This is what we thought
the bottle would look like before
we started to build it © 2005 Mutant1
We made this Ecobottle for a class project. We liked making it, and singing "I like Traffic Lights!" Mutant1 brought in a scorpion against Muntant3's wishes, however, she later named him Melvin. Mutant5 joined our group a little late, but she helped in her own way. As said before we built this ecobottle for a class project. We built it in combined math/science class to study how creatures would survive in a closed environment. We later went on a field trip to the biggest closed environment, called Biosphere 2. Biosphere had a problem where the organisms in the soil sucked all the oxygen out of the air and emergency oxygen had to be pumped in. Luckily, our ecobottle was open to the air so we didn't have that problem. Our organisms survived as we expected with the crickets eating the plants and the scorpion eating the crickets. The snails lasted until the water turned really really nasty.
Drawings of organisms
- First we collected four two liter soda bottles.
- Then we cut the bottoms off two of them. We cut the top off the third, and cut both ends off the fourth.
- We put one of the soda bottles with the top attached into the one with no top.
- We put it in so that the top was pointing down.
- Then we stuck the other bottomless one into the the first bottom less one
- Then we attached the one that had no top and no bottom to the top of the pillar of bottles.
- Then we took them apart.
- We put 276.9 grams of sand, and 365.4 grams of rocks in the bottom of the bottle, which would later become the aquatic layer.
- In the next layer up, the decomposition layer, we put 125.4 grams of dirt and planter mix and 4 apples.
- In the next layer we put one apple, radish seeds, lima beans, and basil. We also put ten crickets and one scorpion in the terrestrial layer.
- We added two snails and a plant to the aquatic layer, along with some water.
- Then we sealed it up by putting one of the cut off tops into the terrestrial layer, to make a top.
- Finally, we drilled holes in the cap to allow for watering and ventilation.
- One day later, we took the top off because there was too much condensation in the terrestrial layer. We replaced it with screen, then cut a hole in it and put the newly removed top into the hole so we could water it. Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
© 2005 This is before any of the organisms were in there, and before the water too
The Melvin Hypothesis
Our hypothesis was that Melvin the scorpion would live because he had food and everything else he needed to live.
The first five days of Melvin in the bottle:
Sept. 26: Our prediction was that Melvin would eat one of the crickets inside of the bottle, and that the snails would live to see another day.
Sept 27: Our prediction was the same as the 26th only that the scorpion wouldn't eat anything or would eat more than he did the other day. As far as the snails our prediction was that they would again live another day.
Sept. 28: Our prediction stayed the same.
Sept. 29: No changes.
Sept. 30: No changes.
Week 2: Our prediction is that Melvin will stay alive by surviving on the crickets. The crickets will eventually get eaten and the snail will die because of the water.
Week 3: Our prediction now is that Melvin will stay alive and the snail will eventually die as the water becomes darker and the crickets will get eaten sooner or later.
Week 4: Our hypothesis now is that Melvin will survive to the end and outlast the crickets.
Week 5: Our hypothesis now is that Melvin will live and all the crickets will die. All the snails are currently dead.
Our hypotheses about Melvin were absolutely right. Melvin survived and was released back to Mutant 1 at the end of the project.
General Ecobottle Hypotheses
These are our hypotheses that we created for each week of this investigation based on the creatures and their environments. Enjoy!!
Week 1 Hypothesis: Organisms will begin to adapt to their environments and react to each other. There will probably be no deaths in this first week of life in the ecobottle, though the animals may have interesting behaviors while they adjust to their new home.
Week 2 Hypothesis: The creatures are still be adapting to their environments and figuring out exactly where they are and what's going on. The waste in the decomposition chamber will really begin to break down. All the organisms will probably still be alive. None of the plants will come out of the ground yet.
Week 3 Hypothesis: The plants will begin to grow out of the ground. The waste will continue breaking down in the decomposition chamber. The creatures will continue to thrive together, and the scorpion (Melvin) will begin to eat crickets by this time. The snails will still live happily down in the aquatic system.
Week 4 Hypothesis: We predicted that by this time one of the snails will die. We also think that the plants will live well and grow. Melvin will still live, and the crickets will continue to thrive, eat from their apple, and get eaten by Melvin. The decomposition chamber (the middle chamber of the three) will produce more decomposition by now, since the fruit in there have been sitting for a while.
Week 5 Hypothesis: The aquatic system will probably be a little dirty by now, but not extremely gross to the point where we can't see through the water. The plants will probably be very tall by now. We guess that Melvin will die by this point and the remainder of the crickets will still survive. We also predict that our other snail will not die.
