Analytic Essay


Our topic was hypothermia, having to do with temperature and respiration. We tested fish in variant water temperatures to examine the different respiration rates in unlike fish. We choose to test fish because we already know how warm-blooded creatures react to hypothermia and we wanted to see how it would affect cold-blooded animals.

We decided on three temperatures to test the fish in; 21˚ C, 24˚C, and 27˚ C. 24˚ C was the original temperature in the tank so we choose that as the control. We choose 21˚ C and 27˚ C because we thought that as far we could do without killing the fish. In each temperature, the number of times the gills open would be counted in 15 seconds.

During our experiment, we had the tragedy and incredible inconvenience of every single one of our fish dying from, ironically, hyperthermia. This caused a problem because our experiment called for more than one type of fish, but so far we had only tested the goldfish. See the tables below.


This fish was tested in 23˚c water. Each trial was 15 seconds.   We had 8.2 % error in our three trials, with this fish.

Number of breaths in 15 seconds

Number of breaths in 15 seconds

This fish was tested in 25˚c water. had an average of 49 breaths in the 15 seconds. We had 6.2% chance of error. As you can see the average breathing rate had changed from 43.333 in the control to 49 in warmer water.

Number of breaths in 15 seconds

This fish was tested in 21 degree water. The average breathing rate changed from 43.333 (with the first fish) to 31.666. The difference is 11.667, a dramatic change in breathing rate.



What Went Wrong

Our fish tank heater tampered with the temperature in the tank, making it hard to maintain the control temperature we set beforehand. The heater was malfunctioning most of the time, making the tank too cold in the beginning, and too hot in the end, causing their untimely deaths. Also, this was a problem because the control temperature was supposed to stay at 24˚ C, which was supposed to be the temperature of the tank at all times.

It took a while and a couple of tries trying to catch the fish and we had to fill the container with water with the right temperature beforehand. However, the water cooled rapidly so it took longer to complete trials. Also, we were counting on certain sources to have certain water temperatures. But as time rolled on, the temperatures changed at the most inconvenient times.

The Great Guppy Chase

Marylou films while Jourdan attempts to catch a fish.

A Better Idea