Thursday, February 25, 2016

More Fun Jar!

 Oob picked: Build a House.

Which we did!

They could have chosen to build with blocks, cardboard bricks, or Legos, but they chose sheets.

I have fond memories of my mom building sheet houses with us, so this was great for me!

 Leena picked: Water Chemistry.

Our fish tanks run on biofilters.  The idea is to make it as close to a self sustaining ecosystem as possible.

The obvious living creatures are the fish, snails, and plants.

The less obvious living creatures are the bacteria that live in the filter. 

It works like this: 
We provide light, water, and fish food.
The fish eat food and make ammonia as waste (or what breaks down quickly into ammonia).
The first bacteria break ammonia into nitrites.
The second bacteria break the nitrites into nitrates.
The plants use the nitrates as food.

We have a special chemistry set for testing the water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH. An elevated level of any of these chemicals could be very harmful to the fish, although the guppies, at least, are very hardy.

Testing the water tells you if you have a problem, and which link in the chain is causing the problem.

If, for example, the nitrite level was high, you would know that you were having problems with your secondary bacteria.

As it turned out, all our levels were good, and our fish are happy!

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