The purpose of this experiment was
to determine the respiration rate of goldfish (Carassius auratus) in different
temperatures of water.
I became interested in this idea
while I was watching a show on Animal Planet that had people asking questions
on their pets and one of the questions was what temperature is the best
for her goldfish.
The information gained from this
experiment might help people who want to own or who already own goldfish
keep them healthy by knowing what temperature is best for their fish.
My hypothesis is that the warmer
the water, the more rapid the respiration rate will be.
I base my hypothesis on what a fish
expert from Pet Paradise said "the warmer the water the more waste they
will produce because their heart beats faster, so their metabolism will
work faster." I think that a faster metabolism will mean a faster
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The constants in this study were:
The same species (goldfish) (Carassius
The same type of habitat (20 gallon
The same amount of food (2 tiny pinches)
The same type of food (Tetra Min Flakes)
The same time of feeding (7:00AM &
The same amount of time to count (1
The same pH level of tank water
The same amount of fish (12)
The same fish (use same fish over again
for every test)
The same rate of increasing temperature
The manipulated variable was
temperature of the aquarium water.
The responding variable was the
respiration rate of the fish.
To measure the responding variable
I plan to count the number of times in one minute that they open and close
their mouths and/or their gill covers.
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||goldfish (Carassius auratus)
||fish tank (twenty gallons)
||Rocks (buy at local pet store)
||lidful of "pH down"
||water plant (at least)
||thermometer (that goes a high as
26.7°C & as low as 10.0°C)
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Getting Ready / Housing the Fish
1. Get the 20-gallon aquarium tank
and set it in a safe area.
2. Assemble the pump and heater
3. Pour rocks into tank.
4. Put 20 gallons of water into
5. Add one capful of "pH
Down." Let the water get acclimated for at least 24 hours.
6. After the water is acclimated
and stabilized at 21.1°C. buy the fish (Carassius auratus) and put
them into the tank.
7. Feed them a tiny pinch of food
twice a day (7:00 AM and 7:00 PM).
8. Give the fish time to get used
to their new habitat before beginning the experiment.
Conducting the Experiment
1. This experiment will be conducted
at four different Celsius temperatures: 10.0°, 15.6°, 21.1°,
and 26.7°. These temperatures are safe for goldfish according
to owners of pet stores that raise goldfish. The first experimental
measurement will start at the lowest temperature, 10.0°. Use
a small amount of ice in a plastic bag to slowly reduce the tank temperature
to 10.0°. Allow the tank to stabilize at this temperature for
at least 6 hours.
2. Using plastic tank dividers,
calmly and slowly section the aquarium into three zones, with all12 of
the fish gently corralled into the center "waiting " section.
3. Carefully and calmly net one
fish from the central section and move it into the end of the tank that
is the "observation zone". Wait 5 minutes for the fish to become
4. Using a countdown timer for
60 seconds count the number of respirations of the fish. A respiration
will be one gulping action of the mouth and gill cover. Record the
5. Carefully net the fish again
and move it into the third section of the tank where the fish that are
"done" with the current test will stay.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 for all remaining
7. Remove the dividers.
8. Slowly increase the tank temperature
by 10°. This will take about 1 day because it must be done slowly.
Allow the tank to stabilize at this temperature for at least 6 hours.
9. Repeat steps 2-7 at the new
10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 at 21.1°C
After the Experiment
1. Net all the fish carefully and
place into a large plastic container filled with the aquarium water.
Quickly transport the fish to Yakima Tropical Fish and Pet Village, being
careful not to let them get too cold.
2. Donate the fish to the store.
(They have agreed to accept them.)
The original purpose of this experiment
was to determine the respiration rate of goldfish in different temperatures
The results of the experiment were
all the fishís respiration rates were very similar. They were unbelievably
accurate and clear.
the table and graph.
My hypothesis was that the warmer
the water the more rapid the respiration rate will be.
