Experimenting With the Star Polyp
10-25-09 Setting Up the Tanks
"Well, after many weeks of cutting PVC and going in early every morning for about a month, I finally have put together the three 20 gallon tanks into a
working system to test the LEDs against a control and it doesn't leak! I have attached a few pictures to give you an idea of the setting of the tanks and
where I will be testing, and the whole science department is pretty interested, as there have not been many active experiments conducted in school for a
while.

This week I will be taking pictures as I start to put rock and sand in the tanks, preparing it for coral.  I was able to find PVC after a while, but did cost a bit,
but its finally ready. In a week or so I should have a few fragments of star polyp that I propagated from a mother colony I grew at home to make sure the
tank is safe, and then I would want to move on to higher light needs coral. However, I am not sure where I will get them yet, but hopefully I should find
them soon. Other than coral, the control light I have on the tank right now is pretty weak, and will limit me to low light corals for experimentation, so
eventually I should find a stronger one." Matt G.
20 gallon Tanks Setup
20 gallon tank
Aqua-Bar LED Light
12-10-09
"I wanted to give you an update on how the corals have been growing under the LED light compared to the T5 control, as well as show you the pictures
that accompany the trends I am seeing.  One that I find interesting is that all the corals that are under the LEDs are significantly taller and slender, as
they are reaching up towards the light much more than the control. I have pictures to show this, and many may say this means they are reaching
towards the light because they need more.

 However, the corals under the LEDs seem to be growing at a slightly faster rate than the control and have a nicer appearance to people who have
viewed the project. Also, to possibly counteract the possibility that the corals are reaching towards the light because they don't have enough light, but
because they like it, could possibly be supported by the fact that a certain coral, Pink Anthelia, that is in all three tanks has grown the tallest in the pure
LED tank, then in the diffused LED tank it is shorter, but still taller than the Control.

 If the lights were too weak, wouldn't it be logical to assume that the diffused LED coral would grow taller than the one with only LEDs as the diffused
bars are giving off less light than the bars by themselves? Also, it has been four weeks and if light was an issue for these fairy low light needs corals,
they would have died by now (however, newer hard corals may set this distinction depending if they live or not when I can find specimens). I am going to
make a few more cuttings of the Anthelia to test to make sure this trend is seen consistently, but it definitely is interesting. Also, other anemones that
are mobile are going as close to the LEDs as possible with tall bodies, while the control Anemones display a tendency to be short and stout at the
bottom regions of the tank. Once again, either they need more light or they like it, but the anemones do look slightly better in the control tank.

Also, a mushroom coral (usually fairly immobile) in the LED tank has actually began to migrate closer to the light, and has had a tendency ever since
the beginning of the experiment to reach up towards the LEDs while the control mushroom coral has stayed down and flat against the rock it is attached
to.  Also, the red coralline algae that was seen that I saw growing at faster rates in my 70 gallon tank in the first bit of testing is appearing in all the tanks
and I will monitor it, but it seems that the LEDs produce far less diatoms than the control tank, as the control needs to be clean almost twice a day from
the brown muck they create while the two LED tanks can go for weeks at a time without the glass being cleaned and still have very little brown diatom
build-up comparably to the side of the tanks." Matt G.
Science Fair Experiment
LED Light Experiment Soon To Include Corals
Set-up for the LED vs T5 Aquarium Experiment
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