The potato test has come to an end. Actually, it was brought to an end two days ago when one of our ferrets figured out how to get onto the table. He thought the dirt that was in the pot next to the potatoes looked like some good digging and was really going at it by the time we noticed what was going on. Unfortunately, the test potatoes were too close and were knocked over, spilling all of the water out.
Anyway, I would still like to share with you how the potatoes were doing up to that point and what my conclusions are. First, just to get it out of the way, the potato that was soaking in our well water never did anything at all.
The potato in the PiMag water from our Aqua Pour was still doing very well. It has 3 long roots coming out of the body of the potato that you can see twisting around in the bottom of the cup. Most of what you see going up alongside the potato are smaller branches off the main, and there are a lot of them. You can click on the picture to get a larger view and see all of the roots that I’m talking about. It’s kind of hard to believe that all of that is really only 3 main roots and it’s branches.
The potato in the chlorinated water was doing pretty good too. In contrast to the PiMag potato, this potato has several thicker roots growing out of the potato itself. The roots are much shorter and coarser looking and don’t have the long branches like the PiMag potato.
The last time I added water to the chlorine potato I decided to test the water and see how chlorinated it really was. It turns out that it didn’t have much chlorine at all. I used a pool test kit from Wal-mart to check it. It didn’t have any “free” chlorine as indicated by the color of the water not changing within the first several seconds. It actually took about an hour for the test to indicate any chlorine at all, and then it only turned faintly yellow, indicating a very low level of chlorine. It this was a swimming pool it was beyond time to shock it. I guess I don’t need to be too concerned if my son drinks out of the water fountain at his pre-school.
I don’t really know if you can draw any significant conclusions from this test at all, mostly because it wasn’t all that scientific. I only had one potato in each water sample, so the differences could be just as likely due to differences in the potatoes as due to differences between PiMag and chlorinated water. With that said, the potato in the PiMag water did start growing roots about 3 days before the one in the chlorinated water. Those roots are also much longer and look healthier in my opinion. When we plant the potatoes, the longer roots on the PiMag potato will be able to reach much deeper and wider to pull in more nutrients than the shorter roots on the chlorine potato.
If I were to do this experiment over, which I’m not, I would get 6 potatoes and put 3 in each kind of water. I would also make sure that the chlorinated water sample better represented the average chlorination level that people are being exposed to in my area. Those changes would give more reliable results and better expose any possible concerns that people should have about chlorinated water and the possible benefits of drinking PiMag water from an Aqua Pour instead.
BTW, these are our two ferrets, Atlas and Asteroid. Atlas, the white one, is the one who prematurely ended the experiment with his digging spree. They are great pets and they are smart. If they want to get somewhere they will figure it out. They are very appropriately cast as the thieves in animal-based movies.