The results indicate that this hypothesis
should be accepted
Because of the results of this experiment,
I wonder if I had used different temperatures that were spread farther
apart what the data would look like?
If I were to conduct this project
again I would have used higher temperatures because 10.0 degrees Celsius
is just too low.
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The food chain is very important
to every living creature. If the food chain happened to fall apart, everything
could die instantly. Fish are one of the many species that participate
in the food chain. If fish were to become extinct humans and billions of
other animals would die off also and pretty soon there would be nothing
left on the face of the earth.
The goldfish's ancestors are dull
colored carp bred in China and Japan. The goldfish that were placed in
bodies of fast flowing water such as rivers and lakes. Soon enough they
loose their striking appearance of their ancestors. Along time ago the
Chinese bred the goldfish to get new colors, different types of body shapes
and sizes, fin shapes and sizes, and tail shapes and sizes. The Japanese
helped to create some of the unique and strange fish we see here today.
The goldfish was first bred in the in 1878 in the United States. Today
there are still goldfish farms in the U.S.
Unlike the land animals, almost
every single fish gets their oxygen from the water. There is a certain
amount of dissolved oxygen in water. To receive the oxygen the fish have
to gulp in through their mouths and pump it over their gills. Most fish
have four pairs of gills that are enclosed in a gill chamber located on
both sides of their heads. Each gill consists of two rows of filament attached
to a gill arch.
KINDS & COLOR
Even though there are over 100 breeds of fancy goldfish,
although only 20 of those kinds are sold today. Four of those are comet,
lionhead, veiltail, and fantail. Another kind is called scaleless because
their scales are so light they can barely be seen. Goldfish come in many
different colors. Those colors can be red, orange, yellow, gold, white,
bronze, gray, black, calico, greenish bronze, purple, lavender, and blue.
Some goldfish may only grow 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 in.) long, and some more
than 30 cm (1 ft.) in length.
They can live to be as old as 50 years or older. Wild
goldfish usually don't live any older than 15 years and the domestic goldfish
that live in homes barely live to be 5 years old.
A goldfish is usually known to be in captivity,
but they do have a natural habitat. They are found in warm waters. Those
waters are located in Southern Canada, United States, and Mexico, although
the goldfish originated in China. Lakes, ponds, or sloughs with a soft
bottom, a lot of aquatic vegetation, and the warmer water temperature.
Just because they live in warmer waters, goldfish
can tolerate extremely low temperatures and low levels of dissolved oxygen.
After goldfish have been captured for numerous
years they should not be let loose in the wild again.
Compared to most animals goldfish require very little
care. A tank with rounded sides such as the fish bowls arenít as good as
a tank with strait sides because it gives more room on the surface to allow
more air to absorb. The water in the fish tank must have no chlorine and
free of any other harmful chemicals. In many cities they use chlorine to
purify the tap water. If chlorinated tap water is to sit for 24 hours the
chlorine will leave and the goldfish can be carefully put into that fish
The food chain is very important to our lives and the
lives of other living beings. Fish are one of the most important animals
in the food chain because almost all animals that are meat eaters, eat
fish. That's why if they disappear the food chain will be broken and eventually
everything would die off.
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Chambers, Kenneth A. "Goldfish" Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia
Fetzer, Scott. "Fish" The World Book Encyclopedia. 1999.
"Goldfish," Comptonís Interactive Encyclopedia, 1995.
"Goldfish" Grolier Multiple Encyclopedia 1998
Mills, Dick. "Aquarium Fish" New York, NY: DK Publishing
Pp. 12-29, 34, 43, 213
I would like to thank the following people for their
help with my science project:
The people at Yakima Tropical Fish and Pet Village for loaning
the 12 goldfish for me without charging my family and for trusting us with
My dad and mom for buying all the equipment for the fish
tank and for making sure I got all of it accurate.
Mrs. Hostetler for giving my class and I more time to make
everthing perfect and for giving everyone a little help.
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