<![CDATA[Ecosystem in a Bottle - Blog]]>Sun, 06 Dec 2015 15:31:30 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Week 7: Observation and Conclusion]]>Thu, 12 Nov 2015 09:24:27 GMThttp://ecosysteminthebottle.weebly.com/blog/week-7-observation-and-conclusionAfter last week's 5th plant started to show we were excited to see the development that would have happened. We were met with disappointment. Unfortunately, our plants started to droop down, they were starting to get moldy, our largest plant had fallen over completely. It was rather disheartening.
Picture shows no new plant growth and some even started to droop down.
None of the plants showed any seemingly significant growth. In fact, one appears to have disappeared completely! When we looked closely we inferred that it had died and been pushed down by a clump of soil that had always been stuck on top of it. Overall the dirt looks pretty dry. that may have had an impact on the apparent declining health of our plants.
Pictured shows that one of our sprouts has disappeared.
Sprouts are all slanting sideways
Again, the Elodea is even longer! But the webbing at the top seems to be almost taking over the plant. The water clarity is the same and the snails have both moved. Our water level is about the same as it was last week.
Picture shows the Elodea clearly grew longer.
Was our terrarium a success? Well, yes and no. Yes, we were able to start growing viable flowers. And who knows what would have happened to the remaining seedlings if we let the terrarium sit for a few more weeks. But what we do know is that the soil kept getting drier and drier over time and at this point we didn't see any sort of a turnaround. But there are a lot of unknowns about our final observations.
  • What is that webbing coming off of the Elodea?
  • Is it in fact mold growing on the dirt where the plant fell and on the strings on the water side of the terrarium?
  • How exactly did the condensation get there?
  • How does the condensation affect the soil/seedling half of the ecosystem?
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<![CDATA[Week 6: Observations]]>Thu, 05 Nov 2015 19:31:39 GMThttp://ecosysteminthebottle.weebly.com/blog/week-6-observationsMy, how those plants have grown! We still have plenty of condensation on our bottles. Our soil levels seem to be slightly lower than they were last week,

Condensation visible around the bottle
Pciture shows the soil level decreased
The height of our tallest plant is up to almost 6 cm. Wow! Our other plants are 2 cm, 3 cm, and 3.5 cm. Our smallest plant doesn't seem to have grown. But wait! A little tiny plant is starting to emerge along one of the edges of the bottle. So now we have 5 sprouts all together. There also appears to be small amounts of mold growing on the dirt.
All our plants have grown taller
Our Elodea is much longer than it was last week and the webbing towards the top of the Elodea is much more extensive than it was last week. The water clarity is the same as it was last week. One of our snails seems to be very active while the other has stayed in a similar spot for the past couple of weeks, but it has moved away from the spot we marked before. Our water level has stayed pretty constant. It is about the same level that it was last week.
Snail is active and  alive!
There appears to be mold on the string
The Elodea grew longer
Seeing new growth popping up, especially after this much time, is exciting! I'm glad we get to have another observation next week so that we can see how much else will change in the upcoming week.
On the bottom right of the picture, a new sprout is emerging
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<![CDATA[Week 5: Observation¬†]]>Fri, 30 Oct 2015 02:50:13 GMThttp://ecosysteminthebottle.weebly.com/blog/observation-5Wow there's a lot more condensation inside our ecosystem! Both the top and the bottom of our ecosystem contain more water droplet on the sides. We also noticed that our soil level decreased.  
A lot of condensation on the walls of the bottle
Picture shows decreased in soil level
We still have 4 sprouts total. The tallest one is now 5.5cm! The height of the other three sprouts are 2cm, 2.5cm, and 3.5cm. We also noticed that there are some molds on the sprouts. Our Elodea has grown a lot longer since last week. Our water is also a lot cleaner and there's less debris in it compared to last week. We are thinking that the snails probably cleaned the water. 
Picture shows the 4 sprouts and they are taller than last week
​Water is a lot cleaner than last week and the snail is still active
We also noticed that the water level also decreased. That's probably why there's a lot more condensation visible. 
​Water level decreased
We also noticed that the web on the Elodea is still present, and it's actually an even bigger web compared to last week's. We weren't sure if the snail on the very bottom of the water is still alive because it's been in the bottom of the water for a while now. We used the position of the sticker and the concave holes of the "legs" of the bottle to see if the snail will still be in the same position next week. Today, the snail is 2 of those "legs" away from the sticker. 
The web on the Elodea got bigger
We are excited to see if the web on the Elodea is going to get bigger, smaller or remain the same for next week. Hopefully our snail on the bottom of the water is still alive. 
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<![CDATA[Week 4: Observations]]>Thu, 22 Oct 2015 17:46:54 GMThttp://ecosysteminthebottle.weebly.com/blog/week-3-observations1WOOHOO our sprouts grew, and we got another sprout! We now have 4 sprouts in total. Our basic observation was that the condensation levels have increased and our sprouts look taller. We have a tall one that measured 5 cm, a medium sized one that was 4 cm, and the two small ones coming in at 2 cm each.
More droplets forming on the walls of the bottle
4 sprouts total in our ecosystem
One thing we noticed was that the water and soil levels were the same as they were in previous weeks, and neither was the water. I think this is something that really surprised as, as we thought the string would absorb the water into the soil, decreasing the water level. We also figured that when soil got wet, it became more packed. We assumed the levels of both the soil and water would decrease. 
​Elodea grew longer and there'a a spider web looking thing developing on the Elodea
The elodea seems to have grown in the past week. One thing we noticed almost immediately was that there was a spider web looking thing attached to the elodea. This is the first time we have seen this, and aren't sure what to make of it. We thought that it could be a buildup of debris over time. We are interested in seeing if this is something that continues to 'grow' or if it goes away after a while. There was also more debris present in the water than last week. 
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<![CDATA[Week 3: Observations]]>Thu, 15 Oct 2015 16:07:32 GMThttp://ecosysteminthebottle.weebly.com/blog/week-3-observationsWow! We have four seedlings growing so far this week! Each is a different height but overall they all seem to be doing strong. Picture





