Algae Bloom Experiment
This fantastic experiment simulates an algae bloom while giving young people an opportunity to master the use of microscopes.
To do it you will need:
1 Jar for holding pond water
1 Aquarium Test Kit
Microsope Slides and Coverslips
Start the experiment by collecting some pond water, being sure to collect some leaves, twigs, floating plants and other materials that are likely to decompose.
Over the course of about two to three weeks, make daily measurements of pH, nitrate or ammonia concentrations, and other tests of water quality.
Every two to three days, take a sample of the water and and observe it under the microscope.
The results are amazing. At first you may have a difficult time finding interesting things to look at in the microscope, but by the end, you will be amazed at how many things can grow in pond water.
The nitrate and ammonia levels will also go up. This is a result of the break down of
If you get two or more jars of water, you can make experimental modifications. Have one jar as a control, which you :
1) You can add detergent or fertilizer to the water to simulate an algal bloom. Use about 1 tsp of either per quart of water.
2) You can simulate the cleaning power of the tides. Make a control with a mixture of pond water and salt water. In you experimental, in the morning switch 100 ml of your "pond" with fresh water, and in the evening switch out some of your pond with salt water.
You will be amazed how much a this twice daily flush helps to keep your algae bloom under control.
Here's an example of how solar panels are used to keep isolated ponds from going stagnant:
SOLAR POWERED POND AERATOR & AERATION
Go to What is Algae? from Algae Bloom