Jump to content
seabass

Growing phyto without a starter culture

Recommended Posts

seabass

Index:

  • Phase 1 of 4 (looking for phyto in water bottles) - p1
  • Phase 2 of 4 (culturing bird bath phyto) - p1
  • Phase 3 of 4 (capturing algae spores, porch phyto) - p3
  • Phase 4 of 4 (saltwater porch phyto) - p4

 

Phase 1 of 4 (looking for phyto in water bottles)

While doing some research on culturing phytoplankton, I ran across this:

Quote

For truly underfunded hobbyists, I will confess to another piece of accidental research: I have left unopened jugs of purchased deionized water outside in sunlight for about a month, and nearly one-third of them developed green-tinted water. My guess is that stray algae cells wandered in now and then during the bottling process. I believe the alga was Chlorella, which can be cultured, gradually acclimated to saltwater, then used as a starter culture. If you cannot otherwise obtain a starter culture or are on a strict budget, this could be an alternative.

- Wilkerson, Joyce D.. Clownfishes (Kindle Locations 3934-3939). Microcosm Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

 

I thought I'd give it a try (with slight modifications).  Who knows, maybe nothing will come from it, but I thought it'd be interesting.

 

I'm going to use:

  • two 16.9oz clear water bottles w/ caps for saltwater
  • one 16.9oz clear, unopened bottle of filtered drinking water (as a pseudo control)
  • saltwater mixed to 1.016 using dechlorinated tap water
  • 1 drop Miracle-Gro Liquid All Purpose Plant Food per bottle of saltwater
  • 1 drop Kent Essential Elements per bottle of saltwater

 

The caps will prevent evaporation, rain, mosquito larvae, and other contaminates.  The saltwater will eliminate the need to acclimate the algae to a higher specific gravity.  And the nutrients and elements should help to feed the algae.

 

Note: Even though I rinsed the mixing container thoroughly, there is still a possibility of contamination from Nannochloropsis oculata (which I culture), or its spores.  Obviously the freshwater bottle would be free of this contamination.

 

If I can get a green tint within a month, I'll strain the water and attempt to culture the phytoplankton.  If the control bottle develops a green tint, I'll use that one.  Regular updates will be provided.  And so it begins.

 

062618a.jpg  062618b.jpg

I put a S on the saltwater caps, and a F on the drinking water cap.  I also thought that placing the bottles horizontally would make them less likely to blow over, give them more sun, and provide a little more surface area.

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

That fact that Chlorella is mainly a freshwater genus, may prevent them from growing in my saltwater bottles.  However, it can adapt to a range of different salinities, allowing it to be used as a marine phytoplankton (although it's lower in omega-3 than most other marine algae).

Share this post


Link to post
Subsea

http://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/water-quality/algae-phytoplankton-chlorophyll/#algae1

 

After reading this, it is obvious to  me that the most common nuisance micro algae: diatoms, dinoflagellates and cynobacteria are all differrent phytoplankton. 

@seabass

What are your thoughts on this?  

 

In my outside growout systems, I grow pods and they eat micro algae.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Interesting article.  I was a little surprised that they are all considered phytoplankton (especially dinos, which are motile).  However, given the broad definition, I can see how that's so.  Also surprising, was that that author felt that protist might be an even better term.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

I was concerned that the saltwater might prevent Chlorella from growing, so I decided to add one more bottle (tap water with fertilizer).

Share this post


Link to post
1891Bro

I had to check cause I was reading what you posted as...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera

but, you’re not trying to die on the Oregon trail so good luck on catching that chlorella. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Changing it once again.  Another bottle with fertilizer and purified drinking water.  I'm also removing one of the saltwater bottles (just because there are so many bottles now).

