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The Effects of Fertilizer on the Nitrogen Levels of Water

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Bethany Castro

on 9 December 2013

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Transcript of The Effects of Fertilizer on the Nitrogen Levels of Water

Bethany Castro
Pre-AP Biology

The Effects of Fertilizer on the
Nitrogen Levels of Water

- Nitrogen levels increased as ratio of fertilizer increased
- Water with no added fertilizer had safe amounts of nitrogen
- Water with high amounts of fertilizer had dangerous amounts of nitrogen
- Water from cups #2-4 had more nitrogen due to the added amounts from fertilizer
Independent Variable
Control Group
Amount of fertilizer added to water
Investigate the affects of fertilizer on water’s nitrogen levels
Fertilizer raises the nitrogen levels in water.
If the amount of fertilizer increases then, the amount of nitrogen also increases because fertilizer is high in nitrogen and will increase the water's current levels.
Amount of fertilizer added to water
Amount of water, water source, water tester kit, room temperature, type of fertilizer, and increments of collecting data.
Gathered required materials
Labeled the four plastic cups, #1a
control, #2a one ounce, #3a two
ounces, and #4a three ounces
Added four ounces of room
tap water into each container
Measured one ounce of fertilizer
and added it to container #2a
Measured three ounces of
fertilizer and added it
to container #4a
Measured two ounces of
fertilizer and added it to
container #3a
Wrapped opening of each cup
with two pieces of ceran wrap
after gently stretching it over
the opening and wrapping the
remainder around the
top of the cups
Used the Pro-Lab Home Water
Quality Test Kit to test the amount
of nitrogen in each test subject and
followed given instructions
Measured three ounces of
fertilizer and added it
to container #4a
Left cups in a designated area
for one hour
Recorded qualitative data
Repeated trial seven times to
total 32 data points
Repeated trial three times to
total 32 data points
Cleaned and organized work
Figure 7. Test subjects 1 and 2
Figure 8. Test subjects 3 and 4
Figure 9. Unused nitrogen test strips
Figure 10. Nitrogen test strip packet
Figure 11. Nitrogen test strip directions and key
Figure 11
Data table of all test subjects (ratings scaled based on key provided with test kit)
Figure 12
Bar graph of all test subjects (ratings scaled based on key provided with test kit)
- Fertilizer: any essential organic/inorganic material added to soil for more plant nutrients needed for growth
- Main nutrients: phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium

- Although used on soil, through water cycle ends up in bodies of water
- Added nutrients to aquatic ecosystems cause imbalance
- Increased nitrogen commonly causes algal bloom
- Surplus amounts of algae creates layer over plants causing them to die
- Excess fertilizer collected in run off goes into bodies of water causing it's nitrogen levels to increase
- More nitrogen dangerous for aquatic ecosystems
- Water exposed to more fertilizer contains more nitrogen than water without

- More trials
- Use different fertilizers (organic)
-Use different ratios of fertilizer to water
- Test as runoff
"Algal Blooms: Understanding This Natural Phenomenon." Algal Blooms: Understanding This Natural Phenomenon. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <http://www.sjrwmd.com/algae/>.

Fidler, April. "The Effects of Artificial Fertilizers." EHow. Demand Media, 18 May 2010. Web. 04 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/about_6527525_effects-artificial-fertilizers.html>.

Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options. N.p.: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, n.d. FTP.

Figure 1. Synthetic fertilizer (Organic vs. Synthetic Fertilizers)
Figure 2. Organic fertilizer (Environmentally Friendly Fertilizers)
Figure 3. Water in the St. Johns River during the summer and fall of 2005. Here, docks on the east side of the river at Mandarin reach into the bloom. Photo by Bill Yates (Algal Blooms: Understanding This Natural Phenomenon)
Research Question
How different amounts of fertilizer affect the amount of nitrogen in water?
Dependent Variable
Experimental Group
Tap water with two ounces, four ounces, and six ounces of fertilizer added
Tap water with zero grams of fertilizer added
Subject to be tested
Number of Trials
-Eight trials
-Four test subjects each
-32 data points
Water (nitrogen levels)
-32 plastic cups
-Pro-Lab Water Quality Test Kit
-One 16oz. bottle of Miracle-Gro Liquafeed fertilizer
-Room temperature tap water (four fluid ounces per test subject)
-Measuring cup
-32 pieces of tape(3cm long)
-One sharipe
Figure 4. Plastic cups
Figure 5. Pro-Lab Water Quality Test Kit
Figure 6. Miracle-Gro Liquafeed fertilizer
Figure 13
Trial A test strip #1
Figure 14
Trial A test strip #2
Figure 15
Trial A test strip #3
Figure 16
Trial A test strip #4
Figure 17
Trial H test strip #1
Figure 18
Trial H test strip #2
Figure 19
Trial H test strip #3
Figure 20
Trial H test strip #4
Problems/Possible Errors
-Possible contamination of test strips
-Unequal amounts of fertilizer added
-Uneven levels of nitrogen in tap water
-Not all test subjects tested equally
Hypothesis supported
Future Works
-Test fertilizer and water mixture on aquatic plants
-Test nitrogen levels in bodies of water affected/unaffected by fertilizer
Full transcript