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Aquatic Ecosystem

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Environmental Science
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University of California Irvine
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AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM 1
Aquatic Ecosystem
Student’s Name
Instructor
Institution
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AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM 2
Introduction
The goal of this semester’s project is to use ecological engineering principles to construct
a closed ecosystem that will support living conditions for the crayfish and aquatic plants for up to
two weeks. The ecosystem should be able to keep the crayfish and plants within the tank alive
and healthy for the duration of the project. The aquarium will include numerous biotic and
abiotic elements and will demonstrate the interplay between the animal and plant life within the
tank. The system will continuously be monitored for nitrite, nitrate, pH, alkalinity, phosphate,
ammonia, temperature, and dissolved oxygen to make sure the living conditions are suitable for
crayfish.
Project Items
Crayfish, also known as mudbugs or crawfish, closely resemble lobsters. They live in
freshwater bodies and breathe through gills located on the base of each leg and sides of the body
(Helms et al., 2013). They are found in the wild, though sometimes they are used as bait or
commonly kept in freshwater aquariums as pets. The usual habitats for crayfish include human-
made reservoirs, small ponds, natural pools, rivers, creeks, and lakes. Factors such as water
temperature, oxygen content, type of subsoil, and degree of pollution all contribute to the habitat
of the crayfish and are of great importance to their survival.
The plants we will use will include Salvinia, elodea, and moss balls, and these make up
the project’s biotic factors. Salvinia, commonly known as floating moss, thrives in areas where
there is stagnant fresh water. The plant is suitable for the aquarium and will help provide shade
from too much direct sunlight in parts of the tank because it is a floating plant. Too much light in

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AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM 1 Aquatic Ecosystem Student’s Name Instructor Institution Date AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM 2 Introduction The goal of this semester’s project is to use ecological engineering principles to construct a closed ecosystem that will support living conditions for the crayfish and aquatic plants for up to two weeks. The ecosystem should be able to keep the crayfish and plants within the tank alive and healthy for the duration of the project. The aquarium will include numerous biotic and abiotic elements and will demonstrate the interplay between the animal and plant life within the tank. The system will continuously be monitored for nitrite, nitrate, pH, alkalinity, phosphate, ammonia, temperature, and dissolved oxygen to make sure the living conditions are suitable for crayfish. Project Items Crayfish, also known as mudbugs or crawfish, closely resemble lobsters. They live in freshwater bodies and breathe through gills located on the base of each leg and sides of the body (Helms et al., 2013). They are found in the wild, though sometimes they are used as bait or commonly kept in freshwater aquariums as pets. The usual habitats for crayfish include humanmade reservoirs, small ponds, natural pools, rivers, creeks, and lakes. Factors such as water temperature, oxygen content, type of subsoil, and degree of pollution all contribute to the habitat of the crayfish and are of great importance to their survival. The plants we will use will include Salvinia, elodea, ...
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