Thursday, October 29, 2015

5th Observation

October 29th, 2015

Our plant has been sitting in a windowsill for 5 weeks now. It seems to have gone from being very healthy, to decreasing in health.

Our Ecosystem:
  • Water Level: remained the same at 605 ml. Water clarity seems more dirty, there are pieces of leaves floating around, and has particles floating in it. 
  • Elodea: Remained the same. We shook the bottle, so now the plant is uprooted. 
  • Snails: All the snails were under the rocks. Originally we were  not sure if they died or if they went under the rocks because they were cold. We are thinking they could have buried themselves since they were by the window and it was cold outside. After looking at the snails for a longer time period- we determined that they are alive!! 
  • Daphnia: We do not see any this time. 
  • String: Appears to be more frayed 
  • Soil: moist, but the top is starting to look more dry. Also, we can see the plant roots in the soil. 
  • Garden-bean golden wax improved: One of our leaves is yellowing and the bean appears to be rotting. The bean is brown and has mold on it. 
  • Johnny Jump Ups and Zinnia: The sprout is still there, it has grown very little. The plant is still growing towards the sun. 
  • Other changes: Condensation levels have remained the same. Still present in both tiers. Condensations seems to be forming on the side that is not directly facing the sun. 
This is a view of our entire terrarium. 

Here you can see the roots in our soil from our bean plant. 

This displays the browning of our bean plant. 

Condensation is still apparent and our leaf is starting to yellow. 

Our plant has been uprooted because we shook our terrarium,
 but you can see our snails are thriving and the water level has
remained the same. Water clarity seems to be more yellow and has
plant particles floating around in the water. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

4th Obsevation

October 22nd, 2015

Our plant has undergone much change after 4 weeks of sitting in a windowsill. Our ecosystem seems to be healthy and thriving.

Our Ecosystem:
  • Water level: Remained the same at 605 ml. Water clarity seems more yellow and has more particles.
  • Elodea: Bent over like it is falling. Still partially above water. Part of the plant seems to be breaking off. The Elodea is leaning towards the sun.
  • Snails: 4 snails. All seem alive. The baby snail has grown.
  • Daphnia: Still present. Number indeterminable. They appear to be larger.
  • String: Appears to be more frayed.
  • Soil: Moist and a lot more mold is present.
  • Garden-bean Golden Wax Improved: We noticed that there is a leaf that broke off from our sprout and is now moldy. 1 bean is almost fully formed. we now have 3 leaves. The plant is growing towards the sun.
  • Johnny Jump Ups and Zinnia: One more sprout is present. Not able to determine which seed it is.
  • Other changes: Condensation level seems to be the same. Still present in both tiers. Condensations seems to be forming on the side that is not directly facing the sun.

Here is the top half of our terrarium. You can see that we have a new sprout near the bottom
of our soil. Additionally, we have two new leaves that grew to the original sprout. The elodea
is growing towards one direction and our prediction is that it is growing that way because the sun
hits the side of the bottle with no condensation, therefore the plant is growing towards the sun.
Our soil is still moist on the bottom but drier near the top. 

Our water seems a little less clear this week and there appears to be more particles floating around.
Our baby snail is resting on the string (cannot be seen) but is doing well along with the other snails!
Our elodea plant is also moving towards the sun which we found interesting. We were wondering
why it was slumped over to the right at first, but after coming to the conclusion that our rotala was
growing towards the sun, we have made the same conclusion that our elodea is doing the same. 

Here you can see our full terrarium thriving and well! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

3rd Observation

October 15, 2015

Today we observed our plant terrarium for a third time and things have definitely changed! We let our plant terrarium sit by a window so that it could get direct light for a week and are now observing the changes.

Our Ecosystem: 

  • Water Level: 605 ml 
  • Elodea: Appears to have doubled in size, hard to measure since it is bending now. It is bending at the top because it is so long and has a leaf sprouted at the top and 2 bean sprouts. 
  • Number of snails: 3 original snails and a baby snail has joined our snail family 
  • Number of Daphnia (crustaceans): 5 original, and it appears that more have been reproduced 
  • String: 3 pieces of string, appear more yellow and more fringed at the bottom 
  • Soil: Looks dry on top but moist deeper in. 
  • Amount of soil: 3 1/2 cups, appears more dry 
  • Number of seeds total: 10 
  • Beans: 5
  • Johnny Jump Ups: 2 - nothing sprouted
  • Zinnia: 2 - nothing sprouted 
  • Garden-bean golden wax improved: 1 
Here you can see our entire ecosystem in a bottle. The Elode(on the bottom) is very green, long
and is continuing to grow. The bean plant (on the top) has grown significantly and can be easily seen.
Condensation is present on the top and bottom half of our ecosystem. 

