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Old 12/13/2007, 05:02 PM   #1
BCreefmaker
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phyto culture questions

i had started some phytoplankton cultures last week and they arnt getting as dark green as i expected and i was just wondering if im doing something wrong? I'm using 1.5L rubbermaid containers with lots of air bubbles to keep everything moving. my medium was ro/di mixed to .019 SG for a few days in a sealed container and then aerated and added 1 ml per liter of micro algae fertilizer. i filled the culture dishes with the medium and left them under my t5's for 12 swabbed and dumped everything in. after a few days it got quite darker, you can no longer see the air stick in the center of the container and hardly the bubbles. i top off the cultures every few days from evaporation ( quite bad in the winter here) but after 13 days they have peaked in their darkness. a dark green, but not blacky green like the manual said to expect. is this possible because i didn't use enough or too much fertilizer(from bottle to book to algae disk instructions it had a different recommendation for how much to use) or could it be because the temp was too low? i only use a small space heater beside the cultures that keeps the containers warmer then room temp. if it is the temp will it darken up just taking longer? oh yeah i guess i should add that the bottle of fertilizer i used was opened and leaking when it arrived, so maybe that had an effect.


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Old 12/13/2007, 07:15 PM   #2
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Are these solid colored containers with lighting just from the top? Also, what kind of phyto?


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Old 12/13/2007, 09:08 PM   #3
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clear plastic, lit from below 2x54W t-5's un-reflected. and its Nanochloropsus and Isocrysis, they both are having the same problems.


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Old 12/14/2007, 05:05 AM   #4
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Try lighting them from the side, that's pretty much the standard. The Nano should get a nice pea soup sort of dark green at best, the Iso more of a dark brown. Since they are getting dark enough that you have trouble seeing the air stick and bubbles, that actually sounds fairly good.


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Old 12/15/2007, 10:22 AM   #5
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well then i think i contaminated my iso, because it went from a lite yellow/brown when i started it to a green then it crashed today. but i split every culture and the nano seems to be doing fine it darkening up quite nicely. il try moving the lights closer. its just i have mostly seen florescent tubes being used not t5's and thought they might be too much.


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Old 12/16/2007, 08:18 AM   #6
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I started a culture with 2 capfuls of Dt's in a gallon jug. At first it was clear-green tinted when the DT's was first added. The first 2 weeks were slow since I didnt use a large culture and I thought it had died because it was just a milky yellow color. Then about the 3rd week, almost overnight it turned a darker green. I've split it twice now and all 3 jugs are dark green. Once you split the first time it gets alot quicker since you then have a larger culture.


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Old 12/17/2007, 10:56 AM   #7
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but are the t5's alright to be really close to the cultures? they get quite hot. or should they be 5-6" away like the phytoplankton culture manual from FAF suggests?


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Old 12/17/2007, 09:24 PM   #8
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Keep them a few inches away. You don't want to cook the cultures, or subject them to major temperature swings. Also you get better light dispersion with the cultures set a few inches back.


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Old 12/18/2007, 06:44 AM   #9
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I also found that using a bubble stone don't work as good as just using the hard tube with no stone. I don't know if you are using one or not.


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Old 12/24/2007, 08:21 PM   #10
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i would not use ro/di water in cultures since it is not need and doesnt help. tap water will increase algae growth which is why we dont use it in tanks but works better for phyto production


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Old 12/26/2007, 09:01 AM   #11
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well FAF recommends the complete opposite for many reasons.
1. bacterial/viral contamination- there are freshwater protist and algae strains that have the possibility of overtaking a saltwater culture.
2. chlorine (unless you let it sit out for a day or treat it and add more trace elements you dont need), copper, lead and other tap water favorites will be in your final phyto solution and some possibly in the phytoplankton itself. not good for the recipients of this nourishment.
3. selective fertilizer use. yes tap water may indeed grow it faster but it does not make a more nutritious phyto. this is the same problem with using plant fertilizer instead of phyto fertilizer. phyto fertilizer is packed full of vitamins and minerals that other forms just do not contain.
since i sell this phyto to people and raise rotifers i dont want it to be of any lower grade. i dont see much point in going to the trouble of growing this stuff and then not have it be at peak nutritional value.
but hey everyone does it differently, this might be why my cultures are going so slow, out of all the methods iv seen on how to do this none seem to follow even half of what they say is necessary for a successful culture.


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