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The effect of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita) on the fin performance of the guppiesY, Poecilia reticulata

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THE EFFECT OF CHAMOMILE TEA (Matricaria recutita) ON THE FIN PERFORMANCE OF THE GUPPiesY, Poecilia reticulata
Kelsi Vahid and Andy Vu

Department of Biological Sciences

Saddleback College

Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) tend to be fast due to natural selection. This adaptation is due to high predation around guppies and fast swimming is used as an escape mechanism. Chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita) is commonly used for its calming ability. An experiment was conducted (by whom?) to determine the effect of Matricaria recutita chamomile tea on the movement performance in male Poecilia reticulata. The male fish were individually recorded, in front of a grid, for ten minutes each. Two runs were conducted, one with freshwater and one with Chamomile chamomile tea. The same ten fish were used for both runs. The mean fish movements for the Poecilia reticulata in freshwater was 197 ± 24.26 boxes crossed per minute (±SEM, N= 10). The mean fish movements for the Poecilia reticulata in Chamomile chamomile tea was 63 ± 8.42 boxes crossed per minute (±SEM, N= 10). There was a significant difference in the mean fish movements in Chamomile chamomile tea (paired Tt-test, one-tailed, p=1.7x10-4). This supported the tested hypothesis that the mean fish movements in Chamomile chamomile tea was significantly lower than the mean fish movements in fresh water. Concluding remark?

The Poecilia reticulata, also known as the Guppyguppy, areis a very common fish around the world, ranging from 4.0 cm to 6.0 cm in length, containing possesing four fins as a male and six as a female. The males average a weight of 85.8 mg (Garcia et. al. 2008). The multiple fins assist the guppies in accelerating their speed. Guppies tend to be fast due to natural selection (explain this more). In the wild, the need for very rapid acceleration is required in order to escape from predators (Ghalambor et. al. 2004). The focus of this investigation is to determine whether Matricaria recutita tea, also known as Chamomile chamomile tea, will have a calming affect effect on the guppy fish. Matricaria recutita is known to have antimicrobial properties, along withas well as soothing affects effects (McKay and Blumberg 2006).

A previous study on the guppy fish was done by Chessick et. al. (1964). The researchers added the drugs tryptamine and tryptophan to guppy fish at a dose of 0.25 mg/ml and at a dose of 0.75 mg/ml. Six fish were used as test fishthe experimental group, and while the other six were used as the controls group. It was determined that the high dose of drugs caused the activity of the fish to decrease, and the fish had less of an interest in food. This study helped determine how much Chamomile chamomile tea should be given to the guppy fish (How did this help? Are they the same kind of drug?).

The calming affect effect of Chamomilechamomile tea has been studied in humans, ; however, the affect effect of Chamomile chamomile tea in the Poecilia reticulata seems to not have been studied as extensively. It is then hypothesized that Matricaria recutita tea will slow down the animal movement in male Poecilia reticulata.

Material and Methods

Ten Guppies guppies (Poecilia reticulata) were used in this study. The Celestial Seasonings Chamomile, the P. reticulata, and a 1000 ml test tank 15.24 cm long and 7.62 cm tall were purchased. Two blue, two red, two orange, two yellow, and two black male guppies were obtained. All experimentation was conducted during the duration ofbeginning March 31, 2011 – through April 1, 2011 at one of the researcher’ss’ homes in Lake Forest, CA. The guppy fish were housed in a ten-gallon tank with water at 22ºC and at a pH of 6- to 6.5. Conditioning crystals were added to the tank containing tap water before the fish were added to create freshwater. The fish were then placed into the tank.

