Respiration and Gills: What Factors Affect Respiration in an Aquatic Environment? *
|Time Required||Average (6-10 days)|
|Material Availability||Readily available|
|Cost||Low ($20 - $50)|
AbstractDuring metabolism, organisms experience physical and chemical changes. All animals need some way to exchange chemical waste generated during metabolism for fresh nutrients. One way that these metabolic chemicals are exchanged is during respiration, the process by which used carbon dioxide gas is exchanged with fresh oxygen and circulated throughout the body. How do organisms living underwater respirate? They use gills, which filter oxygen from the water and pass the oxygen into the bloodstream. You can measure the rate of respiration of a goldfish by counting the number of gill movements over a defined period of time. Using goldfish, you can design experiments to test the effect of different environmental conditions on respiration. Some environmental conditions that could be tested are: temperature, salinity, oxygenation, toxicity or acidity. (Dashefsky, 1995, 82-84; VanCleave, 1993, 133-137.) Goldfish tolerate some environmental changes better than others. To avoid killing the goldfish, research their environmental tolerances before experimenting; when in doubt, make small incremental changes, making sure to observe their reactions prior to making larger changes.
Cite This PageGeneral citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.
Last edit date: 2017-07-28
- Dashefsky, H.S. 1995. Zoology: 49 Science Fair Projects. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
- VanCleave, J. 1993. Janice VanCleave's A+ Projects in Biology. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
News Feed on This Topic
Ask an ExpertThe Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.
Ask an Expert
If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Marine BiologistDo you enjoy going to the ocean? Do you like examining all of the marine creatures in tide pools? Do you read up on the different kinds of ocean mammals and fish for fun? If this is the case, then you may be the right fit for a career as a marine biologist. Marine biology is the study of ocean aquatic organisms, their behaviors, and their interactions with the environment. Because this field of study is an intersection of zoology, biology, and technology, marine biologists can apply their knowledge in many different ways. Read more
AquaristA summer day at the beach can be very relaxing. The sand is warm and the waves lap gently on the shore. But beneath the water's surface is a world that is teeming with rich plant and animal life. For many of us, it isn't possible to experience this world firsthand. But at a public aquarium, we can take a peek and examine close up the beautiful fish and coral. An aquarist cares for the animal and plant life that you see in those aquarium displays. Aquarists make sure that all of the animals and plants in their displays are well fed and free of disease. Read more
News Feed on This Topic
Looking for more science fun?
Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom.Find an Activity
Explore Our Science Videos
Why Do Apples and Bananas Turn Brown? - STEM activity
Build an Infinity Mirror
BlueBot 4-in-1 Robotics Kit