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I'm designing a system of V-shaped shelfs that serve as grow beds.  I'm considering making the shelves of clear acrylic to display the root systems.  Roots adjacent to the acrylic walls would of course be exposed to photoelectric radiation from the grow lights.  Will light harm the roots or inhibit their growth?

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You will end up with algae growing in the root zone where ever light can get. The algae will take up nutrients that the plants would otherwise use

I have two different pepper plants in two different clear acrylic display jobbies that I made (turns out the adults love them just as much as the kids who see them). One of them I protect from algae, the other one I do not.

Here is the one protected from algae...The plant is doing fine with lots and lots of flowers, starting to set fruit...

 And here is the other one (that's algae along the inside wall that you see)...

 Here is what the canopy of the plant growing in the algae covered bucket looks like...

 We've picked many peppers off this plant already (about as many as will fit in a square 2 gallon bucket...twice...I'm not selling them, so I'm not weighing them either). It doesn't seem to mind the algae much. Once we are done with this "tree" and re-plant the bucket, I'll probably take measures to block out the excess light when the ballast kicks on because I don't like the way the algae looks and it defeats the purpose of having a see through material (if folks can't see the roots because of the algae)...I'd suggest that you have a way to cover up the acrylic walls (when they are not on display) with a removable material...otherwise the algae seems to make the acrylic opaque pretty quickly.

Good luck Dan :)

Awesome pics Vlad.  I love the root-display idea.  

Thanks Jeremiah :)

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