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Science Fair 2018-2019

Hydroponics
Question:
❖ What will happen if hydroponics plants received nutrients under or above average?

Hypothesis:
❖ If the hydroponic plants are not planted with a normal amount of nutrient solution,
then the plants will die.

Background Research:

Definition
Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in a medium with added nutrients
solution. The word hydroponics comes from the “hydro” meaning water and “ponos” meaning
labor. The growing medium is the material in which the roots of the plant are growing, it could
be anything that doesn’t supply any nutrition to the plants including gravel, sand, and water.

pH Level
The pH level for hydroponics is the measure of the water’s acidity or alkalinity. The pH
scale for hydroponic plants is best between 5-7. If the pH level of water is below 5 or more
than 7, the plant will weaken due to the struggle to take up certain essential nutrients.

History of Ancient Hydroponics

The famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon built along the


Euphrates River in Babylonia around 600 BCE is the earliest record
of hydroponics and inspiration for modern hydroponics. Since
Babylonia was dry and rarely rain, many people believe that ancient
Babylonians used chain pull system (a system which pulls water from the river and flows up
chains and dropped to the plants) for watering the plants.

Around 1600 AD, Belgian Jan Van


Helmont recorded scientific experiments and
indicated that plants obtained substances
from water, but failed to know that plants
needed carbon dioxide and oxygen to survive. John Woodward in 1699
continued Belgian’s studies and found that plants grew best in water
containing most soil, concluding that substances in water derived from soil led to plant
growth.

In 1804, De Saussure acknowledge that plants were composed of chemical elements


absorbed from water, soil, and air. Between 1860 and 1861 two German botanists, Julius Von
Sachs and Wilhelm Knop delivered the first standard formula for the nutrient solutions
dissolved in water, this is the origin of “nutriculture”.

Nutriculture is now called water culture. The


nutrient solutions contained minerals of nitrogen,
phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, and
calcium. However, plants also receive hydrogen,
oxygen, and carbon from air and water. With
further researches, scientists established seven
elements of nutrient solution including iron,
chlorine, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, and molybdenum.

In the 1930s, Dr. William Frederick Gericke experimented with


nutriculture for the farming agricultural crops and called this process
aquaculture. However, he turned the named down after knowing that
this term was used to define aquatic organism culturing. Hydroponics was
publicized and became popular by Dr. Gericke. After World War II, Hydroponic was still used
widely by the military. In the 1950s, the soilless method of hydroponics spread across the
continent to varies country such as England, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Israel.

6 Types of Modern Hydroponics:


➔ Deep Water Culture (DWC): ➔ Wicking System:
◆ DWC plants are held to float directly ◆ The nutrient solution is drained into
on the nutrient solution and an air the growing medium from the
pump supplies air for the plant reservoir with a wick, a piece of
roots. string used to absorb the liquid.

➔ Nutrient Film Technique (NFT): ➔ Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain):
◆ This system has a constant flow of ◆ This system floods the grow tray
nutrient solution between the grow with nutrient solution and then
track and reservoir by using pump. draining back into the reservoir.

➔ Aeroponics System: ➔ Drip System:


◆ The roots of the plants hang in the ◆ A timer controls a pump to drip onto
air and nutrient solution are misted
every few minutes.

the base of each plant by a drip line.


Advantages of Hydroponics:
❖ It can be used in any location where gardening is not possible.
❖ It is easier to control nutrient content, pH, and growing environment.
❖ Use a lower amount of water and nutrient.
❖ Faster growth due to more oxygen in the root area.
❖ Cause no soil related insects, fungi, and bacteria.

Disadvantages of Hydroponics:
❖ Initial and operational costs are higher than soil culture.
❖ Skill and knowledge are needed to operate properly.
❖ Some disease can spread through the system.

Experiment:

Materials:
❖ Three Planting Tracks
❖ Dry Nutrient Solution A
❖ Dry Nutrient Solution B
❖ Seed Cup for
❖ Planting Sponges
❖ Measure Cups
❖ Location: with a temperature between 28-35 Celsius, but have sunlight.