How to take water temperature:
Take a little bit of water in a graduated cylinder, then put a thermometer in it, and take the temperature.
How to examine the ecobottle water with a microscope:
Get a sample of water and put it on a slide which you then put under the microscope. Adjust the lighting and zoom, and rove around until you find something. When I did this, I saw one organism. It looked a little like an amoeba.
Day 1 - 2:00 9-28-05
Too humid, going to take off top, and replace it with screen. scorpion has made a burrow, as have crickets, under apple slice. water in aquatic layer has cleared. tried to water, got caught on screen, so we cut a small hole in the screen to poke top though.
Day 2 - 1:00 9-29-05
- General/Overall impression: things are pretty good, some plants are growing. the crickets aren't as hyper, and there seem to be only nine left. the scorpion is hiding. the snails are doing well. the decomposition chamber is steamy. something that looks like a egg under apple slice
- Terrestrial: 9 crickets, seeds growing, not lima beans, scorpion has burrowed. lima bean under apple
- Decomposition: very steamy, moister on sides, condensation.
- Aquatic: the snails are alive, as is plant.
Day 3 - 9-30-05
- General: melvin is in his burrow, we can't see him. the water is clean and clear,there is some condensation. the decomp. chamber is steamy.
- Terrestrial: 9 crickets, we put in 25 milliliters of water, the radishes are growing, as are the basil.the lima beans aren't.
- Decomposition: steamy, what parts of the apples that can be see are covered in mold
Day 4 - 10-3-05
- General: melvin the scorpion is still alive, 8 crickets lima beans have sprouted, melvin hangs out under an overhang. snails are still alive. crickets have gotten darker.
- Terrestrial: 8 crickets, scorpion is still alive. lima beans growing, others have gotten taller.
- Decomposition: still really really steamy
- Aquatic: snails are still alive.
Day 5 - 10-4-05
- General: lima beans seed is now almost as tall as the radish seeds, and has opened up another one, seems to be growing. lima bean has made a leaf. it seemed to come out of an eggshell
- Terrestrial: added 30.5 milliliters of water, still 8 crickets
- Decomposition: still steamy.
- Aquatic:both snails are still alive.
Day 6 - 10-6-05
- General: one snail seems dead, there are still eight crickets left. the plants are still growing very tall and the decomposition chamber is no different as far as we can tell.
- Terrestrial: 8 crickets remaining, and our plants have grown a few inches since Tuesday. Melvin is missing in action once again. he's grown and he's hungry.
- Decomposition: things are still decomposing.
- Aquatic: one snail appears dead, the plants have come out of the ground.
Day 7 - 10-7-05
- General: things seem a bit uneventful. there are small flying bugs and there are still about eight crickets and the plants are doing ok
- Terrestrial: melvin is MIA and plants and crickets are alive and the crickets are eating the plants
Selected Observations from Later Weeks
- Overall: pH is level 7 and water temp is 25 Celsius. melvin is hiding. bean plants have holes in them. roots hanging down into decomposition chamber.
- Terrestrial: seven crickets. two large bean plants, crickets are bigger scorpion is longer.
- Decomposition: seems permanently steamy. roots from terrestrial hanging down.
- Aquatic: snails still alive.
- Overall: seven crickets, bean plants have large holes in leaves.
- Terrestrial: seven crickets, two bean plants, scorpion in hiding.
- Decomposition: still steamy, dead gnat stuck on side of bottle
- Aquatic: temp 28 ph 7 snails live. we got the temperature and ph level by making a hole in the bottle and withdrawing water. we put some of the water in a tube with a thermometer in it and the rest on ph tape.
- Overall: added 50 milliliters of water, scorpion is dirty, and has dark down it's abdomen. crickets are growing wings.
- Terrestrial: 5 crickets, scorpion is still alive, tried to sting a cricket, missed.
- Decomposition: as active as always
- Aquatic: both snails still alive!
- Overall: 5 crickets, now nearly as big as scorpion,water is getting murky, it's red orange
- Terrestrial: 4 crickets, 1 scorpion, dead plants.
- Decomposition: decomposing
- Aquatic: dirty, one snail ph level: 6, temperature: 28
- Overall: 5 crickets, one has strange markings. lima bean plant has died, and the water is now deep orange.