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

So here's the experiment now:

 

4 bottles:

F) never opened bottle of drinking water

F+) drinking water w/ fertilizer and elements

T+) treated tap water w/ fertilizer and elements

S+) treated tap water mixed to 1.016 sg w/ fertilizer and elements

 

062718a.jpg  062718b.jpg

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Lula_Mae

Seems like a neat experiment!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Subsea
On 6/27/2018 at 6:59 PM, seabass said:

So here's the experiment now:

 

4 bottles:

F) never opened bottle of drinking water

F+) drinking water w/ fertilizer and elements

T+) treated tap water w/ fertilizer and elements

S+) treated tap water mixed to 1.016 sg w/ fertilizer and elements

 

062718a.jpg  062718b.jpg

 

Unless something has changed in government regulations, the standards for bottled drinking water or much differrent than municipal regulations.  Some years back while on an offshore drilling rig, a sealed 5G bottle of water tested positive for the presence of fecal bacteria.  When I had my well water tested, I received a call from testing laboratory informing me there were bacteria in my water.  When I asked what bacteria, I was informed the testing parameters were not specific enough.  Considering that I had been drinking the water for more than one year, I decided it was good enough for me.  It is ironic, that in my macro culture tanks, I run uv sterilizers as water goes into tank, yet I drink this water straight from the aquifer with all of its bacteria and phytoplankton.

 

 @seabass

Neat experiment.  I would expect zero algae in tap water bottles.  I think it is in the water to start with.  Your bottle cap should eliminate airborne to demonstrate that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

I would think that spring water would be the most likely to grow algae.  Maybe I'll add it this weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Our basement (and my fish room) got flooded when we received well over 7" of rain in a couple of hours.  It's been a busy couple of days.  We lost the flooring, but I think my tanks and equipment will be fine.  Anyways, I finally got to add natural spring water to the collection today.

070218a.jpg

 

I put it in a water bottle and added a drop of Kent Essential Elements and a drop of Miracle Gro All Purpose Plant Food.

070218b.jpg

 

The new bottle is labeled SW+

070218c.jpg

 

I think that's going to be it.  Now I just need to wait a few weeks to see if anything develops.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

I'm not noticing any changes yet:

071018a.jpg

 

Thinking about it, (besides the intense sunlight) the conditions in the bottles aren't really ideal for phyto growth.  I'm thinking mainly about the temperatures getting too high.  Possibly a more successful experiment would be indoors and consist of artificial light on 24 hours a day, some tap water with nutrients and elements, and aerated by an air pump (just like you would a phyto culture).  We'll see how this goes.  Maybe if it doesn't pan out, I might try it indoors.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

After nearly 2 months, there was no indication of microalgae growing in any of the bottles; so I abandoned this experiment.  According to Wikipedia, Chlorella is typically between 2 and 10 microns.  Therefore, a 1 micron sediment filter should easily remove this algae.  I assume that Joyce's experience was unusual and not easily repeatable.

 

However, I plan to adjust the experiment and make another attempt at culturing microalgae without a starter culture.  Details to follow.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
A Little Blue
On 6/26/2018 at 5:17 PM, Subsea said:

http://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/water-quality/algae-phytoplankton-chlorophyll/#algae1

 

After reading this, it is obvious to  me that the most common nuisance micro algae: diatoms, dinoflagellates and cynobacteria are all differrent phytoplankton. 

@seabass

What are your thoughts on this?  

 

In my outside growout systems, I grow pods and they eat micro algae.

Hey @Subsea can you share how you grow pods? If not here then privately. 

I’m planning dedicated Pipefish tank and could use your pod growing expertise.

I came about some info and videos on growing pods but I need hands on source of good info. Thanks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Subsea

with respect to growing pods, they grow everywhere, just keep the predators out of the tank.  Outside tanks get little pampering.  With excessive sunlight and high nutrients, Ulva and Enteromorphy grow with pods feeding on sheets of green as well as on detritus/sludge on bottom.  I feed this system ammonia and carbon dioxide.  

 

My favorite pod display tank was a 10 gallon macro lagoon with Peppermint Shrimp as the pivitol species (top predator).  Tank was at head level when I stood up.  As I drank my first coffee, when I feed tank flake food, I saw the little people wake up.  Large amphipods came out of chaeto matrix.  From the course substrate came bristle worms and pods galore.

 

In a standard reef set up, use a macro refugium with filter sock removed.

 

@seabass

 

one factor that I have not heard discussed is contaminates entering with the air.  This seems to me as highly suspect.

 

Sorry to hear about your flooding.

