MadSci Network: Botany

Re: How can I conduct a hydroponic experiment?

Date: Wed Oct 3 22:02:36 2001
Posted By: David Hershey, Faculty, Botany, NA
Area of science: Botany
ID: 1002155301.Bt

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.


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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