- Terrestrial: 5 crickets dead bean plant, melvin lives
- Decomposition:still steamy
- Aquatic: water is red orange, two snails temperature, 25 ph: 7
- Overall: melvin lives! both snails are dead however.
- Terrestrial: five crickets still
- Decomposition: decomposing
- Aquatic: water is filthy, snails are dead. temperature:24, ph: 7
-date unknown- 1:55
- Overall: Melvin is still alive, the plants are still all dead, water is still really dirty, decomposition is growing mold on base of terrestrial bottle.
- Terrestrial: three crickets left, melvin
- Decomposition: is growing mold on the bottle above it.
- Aquatic: snails are dead, water is filthy, there are green streaks in the sand, and there is dead plant matter in a layer over the sand. ph: 8 or 9. temperature: 25
11-21 - last day-
- Overall: dirty dirty water decomposition still steamy terrestrial is bare and woodchopper
- Terrestrial: three crickets, melvin lives! is burrowing no plant life
- Decomposition is growing mold into terrestrial
- Aquatic: still dirty, snails still appear to be dead.
- temp: 25
a close up of the terrestrial area
Greetings, this is Mutant3 reporting for duty, bringing you information on our fascinating ecosystems!! As the days go by, I've been observing the organisms within the eco bottle and taking notes on their life cycles, watching how they react to their environments, how they react to other creatures,and how they survive.
An Analysis By Mutant3
In the last two months, we faced many twists and turns in the fascinating world of the ecobottle. There was life and there was death, the good, the bad and the ugly, and we saw it all with our own two eyes!! At the very beginning we started out with a pile of soil, a handful of sliced fruits and veggies, some water, a few plants, ten crickets, two snails, and one lonely scorpion named Melvin. To be honest most of these organisms died before long, with exception of three lucky crickets and "The Melvinator", but it was a fight well fought. Well, now that's all done with, I will be describing in my own words exactly what happened in the "eco" world.
The first week was quite a surprise for our group. Originally we had these organisms living in our ecobottle (they were separated by what level they inhabited): Terrestrial: One scorpion, eight crickets, and one lima bean plant. Aquatic: Two snails, and one water plant. And Decomposition: Dirt, apples,water, and some kind of vegetable I can't remember at the moment. From the very first week we all assumed that each of the organisms would kick the bucket before the end of three short weeks, so we waited and watched. We observed the activities and habits of the eco-organisms, and shockingly enough, nothing had yet died. The scorpion (Melvin) stayed below ground most of the time, buried deep inside the soil. Although he did kill a cricket in the first week, we unfortunately did not get an opportunity to witness any brutal killings. The crickets scurried around, eating the apples we had provided for them. Our plants were growing nicely, our snails were alive and well, our water was clear, and the produce was decomposing slowly. So over all, the first week was a successful venture.
By the end of the second week, things began to take a dive into the pit of doom, but there were some good aspects of the evolution of the eco-bottle. Everything seemed to be going well enough until the snails in the Aquatic chamber became unhealthy. The reason for this was do to the fact that our water plant had uprooted itself from the sand and the snails were not able to eat, at least that was what we thought was the explanation. We discovered that one of the snails was not moving at all and than a few days later the second snail also died. The water in the Aquatic chamber was still clear enough, in fact it was much more clean than anyone else's water supply, but it too was getting more and more dirty every day. The decomposition chamber was now filled with very rich, damp soil, and by the third week there were tiny little gnats flying around, but these soon died out. Mean while in the Terrestrial chamber, Melvin was still alive and there were a few more missing crickets, plus our plant was doing okay. So far, things were doing better than we had expected.
Into the fourth and fifth weeks what we had expected to happen was indeed going into effect. The plants were dying since we had declined in our frequency of watering them, and the water was really beginning to take a turn for the worse. The Aquatic chamber was now filled with slightly brown water, but it was still maintaining a pH level of 8. The decomposition chamber was an empty section that was dry and under-nurtured.
On November 4, we constructed the Venn Diagram below, comparing our ecobottle to the ecobottle of another group in the class.
Here is a graph of the number of organisms living in our ecobottle at the end of the observation period:
As it turns out, our ecobottle was a huge success. We became the ecobottle of the class. All because of Melvin the invincible scorpion. Our group learned that the world is somewhat like a ecobottle too and we also learned what team work is all about. Our group agreed that we probably wouldn't want to do another ecobottle anytime soon, but if the time came we probably would have added more living things or designed it differently. We currently don't have any questions for further research right now. We hope that this web page will spark up something big or just be amusing to someone who is online.