8. Daily Laboratory Log

Daily Laboratory Log:

Day 1
Date: 21 July 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities:
1) Try to calibrate ammonium Ion-selective electrode
2) Collect Equipment from lab tech (not all)

Individual Reflections:
Chong Yong Liang:
Since I didn’t have any experience with arduino I couldn’t do much and we didn’t have all the equipment we needed and thus we couldn’t do much 

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
We got the equipment from the Lab Technicians (the sensors, as well as the Arduino Andee). Other than that, we had gotten to test out the water using the water sensors (ammonia nitrate and calcium). We had also gotten some consultation from Mr Tan about our project. I truly believe that in this project, communication and collaboration is needed within the team and I hope that tomorrow will be a better start for us!

Kok Li Ying:
We did not do much today as we only got the equipment (sensors, Arduino) from the Lab Technicians. We also tried to test out the sensors with water but had no time and we did not know how to calibrate the sensors. 

Ng Wei Jie: 
We didn’t do much today, since we  didn’t have much of the items that we needed to start our work on, but on the bright side, we managed to get the sensors and data logger to start up. We tried to calibrate the sensors, but there wasn’t enough time.

Day 2
Date: 21 July 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities:
1) Learnt how to properly calibrate the sensors 
2) Collect all materials (tank coming soon)
3) Downloaded the Anniken Andee Software
4) Worked with Arduino (with the temperature sensors and light bulbs)
5) Programming the system such that it will be able to automate the Aquaponics tank

Individual Reflections:
Chong Yong Liang:
Today was rather hectic since we didn’t know whether Mr Tan bought us our stuff and someone (Johanna) wanted to move the entire fish tank down but we decided just to bring a beaker of water down but other than that we got the systems set up

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today was a rather busy day. First of all, we collected the relay system, Arduino parts (bulbs, temperature sensor) and the water sample from the lab (current fish tank). Other than that, we tried calibrating the sensors but due to time constraints, we were not able to do so. We managed to get a hang of the Arduino too! 

Kok Li Ying:
Today, we got our other materials like the relay system, bulbs and wires. We also got to use the sensors again to try out, but then we found out that calibration needed 30 minutes, and so we had no time to calibrate. We also figured out how to use the Arduino.


Ng Wei Jie: 
We managed to get other parts like the led lights, but I didn’t do anything else because I only spent my time on trying to calibrate the sensors, which ended badly and calibrated wrongly, so the staff working here at Biotech Lab 2 told us what to do, but we didn’t have enough time, so I left the calibration for the next day.

Day 3
Date: 24 July 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities:
1) Calibrated all the sensors
2) Fixed up the circuit (bulbs and temperature sensors inside)
3) Downloaded the Anniken Andee Software
4) Worked with Arduino (with the temperature sensors and light bulbs)
5) Programming the system such that it will be able to automate the Aquaponics tank

Individual Reflections:
Chong Yong Liang:
Wei Jie and I  learned how to calibrate the dissolved oxygen probe it was quite the achievement since we did not know how to do it the day before and we learned it within the time span of 45 minutes. I think we achieved quite a lot learning to calibrate the sensors and programming the Arduino.

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today was a rather great day for us. Before Science lesson started, we entered the room during recess in order to start the calibration process earlier. During that time, we had gotten two more data-loggers in order to maximize time. As for the calcium sensor, one of our members accidentally pressed the cancel button and all the efforts we had were wasted. Luckily, we calibrated the others so dissolved oxygen was finally calibrated. On the other hand, we also progressed on the Arduino parts! We connected the Arduino Leonardo to our MacBooks and connected the green, red, yellow light bulbs and the temperature sensors onto the breadboard. We also learnt how to use the Arduino Leonardo (using the SIK Guide Code). Our in-put would be the temperature sensor and our out-put would be the Aquaponics system. We are getting the LED screen display soon, with that, we would be able to go further. From today's experience, I have learnt about collaborating and communicating with my peers and without everyone's enthusiasm and co-operation, as well as the division of labour, we would not be able to accomplish so much. 

