Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 11, Last Observation

Last week, we observed that one of our larger snails appeared dead. However, the large snail is on the side of the bottle, approaching the top in an upward climb. It is clearly moving and alive! There are also 3 baby snails that are apparent. (4 total snails) The very tip of the string is still barely touching the water. The elodea looks about the same. 2/3 of it is very healthy looking and the rest is translucent and brownish. The water quality is good as well, very clear. There is more condensation on the bottom half of the bottle than the top half. The water level is about 1 3/4 cm from the cap. It has progressively gone down, little by little. The top half of the bottle is very foggy on the sides. The soil is still pulling away more from the sides. There is more mold. The plants have not grown more either. The tallest (original) plant has 3 leaves, one brown and 2 green. The second sprout is still 8 cm. The third sprout is about 6 cm (It might have grown about half an inch). Surprisingly, there is much more condensation than we would have expected because we thought that it would dry out. The soil pulling away from the sides plus the string breaking indicated to us that the plants would die. There are now 2 antelary roots growing from the original sprout. We picked up the bottle and observed the very bottom for the first time. The root that has grown through the hole in the cap has not only wrapped itself around the elodea several times, but it has also attempted to plant roots underneath the gravel!

1. Because the string is broken, the soil will dry out, causing the plants to die.
2. The bottom roots touching the gravel will neither continue to grow because they are part of the top plant.
3. The elodea will continue to thrive since the water quality is good.
4. The snails should continue to live for a while because they have a food source (algae?).

Future research:
Instead of planting two different seeds, I would use one type of seed and mark where they were planted.

Using in the classroom:
For younger students (primary grades)- the whole class would observe 1 ecosystem and observe in a whole class discussion so that the teacher can model how to do scientific processes and correct observations. 
For older students, they could observe several ecosystems in groups similar to the way our cohort did. They would create their own observations as well.

Why did the ecosystem turn out the way it did?
-We had clear instructions to follow.
-It was in the same setting the whole time (against the window in the hallway).
-We had about 2 1/2 months to observe the process, making weekly observations.
-Our observations were consistent.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 10

The string is now completely disintegrated. This most likely means that the top of the ecosystem will began dying due to the lack of access to the water source. The plants at the top do look very healthy though. The sprouts are 8 cm and 5.5 cm. Half of the top bottle has condensation on it. The tallest plant has 3 healthy leaves and one dead leaf. There is mold on the soil, and the soil is starting to pull away from the sides of the bottle. It has already started drying out. In the bottom of the ecosystem, lots of snails have appeared. Maybe the snails reproduced? However, the 2 main large snails that we have been observing appear to be dead. We have counted 7 baby snails in total. 1 of the big snails is possibly dead. It has stayed in the same position for the past 2 weeks, submerged within the rocks. Half of the elodea appears very healthy, while the other half is brownish and translucent. The roots growing off of the elodea is still touching the bottom rocks. There is condensation on the top of the bottom bottle as well. The elodea is probably that healthiest part of the ecosystem altogether. I would not like our group to volunteer to poke a hole in the bottle. I would like our system to stay closed in order to observe what might happen to the plants and soil.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 8

(Field Trip on Monday, week 7)

Plant on top: 3 leaves have died on the very top. The leaves left brown residue on the lining of the bottle. This residue has slipped down the bottle and ran through the tape (from condensation). The bottle has some brown leakage/fluid on the outside. There are still 3 healthy leaves, and the plant looks overall alive and thriving. The 2 shorter sprouts are still growing white spores/mold from the stems.
Soil: looks like it has decreased/meshed together. The soil is very wet and appears packed down. There is a lot of condensation on top. The fly is still hanging out in the top of the bottle!
Water: The water level is 2 cm. below the bottle cap. The water quality is still good. It appears clear, with few "floatages." The string between the bottle cap and the water level is dark brown. The string in the water is falling apart and disintegrating. 
Elodea: Grown so much! It appears to have almost doubled, or even tripled in overall length. 
Roots: The root from the top of the soil has wrapped around the elodea twice, in two different spots. It is touching the gravel at the very bottom of the bottle. 
Snail: 2 big snails at the bottom. One of the big snails is laying face up and appears dead. There are 3 baby snails on the elodea. They are moving slowly. 
Daphnea: still cannot see

Predictions: I predict that the eldoea will keep growing and growing. This seems to be the healthiest life in the entire bottle. I think the tallest plant on the top, with the dying leaves, will start the decay. The 2 smaller sprouts should keep growing and getting taller. The snails might start to die because I can hardly see any algae or food for them.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 6

It is really interesting to see how much our ecosystem has changed each week. The most surprising thing this week was that we had a new sprout, with fuzzy spikes on it. Michelle told us that these fuzzy spikes were actually (antelary?) roots. This sprout was was about 3 inches and is most likely the sprout of a pepper. The tallest sprout is completely touching the top of the bottle, and the laves are spreading over the top. Dead leaves are still falling off of this tall plant, and there are 8 leaves covering the top of the bottle. The plants seem healthy, doing well, and receiving enough sunlight and water. There is still a lot of condensation, making it difficult to take pictures. On the bottom half of our ecosystem, our elodea is doing great. This plant grows each week, and has sprouted 2 additional plants off of it. There are 3 snails observed, 2 large snails and 1 baby snail. We still are unable to find any daphnea. We have not spotted our daphnea since our first observation. There are 3 long roots that are dangling from the top of the bottle (soil) and touching the bottom gravel in the water. Our string is eroding from the water as well. The white growth that we found on the elodea from week 4 is not there anymore. This was possibly mold, rootage, or a piece of string. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Week 5

-We still have three sprouts.  The newer ones are about 2.5in and 1.5in.  Our first sprout has some dead/yellowed leaves at the very top of the bottle. It still has eight healthy leaves.  We are not sure what has caused them to die.
-Lots of condensation in the top bottle.
-The soil still looks wet/black.
-The gnat that was flying around the 3 liter bottle (top bottle) is not visible today.  
-There are a few spots of mold near the top of the 2 liter bottle (the bottom bottle), where condensation has formed.
-The root that grew through the hole in the bottle cap has now grown down, through the gravel, and wrapped itself around the elodea twice.
-The elodea is still pretty healthy and green, but slightly translucent.  It has grown more and has more/new leaves.
-There is still an unknown, white growth on part of the elodea that is pressed against the bottle.  The growth has not grown in size.
-The water level is a little more than 1/2in below the cap.
-The water quality still looks good/somewhat clear.
-There are some things floating in the water.  They appear to be small and brown.  Not sure is they were part of the elodea?
-We have three new baby snails.
-The daphnia are not visible.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 4

plant (on top): tallest plant has 9 leaves, 1 yellow
-1 new sprout (3 total now)

soil: dark, wet, a bug is on top as well, condensation on the top

elodea: appears longer, very healthy, white tip at the very end (some kind of growth possibly, or a piece of string)

snails: 3 showing, 1 big, 1 medium, 1 small

daphnea: still cannot see!

water: very clear, string breaking apart, sediment floating around 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Week 3

soil: drying out slightly, many roots appeared

bean plant: very tall, has dropped two beans on top of the soil

pepper plant: just sprouted, about 1 inch tall

elodea: grew! It has two growths emerged from it, still very green and healthy

daphnea: still cannot see

snails: 4 snails altogether (2 baby snails still same size)

bottle: condensation, slight algae on sides