Patrick

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
A Little Blue
38 minutes ago, Subsea said:

with respect to growing pods, they grow everywhere, just keep the predators out of the tank.  Outside tanks get little pampering.  With excessive sunlight and high nutrients, Ulva and Enteromorphy grow with pods feeding on sheets of green as well as on detritus/sludge on bottom.  I feed this system ammonia and carbon dioxide.  

 

My favorite pod display tank was a 10 gallon macro lagoon with Peppermint Shrimp as the pivitol species (top predator).  Tank was at head level when I stood up.  As I drank my first coffee, when I feed tank flake food, I saw the little people wake up.  Large amphipods came out of chaeto matrix.  From the course substrate came bristle worms and pods galore.

 

In a standard reef set up, use a macro refugium with filter sock removed.

 

@seabass

 

one factor that I have not heard discussed is contaminates entering with the air.  This seems to me as highly suspect.

 

Sorry to hear about your flooding.

Patrick

 

 

Thank you @Subsea.

This Pipefish tank will take some time. But before I set it up, I want to be sure that I can provide enough food for pair of Pipefish to survive. 

Oversized macro-algae reactor should be here next weekend. 

I also had a short discussion with Leng Sy (inventor of Miracle Mud) and discussed using Miracle Mud as a substrate in display tank (similar to substrate where Pipefish is found). So, that’s what I am going to use: oversized Macro-algae reactor as a main nutrient export/copepods refugium and Miracle Mud (maybe few Marine spheres for biological filtration boost in the reactor). 

Not sure what size tank yet. Probably 20g or less. 

Thanks again. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Subsea

Interesting stuff. ¬†I presently have a 25 year old set up with a 30G EcoSystem mud macro refugium.. Tell me more about what Pipefish need. ¬†Consider reverse flow undergravel filter with 2‚ÄĚ of aroggonite. ¬†PaulB just did dismantle‚ÄĚ 47 year up flow undergravel filter. ¬†Detritus or mud was abundant in Plenum.

Share this post


Link to post
A Little Blue
34 minutes ago, Subsea said:

Interesting stuff. ¬†I presently have a 25 year old set up with a 30G EcoSystem mud macro refugium.. Tell me more about what Pipefish need. ¬†Consider reverse flow undergravel filter with 2‚ÄĚ of aroggonite. ¬†PaulB just did dismantle‚ÄĚ 47 year up flow undergravel filter. ¬†Detritus or mud was abundant in Plenum.

I don‚Äôt know if I want to go with under-gravel filter. Miracle Mud substrate about 1‚ÄĚ-1.5‚ÄĚ deep with some live rock rubble. Would love to have seagrass in the display part of the tank (commonly present in Pipefish natural surrounding) but I doubt that Seagrass will¬†be able to thrive alongside macro algae reactor. Low flow tank, around 150gph. To maximize efficiency of the reactor and minimize flow in the display part of the tank (tank drilled and reactor used as a close loop filtration/flow). Pipefish aren‚Äôt really great swimmers¬†and lose a lot of energy in stronger currents. Usually live in deeper waters for that reason. They feed on small crustaceans, plankton, small shrimp and copepods/amphipods,¬†rarely accept frozen food. Light isn't important as I won‚Äôt have any LPS/SPS corals in this tank but they are visual feeders, meaning they need to see food in order to suck it in with its tinny mouth.¬†I would like a pair of Bluestripe Pipefish that grows to max¬†3‚ÄĚ. It‚Äôs possible to get a matted pair, which would be optimal. Or one male and two females. I might have missed something but that‚Äôs basically all there is to Pipefish, care needed and my plan for this setup.¬†

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

Phase 2 of 4 (culturing bird bath phyto)

On 8/15/2018 at 2:41 PM, Subsea said:

one factor that I have not heard discussed is contaminates entering with the air.

Joyce said that, "My guess is that stray algae cells wandered in now and then during the bottling process".  I would think that better quality controls would be in place when producing "pure" water. :unsure:

 

However, this leads me into what I'm considering.  We have a bird bath in our back yard, and sometimes it starts getting a little green.  My plan is to strain the crud out with a typical paper coffee filter (I'm guessing it filters to approximately 20 microns).  I'm trying to keep this as low tech as possible without buying very much.  I realize that this won't filter out bacteria, but hopefully, it will filter out mosquito larvae and such.

