14 December 2020- Update
5 Feburary 2020- Week 3 Observations
2 October 2019- Germination Plan
We have started to think about what plants we want to grow. Right now we are looking at different types of lettuce, spinach, and beans. We are leaning towards leafy greens because physical observations will be fairly easy to make. Additionally, the San Joaquin Valley produces the majority of lettuce and spinach. I have found multiple references from different university that we could use to help guide us. A few helpful websites will be linked below.University of Florida – https://smallfarm.ifas.ufl.edu/production/hydroponics/
The Hydroponics team has decided to change the species of spinach we are growing in our lab. We have switched from Mustard Spinach to Malabar, or Basella Alba, Spinach. We made this decision with the intention of replicating a more realistic situation; Malabar Spinach is more commonly grown in the San Joaquin Valley than Mustard Spinach is. Along with this, we are figuring out how to create nutrient solutions for our lab. I am planning on meeting with Tim, Alicia, and Loli for guidance on how to approach this.
1 May 2019 - Salinity Calibration + Values
We are currently in the process of calibrating our salinity sensor. We have been testing 1-mole solutions and have come up with very high percent errors. We are planning on making and testing a 35 ppt solution as an alternative to see if there is something faulty with the wiring or if there’s error in our procedure.
We found a very useful research paper, Water Stress and a Changing San Joaquin Valley, and have set our salinity values for our lab around it. We have decided to test 0.6 M (35 ppt), 0.025 M (1.5 ppt), and 0M (0 ppt). The ocean water has a salinity level of 0.6 M (35 ppt), so we know that its an environment in which our plants will not survive. The value 0.025 M is derived from what the research paper deems dangerous salinity levels in the valley. We will adjust out median salinity value to see the limit of salt our plants can withstand. Lastly, we will, of course, have a standard to which we can compare the growth of our plants.
*Water Stress and a Changing San Joaquin Valley can be found in the team drive or in server assets/life science/hydroponics/bibliography
Today, Nicholas and I test ran the lab for the entire class period, below are some notes.
Test Run: 4/25/19
Sadie has constructed the first part of the frame of our new lab (Figure 1). The plan is to have a system with two valves, controlling the water flow into the reservoir as well as the grow tubes. However, the plan is to have the water move upwards into the grow tubes; the grow tubes are resting on top of the system. I am concerned about the functionality of this system design. Even though we have a valve controlling the flow into the reservoir, I fear not being able to get the water upwards and keeping a consistent water level. I plan on testing the system to ensure it properly works.
Jack and I started a print* on a cap connecting the PVC to the poly. We will test it out tomorrow and print out more copies if it fits.
*filename on server: Newwer PVC Nozzle
The hydroponics team has chosen a design to move forward with (pictured below.) This design has many advantages:
We have two redesigns for our lab. One is shown in the previous journal entry, the other shown below:
We have yet to decide which design to move forward with. Our second lab design uses our space more efficiently and designed to permanently run our lab. However, it would be more time consuming to build. Jack is currently working on the design.
In the meanwhile, Sadie and I will be focusing on running a preliminary lab. We will start growing our control and navigating the transplant and growth of the plant. This will enable us to have some experience when we officially start running our experimental lab. Our set up will be very basic and we will only be utilizing one grow tube. We have yet to pick a valve design to move forward, we will be experimenting on Monday once the caps have finished printing.
We have been working on many things
our new hydroponics lab draft
Test Run 12/17
How can we integrate into our lab w/o it taking up too much space
We are going to need 3
Test Run 12/13
During our meeting on Tuesday, Joe advised us to use Christy’s PVC Pipe Cement to securely glue our caps. Sadie (refer to her journal for more info) and Jack tested the durability of the glue. They concluded that the glue was strong enough to hold our caps and pipes together. However, when we looked at their experiment, we found that the 3D rectangle was coming apart. We think this might be because we are binding different plastics together. However, this could also be due to the method of application. To be sure of our theory, we conducted our own experiment. We glued on another rectangle as well as a ring (a prototype of our PVC nozzle cap). After conducting our experiment, we concluded that although the glue is strong, it doesn’t do anything more than bind pieces together; only acts as a glue. We were barely successful at melting the 3D printed rectangle in a small section. There are more, less toxic, alternatives to binding our pieces together.
We’ve made a few adjustments to our PVC connector caps: the nozzle is thinner and longer (to accommodate to the hose clamps and polycarbonate piping). The part is currently printing and we will test them later.