Lastly, Arduino Leonardo automation is an important and rigorous task. Thus, we need to focus and concentrate in order to achieve greater heights. 


Kok Li Ying:
Today, we managed to start calibrating the sensors as we could enter the room during recess and thus we could do it. Unfortunately, Wei Jie accidentally pressed the cancel button and then it was reset, so it was a pity. Besides that, we tried to assemble the light bulbs and temperature sensor on the Arduino board. We also got 2 new LabQuest dataloggers so that we can calibrate more than 1 sensor at the same time which also saves time. 

Ng Wei Jie:
Today was a really funny yet upsetting day because I finally received the instructions to calibrate the sensors, and I attempted the Calcium sensor, but I accidently pressed the cancel button by accident after having to spend 30 minutes on calibrating it. Well, at least I managed to work the DO (Dissolved Oxygen) probe wonderfully.

Day 4
Date: 25 July 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities:
1) Calibrated the sensors
2) Set up the Arduino circuit 
3) Asked for potentio-meter 
4) Looked up the SIK Guide Code Circuit 7

Individual Reflections:
Chong Yong Liang:
The lesson was frustrating in general , we learned that we needed to calibrate the sensors every time we used them ,luckily some of the sensors were relatively simple.
We also received 2 more Vernier lab quest devices to help with the calibration speed.

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today, we calibrated the sensors and worked on the configuration of the temperature sensor circuit. Firstly, I will be talking about the calibration part. We managed to calibrate the dissolved oxygen and nitrate sensors. In the midst of it, Wei Jie got the scale wrong. Other than that, it went perfectly well as we tested the water from the fish tank. 

Now, onto the Arduino part, we used the SIK Guide Code Circuit 7 as it was programming a temperature sensor. We followed the steps and slotted the wires into the Arduino UNO and breadboard (as well as the temperature sensor too!) We finished the circuit but to further do it (automation part), we needed a potentiometer so we asked the Lab Technician for it. This is basically what we had accomplished today! 

Throughout the Arduino configuration process, we faced some minor problems, but with the help of the team and troubleshooting, we were able to overcome it.

Lastly, for the calibration process, a lot of patience and precision for it to work. (30 minutes to calibrate and another 5 minutes to test the water; for the result) Thus, through the activity, we were able to gain collaboration skills, as well as cross-cultural understanding amongst one another. This is so as when someone does things a little bit slowly, we just understand them as it is due to the conditions of the current situation. 

I truly hope that as the days pass, we would be able to achieve more and hopefully, by the end of the next lesson, the temperature sensor would be able to be projected (like the degree) on the LED display screen! 

Kok Li Ying:
Today, we managed to calibrate some sensors, but then Wei Jie went to key in the wrong number (1000 mg/L instead of 100mg/L) for the nitrate sensor. We also got another Arduino Uno, which Johanna and I used before and we have learnt them before as well. So, we assembled the wires and temperature sensor, but since we did not know how to code, we did not know how to operate the sensor. 

Ng Wei Jie:
Another funny day, this time, I accidently turned off the datalogger while I was redoing he nitrate sensor, but although that happened again, I managed to work out and finish calibrating the ammonium sensor.

Day 5
Date: 29 July 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities:
1) Calibrated the sensors
2) Set up the Arduino circuit 
3) Got the parts that we needed
4) Looked up the SIK Guide Code Circuit 7
5) Managed to monitor the temperature

Individual Reflections:
Chong Yong Liang:
Since we still did not receive the fish tank all we really could do is practise calibrating the sensors and do the Arduino. Calibrating the sensors was generally standard business but we started feeling over confident and ended up doing it wrong and had to clean up more. 

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
For today, I basically worked on the temperature sensor (automating it). As usual, I started setting up the circuit (with the temperature sensor, the wires connected to the Arduino UNO). We managed to get the potentio-meter and were able to use the temperature sensor to know the temperature around us (since it is not connected to the system yet). Surprisingly, some of the codes that we used worked! (and that saved us a lot of time). Tomorrow’s challenge would be connecting it to the system so that we would know the temperature of the water. We would also be connecting it to the relay system!

