|MadSci Network: Botany|
A hydroponics project doesn't need to be that expensive. The most expensive part of a hydroponic experiment is the nutrient solution. You may be able to make one from the chemicals which your chemistry teacher has on hand. A Hoagland solution is a common solution used by plant scientists. A cheaper alternative is to buy a premixed hydroponic fertilizer from a hydroponic supplier. There are dozens of hydroponic suppliers on the internet. Homegrown Hydroponics sells DNF which costs $11 for 500 ml, which would make 50 liters of full strength nutrient solution. Fifty liters which would be plenty for most hydroponic experiments and it is often possible to use half-strength solutions. Hydroponic reservoirs can be made from plastic food containers, such as 2-liter soda bottles or even 35-mm film cans. An aquarium air pump, tubing and valves are useful to provide aeration but not absolutely necessary. My book has instructions for several hydroponic experiments and constructing inexpensive hydroponic equipment. There are all sorts of hydroponic experiments. Some examples are: 1. Compare plant growth in water to that in a hydroponic solution. 2. Compare hydroponic solution with a fertilizer like Miracle-Gro. 3. Effects of solution aeration of plant growth. 4. Effects of root pruning on plant growth. 5. Plant effects on the nutrient solution pH. 6. Nutrient solution pH effects on plant growth. 7. Nutrient solution salinity effects on plant growth. 8. Effects of adding plant hormones to nutrient solution. 9. Can fish wastes supply nutrients for plant growth? 10. Examine mineral nutrient deficiency or toxicity symptoms. References Hershey, D.R. 1995. Plant Biology Science Projects. New York: Wiley. Homegrown Hydroponics Hydro Gro Re: How can I build a hydroponics system for a science fair? Hoagland Solution recipe
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