Before experimentation began, the weight of each P. reticulata was determined by placing each fish into a beaker filled with freshwater onto a SmartPro balance. The average weight of the guppy fish was determined in order to determine the correct amount of Chamomile chamomile tea needed for the experiment (0.25 grams of Chamomile chamomile grains were selected per 1000 ml of water, 0.25 mg/ml =0.25g/1000ml). The calculations were based off of the Chessick et. al. (1964) experiment. The Chamomile chamomile tea bags were then ripped opened and 0.50 grams of the grains were weighed out and placed into 2000 ml of boiling water. After the tea preparation, the grains were drained out and the 2000 ml of tea was put into a container. This process was done repeated five times in order to obtain 10,000 ml of chamomile tea. Sixteen conditioning crystals were then added to the containers of tea in order to prepare the tea for the fish. The tea was then stored away.

A clear glass divider was placed into the center of the test tank, leaving 4.5 cm of space in front and backon both sides. A grid with seventy-two 1 cm long and 1 cm wide boxes was taped to cover the entire back panel of the test tank, which would bewas used to determine the fish movement. Two fish were then placed into either side of the test tank with 1000 ml of freshwater from the tank and were given three to five minutes to adjust. The fish were recorded for fifteen minutes each, then individually placed into their original tank after each trial. Sessions were video recorded from with an iPad (what version/year?).

The second run was prepared by pouring 1000 ml of chamomile tea into the test tank. One guppy fish was placed into the frontal section of the test tank and was given ten minutes to adjust. The fish was then video recorded for fifteen minutes. This was done for each of the ten fish, which were then individually placed back into the original tank after each trial.

During the duration of the experiment, five guppy fish died. One black, one red, one yellow, one blue, and one orange. Each fish was returned and one fish of each color was purchased. Both runs were done on each of the newly purchased fish and any tests done to each dead fish prior to the death of the five guppy fish were not used.

Statistical Analysis
The number of boxes werenumber of boxes was then determined by counting how many boxes the premaxillary portion of the fish passed by within ten minutes. All the data was then transferred to Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington) where all further statistical calculations were obtained. The rates were determined by boxes per minute. Data was run by a one-tailed paired t-test.

The mean combined fish movement for trials done in fresh water was 197 ± 24.26 boxes crossed per minute (±SEM, N= 10). The mean combined fish movement for trials done in Chamomile chamomile tea was 63 ± 8.42 boxes crossed per minute (±SEM, N= 10). There was a significant difference in the mean fish movements in Chamomile chamomile tea (paired Tt-test, one-tailed, p=1.7x10-4). These data are present in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Mean fish movement in boxes per minute for the Poecilia reticulata in Matricaria recutita tea was significantly lower that the mean fish movement in boxes per minute for the Poecilia reticulata in freshwater. (p= 1.7 x 10-4, one-tailed paired t-test). Error bars are mean ±SEM.

These results support the hypothesis. The guppy fish movement decreased greatly after being placed into the Chamomile chamomile tea. This was due to the relaxation affect effect that Chamomile chamomile tea caused on the fish. According to McKay and Blumberg (2006), chamomile is a natural way to reduce spasms and therefore calms down the activity of the animal. The 0.25 grams of chamomile per 1000 ml of water was chosen in order to have a significant difference between fish movement in the freshwater and in the Chamomile chamomile tea without harming the fish. The Chamomile chamomile tea was made in order for the guppy fish to slowly inhale chamomile. If the chamomile grains had been put into the water directly, the problem of consumption by mouth would have been taken into affecteffect.

The water was conditioned in order to have the perfect environment for the guppy fish. The Poecilia reticulata naturally live in a freshwater environment without the chlorine that is placed into regular tap water. This chlorine is toxic to the guppy fish, becoming harmful to their health. Therefore, conditioning crystals were used in order to remove the chlorine found in tap water to make freshwater.

Guppy fish are known to be very fast burst start swimmers in response to escaping predators. For a guppy fish to reach maximum velocity takes an average time of 18.297 ±3223 ms (Oufiero and Garland 2009). However, with Chamomile chamomile tea, fish movement greatly decreases as shown in the experiment (p= 1.7 x 10-4).