Other than that, we managed to calibrate and test the fish tank’s water for dissolved oxygen, which we found out was 5.3mg. Following that, we would test the water and graph our findings! In order to achieve what we did today, Wei Jie came in 30 minutes earlier to calibrate (as it takes 30 minutes to do so). 

From today’s experience, I truly learnt that collaboration among the group members is rather important because one individual is not able to do so much and with more members, we will be exposed to more ideas, opinions and we would be able to learn from each other. Lastly, the way you bring about an idea to your group is crucial as you need to be understanding of how the person feels so that you do not hurt their feelings when rejecting their idea. 

Kok Li Ying: 
As usual, I am being the helpful one, helping with both the calibration and the Arduino. We managed to test for the dissolved oxygen in the fish tank’s water, which is about 5.3mg. We actually managed to calibrate the sensors even before the start of the lesson as Wei Jie managed to enter the lab during recess to do so (recess was before science lesson). But, he did the calibration wrongly again, so it was a pity.

Ng Wei Jie: 
Again, I’ve accidently done the calibration wrongly. I used the wrong solution (I should have used low, but I used high), and what is amazing is that it was the nitrate sensor yet again. At least the temperature sensor was useable.

Day 6
Date: 30 July 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities: 
1) Calibrated the sensors
2) Monitored the temperature
3) Researched on how to waterproof temperature sensor (Arduino)
4) Find out how the Arduino circuit works (with relay system)

Individual Reflections: 
Chong Yong Liang:
another day of calibrating sensors , completed dissolved oxygen and nitrate electrode sensors calibrations.

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today, we went to look for Mr Tan and we presented the circuit that we have constructed so far. We also questioned him about how to keep the temperature low (since abalone live in cold climate) He then told us to research online on how to make a mini chiller, and we found one that can be done by using a fan! This is so because when the winds from the fan run over the water, it evaporates. We also learnt how to waterproof a temperature sensor (soldering etc) so that we can use it in our Aquaponics system. 

Other than that, as usual, we calibrated the waters for dissolved oxygen and nitrate! (getting the readings perfectly). The Arduino circuit would then be added on with a relay system that will connect the chiller and the temperature sensor. 

From this lesson, I learnt that team co-operation is important as in order to do such an engineering project. It takes a team to buy the equipment and to follow the procedures carefully on how to do it. 


Kok Li Ying:
Today, Johanna and I went to look for Mr Tan who was upstairs, and then we showed him our circuit. We also asked him about the chiller and then he told us to research online on how to make a mini chiller, and we found one that can be done by using a fan. Also, he told us to research on how to waterproof a temperature sensor so that we can dip it in the water.

Ng Wei Jie: 
Today, Yong Liang and I were just sitting around, because we had nothing much to do other than wait for the calcium sensor to calibrate, because for the last few days, I couldn’t calibrate it right, so he was teasing me when we were calibrating and making sure that I check the instructions for about 3 times before letting me type in the value into the datalogger, then he himself, making sure it was correct as well.


Day 7
Date: 31 July 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities: 
1) Calibrated the sensors
2) Monitored the temperature
3) Set up the relay system circuit 
4) Wrote the abstract for our project

Individual Reflections: 
Chong Yong Liang:
Wei Jie was starting to get bored with calibration ,so I had to do most of the calibration,Li Ying helped to calibrate the PH sensors , It was simple.

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today, we concentrated on the setting up of the relay system circuit. As usual, the temperature sensor worked and we are going to buy the rainbow cables and fans soon so as to make the chiller. Other than that, we updated the blog by posting up the abstract of this project and its various procedures. Other than that, we tried calibrating the calcium sensor but the datalogger was faulty. In the end, thanks to the lab technician, we managed to get another datalogger and it worked! 

I learnt that trouble-shooting is an important part of the process as when you face challenges, you have to try your best to overcome it and think of something to substitute it. Lastly, you need to have a purpose in what you are doing and make the most out of the time you have in the laboratory. As Mr Tan said, the aquaponics tank will come in 3 weeks so in the meantime, we will automate it based on the fish tank in the Research Laboratory. 

