destruction of reefs with chemicals and boats and stuff

Anybody else have any good ideas?

#2
serjuanca88

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Is your goal to win the science fair or get a good grade?

#3
sdboogie

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How about helping us all out by taking a few or a certain species of coral and using a light meter and different depths to figure out optimal lighting requirements for that species. You could take something like yellow polyps or mushrooms and use a fairly deep tank and make like stair steps from the bottom to top and put a sample on each level. With a pc light up top, measure with a light meter how much light reaches each level. See how the range from too much light at the top to not alot of light at the bottom affects their growth or death rate or polyps opened ratio. Talk your parents into getting a new tank or an LFS to sponsor you in the name of SCIENCE and EDUCATION. Then when the project is done, hopefully you can keep the stuff and use if for a new reef tank. If you come up with some killer results, a project could go far. I placed in the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair every year in middle school. That project has potential not only in the science fair but to revolutionize the way reefers determine lighting needs for their reef's inhabitants.

Man I wish I was in 8th grade again.B)

#4
serjuanca88

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What about comparing growth with different:

kelvin ratings

angle of lights

temperature

dissolved organics

different trace elements

saltwater concentration

pH

Water movement

other animals in tank

feedings

different phytos


Obviously you would choose just one. I would take on of those and expand on it.

#5
NanoJrFL

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yeah, good ideas but way too expensive, and time consuming. I don't think I have long enough to study growth rates and there would be wayyyyyy to many variables in a lot of those.

#6
sdboogie

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in that case, there's always the microwaved seeds project.

Get some inspiration, man. Go for greatness, not average and overdone.

Make it work! Peddle for equipment donations or LFS equipment that is used or not being used. Ask your science teacher for resources.

#7
mlg000

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dont just go for an ez project i would go for what sdboogie said

#8
NanoJrFL

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I changed my mind. I wanna do something wil lighting requirements. I already have a spare 32W Retro so what tank would be good for a 32W. Like a five gallon? I was thinking about using something that was atractive yet inexpensive and hardy. Xenia sounded kinda good. and also for salt I'd use Bio_sea so I wouldn't have to worry about adding other stuff. Also, I'd use just lr and ls for the filtration, maybe use some southdown and use a cup of sand from my tank. for water movemnt I'd use like two small flow adjustable powerheads. And to speed up the cycling process, some Bacter-Vital and a small goby. This is all depndent on how much time I have to do it. I think its only like two months though. Sound good? The light meter is gonna be the hardest to get for free and problay the most expensive part.

#9
serjuanca88

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If you only have two months a reef project may not be good then. I wouldn't want you to rush things and bomb the project. Also you will need a seperate tank for each variable you have. So it will be an expensive project. I think you could do a great project with saltwater animals, but corals are probally not a good choice if you only have two months.

A friend of mine did a project involving specific gravity and horseshoe crabs. He got first place and went to state. Of course he was in the sixth grade, so you would need a more advanced project.

Another note, stick to invertebrates, that way you wont need all of the animal forms and stuff. For some reason, they dont care if you kill or harm inverts, but if you do anything unethical to a vertebrate they get mad.

So I would say something along the lines of crabs, sea cucumbers, slugs, snails. I bet you could win with a project like that.

You could set up a number of five gallon tanks with sponge filters and a little sand.

#10
NanoJrFL

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it'd like two months and a couple of weeks actually. the first weeks would be cycling the tank and the rest would be growing. Dunno really. Xenia grows pretty fast though. Thats why I thought itd be good to show improvements. Any interesting inverts and ways to experiment?

#11
Gilman

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Thanks for the edit Nano.

Gil

#12
NanoJrFL

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What about using three of thpose azoo tanks, lit by a 10K, 6.7K and acitnic? And puting a little sand and lr in each? itd be $$$$ to do three 15 gallon tanks, and itd be impossible to find a LFS to donate around 60 pounds of lr for free.

#13
NanoJrFL

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yeah, whateva, I didn't insult him, but stop arguing about that, would the three tiny tanks with different kelvin ratings idea work?

#14
Gilman

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If it wasn't insulting, why'd you remove it. hmmmm? It kinda was insulting. I feel like arguing more, cuz arguing with 8th graders is fun.

Gil

ps. I did my lame 8th grade science fair project on bernouli's principal of aerodynamics. Made a wind tunnel and airfoil and used cigarette smoke to demonstrate how lift works. I like things that fly.

#15
supernip

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eh Im not gonna grill ya but its still pretty mean what you did and want people to forget about it so easily. but heres some things to think about.please do not cycle your tank with a goby. they're more delicate than damsels and will surely die. as for the azoos, they run 40bucks a piece for the tank light and filter. that means $120 without livestock. Thats a lot of cash if you ask me, Plus they all come with the same kelvin rating lighting if I remember correctly. That means you'll have to get new lights of all the same brand and wattage, more bling... Are you sure you wanna do this for science sake? It kinda sounds like you're just looking for an excuse to get some new tanks, no offense man. Why don't you try a display of your tank and explaining it instead of an experiment? you could use the tank you already have and it'd be a whole lot easier. Just talk about basic reef keeping concepts

#16
NanoJrFL

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well, I didn't plan on buying most of it, (asking for donations in name of science, didn't think itd really work though), I gotta talk to my science teacher to see what kinda stuff we can do. Like, does it have to be an "experiment". The idea of explaining how a nano-reef tank works sounds like a good idea. For the display I could use one of those litle tankks, water from my tank, a piece of lr from my tank, and sand, and take a piece of my Xenia and put it in there too. (of course doing this before so the xenia's used to the light"

Yeah, itd be like reasearch, problem being how do nano-reef tanks work without the use of skimmers and filters. Sounds like a really good idea to me super, thanks,

#17
serjuanca88

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I dont think explaining anything would get you a good grade. An experiment needs to have independent and dependent variables.

#18
NanoJrFL

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science fair projects aren't always experiments,

#19
serjuanca88

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Well, Ive done six science fairs and I always had to fill in an "Independant and Dependant Variables" sheet.

#20
sdboogie

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teacher sounds like a good place to start. And I think YES - this sounds like a good scam, I mean school project, to acquire new reef tank stuff. A valuable lesson in manipulation and a concept like writing cool stuff off in your taxes for work. Same kinda thing.

Just remember, you're in 8th grade and not up for any nobel prizes. Ask your teacher how you can use your interest in reef tanks for a cool science project. Maybe this year you only show the start of the project and let it run for a year and show the results in next years fair. The cool thing is that you found an angle to stay interested in school.

Keep us posted.

#21
NanoJrFL

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sooo, I think the best way to do this is using diffent kelvin ratings. To keep prices down I need to go with tiny tanks. But its gonna be REALLY hard to find enough free stuff. if this doesn't work out, I'm in the process of looking for something else thats non-reef.