PVC connector nozzle caps file path: assets – 3D Print – 3D Prints – Hydroponics – NX Nozzle Cap PVC
the file is also saved on the Ultimaker2 Extended+
The basil plants that the team uprooted died. We are thinking about germinating our basil plants ourselves. We’ve been brainstorming about how to continue our lab and fix all the problems we’ve encountered. I’ve created a brainstorming document to keep track of all this.
To keep track of our progress, I’ve created a live basil observations document. This will be updated every WISRD class, 3 times a week.
Due to a couple of incidents, the date we’d originally planned to formally start running the lab has been postponed. Refer to the Hydroponics Homepage for the detailed plan.
Without the caps, we can’t move forward with our lab. Now, our lab run date is looking around mid-November.
After talking with Joe, we have come to 3 conclusions to make the startup of our lab quicker.
We are in the process of revising new caps. Our previous caps and nozzle [Figure 1 and Figure 2] were slightly too small, and the nozzle was in the middle when it should’ve been either in the middle or higher up. Our caps were originally designed so we always have a certain amount of water in our tubes. One side was higher than the other [Figure 3 and Figure 4]. The caps shown below, wouldn’t allow this to happen [Figure 1 and Figure 2].
I’ve finally finished sketching our lab. I fixed the last journal’s lab sketch, we need two water basins. One for our controls, and the other with salt.
I’ve also been working on the stabilizers, and I have 3 Ideas.
Below is a sketch of what the stabilizers would look like. The stabilizers will slide on to the skeleton of the lab and cradle the tubes in which the plants grow in. In order to keep the stabilizers from sliding around the skeleton, we could put zip ties on both sides of the stabilizers.
The only problem is, I’m not sure if the tubes will slip out of the stabilizers. To counter this, I’ve come up with 2 ideas of how to hold the tube securely.
Purple writing: “can stretch apart; snug fit on caps” (should be corrected to tubes)
Last Friday, I compiled a paper of things we needed to keep in mind as we were building our next Hydroponics Lab. Using the knowledge that I”d gained, I constructed a new possible lab. (below)
Some of my questions have been answered
However, we still need to finalize the stabilizers and choose the optimal one.
We have a couple of ideas so far:
Nicholas also finished modeling the funnel caps for the ends of the tubes (shown in lab sketch above). It is to scale, and ready to be printed out.
Another year of Hydroponics! In class today, I looked through our server to see where we had left off last year and gauge what we need to work on.
Basically, we need to come up with a new design for our lab. We have/know how we want certain pieces to look like, but we don’t know what we want the overall lab to look like.
Some of my suggestions are
22 May 2018 - Hydroponic's Lab Progress/Recap
Today is my last WISRD class. We are leaving our lab unconstructed, which is probably for the better. Sadie and I will pick up where we left off next year.
21 May 2018 - Stabilizers
As part of our new lab, we plan on placing the tubes on top of our frame. However, we need stabilizers so that they don’t roll off. Below is a sketch of what we want them to look like/function.
The stabilizer will cup and cushion our tubes. We will have some room of empty space below it because the stabilizers will almost form a Y shape. We will be doing some experimenting because we want the tube to be able to detach from the stabilizer.
We do, however, have one problem, we are not sure how to mount it onto the frame.
11 May 2018 - Growing Plants (Mesh)
Near the beginning of the week, we had a meeting regarding our method for growing our plants. We ultimately decided to have mesh to act as soil for our future plants and build in sensors into our labs.
Since we are growing plants hydroponically, we can’t have soil, so we’ve decided to implement a non-corroding and non- molding mesh.
We would like to include a sensor that will measure the nutrients lost to our plants. That is one of our biggest challenges that we are working on. We want to be able to see the difference in the water in the top reservoir and the water that comes out of the tubes. We want to find out how we can replenish the water with the appropriate nutrients.
We are also hoping to have an interface where we can easily access all our sensors. We are hoping to collaborate with the Arduino team for this.
We created a to-do list:
7 May 2018 - New Hydroponics Plan
With our new plan, we’ve fixed all of these problems:
Some other changes we’ve made to lab include:
There are still some problems with our lab that we need to figure out:
24 April 2018 - Update
Our AC power supply has arrived and we will go back to testing the current of our NaCl solutions.
We gave the CAD team our measurements and had the caps printed out. The fit was a little tight, so we had to sand it to make the caps fit over the ends of the tubes.