Note:
● We will be using water as a growing medium.
● Each group will receive a different amount of nutrient solution.
● Each group will receive the same amount of sunlight, water, and air.
● Each group will be located in the same location.
● Each planting track will have 12 plants.
● Each group will be using the same seed, green oak seeds.
● In this experiment, there will be three experimental groups including:
○ One Control Group:
■ Normal Condition
○ Two Experimental Group
■ Undernourished Condition
■ Overnourished Condition
Control and Experimental Group:
1. Bring out planting sponges and adjust it into a tray that is filled with drinking water.
2. Press on the sponge to fill the sponge fully with water.
3. Pour more water if the level of water is below half of the sponge’s height.
4. Bring out the seeds and toothpick.
5. Dip the tip of a toothpick into the water and use it to pick the seeds up.
6. Align one seed in each box of sponge but not too deep.
a. Note: the depth should be around 4-5 millimeter from the surface of the sponge.
7. Cover the tray with an A4 paper and then spread water on it.
a. Note: the tissue or A4 paper is meant to cover the seeds from exposing to the
light and to trap moisture.
b. Note 2: you may use tissues or napkin instead.
8. After 3 days, uncover the seeds and expose the tray to sunlight.
a. Note: you should put the tray out in the morning.
b. Note 2: do not allow rain to damage the seeds.
c. Note 3: after 3 days, the seeds would grow 2 small feeding leaves.
9. Mix the whole bag of dry nutrient solution A to 1 liter of water.
a. Note: you would get a liquid nutrient solution A from this.
10. Mix the whole bag of dry nutrient solution B to 1 liter of water.
a. Note: you would get a liquid nutrient solution B from this.
11. After the seed age is 7 days or have 3 feeding leaves, instead of normal drinking water,
feed the plants with water mixed with the nutrient solution, the level of the liquid
must rise to the skin of the sponge because this duration is the time plant roots start to
grow.
a. Nutrient Solution Formula: 3CC of liquid nutrient solution per 1 liter of water.
12. On the 13th day of planting, fill the plastic box with 15 liters of tap water, and rest it
for 24 hours.
a. Note: this step is done because we want chlorine to evaporate to prevent the
water from having a pH level more than 7.
13. After the plants grow 4 feeding leaves or have long roots that are long enough to be
seen outside of the sponge (14 days after planting), move the plant into the main
planting circulation track by inserting half of the sponge into the planting cup.
Control Group:
1. Add the 45CC liquid nutrient solution A to the plastic box with water and allow the
pump to circulated the water through the planting tracks for one hour.
2. Add 45CC liquid nutrient solution B to the second box after an hour.
3. Arrange 12 of the plants in each planting track.
4. Move the planting track to the prepared location.
5. If the water in the plastic box starts to dry up, mix 3CC of liquid solution A and B for
an additional 1 liter of water.
6. Take a careful observation of the plants.
7. At the 40th day of planting, it is the time that the plant is fully grown and we will do
our last observation.

Experimental Group:
1. For undernourished box, add the 22.5CC liquid nutrient solution A to the plastic box
with water and allow the pump to circulated the water through the planting tracks for
one hour. For overnourished box, add the 67.5CC liquid nutrient solution A to the
plastic box with water and allow the pump to circulated the water through the planting
tracks for one hour.
2. For undernourished box, add 22.5CC liquid nutrient solution B to the second box after
an hour. For overnourished box, add 67.5CC liquid nutrient solution B to the second box
after an hour.
3. Arrange 12 of the plants in each planting track.
4. Move the planting track to the prepared location.
5. If the water for undernourished box starts to dry up, mix 1.5 of liquid solution A and B
for an additional 1 liter of water. If the water for overnourished box starts to dry up,
mix 4.5 of liquid solution A and B for an additional 1 liter of water.
6. Take a careful observation of the plants.
7. At the 40th day of planting, it is the time that the plant is fully grown and we will do
our last observation.
Conclusion:
The result of the experiment supported our group’s hypothesis which states that ‘If the
hydroponic plants are not planted with the normal amount of nutrients, then the plants will
die’ with the reason that both groups of plants which are not receiving the normal amount of
nutrient solution all died at the end of the experiment.
Script:
1. Greeting the judges.
a. Punch: Good morning, judges we are the hydroponics experiment group. My
name is Punch, and this is View, Benz, and Benz. Today we are going to tell you
about our group’s experiment.
2. Define ‘Hydroponics’
a. View: Hydroponics is the growing of plants in water with nutrients solution.
The more nutrient solutions the higher the pH level is. For hydroponics, it is the
measure of the water’s acidity and the best scale is between 5-7.
3. Type of Hydroponics
a. Benz: Hydroponics had many types of growing tracks and the one we used is
NFT, which is a system which that has a constant flow of nutrient solution
between the growing track and reservoir by using a pump.
4. Materials for the Experiment
a. View: Within the experiment contains three planting groups, each group for
the first fourteen days of planting, every group will be receiving the exact same
amount of nutrients solution.
b. Punch: Our hypothesis is that ‘If the hydroponic plants are not planted with a
normal amount of nutrient solution, then the plants will die’.
c. Broke: On the first day of the experiment, we plot the green oaks seeds into the
sponges. Then fill the tray with water and cover the tray with tissues. After
three days we uncover it and expose it to sunlight. On the 14th day, we move
the plants to the track and the undernourished track will contain 1.5CC, normal
track has 3CC, the overnourished track will contain 4.5CC nutrient solution per
one liter of water.
5. Conclusion
a. Benz: After the experiment, we could conclude that the hypothesis is supported
by our experiment. Both groups of plants which are not receiving the normal
amount of nutrient solution were all dead at the end of the experiment, while
the control group plants are healthy and strong.