Winogradsky Columns Lab
My site was behind my apartment right by the creek. It was a large stream. It is suburban and right next to a construction zone.
I didn’t have a shovel or gloves, so I just used the mason jar to scoop up the mud. I couldn’t get in the water because it was way too deep and the water was freezing cold, so I got a space that was very close to the stream. The sample I collected was very gritty and mudlike; that is most likely due to the fact that it has constantly been snowing. It was a dark brown color and some parts of it were hard to pick up, they were stuck together and not loose like store-bought soil. I processed it right when I got to my apartment, although it was very difficult to get all the pieces out because the pebbles were so small.
I got two jars full of mud and I brought a water bottle and filled that with the stream water. Then I took out the mud slowly and took out the big pieces of rock and hay. Then after I sifted through all the mud, I put the mud in each mason jar, filling it about halfway. Then I added water until about one third was empty for the air. I did not have chalk so for the first jar I put TUMS antacid in there. It didn’t tell me how many I had to put so I put three pieces in there. I also didn’t have unbleached paper towels or newspaper so I had to use eggshells for my second jar. And for the third jar I put the yolk that was part of the egg that I used the eggshells for (two birds with one stone). I think the heterotrophic bacteria in the antacid jar will grow the fastest because they have more nutrients all at once. They also use CO2 which is already in the jar due to our atmosphere. I then think the jar with eggshells will have the 2nd most bacteria and third will be the jar with the egg yolk. I honestly do not know too much about sulfur and how fast that allows bacteria to grow so I guessed it will be the slowest. I will have the color of sediment, the color of water, any movement, if the sediment became more compact or more loose, any layers in sediment and/or water, and any other observations in my column. I plan to observe them once a week at around 4-5 pm so there is still light that can help me see better and make more accurate observations. I set it up on a window sill but the only light they get is when the sun is starting to come down due to the shape of my apartment. They will get about 60-70% of the natural light due to the way my window is faced.
Hypothesis and Research Objectives
I think the heterotrophic bacteria in the antacid jar will grow the fastest because they have more nutrients (carbon dioxide and sunlight) all at once/consistently. I will measure when the bacteria are able to be seen with the naked eye and measure in mm how much it has grown (vertically).