Example of Designing an Experiment: Teak Leaves vs IALs

Discussion in 'Aquatic Sciences' started by GreenGo, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. GreenGo

    GreenGo Well-Known Member

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    Even though I'm exhausted from working the past couple days, I got this started for y'all. I have screenshots of the times that I'll post later this week, but I have to work in an hour, which means I don't have time to dedicate to getting the post done right now. Didn't get home until after the lights went out in the Crab Room last night since I was talking with a friend and lost track of the time (even though I was keeping my eye on it. Like, how does that even happen? :LOL: ). Past few days have been an exhausting roller coaster, but I've got this started! Please be patient while I find time to get the extensive post done. Thank you
     
  2. GreenGo

    GreenGo Well-Known Member

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    Experiment start time, between
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    and
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    Methods for cutting squares
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    As you can see in the above photo, first I cut the top portion of the IAL so I could make it into strips 1 cm (10 mm, which is important for what's coming up) in width, later to cut into 1 cm squares (as seen in the below two photos).

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    The strip of IAL can be seen in the background.

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    This square ended up being 10.40 mm x 10.36 mm. For this experiment, I didn't harp on the squares being exactly 1 cm (or 10 mm), as long as each one was in the 10.xx mm range (from 10.00 to 10.99). I can always figure out the error produced from this method later on once we analyze the results.

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    After I finished the IAL squares, I proceeded to cutting the Teak Leaf in similar fashion, cutting near the middle vein. A possible source of error could be the veins on the Teak being much more prominent (and possibly releasing more tannins(?) ) and this leaf being so much more fragile. I tore parts of the squares of the Teak using my calipers, but none fell off so each was still good to use. It's important to be aware of possible sources of error in an experiment so you can better understand your results.

    I don't think the Teak Leaf error is going to skew my results much, though. If anything, it should allow for more leaching and better results since you wouldn't just cut the veins off of the leaf you're using and tears increase the total surface area for leeching slightly. Additionally, the Teak is expected to leech less, so this should test that more extensively. However, this also means it's not 100% controlled since ideally you'd want to tear the IAL squares in similar fashion, which I simply did not do for this experiment.

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    The final dimensions of the IAL and Teak Leaf squares. All measurements in millimeters (mm).
     
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  3. GreenGo

    GreenGo Well-Known Member

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    [continued from above post since I can post a maximum of 10 photos per post]
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    The next step of the process, that I finished Sunday, was getting the distilled water into each container that now holds the squares of leaves. As you can see, the bottom of the meniscus is on the 100 mL measure. The bottom of the meniscus is where you want to measure from (y)

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    The TDS reading of the water. I think the first one was just an error (but I wanted to show it anyhow) since each consecutive test on other select samples showed a reading of 000 TDS. Maybe something got in the water from the atmosphere(?).

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    The last thing about measuring the water that I wanted to show was this, so I could describe what I did if I added too much distilled water initially. Simply put, I pipetted it out and disposed of it in my universal water waste bucket. Since it's just water, it doesn't need a designated waste container, but you don't want to add it back to your distilled water container since that could introduce contaminates from the air and surroundings into the source water you're using.

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    Finally, the cracked 29g that all containers are currently sitting in. I opted to leave this open-topped since the window lets sunlight through which can heat this tank above standard room temp. I wanted to allow the heat to escape since reactions largely depend on heat / temperature for how fast certain reactions happen. As such, I wanted to control it the best I could, and that meant leaving this rather dirty aquarium open topped.

    The top row is Teak, the middle control (which only contains 100 mL of Great Value distilled water; being in the middle allows for some control in case something from the walls of the tank drops into any samples, rendering them invalid), and the bottom is IAL.

    I'll be running this experiment for at least a few weeks, possibly more if the reactions don't progress much and the water isn't stained enough to draw conclusions using a home made secchi disk.
     
  4. NightShade

    NightShade Well-Known Member

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    Look forward to seeing the results from this!!
     
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  5. GreenGo

    GreenGo Well-Known Member

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    This photo was taken on Monday, January 29th, 2018
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    If you look back at post #43 (two posts before this) you can recall the bottom row is IALs. Since I couldn't figure out how to maintain the water level in such a small volume, this is all I got. However, you can clearly see in the 15 days (when this photo was taken) since the experiment started the bottom row is clearly more stained than the top (Teak) or middle (control) rows. Although, the Teak Leaves tended to stick to the sides of the containers much more than the IALs (which stayed relatively free of the sides of their respective individual containers), which could be a source of error.

    My next step for this project would have to be an aquarium where I can control the water level much easier. This will require a weight of leaves, probably incorporating at least half a leaf of IAL with the equivalent weight of Teak in a separate aquarium with the same volume of distilled water. Trying to calculate the surface area of each leaf for such a task would be difficult, hence why the weight of the leaf would need to come into play.

    As far as sharing the ways you can evaluate an experiment, unfortunately this didn't yield quantifiable results since the water evaporated without a way to quantify and [more importantly] control the amount of water in each container, so it wouldn't be feasible to attempt such a thing. However, I may have another [albeit different] experiment happening at some point in the near-ish future that should allow me to show you how to evaluate an experiment with math, showing the mean, median, range, etc of an experimental dataset.

    All in all, this was a worthwhile experiment. While not producing quantifiable results, we've shown support for the hypothesis that Indian Almond Leaves do release more tannins than the Teak Leaves, although more studies need to be done regardless. One is what I suggested earlier with aquariums and the weight of leaves, but otherwise I'd still like to find out exactly how these help our aquatic pets and develop scientific support (or scientific evidence against) such claims versus relying on anecdotal evidence.

    Suffice it to say, there's still more to come! :cool: (y)
     
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