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The Second Fish Growth Experiment and Watt-Ahh® Wins Again


Marine Biologist Katie Kopinski lived up to her promise last summer to voluntarily perform another fish growth experiment using Watt-Ahh® (an AquaNew® water). The results from Katie’s 2012 experiment using Veiltail Betta fish are in. Once again, she observed greater growth and energy in fish living in Watt-Ahh®.

Sarasota, FL, September 20, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Marine Biologist Katie Kopinski lived up to her promise last summer to voluntarily perform another fish growth experiment using Watt-Ahh® (an AquaNew® water). The results from Katie’s 2012 experiment using Veiltail Betta fish are in. Once again, she observed greater growth and energy in fish living in Watt-Ahh®. (Results of Katie’s 2011 experiment, using Comet goldfish, can be found at AquaNew.com.

For the second, experiment, Katie prepared a more sophisticated protocol based on her scientific literature reviews and interviews with both professional aquarium experts and marine biologists at MOTE Marine (located in Sarasota, Fla.). Katie separately filled sister aquariums, one with de-chlorinated tap water and the other with Watt-Ahh®, and installed identical filtration and heating equipment, plastic plants and gravel into each aquarium. She carefully cleansed each part prior to placing into the respective aquarium and added a pinch of Biozyme to each aquarium.

After acclimating a total of four fish for each tank (two Zebra Danios and two Leopard Danios), Katie allowed the nitrogen cycle to take its course for four to six weeks. On a daily basis, she measured and recorded the levels of nitrate, nitrite and pH and also noted the amount of water change for each tank during the nitrogen cycle.

Once the nitrogen cycle was complete, Katie subsequently continued her daily data entries during the fish growth experiment which lasted for one month.

At the beginning of the experiment, one female Veiltail Betta joined the two Zebra and two Leopard Danios for each aquarium tank. Female Bettas were chosen because they typically have shorter fins than male Bettas, limiting the possibility of the Danios nipping at Betta fins (thereby compromising the health of the fish and the results of the experiment). Since Betta fish are not compatible with other Bettas, Danios were chosen for each tank to accompany them.

The environments for the two tanks were identical, the feeding and cleaning regiments the same. Both female Beta fish measured 2.8 cm in length at the beginning of the experiment. The only difference was the use of Watt-Ahh® in one tank and de-chlorinated tap water in the other.

“I admit; I was skeptical,” Katie told AquaNew in an interview when asked if she thought that a Betta raised in Watt-Ahh® could really grow measurably faster and larger.

During the fish growth experiment, Katie measured the nitrate levels, as well as the water hardness and pH of the de-chlorinated tap water in one tank, and Watt-Ahh® in a sister tank. Low nitrate levels reduce the risk for infection in fish. Her initial results, and all subsequent daily tests, indicated that there were varied amounts of nitrates and nitrites found in the tap water, and the water hardness level was much higher than that of Watt-Ahh®. The nitrate, nitrite and water hardness levels in Watt-Ahh® tank, however, remained stable at zero throughout the experiment. Katie told us that she observed the water in the Watt-Ahh® tank to be cleaner, having an initial purity of less than 1 ppm in water hardness vs. over 220 ppm in the de-chlorinated tap water.

“The only results that varied in Watt-Ahh® were the pH levels,” Katie said. “And then, only when I added cleaning chemicals to each tank.”

“Was there anything that you noticed initially that surprised you?” AquaNew asked her.

“Yes,” Katie answered without hesitation. “Within minutes of being added to the tank, the fish in the Watt-Ahh® tank were visibly more energetic. The Watt-Ahh® fish also swam to the top of the tank while the tap water fish stayed on the bottom. I was also surprised that in the first week of the experiment there was a 14.3% growth spurt for the fish in the Watt-Ahh® tank but only a 7.1% growth increase in the tap water fish.”

Katie continued to measure the length of each Betta fish on a weekly basis throughout the experiment (five weekly measurements were recorded for each Betta). During the last week of the experiment, the Watt-Ahh® fish experienced another growth spurt and had a total 28.6% body length growth increase while the tap water fish had a total growth increase of 17.9%. The Watt-Ahh® Betta grew at least 10% greater than that of the tap water Betta over the period of the experiment (3.6 vs. 3.3 cm for the tap water fish).

“Based on this test, I believe that Watt-Ahh® gives fish more energy, helps them grow faster and keeps the tank cleaner. A growth differential in excess of 10%, between two fish of the same species that are typically slow growing, is indeed significant” Katie concluded.

For more information on this experiment and other studies, visit their Studies page.

About Katie Kopinski: Katie is a recent graduate from The University of Tampa with Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology and Marine Science. As an animal lover, Katie has served as a Save our Seabirds volunteer, a MOTE Marine Aquarium volunteer and has fostered guinea pigs. She is considering going back to college to pursue a graduate degree in Marine Science.
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