​More condensation on the bottle and mostly concentrated on one side of the bottle
Upon getting the bottle our first observation was that there was quite a bit of condensation, much more than last week. Why is this? Could it be due to the time of day? Or a higher level of plant respiration inside the system? We're interested to see what the condensation will be like during week 4.
Plants growing at various heights
The plants range from barely popping out of the soil to about 5 cm. Two of the plants still have dirt nested on top of the growing plants. I wonder what impact that may have on the plants or when the dirt may fall back down.
Water level slightly lower but still pretty close to last week's level, and the snail is hanging on the string
Visible particles floating in water
Our snails seem to be just fine. One snail really seems to  like hanging out on the string. We noticed that there were a lot more particles floating around in the water. That seems to be the main change in the water part of the system. The water level also seems to be slightly lower. I know plants take in water when they go through photosynthesis. 
Dirt level decreased slightly
The dirt level seems to be slightly lower. Is it negligible? Will it keep changing and getting lower over time? Was the dirt just settling or did something in the system cause a change? The dirt seemed moist but not wet.
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<![CDATA[Week 2: Observations]]>Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:53:08 GMThttp://ecosysteminthebottle.weebly.com/blog/week-2-observations
2 sprouts shown and condensation developing 
Today our terrarium is a week old! We noticed two sprouts. One of the sprout is pushing up the soil, and the other one is  sprouting with no soils attached on top of it. Both sprouts are approximately 1 cm. tall. We noticed condensation and evaporation happening due to evidence of droplets of water attached on the surfaces of both the top and bottom portion of our bottle. We also found that both of our snails are still alive. One is on the bottom of the bottom, on top of the rock, and the other one is moving on the string. The water inside our bottle is still pretty clear with no visible particles. We couldn't really find the Daphnia because they were really tiny and hard to see. We also marked where our water and soil level was at so we can compare with our future observations. 
Bottom of our terrarium. One of the snail is on the bottom right hand corner.
Another snail is attached to the string!
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<![CDATA[Week 1: Building our Ecosystem]]>Thu, 01 Oct 2015 15:59:19 GMThttp://ecosysteminthebottle.weebly.com/blog/day-1-building-our-ecosystemToday we built our ecosystem, a two tier terrarium.

Materials: 
18 oz of Organic Soil                 900 mL or Spring water                    clear packing tape
3 Daphnia                                      2 two liter bottles                               gravel
18.4 cm of Elodea                      cotton string                                         2 snails
6 flower seeds

• The materials we used on the bottom half of the terrarium was the gravel, spring water, snails, elodea, and daphnia. 
• The top half of the terrarium was the organic soil and our flower seeds (we moistened the soil to help initiate the flow of water      through two levels of the ecosystem)
• The cotton string connects the two halves of the bottle together, and helps feed water to the top half of the terrarium.
• After taping together the two parts of the bottles, we placed it in sunlight.
The terrarium after we just built it
The bottom of our terrarium 
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