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Coral Science Fair Project?


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#1
DanteGpico

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I wanted to do my science project with corals. I just don't know what to do WITH the coral. I have been reading a lot about how the rising water temperatures are affecting reefs all over the world, but I figured you guys might have some ideas. Nothing too crazy, though!

 

Thanks!



#2
patback

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Make sure it's allowed first. 90% of high schools will not let you use any living thing besides insects and plants. When is it? Maybe get a colony and break it up, and test color/vibrancy against different kelvin values (6500, 10k, 14k, 20k ). Of ouster, that only works if you have lots of time to get started a head if every one else.

#3
seabass

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I have been reading a lot about how the rising water temperatures are affecting reefs all over the world

If you tried an experiment showing the rise of ocean temperatures over the past 100 years (about 0.18°F), it would show no negative effects compared to the cooler tank. While this doesn't prove temperature changes don't impact our reefs, it would make for a pretty bad science fair project.

Yeah, I'd stick to a hobby related project like effects of flow, lighting, target feeding, ect. You could plumb both tanks together with a sump to help limit variables between the two display tanks.


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#4
DanteGpico

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I'm fortunate enough to be able to actually use corals. Now, I actually am going to separate completely different anxious for corals kind of like a Frag tank. I don't want me to make things too complicated or expensive. How about something to do with coral growth?

I'm actually going to set up a different tank from my display tank.

#5
hypostatic

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The best thing to use would be something that is cheap, widely available and easy to obtain, small, grows really fast, and is easy to maintain. Most scientific model organisms fit this profile.

 

Maybe yellow parazoanthus?

 

The only thing I can think of at the moment to test is how different conditions affect growth.



#6
evanski

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Help us all out...

 

Set up something easy to culture and that grows well (as hypo mentions).  Set up a couple of identical systems, and dose some of the more common protein/lipid additives and see if you can measure a benefit.

 

Maybe try Accel with zoanthids...mine are going crazy since I started using it, but my tank is not a properly controlled experiment.


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#7
jamesb2012

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Sounds crazy but why not setup a culture like they have said, but use something like aiptasia or dinos? Coral growth can be difficult to achieve unless you have plenty of time.

They are not vertebrates so it should be okay.

#8
urbaneks

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Do a test on the impact to coral growth based on alkalinity.  Then take 3 like corals, have one growing in a tank with 8 dKH and another that you keep at 10 dKh, keep all other parameters equal.  



#9
EarthEaterBob

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I was actually going to do something similar for a University research proposal :P

 

However, I would not do it without some serious thought into it. There are a lot of variables to work in this scenario.



#10
ndrobey

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Try Xenia. You can probably get some decent size colonies for free, they grow fast, and are easy to care for.

#11
hypostatic

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Try Xenia. You can probably get some decent size colonies for free, they grow fast, and are easy to care for.

 

Oh yes, xenia is a good Idea too.

 

I recommended yellow polyps because it's easy to get two polyps that are about the same age/size/appearance to start off with for comparison. Having conditions being exactly the same except for the experimental variable is very important for a good experiment and scientific analysis. So, all your experimental groups should be kept in an identical manner.

 

Also don't forget your positive and negative controls.



#12
thayes427

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These are all great ideas. Just to give you an idea of another route you could take, I recently did some research involving coral fluorescence. I wanted to test the photoprotective capabilities of corals' fluorescence (that is, the ability of fluorescent proteins in coral to protect the symbiotic dinoflagellates within from UV radiation). The theory behind this is that fluorescent proteins convert shorter, damaging wavelengths of light (UV) into visible wavelengths that aren't as damaging. What I was able to do is obtain strains of E. coli that have been transformed with coral fluorescent protein producing genes. I then tested the viability of fluorescing E. coli vs non fluorescing E. coli under various UV radiations to see if the fluorescence protected them in any way. The results were inconclusive. However, I just just wanted to give you another route you could take.



#13
TheKleinReef

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See if gravity has an effect of growth. Mount one sps right side up light from the top and the same coral upside down light from the bottom. I've always wanted to try it.

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#14
seabass

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See if gravity has an effect of growth. Mount one sps right side up light from the top and the same coral upside down light from the bottom. I've always wanted to try it.

It will grow up toward the light no matter how it is oriented.


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#15
DanteGpico

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Thank you for all the awesome replies! I think I will try xenia and yellow polyps with different additives. Here is my setup idea: I will take a five gallon tank, make a frag rack, get a sufficient pump (maybe some help with that...), I have a light, though it is only white and I think 24000K, maybe a ferw chunks of live rock for biological filtration, and dosing additives. I just need to figure out how to get the pump, coral, and dosing additives (which ones should I get?), for a fairly inexpensive price..



Obviously, my control will be the same without the doses, so a pump times two.



#16
hypostatic

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What are you planning to do for your experimental groups?

 

If you have one tank where all your groups are located, and the tank is being dosed, then all the groups are being exposed to what you are dosing, so there is no difference between them, and the experiment is invalidated



#17
Chrisl1976

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You could always do something on coral propagation and coral farms.  How tank raised species are helping to reduce the harvesting impact on actual coral reefs.  

 

Set up a small reef tank for the day and bring some frags.  If you ask here, I'm sure you can get plenty of pictures of the growth of certain corals from frag to full colony of a few species you have in your display tank. 


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#18
DanteGpico

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Actually, coral propogation sounds very interesting! Any more ideas?
 



#19
tennis20

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+1 on the Xenia, you can get some pulsing Xenia and see what affects their pulsing ie.. Light, flow, orientation
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