Affinity of Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) towards schooling with conspecifics within different levels of turbid water By: Shehzer Tahir, Graham Jones and Andrew Flynn Research Question • Research Question: What are the effects of turbidity on the visualization of conspecies of neon tetras fish? • Rationale: To achieve a greater understanding how neon tetras would interact in an environment that resembles their ecosystem. Background Information • The neon tetra is a popular aquarium fish, it is characterized by remarkably bright body coloration • Likely evolved bright coloration in response to the ecological context of their turbid habitat in the Amazon • Exhibit aggregation in the form of schooling http://www.keepingtropicalfish.co.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2011/08/Paracheirodon-innesi.jpg Experimental information • Independent variable: Turbidity • Dependent variable: The reaction of the fish in the affected water • Species: Neon tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) • Hypothesis: Neon tetras will have a affinity for schooling with conspecifics in clear water over turbid water Experimental Design • Instantaneous/Scan Sampling -> 15 minute sets where data was recorded in intervals of 30 seconds • Test one – Same turbidity -> no fish/three fish • Test two – different levels of turbidity -> Three fish/Three fish • Turbidity levels include: 0mL, 0.3mL, 0.75mL,1.5mL and 3.0mL (Food coloring) Procedure • Fish were placed in Jars • Dechlorinated water at 21o Celsius Procedure • Equal volumes of red, blue and green food coloring was added to the water in the jars to simulate turbid water • Different levels of turbidity were prepared by adding different amounts of Food coloring to the jars. Our Results • Several test sets were done with different levels of turbidity • 50% of our data was significant based on the X2 test Higher Turbid level vs. Lower Turbid level Preference for water of low turbidity 120 At the highest turbid water level there was no preference Percent time in section(%) 100 80 60 40 20 0 Turbid Water (3mL) No Fish Turbid water (1.5mL) Sections of aquarium Testing for Clear Water Preference 100 Fish showed an affinity for schooling with the fish in clear water Percent time in section(%) This graph shows clear water vs. low level turbid water 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Clear Water No Fish Turbid Water(0.30mL) Sections of aquarium Testing for Clear Water Preference 100 There was a increase in affinity to clear water when it was compared to higher level of turbid waters 90 80 Percent time in section(%) A significant preference for Clear water over over even more turbid water 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 Graph shows clear water vs. high level of turbid water 0 Clear water No Fish Turbid water (1.5mL) Sections of aquarium Testing Fish vs. No Fish in Turbid Water 100 Suggests that the fish cannot see their conspecifics at higher turbidity levels 80 Percent time in section(%) No preference when given a choice between jars with fish and no fish 90 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Turbid Water (3mL) Fish No Fish Turbid Water (3mL) No fish Sections of aquarium Conclusion • Neon tetras showed an affinity for clear water over turbid water • Affinity for clear water went up when turbid water levels increased in other jar • Showed affinity for lower level turbid waters vs. high turbid waters • Showed no affinity for schooling at highest turbid level with fish present or not Improvements • Bottom surface was mirrored • Neon Tetras were re-used for multiple experiments • Lack of trials for each turbidity level • Background distractions • Light consistency Future Research/Wrap-Up • Future Research -Additional work on this subject needs to be done to discover more information on the ecological purpose for neon tetra coloration • References available upon request • Any Questions about whole project??