Here you can see the bean leaf at the top of stem. It has grown greatly and we predict another bean
will sprout by next week. Condensation is present.  
The Elodea plant has grown from 10/8 and is easily seen that it is surpassing the marking on
10/8. It also appears very green. The water clarity has gotten better over the past week and appears to be
more clear than last week. There are more particles apparent in the water but it hasn't affected the clarity.
The string seems to have turned more of a yellow color and we noticed that there was a baby snail on our string
but it is not visible in this picture. 

2nd Observation

October 8, 2015

After one week of sitting in a windowsill, receiving ample amounts of sunlight, our terrarium ecosystem has undergone change.

Our Ecosystem
  • Water: level remains the same at 605 ml
  • Elodea: has not grown but looks healthier and more green than when first implanted, 17 cm
  • Snails: 3, number has not increased, but are moving and still alive
  • Daphnia: Cannot determine number, but still alive and moving
  • String: the color is more yellow and has some particles attached to it
  • Soil: looks dry on top but seems moist underneath
  • Garden-bean golden wax improved: bean has sprouted about 2 1/2 cm from the soil. There is a bean at the end of the sprout.
  • Johnny Jump ups: no sprouts
  • Zinnia: no sprouts
  • Other changes:
    • condensation forming on top of terrarium and lower half above the water 

    Here is a full view of our terrarium where one
    can notice our plant growth and see that our
    ecosystem has life and is flourishing. 
    Here you can see the start of our bean growth.
    We expect that it will continue to grow! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

How it all started

October 1, 2015

"Building an Ecosystem in a Bottle"

Can you build an ecosystem that is self-sustaining? That is the question we are exploring to answer. As a group, we are exploring some of the relationships that living organisms have with each other and with their environment. We call a community of organisms living and using their environment an ecosystem, and ecosystems work by some basic rules. Today we will build our ecosystem in hopes that we have plant growth, keep our living organisms alive, and create a self-sustained environment!

What we need:
  • 1 two-liter clear bottle
  • Organic soil
  • Bean seeds 
  • Daphnia (crustaceans) 
  • Elodea 
  • Snail(s) 
  • Gravel
  • Clear packing tape 
  • 100% Natural Spring water 
  • Cotton String
Steps we took to build our Ecosystem:
  1. Rinse out the bottle and caps well. Cut the bottles at shoulder. Save the top portion of the 2L bottle including the cap. Be very careful cutting the bottles! 
  2. Add 1 Dixie cup of gravel to the bottom of the bottle.
  3. Add spring water to the 2L bottle about halfway. DO NOT USE TAP WATER! The water must be below the inverted lid of the other bottle. 
  4. Measure the length  of the elodea plant in cm. Plant the rotal plant in the gravel or allow the plant to float. Record the length of the plant and overall health. Make sure the entire plan is submerged in the water. 
  5. Place snail(s) in the water. Count and record how many are added. 
  6. Use a hammer and nails to make a hole in the top of the cap to provide drainage. Screw the bottle cap onto the top of the bottle. Run a cotton string through the cap. The string connects the aquatic and terrestrial sections of the ecosystem by hanging into water. 
  7. Make sure the lid of the terrestrial section does not touch the water in the aquatic section. Only the string in between connects the two sections. 
  8. Fill the inverted bottle top 1/2 to 3/4 full with potting soil. 
  9. Plant 2-3 bean seeds in the soil (or other types of seeds). Water your seeds a little. Record how many and what type of seed you planted. 
Our Ecosystem:

Water: 605 ml
Elodea: 17 cm 
Number of snails: 3
Number of Daphnia (crustaceans): 5 
String: 3 pieces of string, each 12 inches long 
Amount of soil: 3 1/2 cups 
Number of seeds total: 10
Beans: 5
Johnny Jump ups: 2
Zinnia: 2
Garden-bean golden wax improved: 1 

This is a picture of our ecosystem as a whole with aquatic plant and animal
life on the bottom and soil with beans and flowers on the top. Contains:
soil, 5 beans, 2 Johnny Jump-Ups, 2 Zinnia, and 1 garden golden waxed improved bean. 

Here you can see the bottom half of our ecosystem. It contains
605 ml of water, string to allow water to get from the bottom half
of our ecosystem to the soil on the top half, 5 Daphnia, 3 snails,
and 17cm long Rotala (the green plant you can see). 
Here is the beginning life of our top half of the ecosystem. The bean and flowers have
been planted and we expect to see them grow! The soil is semi-moist as we poured water in
the soil to help with our plant growth. We also expect to see condensation occur in the top half of our