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Old 08-29-2010, 10:25 PM   #31 
Adastra
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The whole idea of a mini biosphere is ridiculous. It doesn't teach children anything about the world, and instead instills the idea that small animals are disposable objects that don't feel pain or need to be regarded with any degree of respect. I don't understand the value of this "experiment" at all. Studying existing environments would be much more beneficial. Trying to shoddily replicate them without understanding of how delicate and complex these systems are in nature is irresponsible and useless. The students don't know anything about the origin of Endler's livebearers, they don't know about their social and spatial needs, they aren't taught about the nitrogen cycle and how impossible it would be to maintain in an unfiltered, unaerated tiny container. Sure, plants will help, and depending on the animal you get, it may be able to feed on decaying plant bits and green water--but really, a pickle jar is no place for a fish, and it doesn't take a scientist to figure that out.

There's a special place in hell for whatever "educator" dreamed this one up. If it were me, instead of doing the project, I would write up a detailed report on how terribly this exercise falls short and betrays the entire point of a biology class. That's me, though.

Last edited by Adastra; 08-29-2010 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:11 PM   #32 
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+1,000 @Adastra.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:13 PM   #33 
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Couldn't agree with you more. I felt so bad when I had to do it I carried fish flakes in my pocket and fed the fish.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:26 PM   #34 
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I'd write the school board on this one. or the SPCA.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:18 AM   #35 
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Or to PETA... But I can't say that because they're against people having pet's all togethor.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:24 AM   #36 
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PETA angers me. lol
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:54 AM   #37 
betta fish crazy
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In third grade I saw an ecosphere at a muesuem in New York. You could buy them but at that time we lived in MN and they could not ship it there.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:06 PM   #38 
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I don't think we really have enough detail on the actual project to be saying someone should go to hell over it... No offense. If it is just a snail or two with a shrimp then my guess is this is no big deal.

It is about as bad as buying a shrimp platter from walmart, or disecting a frog that was mass produced and raised in captivity just for the cause of being able to disect it in classrooms across the nation.

My guess is the aim of this project is to teach students how to create a miniature ecosystem in a jar, even if it doesn't properly replicate a real thriving pond, and watch how it evolves and changes over the course of 2-3 months. I'm sure they will test it, monitor it, and learn from their mistakes.

As I said before, there's no way to pass judgement on this class without knowing the full rubric and requirements. They haven't even set a requirement for the glass jar size, which seems weird to me.

Last edited by Phoxly; 08-30-2010 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:19 PM   #39 
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+1 for Adastra, but also +1 for Phoxly. You both have good points.

If you make sure to add plants that you know the fish could eat if needed, it's possible they will survive for some time. Ask your teacher what sort of fish he will be supplying you with, and research what they eat in the wild, maybe if they are herbivors, you can purchase the plants they need?
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:45 PM   #40 
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woah O.O Honestly in my opinion this sounds like a fun project! BUT- I'd get the two gallon chees puff container plastic jars from target. Not some silly little jar. And I'd ONLY have shrimp not live bearers!! Theres no way I'd sucumb a fish to that.. it would never live. SHRIMPIES ONLY! i <3 shrimps. Dey no poopy much, you can a lot, and there sooo much fun :3 but ur required to haave fish... THATS just cruel thats mean :(
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