I have decided a while ago to try my hand at culturing phyto- and zooplankton. It started out as something I thought would be easy and cheap, but I was quite wrong. That being said, I am sure you can make it work for less, but that is not my way.
I will fill out the details of this endeavour as I progress. Below is an event log.
Added sterilised (boiled in microwave for 7 minutes) water at 1.015 SG to petri disk with Nannochloropsis cells
Mixed 2L of sterilised water at 1.015 SG in plankton reactor with large bubble aeration. Fluorescent light attached. Placed a fan infront as the temperature reached 29C. Temperature is now 24C. After 4 hours of mixing I gently swobbed the cells from the gelatin base in the petri disk in to the water which covered it, and then poured this in to the plankton reactor. The water is a uniform green colour.
Looked at a sample of the newly rehydrated cells under the microscope. Noticed some bacteria swimming around.
Closeup of the cells. The dark line segments are bacteria. Oh these cells are about 6μm in diameter.
Added 30 drops of F2 nutrients to the 2L culture.
The reactor itself.
Culture is distinctly darker green. Seems like the cells are multiplying just fine.
Even more growth. Nice and dark now - can barely see the bubbles anymore.
Counting algae cells using a Hemacytometer, yielded approximately 8 million cells per ml. My culture seems ready to split so I am preparing the next batch.
I harvested 4 x 125ml bottles of algae which I placed in the refrigerator for protection in case my culture crashes. An additional 200ml was harversted to start another 2L culture vessel. The water is light green so I think the ratio is correct. Then 500ml was fed to the display tank. I have no idea if this is too much or too little, it would translate to about 11500 Nannochloropsis cells per ml in my tank.
The vessel on the left is the original vessel I started out with, that has now been dilluted by 1:4 times. The vessel on the right is effectively a 1:10 dillution.