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The effect of nitrate levels in water on the growth of plantsFeatured science projectScience project video


This science fair project was conducted to ascertain the effect of water nitrate levels on plant growth. This will help us better understand how to use fertilizers to help plants grow better.


Watering mung beans with water containing nitrates will help them grow more quickly.

Scientific Terms

Nitrate, amides, nitrides, peptides, amino acids, bacteria, ammonia



Nitrogen is a very important element in the growth and survival of plants and animals. It is one of the basic elements found in proteins. Plants have both protein based and non-protein based compounds in them. Some of the non-protein based compounds in them are nitrates, amides, nitrides, peptides and free amino acids.

Decomposition of animal and plants will reduce oxygen levels and increase nitrate levels. Bacteria will help to break down protein molecules into ammonia, which will merge with oxygen to create nitrite and nitrates. Too much nitrates will cause plants to grow faster.

Nitrate levels are also increased due to excessive fertilizer use, septic tank leakages and poor waste water treatment. Normally phosphate levels also increase together with the level of nitrates. Phosphates will cause the growth and decomposition of algae to increase and this will further reduce the level of dissolved oxygen.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 10 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
May be purchased at a plant nursery
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements