How to culture phytoplankton
The cultivation of phytoplankton is done very well in a domestic setting, however, it is not effortless and without cost. Here are the instructions for successfully growing your own phytoplankton.
- Air pump (X2)
- Flow controller
- Flexible hose
- Rigid pipe ¼” (X2)
- Bottle with clap (X2)
- Bleach 4.5%
- Dechlorinator (sodium thiosulfate)
- Fertilizers (F/2 Guillard)
- 3 syringes of 1 ml
- Osmosis water
- Marine salt
- Phytoplankton strain
Steps for cultivation:1 - In a bottle, add the osmosis water and the salt to have a salinity of about 1.020
2 - Add 2 ml of F/2 Guillard fertilizer.
3 - Add 2 ml of bleach (Sodium hypochloride).
4 - Put air at maximum force for 6 hours minimum, ideally 12 hours.
5 - After the brewing period, add 1.33 ml of dechlorinator (sodium thiosulfate).
6 - Put air at maximum for 6 hours minimum, ideally 12 hours.
Bleach sterilizes the mixture, as well as the bottle and rigid tube. The dechlorinator neutralizes bleach. So after 12 hours (or 24 hours) you have a sterile solution ready for use.
In the second bottle, add the phytoplankton (1 liter) and the same amount of the sterile solution (1 liter). The amount of air to be added must be sufficient to make broths without creating a spill. My phytoplankton bottles are about 5 to 6 inches from the neon lights and are lit 24/7!
What you want is a beautiful dark green. Pale green indicates a low density. A yellow color indicates a crash. A lightening culture indicates contamination. Generally, with 1 liter of phytoplankton and a liter of solution, I get a dark green in about a week. From there, I extract the amount I need every day and replace the same amount with the solution that is in my other bottle.
For maintenance. Every day I shack my bottles to avoid deposits. Once a week, instead of shacking, I change the bottle, taking care not to collect the deposit that is in the bottom of my bottle. Each bottle is re-sterilized with osmosis water and bleach. I never add fertilizer except when I add solution that contains fertilizer or when I see that a crop really does not want to strengthen.