 

Then I'll add water with Miracle-Gro, and try to start a freshwater culture.  If I can get this started, I'll slowly start to add salt to let it adapt to higher salinity levels.  I'll post an update when I start this attempt.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Subsea
15 hours ago, A Little Blue said:

I don‚Äôt know if I want to go with under-gravel filter. Miracle Mud substrate about 1‚ÄĚ-1.5‚ÄĚ deep with some live rock rubble. Would love to have seagrass in the display part of the tank (commonly present in Pipefish natural surrounding) but I doubt that Seagrass will¬†be able to thrive alongside macro algae reactor. Low flow tank, around 150gph. To maximize efficiency of the reactor and minimize flow in the display part of the tank (tank drilled and reactor used as a close loop filtration/flow). Pipefish aren‚Äôt really great swimmers¬†and lose a lot of energy in stronger currents. Usually live in deeper waters for that reason. They feed on small crustaceans, plankton, small shrimp and copepods/amphipods,¬†rarely accept frozen food. Light isn't important as I won‚Äôt have any LPS/SPS corals in this tank but they are visual feeders, meaning they need to see food in order to suck it in with its tinny mouth.¬†I would like a pair of Bluestripe Pipefish that grows to max¬†3‚ÄĚ. It‚Äôs possible to get a matted pair, which would be optimal. Or one male and two females. I might have missed something but that‚Äôs basically all there is to Pipefish, care needed and my plan for this setup.¬†

IMO, Miracle Mud would not provide a matrix for pods to thrive.  I watch green mandarin and drawf angels graze in aroggonite substrate on small tube worms with pods scurrying away.  In my 25/year old mud refugium, worms thrived in miracle mud & detritus.  I could link you to PaulB thread where his 47 year old Plenum was full of detritus mud that was the heart of his biofilter.

Share this post


Link to post
Subsea
15 hours ago, seabass said:

Joyce said that, "My guess is that stray algae cells wandered in now and then during the bottling process".  I would think that better quality controls would be in place when producing "pure" water. :unsure:

 

However, this leads me into what I'm considering.  We have a bird bath in our back yard, and sometimes it starts getting a little green.  My plan is to strain the crud out with a typical paper coffee filter (I'm guessing it filters to approximately 20 microns).  I'm trying to keep this as low tech as possible without buying very much.  I realize that this won't filter out bacteria, but hopefully, it will filter out mosquito larvae and such.

 

Then I'll add water with Miracle-Gro, and try to start a freshwater culture.  If I can get this started, I'll slowly start to add salt to let it adapt to higher salinity levels.  I'll post an update when I start this attempt.

I suspect that there are many algae’s that will grow in both fresh and marine environments.  You are getting ready to prove that algae is airborne.  Kudos to you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
A Little Blue
2 hours ago, Subsea said:

IMO, Miracle Mud would not provide a matrix for pods to thrive.  I watch green mandarin and drawf angels graze in aroggonite substrate on small tube worms with pods scurrying away.  In my 25/year old mud refugium, worms thrived in miracle mud & detritus.  I could link you to PaulB thread where his 47 year old Plenum was full of detritus mud that was the heart of his biofilter.

Please provide link to that thread. Thank you. 

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

081618a.jpg  081618b.jpg  081618c.jpg

I used a standard coffee filter to strain the water.  My first attempt resulted in the filter coming apart at the seam.  It would have worked if I didn't try to collect a whole glass of water.  So I doubled up the filter, just to make sure it didn't break.

 

081618d.jpg  081618e.jpg  081618f.jpg

The water in the bath was fairly clear, so I stirred it up.*  Then I used a turkey baster to collect some water to culture.

 

081618g.jpg  081618h.jpg

Here's the water.  I then put it in a two liter bottle, added RO/DI water and 2 ml of Miracle-Gro Liquid All Purpose Plant Food.  I added an airline and will light it 24/7 with a 75W equivalent LED daylight spectrum bulb.

 

*The birds got fresh water afterwards. :smilie:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

IDK, maybe a little more green.

081818a.jpg

 

I might add some more Miracle-Gro tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

√ó
√ó
  • Create New...