Culturing Phytoplankton

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by CJO, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. superbluetang

    superbluetang Well-Known Member

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    Great write up. I'll have to give this a try!
     
  2. GROSSR

    GROSSR Member

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    I have been culturing phyto for over 4 years. This is a great write up. As stated, important to know your strain. Regarding cleaning the bottles, I rotate a set of 4 1liter bottles as mentioned earlier. Fill 1/2 the bottle with tap water, shake it up good, dump and then fill them with that nasty tap water we drink. A day before I want to use a new bottle, I dump the water and let it air dry. No bleach, no chlorine, just tap water.

    I have also had complete cultures crash, and I am left with nothing. I have learned to leave a 1 liter bottles in the fridge as a back up. Longest I have stored a bottle in the fridge, and brought it back was about 3 weeks.

    So, I regularly rotate the bottle in the fridge for back up. I have had my wife yell at me, because she thought it was a 1 liter bottle of juice. She didn't drink it.

    Another issue is over production. I dose about 4 ml in my 46 bow daily. At that rate I am culturing way to much. I have offered it for FREE!!!! and rarely have takers.


    I would love to hear what others are doing with the extra phyto?

    thanks

    rich
     
  3. dieselwagon

    dieselwagon Active Member

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    can I use freshwater plant food. as fertilizer for phyto.? i have a lot in stock and was hoping it would work instead of throwing it away.
     
  4. GROSSR

    GROSSR Member

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    I know some have posted using liquid miracle gro. My concern is the unconsumed fertilizer is going into your tank. I use the guillard f/2 product. You can try your fertilizer and see what happens. If you could raise rotifers and feed the rotofers that phyto, that would be a good indicator if the fertilizer is ok.

    I use driveway heat for my calcium dosing. It has been used by others and reported no issues. What ever you use, you need to make sure doesn't create an adverse reaction in your tank.

    I personally tend not lead the way with untested product.

    rich
     
  5. hung52

    hung52 Well-Known Member

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    May I ask a question? What phytoplankton does? I have xenia and i heard they need phyto?
     
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  6. GROSSR

    GROSSR Member

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    phyto is the first food or lowest level in the food chain.

    rich
     
  7. Ally4red

    Ally4red Active Member

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    Can you use this bottle to start your culture?

    image.jpeg
     
  8. Windy

    Windy Well-Known Member

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    How are you going to feed the culture twice daily? Remove some for harvest? A bucket is the easiest, but many use plastic bottles and rigid airline into them from the "TOP".
     
  9. Ally4red

    Ally4red Active Member

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    Thank you. Can I buy any brand of phytoplanktons to start culture and art it has to be a certain one? Can I use miracle grow as fertilizer ?
     
  10. GROSSR

    GROSSR Member

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    Yes, any live strain will work or a culture disk. Keyword...Live. Can you use micracle grow? I have seen some who have. I wouldn't, but you could try and see what happens. Test and get back to us. Rots are different in that you can filter them out, phyto really is the entire bottle of what you cultured goes in the tank. I am not a snob, just want to verify that someone has done it before.
     
  11. rjl45

    rjl45 Well-Known Member

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    You can, but I would not recommend it over a long duration. Miracle Grow contains trace elements (heavy metals) that over time will contaminate your tank. Granted, it is very small amounts, but over a year or 2, it will add up and lead to problems.

    You're much better off buying f/2 from Florida Aqua Farms or another source.
     
  12. GROSSR

    GROSSR Member

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    Also, there are different strains of phyto. I had a strain that went super dark green in a couple of weeks. that eventually crashed, I tried to find that strain again, but, sadly my source went dark. I got another strain from a fellow reefer, and waiting for over 4 weeks and I still is a light green color. I have added more f/2 to the top off water, doesn't matter. Just different. Some are different sizes. Read up on the different strains as well.

    rich
     
  13. Ally4red

    Ally4red Active Member

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    It works

    image.jpeg

    image.jpeg
     
  14. fishview

    fishview Well-Known Member

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    Wow nice. How long did it take? I am trying to start a culture and it is not that dark yet after two weeks. Make sure I should add more micro grow?
     
  15. Ally4red

    Ally4red Active Member

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    It took me about a week. I used skimmate from my protein skimmer as fertilizer
     
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  16. jd371

    jd371 Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up. I'm culturing phyto to feed the copepod culture I started. After 10 days the 2L bottle is a nice dark green, so I will be harvesting for the first time today. I plan to split the harvest one to feed and the other will stay in the fridge in case of a crash. What will cause a culture to crash?
     
  17. fishview

    fishview Well-Known Member

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    Mine is going after 3 weeks. It is still not as dark as what you have in the picture. Thinking to give it another week before split.
    I will also have to ask the question. What makes it crash?
     
  18. rjl45

    rjl45 Well-Known Member

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    Color is dependent on a couple factors including but not limited to; type of phyto, fertilizer(food) and lighting. You will be better of if you harvest (or split) during the "prime" growth period, typically 6-10 days. Anything after 10 days and the nutritional value goes down and in my observations the culture becomes unstable.

    What can cause a crash? The culture runs out of food or too much fertilizer, contaminates creep in, culture not maintained.

    I always run an extra bottle of phyto as an "insurance policy".
     
  19. fishview

    fishview Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I noticed that the bottle in the middle is darker than the ones at the end. So brighter light will make it darker.

    Does anyone use red LED? I use red LED for chaeto and it doing very well. Maybe I should try that.
     
  20. rjl45

    rjl45 Well-Known Member

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    I use 2 standard fluorescent lights, nothing special. I grow 6 liters, 5 x 1 liter bottles and 1 x 2 liter bottle. Grows enough to keep 3 pod cultures fed (each about 3 gallons) and plenty extra phyto for my display tank. I try to offset the bottles of phyto so that they "peak" on separate days and coincide with my water changes on the pod cultures.
     

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