Phytoplankton Culture Guide

Instruction sheet for home culture live

phytoplankton

A culture can be defined as an artificial environment in which the algae grow. In theory, culture

conditions should resemble the alga’s natural environment as far as possible.

Physical parameters

Temperature

An intermediate value of 15

-

20°C is most often employed cycling. In temperate regions ambient room

temperature is generally acceptable for culturing purposes.

Light

Natural light is usually sufficient to maintain cultures in the laboratory. Cultures should never be exposed to

direct sunlight (which may cause photo pigment damage), Fluorescent tubes bulb types marine white work

well. Lighting hours should range from 14 - 16 hrs light a day

Mixing

Mixing of micro algae cultures may be necessary under certain circumstances: when cells must be kept in

suspension in order to grow mixing should be gentle. The following methods may be used: bubbling with air,

but

when possible gentle manual swirling (once each day) is recommended.

Types of culture vessel

Culture vessels should have the following properties: non toxic &

reasonably transparent coca cola bottle with

rounded bottom is an ideal vessel making sure very clean and sterilized.

Cleaning/sterilization of culture materials

Cleanliness is foremost

Scrub (abrasive brushes not appropriate for most plastics) and soak with warm detergent (not domestic

detergents, which leave a residual film on culture ware

use laboratory detergent

If using a coca cola bottle or similar vessel with screw

Tops drill a small hole in the top for airline (rigid) tubing

.

Image A

1.

Use clean sterile container/bucket of sterile r/o water (for best results.) Then adding salt

water (mixed well) It should be saltwater that is 1.015sg

-

using a refractometer. (fresh

water can be used with our dish cultures)

If you wish to make 1 litre culture water use 0.5ml of fertilizer per 1000ml

Sterile water can be obtained by microwaving 1 liter of water for 7 minutes on high power, then allowing to cool to room temperature.

f/2. (0.5ml) - (1ml) for 1 litre, (1000ml) using syringe supplied. Of half Strength Sea water

@ (1.015sg) if using other brand fertilizers see manufactures recommendations.

3.

Using a coca cola bottle or other types of vessel pour 1 litre of ready made mixture i

nto

the bottle. Do not screw top tight two turns just so it locks and air can escape

4.

Connect airline up so it’s gently bubbling leave for 10 12 hours so proper mixing

Of air and carbon dioxide and a stabilized ph (

usually around 7.5

-

8 is good).

Air stones are not required in micro algae cultures because algae cells get

trapped in the bubbles acting like a protein skimmer collecting at the top of

culture vess

els killing the algae.

. If using fluorescent tubes as a light source leave at least 6”

-

7” gap between

vessel and light source as fluorescent tubes can quickly over heat your

phytoplankton culture.

5.

Now you’re ready to add your live algae

pour the whole 100ml bottle into your

mixture.

6.

if using our culture dish flood the dish with sterile water

Leave for 10

-

12 hrs (room temp) gently rub off the cell with cotton swab and pour

into mixture.

Twist top so it locks (couple turns) but n

ot tight.

7.

Here comes the hard part be

patient!!

The micro algae will require a few

days to adjust too there new environment, this is typically known as lag phase or

introductory

phase

DON’T FORGET EACH DAY GIVE

THE BOTTLE A QUICK SWIRL!

8.

After 3

-

4 days you should now notice slight colour change, this is known as

exponential growth phase.

Splitting your culture for further use

9.

On

the 8th day of culturing split 1/3 of your culture to restart a new 2 litre bottle.

Repeating steps above.

The objective of splitting culture is to maintain a growth phase so you have

continuous use and supply of phytoplankton.

Culture vessels can be used 2

-

3 times of re

-

blooming before cleaning or renewing

vessel.

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ

F/2 NUTRIANTS Be Warned adding more fertilizer will not produce a darker

culture and may slow culture growth. Dosage of 0.5ml /1ltr

-

1ml/1ltr a fairly dense

culture will grow and survive 10

-

12 days.

Equipment check list

Air pump

Culture vessel

Fluorescent lights (white & actinic work well)

Starter culture

Fertilizer

f/2