I hope that tomorrow would be a more enriching and fruitful day for our team! 

Kok Li Ying:
Today, we tried to set up the relay system using the Arduino, but then we found out that we could not do it, as we did not have all the correct parts. We also did the abstract and posted it onto the cover page of our ISS blog. We tried to calibrate the sensors as well but the sensor was faulty.

Ng Wei Jie:
This time around, the sensors we partially faulty because they were not kept properly, and that others went through our sensors and played with them, but on the bright side, Yong Liang and I managed to get them back to normal and ready to sense the water again.






Day 8
Date: 1 August 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities: 
1) Got the readings for Dissolved Oxygen, Calcium and Chloride 
2) Wrapped up the test tubes and beakers in parafilm. 
3) Made some modifications to the Arduino circuit
4) Found out how to waterproof it 

Individual Reflections
Chong Yong Liang:
Today, Johanna decided to pick up the sensors we calibrated and started to test for certain elements .At one point Wei Jie poured chemicals back into a box as he thought it was empty that became very messy. And guess who got to clean it up (me)

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today, we got the readings of dissolved oxygen, calcium and chloride for the fish tank’s water. We assembled the temperature sensor on the Arduino board and also, Li Ying went to test the pH level of the fish tank water. Afterwards, we poured the fish tank waters into test tubes and covered them in parafilm to avoid wasting the water as we want to save the environment, as well as the time spent to take it.

I learnt that the pH level may differ in the fish tank water due to oxidation, thus, regular testings need to be done.

Kok Li Ying:
Today, we assembled the temperature sensor on our Arduino and also, I went to test the pH level of the fish tank water. Afterwards, we poured the fish tank waters into test tubes and covered them in Parafilm to not waste the water as we hardly used them. 
I learnt that the DO level may differ in the fish tank water due to oxidation.

Ng Wei Jie:
Today, we were working with the the DO sensor, and we compared it with different types of water, and they are:
1) The water from the fish tank (Left for a day with parafilm covering the beaker)
2) The water from the fish tank (Recently collected from the fish tank)
3) Tap water
4) Deionised water
5) Distilled water

We managed to learn that the DO level may differ when there are differences such as temperature and the diffusion from air to water, and vise versa.









Day 9
Date: 5 August 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities: 
1) Calibrated the pH sensor and go the readings for pH, calcium, ammonia 
2) Temperature sensor research
3) Updated the blog 
4) Researched on how to waterproof the sensor 

Individual Reflections: 
Chong Yong Liang:
By this point everyone is getting irritated of repeating the same thing , so we just quickly set-up the sensors and started to discuss what to do next time , when it came to clean-up we made a pig ear out of it ,probably because everyone was tired from revising for exams

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today, we have accomplished quite a number of things. Firstly, we have calibrated the pH sensor, along with getting the readings of ammonia, pH and calcium. Other than that, as we all know, we need to solder the temperature sensor in order for it to be waterproof so that it can read the temperature in the tank. Thus, we researched on it and found out that we need a solder iron, solder wire and a normal wire. We need to use hot glue in order to make it work, as well as insert some Arduino code. 

Kok Li Ying:
Today is just like the other ISS lessons, calibrating and connecting the sensors. We managed to get the readings of ammonia, pH and calcium. Since we need to solder the temperature sensor to place it into the water, we went online to research on how to do it.  Other than that, there isn’t much I did. But then, I still got to learn how to calibrate the sensors as I did not know how to then.

Ng Wei Jie:
I didn’t do much today, but I did manage to teach Yong Liang and Li Ying on how to calibrate, and stuff like that, because I did 3/7 of the sensors that were given to us, so I taught them to do it so that they can get the results as well. You could say I became their mentor for the day.

Day 10
Date: 6 August 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities: 
1) Tested the water samples 
2) Configured the circuits 

Individual Reflections: 
Chong Yong Liang:
We finished calibrating most of the sensors today , only 2 are left , but everyone didn’t care to clean up today , so I had to stay back to do clean-up.

