First Amplifier Circuit

I had my head stuck in electronics lectures, datasheets, and a breadboard to figure out a decent analog circuit for amplifying the signal. It sounds so straight forward, just plug the wires into the + and - pin of an operational amplifier, add a few resistors to specify the gain of the OpAmp, and feed the output to the analog input pin of the Arduino... But reality is messy, and it didn't quite work out like that.

Here's a list of problems:

I also connected the electrode signal to ground with a 1MΩ resistor which greatly improved the signal, and I have no idea why.

One peculiar thing I noticed was that the signal seemed stronger when my laptop was connected to the power supply. It superimposed noise, but also seemed to increase differences in electrode voltages. I don't quite understand this yet, but 2 things follow from that:

Some of the references I used:

The resulting circuit:

Circuit schematic

And the signals look like:

Signal image 1 Signal image 2

Yellow and green are two electrodes, right after their respective OpAmp, and purple is (yellow-green)*20.

This should be good enough to move forward, but I bought some INA128 instrumentation amplifiers and perhaps I will tinker some more to get an even better signal. Can't wait for the next prototype though :).

In other news, I watched Dr. Gregory House explain forearm muscles, so next time my electrode placement will be better than random!

And since I learned KiCad for creating the above schematic, I thought I'd add schematics for the previous models as well, see circuits.