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My daughter has to do a science project. She wants to build a hydroponic system and colour the water red to see if the lettuce leaves will turn red. Will it? I don't want to build the whole system just for it not to work.

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  • If a stalk of relatively fresh celery is placed in a jar of water with food coloring in it, it will take up the color (less impressive than it sounds, actually). This was a common elementary school project when I was a kid a long time ago. This sounds like a much more complex variant of that. If the point of the project is to show the movement of water in a plant stem, then a jar of water is a lot easier to deal with than building a hydroponics system.
    – Jurp
    Apr 14, 2023 at 13:01
  • I'm going to suspect that different chemicals will be taken up differently by different plants. Also, different concentrations will be taken up differently. Probably temperature has an effect. Some chemicals that we can eat will be toxic to some plants. Even if it does not turn the lettuce pink it's still science.
    – Boba Fit
    Apr 14, 2023 at 15:30

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My daughter has to do a science project. ...I don't want to build the whole system just for it not to work.

OK, time for you to better understand "science" - Which might be more properly done on some other SE site, but here we are.

Science "works" just fine with the sequence:

  1. Hypothesis: red coloring will turn hydroponic lettuce red
  2. Build hydroponic lettuce thing
  3. Grow Lettuce
  4. Add red coloring
  5. Lettuce does not turn red. (Hypothesis disproven. Possibly try several different red colorants to see if any match the hypothesis - but every result of testing a hypothesis is valid science.)

Science also works fine with:

  1. Hypothesis: red coloring will turn hydroponic lettuce red
  2. Build hydroponic lettuce thing
  3. Grow Lettuce
  4. Add red coloring
  5. Lettuce turns red.

And science is quite happily working (many of the most interesting results, historically) with:

  1. Hypothesis: red coloring will turn hydroponic lettuce red
  2. Build hydroponic lettuce thing
  3. Grow Lettuce
  4. Add red coloring
  5. Lettuce turns some unexpected color. Or does some unexpected thing unrelated to color.

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