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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So today in 7th grade Life Science class, my teacher says that we'll be doing a project regarding plants. You know, the standard Lima bean stuff. However, since the teacher knew that I was at a more advanced level in life science (the room has a fish tank, go figure), the teacher said I could think of an idea for my own project, and she could get supplies. Basically, we're supposed to learn about what plants need, that kind of stuff. I'm not really sure on what I want to do, but I'm pretty sure it's going to involve aquatic plants. I was thinking along the lines of something showing the importance of certain nutrients, but I would appreciate more suggestions.
 

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If you had multiple tanks available, you could do some nice comparisons.

Like one tank with pea gravel and tap water, one with enriched substrate and tap water, one with water column dosing, and one with both. Add CO2 or not.

If they are 10gal tanks, you can put them side-by-side under the same 4ft fixture to make that a constant.
 

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Here's a project for you:

Setup a tank, no need for gravel or CO2. Let the light be on 12 hours a day. Add some fish food.

With luck you will have algae growing on the glass. Hopefully green spot or hard encrusting green algae.

Do a water change. Maybe 30%. Mark the water level before filling the tank up.

The next day or two you will notice that the algae on the glass that was exposed to air during the water change die off. In a few days that portion of the glass clears completely. There is a distinct line between the old algae growth and the new clean glass. Even after several weeks the algae refuses to grow in the clean area, but grows normally otherwise.

Try to explain that with nutrients, oxidation, biofields or anything else you like. You have a chance to suggest that plants react to all the factors we know PLUS something else. If you word your obsevations right you will get a good grade.

:D

--Nikolay
 

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If you can set up two 10 gallon tanks you can do many things. One would be to set them up under the same 4 foot T8 bulb, plant about 4 species of plants in each tank, making the two tanks identically planted, and use DIY CO2 in one and not the other. Record the plant growths.

With some more money, do the same as above, only with DIY CO2 in both, and light one with an actinic bulb and the other with a 6700K bulb - 36 watt PC bulbs, for example. Record the plant growths.

Again, two 10 gallon tanks, plain pool filter sand substrate, DIY CO2 on both, under a 4 foot T8 light, fertilize only with substrate tabs in one, and only water fertilizing in the other. Record plant growths.
 

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Ide get a 10g tank. split it down the middle with some kind of dark porous divider. Get two clip on light fixtures. On one side aim it down with a regular light bulb. The other side aim it down with a daylight spiral bulb. Record the plant growth and note the effects on light spectrum on the plants.
 

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My 7th grade science fair project was a study on the effects of phosphorous from dishwashing liquid on algael growth in a marine environment. Im sure you could do freshwater instead. Basically, I added different concentrations of different soaps, to different contained systems, each with an algae-covered rock, and I studied growth for two months. If you can get your hands on a phosphate test kit, and also nitrate/nitrite, etc, you can see exactly what the differences are between different products and at different concetrations.

I just googled to see if anything had been done, and this ban on many dishwashing soaps in Oregon just occurred this year.

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/03/ore_bill_would_ban_algaeabetti.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you can set up two 10 gallon tanks you can do many things. One would be to set them up under the same 4 foot T8 bulb, plant about 4 species of plants in each tank, making the two tanks identically planted, and use DIY CO2 in one and not the other. Record the plant growths.

With some more money, do the same as above, only with DIY CO2 in both, and light one with an actinic bulb and the other with a 6700K bulb - 36 watt PC bulbs, for example. Record the plant growths.

Again, two 10 gallon tanks, plain pool filter sand substrate, DIY CO2 on both, under a 4 foot T8 light, fertilize only with substrate tabs in one, and only water fertilizing in the other. Record plant growths.
I'm liking your ideas.

Unfortunately, I have no experience with CO2. Do you have any alternative ideas?
 

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You're in the 7th grade??
I thought you were at least in your 30's haha. Your posts are always so adult-like! :flick:

I like Niko's idea.
 

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I'm liking your ideas.

Unfortunately, I have no experience with CO2. Do you have any alternative ideas?
Yes, just substitute Flourish Excel for CO2. The reason I suggested those ideas is because I would very much like to see the results - devious huh?
 

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An excel vs no excel as Hoppy suggested would be great. Especially if you put several species of plants in the tank. Plus many people on this forum would love to see the results.
 

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a. Tank full of tap water
b. Measure and chart for all possible parameters (like amonia) as you would a new aquarium.
c. Perhaps note how much of chemicals present would, um, kill a fish...
d. Add hornwort or some other fast-acting plant.
e. Measure and chart parameters daily until tank reaches point where one can consider adding fish.
f. Different tanks with different kinds of plants could be compared. One tank could even have media from an established tank.
g. End result: happy fish (or maybe snails, shrimp) in a little world you have made them
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You're in the 7th grade??
I thought you were at least in your 30's haha. Your posts are always so adult-like! :flick:

I like Niko's idea.
I joined TPT a year ago.
 

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KISS, keep it simple silly

Trying to get kids to clean the tank again niko?
Here's a project for you:
Setup a tank, no need for gravel or CO2. Let the light be on 12 hours a day. Add some fish food.
Kidding aside, growing algae is the next big thing and this sounds quick and easy.

AND/OR​

DIY CO2 as a great visual science project. If you use a Hagen ladder the CO2 bubbles can be watched as they get smaller going up the ladder dissolving into solution. Focus on the relationship/effect CO2 has on things like pH, KH and photosynthesis. Even the yeast can provide for an informative discussion about the Kreb's cycle and respiration. If you would like to add a more effective way to disburse the CO2 here is a reactor/filter; Yea, it's ugly. A DJ100 has a clear view of the bubbles when they enter the filter so a bubble counter is not needed and you will get a quick change in pH with only yeast culture..
the importance of certain nutrients
Nutrients are involved with photosynthesis and respiration so some simple charts would show the relationship. You could also show something on Liebig's Law, (Law of the Minimums) to explain the limiting effects on plant growth when a specific nutrient is absent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid_cycle
http://www.avocadosource.com/tools/FertCalc_files/liebigs_law.htm
All this can be done using algae (Cladophora), larger plants, fish (fresh, brackish and marine environments).
Good luck.
 

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crazy

At some point a lfs salesman sold me what I pointed at (thinking I was getting Java moss). Ends up it was a golfball size patch of Cladophora growing with small water wisteria planlets and some Riccia. Brilliant! Give that guy a raise. It's not that I like paying for algae, but I did manage to get two nice plants out of it and the Cladophora is doing well. What a mixed blessing that is, Cladophora when it's healthy.

Here is a twist on the algae idea: Try to grow Cladophora instead of plants. It shouldn't be hard to find.
 

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Agree with Hoppy´s ideas but I would go to a extreme. Using the same type of plant (preferably a fast growing plant like Eleocharis or a Hygro), in one tank just put the plant with regular substrate and leave it there with just ambient light.

In another tank do the whole DIY co2, fertz and light, and record the difference in growth between the two tanks over a period of time. If you can spare more tanks or containers, then you could spread it, one with nothing, one with only light, one with only co2, one with the full monty.

Sounds like fun!
 

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Sorry for the attempt to be funny. Cladophora favors the same conditions we try to provide for a healthy planted tank and as the story goes, you often get it from your LFS. Probably should of posted this somewhere else. :redface:
 

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How much time does your science project have to develop? That will dictate what you can accomplish in a tank. Lima bans don't take long to sprout :)
 
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