Angelita's Watershed Blog Page

How Fertilizer Affects Duckweed
December 16, 2016

For our science experiment we tested how fertilizer concentration affects the growth of duckweed. To answer this question we set up an experiment that involved a lot of duckweed, fertilizer, measurement tools, and water. Each group had a different amount, my group was the 2% fertilizer concentration.

Step 1- Grab 4 clean test tubes.

Step 2- Put 20 mL of distilled water in each test tube.

Step 3- Place duckweed in the tubes and double check to see if you have 7-20 fronds in each tube.

Step 4- Place 0.50 of concentration fertilizer, use eye drops if necessary.

Step 5- Place the test tubes where they won’t spill and where the duckweed will get plenty of sunlight.

Step 6- Check to see how many fronds there are everyday for 5+ days.

My prediction for this experiment is that the group with more fertilizer might have healthier plants, but they might not because phosphorus dissolves oxygen in water, and too much phosphorus can kill plants.

December 16, 2016

Phosphorus has good and bad qualities. The good qualities of phosphorus is the fact that plants benefit from phosphorus in fertilizer, which give plants a lot of nutrients. Nutrients helps the plants grow quicker and helps them to have a stronger root system.

A plant that doesn't have enough phosphorus has a weakened root system, stunted growth, and a dark green color.

The bad part about phosphorus is that it dissolves oxygen in the water, and too much phosphorus can make aquatic plant life harder and less animals would be able to survive. Phosphorus sources vary from watershed to watershed depending on the environment around it. According to the Addison Independent, 49% of phosphorus comes from agriculture, 17.1% from forest lands, 16.4% from stream erosion, 14.4% from developed land like parking lots and roof, and 3.2% come from wastewater. From this information, we can estimate that about 60 to 65% of phosphorus comes from us humans. That is a sign that we need to work harder on reducing the pollution that we put into land and water
Finding Oxygen
November 21, 2016

This week in science, we did an experiment on how we find out the amount of oxygen in a small sample of Cedar lake and a how much oxygen is in a sample of the fish tank water in our class. To find out how much oxygen was in these two samples we used four different chemicals, manganous sulfate, iodide-azide, sulfamic acid, and sodium thisulfate.

The first chemical we used was iodide-azide, when we added this chemical to the Cedar lake sample it became cloudy and little particles were dancing around in the water. When we added it to the fish tank water we did see particles, but it sunk to the bottom of the bottle.

Our next step was to add manganous sulfate, when we did this, both of the samples turned a shade of orange but the sample of the fish tank turned a lighter shade of orange than the Cedar sample. We also saw with the manganous sulfate, the particles in the water started to look like pulp from an orange. This did not happen with the fish tank sample.

Our third step was to add sulfamic acid to the samples which dissolved all of the pulp and particles in the water and helped us see through the water, but the water was still orange. To make the water perfectly clear again we took a small sample of the small samples and put them into smaller vials. We took a little bit of sodium thisulfate and counted how many drops it took to turn the two samples into clear water. It took us 16 drops of sodium thisulfate to turn the water clear for the Cedar lake water sample and 14 drops for the sample of the fish tank water. We found out in the end that Cedar water had 3 mg/L of oxygen and 2 mg/L for the fish tank. That means that both of our samples were not very healthy, the average for a healthy lake would be 7-12. We talked about what kind of fish can live in these kinds of environments. Let me tell you, not that many can. I had a amazing time doing this experiment and hope to do you just like it again.


Watershed/Land uses Adventure
In our class, we have been learning about how people affect water and the land around it. Our big question is how does water quality affect the ecology of a community. To answer that, we have broken down our big question into smaller questions that we can answer. Our smaller question so far has been how do land and water interact. It hasn’t always just been about water and land, it also has something to do with human use to.

For our first science project, we went down to Cedar lake with a scorecard on what we thought about how clean the water was. From what we thought of the lake, it had too much milfoil (possibly from boats bringing it from other dirtier lakes). For more detail on how it felt like to be in the water, my teacher (Ms. La Riviere/La Gagner) had to collect a pencil that someone had dropped into the water. Ms.Gagner described it as very slimy and soupy from all the silt in the water. She sunk all the way to her ankles in the silt soup. Having no desire to stand in the water ourselves and being done with our scorecard, we headed back to the cozy classroom of room 110. Thankfully, we left with an idea of what a clean lake/river should look like and what could be better about Cedar lake.

After our trip to Cedar lake, we had an understanding of what a dirty lake looked like with no care from humans. The next thing we would be learning about was what industrial/commercial, agricultural, and residential uses could do to the water around it. For our next big project, we had to build two models (in our binder groups with whichever one we had) what it looked like when either one was around a lake/river. We had to do a best case scenario and a worst case scenario. My group was in charge of industrial/commercial. We had to retrieve some of our materials from outside. I believe that everyone did a good job was very clear compared to the worst case scenarios which were full of dirt.

One of our newer lessons on pollution was non-point source and point source pollution. Non-point source coming from. Like if you find fertilizer in a lake, you don’t know where the source of the pollution is. Point source pollution is the complete opposite, that is when you know exactly where it is coming from.

I was very excited when we started this lesson, it was very fun building models (something I like to do) and i am sure we have more fun activities coming our way.

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