Something Died in the Garage!

Sunday, Sir Husband walks into the kitchen and said, “I was looking around the garage for whatever it was the died in there.   Then I saw your pond water.  How long is that pond water going to be in there?”

He so loves me!

The “death” he smelled is actually live bacteria growing in the pond water, I collected last Friday at the library.  That pond looked like it was stagnant enough to get a good sample.

Pond Water

The best conditions for optimal growth is: moisture (pond water), moderate temps. (garage), nutrition (food, see below), darkness and some oxygen.   Plastic jars that let minimal amount of light in was just the thing to use.

A small amount of deep pond water was placed into each of the four containers.

Collecting the samples.

Go here to find out how we made the collecting device. 🙂

I covered each jar with a lid, labeled each lid and side of the jar the food content.  The lids are used only when transporting the sample to where they need to go.

The nutrients

When the food is placed in the jar, the bacteria will have enough nutrients to make them go into an Exponential Growth (reproduce rapidly).  By the time we take the samples to the co-op (today, Tuesday), they will have reached or be close to their Stationary Stage.   It takes only 3 to 5 days to reach this point.   For more information on each stages of the growth of bacteria, read the  Online Textbook of Bacteriology .

To make sure the samples get enough oxygen, I placed pantyhose over the top and secured with a rubberband.

Here is an excellent video on the Logarithmic growth of bacteria

Here is another video showing the rapid growth of bacteria.

The smell is from the bacteria digesting their food source.  Protein is suppose to cause the most smell.  We shall find out during our class today.  Stay tuned to find out which one of these food source, dirt, dead grass (hay), egg, or white rice have the worst smell.

Is the smell really bad?  Take a look at the video I made last year.

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4 responses to “Something Died in the Garage!

  1. Awesome post! We’re going out collecting our samples today…guess I’m gonna have “something dead in the garage too!”

  2. When we did this, I took advantage of the smell to nudge my kids toward better dental hygiene. =}

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