In an article by Wang et. al. (2005), the, the ingestion of Chamomile chamomile tea was explored. It was shown that the extracted essential oils from the chamomile have antimicrobial properties and possess antimicrobial activity. Future studies on this could determine if these properties affect the ingestion or movement of the Poecilia reticulata in any way. Next step potential studies could determine the affect effect of Chamomile chamomile tea along with temperature, pH, and female guppies. These future studies could also alter the amount of chamomile used to test the fish movement as well as compare Chamomile chamomile tea to a man- made calming drug on the guppy fish.

Chessick R., Kronholm J., Beck M., Maier G. (1964). Effect of pretreatment with tryptamine, tryptophan and DOPA on LSD reaction in tropical fish. Psychopharmacologia 5, 390-392.

Garcia C., Troncoso W., Sanchez S., Perdomo L. (2008). Contribution to vital statistics of a guppy Poecilia reticulata Peters (Pisces: Cyprinodontiformes: Poecillidae) pond population in Santa Marta, Colombia. Pan-American Journal of Aquatic Sciences. 3(3): 335-339
Ghalambor C., Reznick D., Walker J. (2004). Constraints on adaptive evolution: the functional trade-off between repro-duction and fast-start swimming performance in the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata). American Naturalist. 164:1, 38– 50.
McKay D., Blumberg J. (2006). A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea Matricaria recutita L. Phytother. Res. 20, 519–530.
Oufiero C., Garland T. (2009). Repeatability and correlation of swimming performances and size over varying time-scales in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). Functional Ecology. 23, 969-978.

Wang Y., Tang H., Nicholson J., Hylands P., Sampson J., Holmes E. (2005). A metabonomic strategy for the detection of the metabolic effects of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) ingestion. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53, 191−196.

Review Form

Department of Biological Sciences

Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Authors: Kelsi Vahid and Andy Vu

Title: The Effect of Chamomile Tea (Matricaria recutita) on the Fin Performance of The Guppy, Poecilia reticulata

Chamomile is known for calming stress and relieving anxiety, and is mainly ingested as a tea. Ms. Vahid and Mr. Vu wanted to see if the influence of this substance would decrease the activity of the guppy fish. They purchased ten guppies, 2 of each color, and made them a freshwater habitat in a large glass tank, using conditioning crystals to extract the chlorine out of the tap water that was used. The chamomile grains were brewed with boiling water to make a tea out it first before introducing it to the experimental tank. If the grains were simply dropped into the tank, they could have been ingested orally, which could have been a source of error in the experiment. To measure the amount of movement a guppy would display, a grid was taped to the back of the fish tank. The number of times the premaxillary portion of a fish passed a line on the grid was counted, and the total number was recorded within the time span of a minute. Five fish died throughout the course of the experiment, and another five were purchased (the same colors as the ones that died). The experiment resulted in a significant difference between the fish that were submerged in the chamomile tea environment and the fish that were in the freshwater environment. Their hypothesis was supported in that the chamomile slowed down the activity of the fish.

General Comments

The paper is very well written and includes all of the necessary data. I corrected a few grammatical errors and left notes where I thought there should be more expansion. I like how there is a relation to the notion that people drink chamomile tea to relieve their stress. The grammatical errors (such as using the word “affect” rather than “effect”) were distracting to the content of the paper. There are only six references; there should be at least ten. The most prevalent error was capitalizing the word “chamomile.” I think it would be nice if there were a little more biological or physiological explanation for why the chamomile lowers physical activity (how the drug inhibits or enables certain hormones and its relation to cortisol, which is usually associated with stress. I think some information on neurotransmitters would make Professor Teh quite proud!

Technical Criticism

This paper was a final version This paper was a rough draft

The side margins need to be one inch in length. Some of the headers in bold are centered, and some are left justified. I fixed some of the margins of the references section.
 This paper should be published as is

This paper should be published with revision

 This paper should not be published

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