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
I feel happy as we have accomplished a lot. Today, we have managed to test all the water samples and were able to get an average reading! On the next lab session, we would need to test for Salinity and that would be all! Other than that, all the circuits have been configured and now is the time for the soldering. Lastly, we need to automate another sensor too, which is the pH sensor. Hence, we try our best to do both at he same time so that we would be able to maximise the time. Although we will return to the classroom for lessons, we will take the extra time to stay back so that we would be abl to complete this engineering project well!


Kok Li Ying:
This is the last day that we are having the ISS lesson at the lab (as a class), but we will still go back as our tank is still not with us yet. We managed to test the water samples, but since we only had 40 minutes, we had to rush. 

Ng Wei Jie:
We managed to do almost all but 1 of the sensors, but it was a great feat, because me, Yong Liang, and Li Ying managed to do 3 sensors in the span of 40 minutes, because we were having level test on that day, and that the time for all lessons were shortened by 10 minutes. The last sensor that we haven’t really calibrated was the salinity sensor.

Day 11:
Date: 7 August 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities: 
1) Tested the water samples 
2) Programmed the temperature sensor
3) Hot glued it 

Individual Reflections 
Chong Yong Liang:
Just testing out all the sensors recalibrating , not much new to do because the system is taking forever to come.

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today was the last day that we would go to the lab (at least as a class). What we did today is basically the modificaiton of the Arduino code and circuit in order to automate the temperature sensor. As we know the temperature sensor is not a probe, we need to waterproof it. Hence, we actually hot-glued it to the wires and soldered it. 

Kok Li Ying:
Today was the last day that we will be going to the lab (at least as a class; we will still go back as our tank has not arrived yet). We tested out the water samples and modified the circuit by a bit so that the circuit would work. 

Ng Wei Jie:
The samples were all collected by today, and all tested, and the figure was perfect, so we decided that we should use tap water, because it has the same nutrient level as the fish tank’s water.






Day 12:
Date: 8 August 2014
Venue: Biotechnology Lab 2
Activities:
1) Fixed the temperature sensor circuit (for it to connect to the relay system and the batteries) 
2) Tested the water temperature via Arduino 
3) Ensured whether circuit was working or not as we checked the temperature with the temperature probe. 

Individual Reflections:
Chong Yong Liang:
received some new stuff for the Arduino so Johanna and Li Ying could do more .Still nothing new for me and Wei Jie to do.

Johanna Lim Ziyun: 
On this day, we were able to fix the temperature sensor and connected it to the relay system. At first, we faced some problems but we trouble-shooted and in the end, it was successful after the many attempts. Other than that, in order to ensure that our circuit was working, we cross checked with the temperature probe. 

I felt that this was a big milestone for our group as this was the most crucial part of the project as without this, the fan could not be automated and the water in the tank cannot be cooled. Basically, the system works this way, where the temperature system is connected to the relay system and that is connected to the fan (in order to automate it) We have also modified the code such that if the temperature of the water in the tank is above 24 degree Celsius, the fan will be turned on and if the temperature is below 23 degree Celsius, the fan will be turned on. 

Kok Li Ying:
Today, we were able to fix the temperature sensor and connected the sensor to the relay system. Though we had failed attempts due to some problems faced, it was still successful. We used our temperature probe to ensure that the sensor works. 
I felt happy that we managed to finish the most important part of the project. If we did not finish it, the fan could not be automated and the system would not work.

Ng Wei Jie:
Today, we got the fan, and got the battery, so I tested connections and made sure the fan worked, and yes, I did, although the speed was a bit weak.

Day 13
Date: 26 August 2014
Venue: Research Lab
Activities:
1) Constructed our Aquaponics system 
2) Cycled the water in the tank 
3) Discussed about how tall the plants should be 

Individual Reflections: 
Chong Yong Liang:
Finally the tank arrives.We had to cycle the water first otherwise the fish would die as there is chlorine in tap water.We started to set-up the system and started to put in the system .Today I also had to get the fish so that we could put them in the fish tank,still haven’t received my money……..

