Phytoplankton cultures/ media / equipment

Discussion in 'Breeding fish' started by Skattejag, 22 Jun 2013.

  1. Skattejag

    Skattejag

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    Hello

    I would like to know how many people are interested in starting phytoplankton cultures and in particular want to order Guillard's F/2 formula (growth medium). There is a non-sponsor who specializes in aquaculture who is willing to import the dry algae fertilizer from Florida Aqua Farms (1kg makes 10,000 litres).

    It appears that there are people who have Nannochloropsis occulata and rotifers going, primarily for breeding purposes. Nannochloropsis is a type of non-motile phytoplankton rich in eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA (approx. 25% of total fatty acid) and arachidonic acid or AA (approx. 7% of total fatty acid), they are Polyunsaturated Fatty acids (PUFA) and very important nutrient source for planktonic zooplankton and they keep fish healthy/ corals (such as soft corals and some Gorgonia). Nannochloropsis is however poor in docosahexaenoic acid or DHA (approx. 0% of total fatty acid).

    The fatty acid composition of phytoplankton Isochrysis galbana (Tahiti also known as T. ISO) contains approximately 10% DHA and is therefore used to supplement Nannochloropsis in order to product rotifers (zooplankton) suitably rich in EPA, AA and DHA for the development of fish larvae.

    The flagellate (motile) phytoplankton Tetraselmis suecica is also used in since it has been found to produce antibiotic-like compounds. For more detailed information see: The Breeder's Net: Culturing Larval Fish Foods, Part I Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog)

    The diatom (has a silica shell) Chaetoceros calcitrans is used for for feeding juvenile stages of bivalve molluscs due to its small size (approx. 2.5 microns). However Skeletonema costatum, Thalassiosira pseudonana and Chaetoceros gracilisare easier to culture.

    Featherduster worms, scallops, clams, Gorgonians and zooplankton all feed on phytoplankton. Some feed primarily on phytoplankton (and maybe bacteria particulates) like Featherduster worms and Dendronephthya spp.

    Any recommendations for sources of these (or other) phytoplankton/ diatoms starter cultures in South Africa or Guillard's F/2 or Walnes phytoplankton fertilizer are welcome. Florida Aqua Farms (in the USA) also sells Microalgae culture disks of Nannochloropsis, Tetraselmis, Isochrysis and Dunaliella as well as rotifer/ amphipods and culturing equipment if anyone is interested.
     
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  3. Nemeziz_za

    Nemeziz_za

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  4. S2

    S2

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  5. Philip.Cloete

    Philip.Cloete

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    Im also interested in this I grew nano but added nitrosol as fertiliser and I was too scared to add that to the tank so the cultures was of no use to me. Who knows what is in that nitrosol or for that matter any other plant fertiliser.

    I did quite alot of research in cultivating of phyto but it seems there is no place in sa where you can get a good starter kit.

    I see there is the phyto discs and fertiliser as a starter kit available overseas but unfortunately we will have to inport. I dont know where to start when it comes to inports so has just forgotten about the phyto culturing.

    Ibreally think some of the sponsors should try and get some starter kits and see if theres any interest from us and I know there will be. Have read alot of posts where people try to raise fry but cannot get hold of the nessesaties ( we all know its alot of work to raise them but given the right products to do this maybe there will be some success stories.
     
  6. Ikraam

    Ikraam

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  7. Toolboysa

    Toolboysa Moderator

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    Interested, but as far as I know one has to have a similar permit to bringing corals in. As phyto and roti is live food. Last thing you want is ordering it and paying for it, only to be destroyed at custums
     
  8. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Also intetested, if we can make sure about the legal ussues
     
  9. Skattejag

    Skattejag Thread Starter

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    Here is an overview of phytoplankton culturing set-ups, namely Continuous and Batch cultures. I would like to experiment with the continuous set-up, since it would theoretically require the least maintenance and would supply a constant amount of phytoplankton to your system.

    One should keep it mind that the Guillard's F/2 contains trace elements and vitamins and you will be putting that in your system. I am told that the amount of those elements that would remain after the culture has reached maximum cell density would be negligible. One could also feed phytoplankton to the rotifers and then filter the rotifers (approx. > 150 microns, but a 50 micron plankton net is recommended) to feed the reef system via filtration

    It may also be possible to concentrate the phytoplankton via Centrifugation, Sedimentation, Filtration and Flocculation. However, I am still investigating this.

    Phytoplankton Culture Methods.jpg
     
    Last edited: 23 Jun 2013
  10. Skattejag

    Skattejag Thread Starter

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    Here is an overview of the principle of the Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) and how it can be used to determine when/ at what rate the phytoplankton should be harvested in order to reach a steady state. This continuous culture system is also known as a chemostat.

    Modified Continuous culture.jpg
     
    Last edited: 23 Jun 2013
  11. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    We cant see any pics?

