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Building A Mesocosm Lab Report Assignment

1687 words - 7 pages

Materials:
1 bag of premium gravel- The gravel acts as a drainage level to the mesocosm. It provides a home for beneficial bacteria to keep the mesocosm healthy. Those bacterial colonies are necessary to eliminate waste produced by the snails and shrimp, leftover food, and plant debris in the aquarium. If the bacteria don't have a comfy gravel bed to live in they will find other places, but may not grow in sufficient quantities to keep the mesocosm safe for the organisms living in it. Dark gravel (not very bold or glaring) can create a pleasant and more comfortable habitat for the organisms. Stress is a major contributor to a compromised immune system in organisms like shrimp, leaving them more susceptible to diseases. The more comfortable the habitat, the greater chance for the organisms to be more healthy. The gravel can also improve the chemistry of the water. As the gravel contains certain minerals, creating a comfortable pH level. Lastly, gravel is critical for live plants and it is the second more important factor (other than sunlight) to keeping the plant alive. The gravel bought will help that plant root well and have their nutritional needs met. The gravel will also act as a barrier layer to separate the activated charcoal from the organisms/water/plant.

1 bag of activated charcoal- Activated charcoal acts as a hygiene layer as it removes a class of material called dissolved organic compounds that arise from different organisms in the mesocosm. It absorbs a number of dissolved contaminants through the pores of the carbon such as: chloramines and chlorine, tannins (which color the water) and phenols (which cause odors). Charcoal can also remove chlorine and some heavy metals through other processes. Overall, it helped to filter the water and maintain a healthy environment for the organisms, as it takes away impurities in the water.

1 bag of aquarium water- Using water from the aquarium is beneficial as it contains bacteria needed for the ecosystem in the mesocosm. The water is placed as the organisms (the shrimp, the snails, the plant) in the mesocosm need it for survival. ? I know this is obvious but I?m not sure what else to say?

2 ghost shrimp and 2 japonica Amano Shrimp- Since shrimp are detritivores, they help to keep the mesocosm clean by eating the algae.

2 gold mystery snails- Like the shrimp, the snails are detritivores and clear up rotting vegetation from the plant and algae from the glass.

A few stones- The stones act as an anchor to help keep the plant in place.

1 Marimo moss ball- Moss balls absorb nitrates, which are dangerous to your organisms as they increase over time. Moss balls also act as filters, sucking up debris and small amounts of ammonia and phosphates. Moss balls also help to oxygenate the mesocosm. Moss balls also help prevent excess algae growth. They suck up the same nutrients as undesirable algae, depriving invasive algae of those nutrients. Last, the Marimo moss ball has beneficial...

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