pH, Protisits, and Ponds
Everything Pond Water
Humans are surrounded by thousands of bodies of water throughout the world. What makes a lake differ from an ocean? Or what makes a pond different from a lake? A pond is a body of standing water either natural or man made, that is usually smaller than a lake. Ponds contain amazing biodiversity, providing an environment for birds, fish, amphibians, alages, protists, and many many more organisms. A pond is normally much shallower than a lake, and sometimes plants roots can grow all the way to the bottom of the pond because the suns rays can penetrate to the bottom of the pond. It is very hard to determine the difference between a pond and a lake, most differences occur with size. “Certain organizations and researchers have settled on technical definitions of ponds and lakes which rely on size alone.(1)” The definition of a pond and what makes a pond different from a lake can be somewhat unclear. Not all ponds meet the exact requirements for ponds, and not all lakes meet the requirements for them to be a lake. Most ponds are determined to be pond based of physical size alone, as the quote states. This paper on a pond water sample from Clare Co. will help to better understand the organisms inside, and the different conditions in which these organisms flourish. The hypothesis for this paper is “If algae prefer a higher pH level, then the number of algae will increase with pH.” Taking a closer look at the pond water sample, it becomes clear that the pond water sample contains many micro organisms. These organisms are what provide the oxygen and food for other aquatic organisms.
Materials and Methods
water quality test strips
glass jar with holes in lid
A sample of pond water was collected on March 14, 2011 at 8:11 PM from a pond in Clare County. The weather was slightly overcast and the air temperature was right around 43 degrees Farenheit. Snow still covered the ground, and the only parts of the pond that were not still frozen completely were the edges. There were geese and ducks beginning to return to the ever so slightly melting pond. A sample was randomly collected and placed into a glass mason jar with six holes punched into the lid for ventilation. After the sample was retrieved, it was taken to the Biology lab at Mid Michigan Community College, where it was studied over a six week period. These studies included temperature, pH, hardness of the water, smells, colors, odors, and sampling water drops from various levels of the water under a microscope. Students studied these over a six week period, and recorded the data in the lab manual. Samples of pond water were randomly taken from the jar at each level of the water; including top, middle, and bottom. Samples were placed under a microscope and students identified any algaes, protists, or other organisms that may have been present. Once identified, drawings of the organisms were recorded in color. Students were able to see if the temperature and pH fluctuated over the six week period or not. Temperature of the sample was not as important of a factor, since the temperature of the room regulated the sample pond water temperature. When looking at samples under a microscope, students were able to find moving protists such as Stentor, “A protozoan that can be found in most ponds.(2)” Taking a look at the qualitative and quantitative data, it becomes clear consistency is found among data. 4Results
Table #1 Quantitative data
pH Temp. Alkalinity Hardness Chlorine
Week #1 | 8.4 | 13 C | 240ppm | 425 ppm | 0 ppm | Week #2 | 8.8 | 23 C | 190ppm | 425 ppm | 0 ppm | Week #3 | 8.4 | 24 C | 240 ppm | 425 ppm | 0 ppm | Week #4 | 8.4 | 24 C | 240 ppm | 425 ppm | 0 ppm | Week #5 | 8.4 | 24 C | 241...