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today, we constructed the fish tank, placing the shelter on (that is connected to LED lights for the plant to photosynthesis) We also put in the oxygen and water pumps for the fish and the bio-filtration filter (to allow the fishes' waste to go to plant, as ammonia will act as fertiliser for the plant) 

Other than that, we cycled the water to get ready for the fish that would be coming as the water had impurities hence we had to purify it.

I felt that this process was necessary for the survival of the fish and we had progressed a lot. 

Kok Li Ying:
Today, we got the parts of the aquaponics system, and we assembled the shelter on. The shelter had LED lights for the plants in our aquaponics. We placed the oxygen and water pumps into the tank for the fish and the bio-filtration filter inside it too. Then, we turned on the switch to test out the system and also to prepare for the fish that we are going to put inside the system.

Ng Wei Jie:
Today, the tank arrived, finally, and we could get the dimensions of it, and today, we also decided to buy a peppermint plant to use, because it is more sturdy, and would not immediately wilt if there was a minor problem.

Day 14
Date: 27 August 2014
Venue: Research Lab
Activities:
1) Put in 5 Gourami fish and 7 Peppermint seedlings 
2) Attached the fan to the system and the Arduino UNO 
3) Set up the system (automation of the fan and temperature) 
4) Fed the fish

Individual Reflections: 
Chong Yong Liang:
Today mr tan helped us transfer the fish into the tank and Wei Jie bought the peppermint and we planted them as well. I have pet fish at home so I knew the most about fish. Wei Jie and Johanna had no experience and Li Ying killed her pet fish in 21 days. How did she do that …….We also learnt how to plant peppermint from mr tan , yay.

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today, we placed the five gourami fish and the seven seedlings into the system. We also connected the relay system and the Arduino UNO into the system (connecting the fan to the 12V battery and the Arduino to the 9V battery). As time passed, the fan was turned on and eventually was turned off as the temperature is optimal.

To put the mint seedlings in, we had to prune it from its original plant, we then put it into the system. After 3 hours, we fed the fish (we could not do it immediately as they still needed time to adapt to their environment) To me, I feel that what we did today is essential to jot down our findings later on.

Kok Li Ying:
Today, we put in the gourami and the seedlings of a peppermint plant into the system. We attached the fan into the system as well. We then connected the fan to the relay system and the Arduino and connected the batteries. We placed the temperature sensor into the water so that the fan will turn on and off, depending on the temperature of the water.
We needed to prune the peppermint seedlings from the original pot of plants and also fed the fish about a few hours after they were placed into the tank. 

Ng Wei Jie:
The peppermint plant was a terror, because teachers were asking me what it was for, and that the classroom smelt like a peppermint factory afterwards, but we manages to plant the peppermint plant into the aquaponics system today, as well as the gourami fishes. But till today, I still haven’t claim my money yet. Well, at least Mr Tan taught us how to plant plants, but cutting the sides of the plants sideways

Day 15
Date: 28 August 2014
Venue: Research Lab
Activities:
What we did: 
1) Found out the height of each plant and the length of each fish over the course of 5 days. 
2) Took the dimensions of the tank 
3) Constructed the e-circuit based on the actual circuit. 
4) Fed the fish

Reflections: 
Chong Yong Liang:
The last day of our experiment. We basically did a cheek on all the systems and height of plants and the health of the fish .

Johanna Lim Ziyun:
Today marks the last day of the project and we found out the height of each plant and the length of each fish over the course of 5 days. This is to ensure that our system was working. We also got the temperature graph so that we could see whether the fan was effective in cooling down or not and to ensure that the temperature was constant throughout the process. 

I truly believe that all our hard work has paid off as we finally succeeded. Other than that, we have also monitored the circuit and all is going well! (help input pics)

Kok Li Ying:
Today is the last day of our project, so we had to end the . We measured the height of each of the seedlings and the length of the fish over 5 days as we needed to ensure that the system is working and the fishes and plants are growing as well. We also obtained the temperature graph to find out whether the fan was effective in cooling down the system. 

Ng Wei Jie:

Today, the only thing I did was to water the plant that wasn’t placed into the aquaponics system and to find a location for it. 

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