After the failure of Liverpool, we went to Manchester's Arndale centre and bought a squid from the local fish market there. We asked how fresh the squid was and found out that it had already been frozen for a week, but it was our only shot so we bought one anyway to be a tester. Our online article said you get the best results from unwashed and unfrozen samples and we asked the guy behind the counter if he could get us a fresher squid and we gave him contact details and are waiting to hear back from him.
On the walk home we stumbled by accident across a seafood store in Chinatown that stocked fresh fish so we decided to double our chances by buying a handful of prawns as they looked a lot fresher than the squid which we knew had been frozen for a week. Prawns were also on the list of sea creatures that could work for our experiment, so it was worth trying.
The aim now we finally had some sea creatures was to simulate the right conditions needed for the bacteria (if there is any) to glow - this meant getting a salt water solution mixed up in the lab to half cover the creatures, making it as dark as physically possible and also keeping it at a constant temperature, somewhere between 4°C - 18°C. These are the conditions of the deep sea, the place where the bioluminescent bacteria thrives. To do this we put the squid and prawns into separate containers and partially covered them with our laboratory sea water, then we put them into shoe boxes to cover them from the light. After that we put some holes into the shoebox to keep the current of air flowing as this is an important requirement for the creatures to rot. Next we wrapped the boxes in tin foil for two reasons, firstly to block out the remainder of light, but also to try and keep them at a similar and stable temperature. Finally we added a few more holes in the foil to allow the air in, they were left in my studio while we attended lectures and then they were brought home to go in our cupboard under the stairs.
It was really exciting to actually start experimenting after only reading a few online resources as a rough guide, not knowing if all this effort would produce any results at all, we will leave them now for at least 24 hours and share the results when we check them tomorrow, fingers crossed!