Kids Projects

How pH Levels Affect pHish

The Objective : This project is designed to prove that zebrafish (Danio rerio) will completely avoid an area with a high pH level due to the presence of potassium hydroxide (KOH).


20 zebrafish were placed in a 20 gallon tank with the bottom four inches filled with water. The tank was then divided into 4 quadrants.

Approximately 33 grams of KOH were added to the tank, in order to simulate a household drain cleaner with a high pH level. As the KOH dissociated in the water, the fish's positions throughout the tank were recorded once every minute for 20 minutes.


The zebrafish were unable to completely avoid the rapidly dissociating KOH. As a result, 12 of the 20 zebrafish suffocated within one minute of exposure.

The fish's deaths were undoubtedly caused by an overdose of KOH. 33 grams noticeably dissociated in the water too rapidly for the fish to successfully avoid, resulting in the majority of the fish dying.


Because the quantity of KOH used dissociated too rapidly, thus killing 12 of the 20 zebrafish, the results were different than what was expected.

The results proved that contaminants in water have detrimental effects on aquatic life. However, the designated purpose of the experiment was unable to be proven due to the deaths of the experimental subjects.

In order to receive the accurate effects of increasing pH levels on the general behaviors of fish, the quantity of the contaminant added to the water must be more carefully monitored.

This project experiment is designed to demonstrate the effects of increasing pH levels on fish behaviors.

Science Fair Project done By Chandler S. Jennings



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