How do you culture phyto?

Discussion in 'General Reef Discussion' started by csb123, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
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    Hey folks,

    For the last month and a half, I’ve been trying to culture phytoplankton, but it’s not working so well. I’m using nanochloropsis and my culture keeps crashing. And when it doesn’t crash, I don’t get very dense cultures.

    I’ve used Mercer’s of Montana starter culture and their f/2 fertilizer, 2 ml per gallon. The medium is LA salt mixed to 1.020 SG. It’s kept at 78 degrees with a 16 on 8 off light cycle. I’m pretty sure some of my batches get bacterial contamination, so with the last few batches, I’ve washed the vessels with hot water and rinsed with rubbing alcohol.

    Any hints are appreciated!

    Sean
     
  2. paparoof

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    I'm only a few months in to phyto culturing so no expert. I'm growing nanno from Mercer as well. So far so good. I've had a weak batch or two, but no crashes.

    Most everything I've read (and YT videos I've watched) have mentioned that phyto cultures crash easily due to less-than-sterile environments so since you brought it up first, I'd look there first for sure. I'm only culturing a single gallon now, but I use two one gallon glass jugs and swap them out every month or so. The jug that isn't in use gets soaked overnight in citric acid and rinsed in tap water a zillion times, dried fully (outside in the sun when possible) and stored.

    My setup isn't exactly the same, but those same sources from above say phyto is tolerant of a wide range of salinity and temp only needed to stay below some number in the 80's (I don't remember exactly). Just sayin' - I doubt your salt or temp are the problem.

    I'm also running 16 hours of light, I did find a recommendation on the color temp of the light and I don't remember what it was, but the LED strip lights I got were 3000K - so that's prolly close to what the recommendation was. I'll try to dig up the link to the exactly light strips I'm using.

    Here's a pic of my setup:
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    @AmyZ didn't you have a constant phyto feed? Maybe it's something else.
     
  4. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    The led strips are so much nicer to use... last time I did phyto was 15yrs ago and I had to build a large rectangle box to house a fluorescent garage pendant light. The box was to keep my roommates at the time happy and from going blind (o:
     
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  5. paparoof

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  6. OP
    csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
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    I’m also going to try freshly mixed salt water. Maybe something is growing in my AWC bin.
     
  7. AmyZ

    AmyZ I am just fishy geek that crochets :D
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    No I have constant live brine shrimp hatching
     
  8. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    They do make sealant tape that would probably work well for you.

    Specifically I'm thinking about the white rubber stuff used on pvc pipe.
     
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  9. paparoof

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    There are silicone-cased (waterproof) versions out there too: here
     
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  10. paparoof

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    @csb123 looking any better? I'll be splitting mine again this weekend sometime if ya need a booster - happy to save some aside for ya if it'll help.
     
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  11. OP
    csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
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    I’ll take you up on that! Pm’ed
     
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