    What about the legal aspect?
     
  12. Skattejag

    Skattejag Thread Starter

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    I'm talking with Laurence Evans from Ecotao Enterprises (See Ecotao, laboratory, air blowers, civil engineering, flake ice, aquaculture, nylon mesh). I haven't ordered anything from them before, but it says on their website "Industry, laboratory, processing, mining and aquaculture supply" and "We also supply bio-remediation products (probiotics) and specialist aquatic feeds". He has also quoted me on a couple of their products (Florida Aqua Farms stuff). I am trying to find out what the shipping and other costs will be at the moment.
     
  13. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    To the best of my knowledge it is still illegal to cultivate planton...I know the odd one or two do it privately as every Tom, Dick and Harry is also propagating corals..:p Just not sure what you would need when they enter the Country..either Marine Ornamental Permit or Aquaculture Permit..(especially if they come knocking on you'r door..:p)


    http://reefbuilders.com/2011/01/03/albino-clownfish-delayed-bureaucracy/

    Phytoplankton
    http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/showthread.php?t=30804
     
    Last edited: 23 Jun 2013
  14. Skattejag

    Skattejag Thread Starter

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    mmmm....I'll look into that... I sen't e-mails to the Department of Agriculture, Forrestry and Fisheries (Legal Support and others), Department of Environmental Affairs and Ecotao Enterprises asking about the legality of culturing phytoplankton for private (non-profit) marine aquariums...so we'll see....
    @LCornelius Thanx. I'll get back to you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Cool, thanks bud!

    Keep us updated and best of luck with the license.
     
  16. MaximusZA

    MaximusZA

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    excuse my ignorance, but why would it be illegal? surely it would encouraged not made illegal? sorry if its a stupid question just wondering
     
  17. Skattejag

    Skattejag Thread Starter

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    @MaximusZA I don't know why it would be illegal to cultivate plankton, but since it was brought up I'm looking into it.
    @belindamotion Do you know if LuckyFish is still active. Maybe we can ask him about his sources?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  18. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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  19. Skattejag

    Skattejag Thread Starter

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    Hopefully we'll get a reply next week. I talked to a lot of different people and keep on getting referred to other people. Well at least they were friendly. :)
    Lol I'm a plankton....
     
    Last edited: 28 Jun 2013
  20. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    How on earth did I miss this?
     
  21. Skattejag

    Skattejag Thread Starter

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    Here are the ingredients to the Guillard's F/2 fertilizer "recipe". The sodium metasilicate solution is added to help diatoms form their frustules ("shell"). Nannochlropsis, Tetraselmis and Isochrysis do not require silicate since they are not diatoms. It is also possible to buy Guillard's F/2 fertilizer without the silicate (This may be preferable for reasons listed in the advancedaquarist.com article cited below). This allows one to add sodium metasilicate as and when needed.

    However, since Chaetoceros calcitrans, Skeletonema costatum, Thalassiosira pseudonana and Chaetoceros gracilisare are diatoms they require the added silicate. Sponges, molluscs, radiolarians, silicoflagellates take up silica or silicic acid. Note: The soluble silica concentration should be closely monitored since it may result in a undesirable diatom bloom when sufficient nitrogen and phosphate sources are present.

    (Another fascinating article on silica:http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2003/1/aafeature1: "Safety note: Sodium Silicate solution is very basic (high pH). In fact, the pH can be substantially higher than limewater, so it is very corrosive to tissue and to metal devices. Be careful to not spill it on yourself, wear some eye protection, and if you spill it on something metal, wash it. In all cases, extensive washing with water is recommended in case of spills or exposure")

    I got this recipe, in .pdf format, from a webiste LuckyFish recommended in his thread: http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/showthread.php?t=14851 (also very informative)

    http://www.ccap.ac.uk/media/documents/f2_Si_001.pdf: (One can also find a recipe to Walne's solution/fertilizer here:http://www.ccap.ac.uk/media/recipes/Walnes.htm)
    [​IMG]

    As can be seen from the above image: This fertilizer contains Iron, Copper, Zinc, Cobalt, Manganese, Molybdenum, EDTA (chelating agent), nitrates and phosphates and vitamins B1, B12 and B7. I am told that the amount of those elements that would remain after the culture has reached maximum cell density would probably be negligible. Maybe concentrating the phytoplankton culture may be preferable when dosing the reef aquarium (as previously stated).

    So if anyone has these chemicals (Note: the vitamins may be expensive), an analytical balance (and preferably an autoclave/pressure cooker), borosilicate glass containers, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide and a precision liquid handling instrument (such as a pipette) he/she can make this fertilizer.

    "If the alga to be grown does not require silica, then it is recommended that the silica be omitted because it enhances precipitation (From National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (Medium Kits | NCMA)). Sodium metasilicate is relatively inexpensive, at the moment, so we can always add it when/if required"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Jul 2013
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