This is the first week mark of our wick hydroponics system. The plants are doing well, still standing up-right. However, to me the plants seem to be a little more shriveled and the sand a bit dryer. In analyzing our own system, I had the chance to take a look at the other two class design as well.
The first design is similar to a wick system. Imagine a large 5 gallon bucket that has three upside down 2 liter water bottles, that are cut open, floating in the nutrients filled water. These bottles are filled with soil and have plants sitting within them. The plants seem to be healthy and absorbing nutrients. I really like this design because it seems very cost effective. I believe anybody has the ability to make it because all items have substitutes.
The second design has a water reservoir above the plants that are sitting in a rectangular pot similar to our design. The team took a daring approach and took the plants out of their natural soil to see how the plants would uphold in only a sand base. I was skeptical of their approach at first, but today the plants seem to be gaining more life.
I believe this Tuesday is going to be the most crucial. I think we will be able to tell in which direction our project is headed. Although the sand seemed damp, I am concerned about the amount of water and nutrient our plants are getting from the wick system.
Frayed Cotton: 1) 5.0 inches 2) 5.5 inches
Straight Cotton: 1) 5.25 2) 5.5
Braided Cotton: 1) 6.0 2) 5.5
This week we finished the development and construction of our hydroponics system. As mentioned before we used three different wicks to see which one would be the most efficient and produce the greatest results. We used two plants per wick (6 total). This post will discuss the construction of the system.
In my last post, I mentioned my skepticism of the use of plastic in separating the plants, however it was very successful. We used duct tape to secure the plastic. When we added sand to the respective “pots” and the plastic held strongly. We then filled the water reservoir and had each wick touching or submerged in the water. We used different lengths to see if the depth of the wick correlated with a better growth of the plants. Another aspect that was added was an electric pump, to provide a small current within the reservoir to cause the nutrients to cycle throughout. Although we intended to use a manual pump, the automatic pump will work well for our test and simulation. Below is a picture of our final design:
I am very curious to see if there are any of our plants that die due to our different testing methods. I am expecting one to be better than the others, however I am not sure which wick will produce the best results. Next class period we will be able to make our first evaluations of the system as well as give more accurate predictions for our results.
Today, we received our supplies for our wick hydroponics system. We are using Kale as the main vegetable which we decided to grow using three different materials as a wick. Due to constraints, the design of our hydroponics system changed, however the functionality and operations did not.
The three types of wicks we are using are, braided and unbraided cloth, and a braided shirt. They are all going in a rectangular pot which will sit on top of the water reservoir. We had to cut the reservoir in order for our plant container to fit properly. This was to ensure that our wicks were not too long so our plants could obtain enough nutrients.
One thing I am skeptical about is how we are going to separate our wicks. The team is planning on using plastic wrap however I feel that the water and nutrients will leak through. This would lead us to have untrue statistics because one wick could do better than the other, however if we do not separate the plants properly then we will not truly know which wick works the best. I am going to research the subject in hopes of finding a more optimal solution by Thursday.
I am excited to see the progress that we make and am hoping that our system becomes successful.