What Are the Effects of Water Pollution?

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Updated on Sep 20, 2013

Grade Level: 7th-12th Type: Earth Science


Observe and determine how acidity affects saltwater.

Research Questions:

  • What did you notice happening as you added more CO2?
  • What else do you think the acidity of the water would affect besides fish?

Acid rain has been affecting the rivers and oceans more and more each year. Saltwater is slightly basic, but even a slight lower in the pH scale will disrupt the equilibrium and cause massive damage to its inhabitants. We will be observing the small scale affects in this project. If you can see how much it harms a fish tank, just imagine how much damage it does to the entire ocean.


  • CO2 injector
  • Saltwater
  • Four small fish tanks
  • Fish

Experimental Procedure

  1. Fill all the small fish tanks with saltwater. Put one fish in each.
  2. Let the water cycle for a week or two. If a fish dies, replace it. (Cycling is leaving the fish in the tank without doing anything to it besides feeding the fish.)
  3. Once this is done, label the fish tanks Control, Tank 1, Tank 2, and Tank 3.
  4. Put the CO2 injector in Tank 1 for one minute.
  5. Put the CO2 injector in Tank 2 for two minutes.
  6. Put the CO2 injector in Tank 3 for tjree minutes.
  7. Do not put the CO2 injector at all in Control.
  8. Record the data for each tank, include the death of fish, the condition of the fish, and the condition of the tank.

Terms/Concepts: Pollution; Acid Rain; pH Scale; Basic/Acid; Saltwater vs. Freshwater

Danielle Abadam is a well-educated high school student. She is currently taking advanced English, Mathematics, and Biology classes. For a few years now, she has been writing articles for various websites and her school newspaper. Danielle always does the experiments herself before she writes about them.

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