16 March 2018 - NaCl Electric Current
27 February 2018 - Finished Copper Sulfate II Calibration Curve
13 February 2018 - NaCl Calibration Curve Update
For the past couple of weeks, we have been trying to create a Calibration Curve for our NaCl samples, but have so far been failing. We have tried many times, and have gotten different results every time. When we simply run the absorption of our different samples, we come across a graph like this:
There are several things wrong with this. For one, our sample with the highest absorption is 2.7 moles of NaCl; it should be 3 moles. We have been getting different results every time we run this same experiment. We are unsure if the problem is on our side, or on the spectrometer’s side. Due to this, we are going to be testing out the same experiment but when copper sulfate. We found a video on YouTube from PASCO Spectrometer where they showed how to use Beer’s Law to create a calibration curve and then find the concentration of an unknown solution. We decided to follow their example exactly and see if we get the same results, this way we will know if we are doing something wrong or if something is wrong with the Spectrometer. We have created a new table which we are following and are in the midst of creating our solutions.
Copper Sulfate II
|1 mole||0.2 moles||0.14 moles||0.08|
26 January 2018 - Taking Inventory/What We Need
Things We Need:
|Clear piping||39 in L, 3 in Diameter||4|
|Plastic tray||39 in L, 38 in W, 3 in Depth||1|
|Reservoir tank||9.5 in L, 19.5 in W, 20 in Depth||8|
|Structural tubing||38 in L||4|
|Structural tubing||28 in L||4|
|Structural tubing||39 in L||4|
|90 degree tubing connectors||TBD, circumference uniform with structural tubing circumference||8|
22 January 2018 - Deconstructing Lab
19 January 2018 - Beer-Lambert Law
9 January 2018 - NaCl Spectrometer & Calibration Curve
We tried to run our finished solutions under a Spectrometer but failed. When we ran the spectrometer, we didn’t see anything. Therefore, we cannot create a Calibration Curve.
15 December 2017 - Finishing NaCl Solutions
This week, we finished our 9 NaCl solutions, right before winter break. We made 100 mL of each molarity level. We are storing them in jars with pipets and will be waiting for after we return from break to test it out on the Spectrometer.
8 December 2017 - Starting NaCl Solutions
Today, we created 3 of our 9 NaCl solutions. We are making 9 NaCl solutions each with different molarities. We are making solutions for .5, .7, 1, 1.3, 1.7, 2, 2.3, 2.7, and 3 molarity levels. Today we made the .5, .7, and 1 molar solutions. Below is the chart that I created and that we are referring to.
|0.5 Mole||0.7 Mole||1 Mole||1.3 Mole||1.7 Mole||2 Mole||2.3 Mole||2.7 Mole||3 Mole|
1 December 2017 - New Plants & New Proposal
17 November 2017 - Moldy Plants
14 November 2017 - Making Copper Sulfate Solutions
10 November 2017 - Poster Night
03 November 2017 - Moving to Larger Lab
This week, we saw a vast improvement in the growth of our plants. One particular plant, whom we’ve named Ben, has grown extremely tall. As of now, he is 12.7 centimeters tall.
We’ve made the transition between the smaller pods to the larger, permanent pods. We still have not figured out an efficient way to water them. There seems to be a part missing in our tray, there is an oddly placed hole that water leaks out of. We have been watering the plants by hand for now, but will soon need to switch over to using the motor as we have a week-long break coming up. Poster night is coming up, so that is another thing we are preparing for.
27 October 2017 - Update
20 October 2017 - Germination
13 October 2017 - Getting Started
06 October 2017 - Intro
The Hydroponics Lab is well underway.
We were able to clean out the station and organize it as well.
We ran a test to make sure the motor still functioned properly. We determined that the motor has a set flow, so we will, therefore, need to devise a way to ensure that our plants will get sufficient water, not too much or little. We are planning on growing beans and basil when we start.
There was an issue with the pipe that connects to the motor when turned on, the pipe flies off thus spraying water everywhere. We need to tightly secure the pipe to the motor somehow.
* Regarding the GAVRT Telescope, we will be rescheduling the meeting as I wasn’t able to attain the GoToMeeting Information.
Ronald Loren Nye, Visions of Salt 1870-1970
history of salinity and drainage
Alan Murray Paterson, Rivers and Tides 1920-1977
water management policies