Increasing Sensivity/Effectiveness of a Homemade Water Sensor

TL;DR: I want to make my at-home water sesnor actually detect when they are in the water.

I am working on one component for a Rube Goldberg machine that involves a ball weighing down a plastic boat such that two metal probes on either side are placed into the water. The idea is that the current can jump through the water to the other side, causing a voltage drop by my circuitry. An arduino will then read that drop and trigger other stuff

MAIN IDEA: My sensor triggers when the wires touch each other, but not when suspended in water. I want to add actual metal probes, but not sure how that will chnage the sensitivity. Any ideas on how to make this better? I can't purchase any fancy arduino stuff

Touch here for the full post on the Arduino Apprentices tumblr

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