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Re: JoAnn's plant nutrient experiments

Wow, Steff!  Thanks!

Sodium nitrate it is, then.  Sounds straightforward
enough; I didnít want to get into that
add-this-compensate-with-that if I didnít have to.
Gets pricey. *grin*

Good point about the ion concentration.  Admittedly
itís fine-tuning, but itís also good math practice as
well as a springboard for chemistry discussions. To
say nothing of it being better lab practice. ;)

Finally, nitrate salts are all pretty reactive. Be
moderately careful.

Not to worry. Iím pretty fussy about lab safety. :)

Good idea about making stock solutions.  Measuring all
those individual portions would indeed be a major

Us geeks call this kind of single dose an "aliquot,"
which we also use as a verb

Aliquot, eh?  I remember *hearing* the word a few
times, lol!  How on earth do you use it as a verb? 
Iíll have to work on using Ďaliquotí since Iím a geek,
too, and I wouldnít want to make a geek faux-mot. ;)
Iím an engineering geek, though, not a science geek,
so maybe Iíd be forgiven.

Would you measure growth by length, number of leaves,
weight-when-blotted-dry ?

*grin*  That is one of the questions I intend to ask
the kids.  Iím betting they wonít have thought about
just what they mean by growth. ;) I thought Iíd let
them decide, maybe even have them measure multiple
parameters and see if one measurement is a Ďbetterí
indicator of growth/health (in their estimation) than
another.  Lots of interesting questions there: would
length be a good measure of growth in a multi-branched
plant?  How do you account for dropped leaves?  Yadda,
yadda, yadda.

Thanks for the guidance on slowing the algae
infection.  I hadnít given enough thought to that one.
 Starting Ďcleaní should give us enough time to get
through the experiments before the algae take over.  I
donít have to grow them forever, lol!

Replicates!  Duh! [slapping forehead]  I can only hope
that would have occurred to me before we started. 
Sheesh!  See why I need some input on this?

Thanks so much for your help, Steff!  I appreciate you
taking the time to read and think about the

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