Culturing Phytoplankton

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Culturing Phytoplankton

Postby Mr. Jimbo » June 19th, 2006, 2:12 am

Hey, my name is Mr. Jimbo. How are you today/tonight? Anyway, I'm getting into planning a plankton culture. Here is an article that I was inspired by: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/ ... reeder.htm

Now, I have a few questions.

1. How do you regulate temperature?
2. Is my list of equipment okay? Here it is:

Necessities
Lithonia Lighting 4 Ft. 2-Light Residential Fluorescent Wrap (Home Depot)
48” 40-watt T12 lamp (2)
ViaAqua Million Air MA-300 Air Pump (2)
F/2, Part B, 1 gallon (www.aquaticeco.com)
F/2, Part A, 1 gallon (www.aquaticeco.com)
4 Gang Valve (www.aquaticeco.com)
Microalgae Density Measuring Stick (www.aquaticeco.com)
10 mls plastic syringe
2L soda bottle (7)
Nannochloropsis oculata culture
14” smooth airline tubing
6’ rigid airline tubing

Optional
large cardboard box
fan
1mm reflective mylar

I was thinking about lining the inside of a cardboard box with reflective mylar, and housing the culture inside. I would also keep a fan in to regulate temperature during the summer months.

So, what should I do to improve this plan?
The information I give about fish, corals, or anything else aquarium-related is all just based on reading stuff online.
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Postby SeahorseWhisperer_ » June 19th, 2006, 8:48 am

I have been growing different cultures of phyto and zoo plankton for a few years now. I don't worry about the temperature, but my "lab" is in the basement.

Is your gang valve metal? I've found the plastic ones are hard to regulate. With the metal ones, you can remove a screw on the end and hook a few together. You want to have one that is empty, to regulate the air pump. You can really shorten the life of the pump if you restrict it.

I am not familiar with Aquatic Ice's fertilizer. Why are there 2 parts?

I started a webpage to show my techniques. It might help?

http://web.mac.com/suzynrob/iWeb/SWPlantedTank/236E8FF6-C4A3-45EE-A97C-CC8E59F01091.html
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Postby Mr. Jimbo » June 19th, 2006, 5:41 pm

Very nice website. Why is it that you need to keep starting new phyto cultures? Explain.
The information I give about fish, corals, or anything else aquarium-related is all just based on reading stuff online.
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Postby SeahorseWhisperer_ » June 19th, 2006, 6:35 pm

It is really hard to keep a culture of some of the more difficult algae pure. Eventually, it will get a protozoan or bacterial contaminent and the culture starts to lose it's density.

Some species are easy, though. One of the easiest, IMO, is tetraselmis.

Chaetocerous is the best grower I've found.

I do only start a new culture once or twice a year, though. I usually put it off for quite a while, just babying a culture before I break down and start over. If my cultures get weak, I just use them as a water cahnge!
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Postby Mr. Jimbo » June 20th, 2006, 12:13 am

I plan on also keeping zooplankton. Can I keep it on the same shelf? Mind you that the phyto culture will be in a cardboard box. Also, should I use the same lighting on my zoo culture as my phyto culture?
The information I give about fish, corals, or anything else aquarium-related is all just based on reading stuff online.
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Postby SeahorseWhisperer_ » June 20th, 2006, 8:09 am

Zooplankton does great with just ambient light, IMO. Or strong light, it doesn't matter.

I think you can keep most species of zooplankton is the same vicinity as phyto, except rotifers! They can travel in thin air and contaminate a whole bottle of phyto in a single bound! But, if they do, you just have a little extra food for your reef, so it's all good....
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Postby Prawnman » July 28th, 2006, 4:44 am

Aerosmith wrote:It is really hard to keep a culture of some of the more difficult algae pure. Eventually, it will get a protozoan or bacterial contaminent and the culture starts to lose it's density.

Some species are easy, though. One of the easiest, IMO, is tetraselmis.

Chaetocerous is the best grower I've found.

I do only start a new culture once or twice a year, though. I usually put it off for quite a while, just babying a culture before I break down and start over. If my cultures get weak, I just use them as a water cahnge!


Huh, I figured you'd have said that Nanno is the easiest :D
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Postby acroman » December 1st, 2006, 10:13 am

ive found nanno and chaetoceros are the easiest. i dont know what zooplankton you are planning to culture, but i recommend keeping it as far away from the phyto as possible.
also, are you planning on using synthetic seawater or natural? with natural seawater you definatly want to bleach the water overnight, then hit it with dechlorinator and air a couple hours before you innoculate. also the less possibility there is for contaminants to get in, the longer the culture will last, so you may want to try putting the lids on the soda botles with two holes drilled in it, on for the airline, and one for the air to escape. the high velocity of air escaping will prevent most rotifer cysts and bacteria from entering.
i restart most of my large cultures about every two weeks, but my backup flasks last for well over a month.
if you are culturing rotifers, and plan to feed live algae, i reccomend lighting the culture vessel, as algae need light, and in the dark, the algae will respire, which could significantly reduce the dissolved oxygen, and make your culture crash, or at the very least keep a low density.
If it lives in water...we can make more!
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Postby papagimp » December 7th, 2006, 6:41 pm

fwiw, I get by on my cultures just fine using a simple clamp light and one of those spiral bulbs from home depot. Color spectrum hasn't seem to ahve made a single difference either. I've gone from 2200k to 6800k and they all seem to work for me. And who said TET is the easiest! I ordered my two initial starter disks a while back, one Nannochloris and the other was TET, the TET crashed the very next day, what a rip. That was the one I really wanted too, better nutritional value than nannochloris.
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Postby acroman » December 8th, 2006, 12:00 pm

tet likes slightly cooler water than nanno or chaeto in my experience. i beleive there have been studies done on light color, but as long as the light is intense enough, and full spectrum, it shouldnt matter.
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