Choose your algae culture!!!

We have around 30 algae cultures that we keep growing at all times.  
Click a button below to help you pick the strain right for you. 

Algae Research Supply

(1)  for the Classroom: 
Which culture should I grow?

We recommend reliable, fast-growing strains that are not fickle or invasive (none of our strains are invasive).   
The three cultures below are the most robust and hard to kill. 

Algae Beads are a good alternative to growing a cultures to demonstrate photosynthesis and respiration.

nannochloropsis

For seawater-based projects, we recommend Nannochloropsis. It is a small and hardy plankter (2 um) that grows very quickly and responds to changes in salinity, nutrients, and toxins with corresponding changes in biomass.

Our Nannochloropsis Culture Kit is linked here.

Spirulina

One of our favorite alkali-water strains is Spirulina, a blue green extremophilic algae that prefers high pH (around pH 10). This pH is advantageous as it limits competition from other algae, freeing you from worrying about contamination. They are giants in the microbe world, allowing you to harvest them with a simple mesh screen. They are non-toxic and consumed around the world for their protein and antioxidant properties.

Our Spirulina Culture Kit is linked here.


Chlorella

Chlorella is also a hardy freshwater species, one which we use to make our Algae Beads.


Our Chlorella Culture Kit is linked here.

Algae Research Supply

(2) Science fair or RESEARCH PROJECTS:
Which cultures should I grow?

You should consider your research goal. Choose a strain that best emulates your system (freshwater or seawater, diatom or dinoflagellate, green or blue-green). The most important thing is to test your hypothesis!!!  You should not test "IF you CAN grow algae"- so make it easier and choose a strain that is easy to grow. Browse our Organisms page to identify the strain that works best for you! 

Our favorite workhorses are Nannochloropsis, spirulina, and Chlorella

nannochloropsis

For seawater-based projects, we recommend Nannochloropsis. It is a small and hardy plankter (2 um) that grows very quickly and responds to changes in salinity, nutrients, and toxins with corresponding changes in biomass.

Our Nannochloropsis Culture Kit is linked here.

Spirulina

One of our favorite alkali-water strains is Spirulina, a blue green extremophilic algae that prefers high pH (around pH 10). This pH is advantageous as it limits competition from other algae, freeing you from worrying about contamination. They are giants in the microbe world, allowing you to harvest them with a simple mesh screen. They are non-toxic and consumed around the world for their protein and antioxidant properties.

Our Spirulina Culture Kit is linked here.


Chlorella

Chlorella is also a hardy freshwater species, one which we use to make our Algae Beads.


Our Chlorella Culture Kit is linked here.

Algae Research Supply

(3)Which algae cultures do people eat?

People eat Spirulina, Chlorella vulgaris, and Chlorella pyrenoidosa. However, we recommend buying algae to eat that is packaged for that purpose. We at ARS offer no guarantee, warranty, or prediction of safety if algae we sell is consumed by humans or animals. While these strains are routinely eaten, quality control systems are in place to make sure that they are safe. Our strains are clean and reliable, but once it leaves our doors, all bets are off. Oh, and please don’t call us and ask how much urine you should use to culture spirulina, because we've been asked before and the answer is none.

nannochloropsis

For seawater-based projects, we recommend Nannochloropsis. It is a small and hardy plankter (2 um) that grows very quickly and responds to changes in salinity, nutrients, and toxins with corresponding changes in biomass.

Our Nannochloropsis Culture Kit is linked here.

Spirulina

One of our favorite alkali-water strains is Spirulina, a blue green extremophilic algae that prefers high pH (around pH 10). This pH is advantageous as it limits competition from other algae, freeing you from worrying about contamination. They are giants in the microbe world, allowing you to harvest them with a simple mesh screen. They are non-toxic and consumed around the world for their protein and antioxidant properties.

Our Spirulina Culture Kit is linked here.


Chlorella

Chlorella is also a hardy freshwater species, one which we use to make our Algae Beads.


Our Chlorella Culture Kit is linked here.

Algae Research Supply

(4) WHICH STRAINS ARE BEST FOR FEEDING TO AQUARIUMS?

Seawater Favorites: Isochrysis, Nannochloropsis, Tetracelmis, Porphyridium, and Thalassiosira. And of course Brine shrimp.
Freshwater Favorites: Chlorella vulgaris, Chlorella pyrenoidosa, Navicula, and spirulina (but you will need to wash the spirulina to remove its extremophile media)
Feeding filter feeders? Find the size class that your filter feeder can strain organisms from the water, and get a feed that it can capture.
Improving water quality? You want a fast grower, with a high capacity for “Luxury Uptake”. Nannochloropsis is your algae It will grow fast, gobble up all the excess nitrogen and phosphorus. Then be eaten or grabbed by your filter. 

nannochloropsis

For seawater-based projects, we recommend Nannochloropsis. It is a small and hardy plankter (2 um) that grows very quickly and responds to changes in salinity, nutrients, and toxins with corresponding changes in biomass.

Our Nannochloropsis Culture Kit is linked here.

Isochrysis

The microalga Isochrysis galbana is a great feeder algae. We know when it is happy and healthy because when you smell it, it smells like low tide! The high lipid and DHA content make it popular as an aquaculture feed for animals such as bivalves, crustaceans, and zooplankton. Some of our coral reef friends love this strain as it brings great pigmentation into the corals.

Our Isochrysis Culture Kit is linked here.


Porphyridium

The microalga Porphyridium sp. (Rhodophyta) is a potential source for several products like fatty acids, lipids, cell-wall polysaccharides and pigments. The polysaccharides of this species are sulphated and their structure gives rise to some unique properties that could lead to a broad range of industrial and pharmaceutical applications. This is one of the ONLY red microalgae. It is used by researchers to study the red protein based pigment phycoerythrine. Often used by the aquaculture community to bring RED color into filter feeders.

Our Nannochloropsis Culture Kit is linked here.

Algae Research Supply

(5) WHICH STRAINS should i use to model  Algae blooms?

To study algae blooms, you need an algae that will reliably grow. All the strains above will do that well. Anabaena, is a blue-green algae and is commonly found in algae blooms in lakes. Chlorella is another freshwater strain, but it is less commonly found as a problem, but it grows very well. Dinoflagellates, Prorocentrum for instance are marine strains, and dinos are commonly part of nearshore blooms. Most strains can be used to model a bloom, pick it and justify using it in your paper by saying that it is easy to grow and from an
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Favorites: Anabaena, Nannochloropsis, spirulina, dinoflagellates, Chlorella

Anabaena

Anabaena variabilis is a filamentous cyanobacterium. It is photosynthetic and can also convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia via nitrogen fixation. Anabaena variabilis is great for studying algae blooms and photosynthesis. It is often used for researching the beginnings of multicellular life due to its filamentous characterization and cellular-differentiation capabilities.

Our Anabaena Culture Kit is linked here.

Prorocentrum

Prorocentrum is a dinoflagellate that is similar to many that cause algae blooms in marine environments.  They are motile and grow well for modeling algae blooms.  



Nannochloropsis

For seawater-based projects, we recommend Nannochloropsis. It is a small and hardy plankter (2 um) that grows very quickly and responds to changes in salinity, nutrients, and toxins with corresponding changes in biomass.

Our Porphyridium Culture Kit is linked here.

Algae Research Supply

(6) Algae Beads!!!

Buy Algae Beads

Algae Beads from Algae Research and Supply is a simple and easy way to perform experiments in the classroom. Our algae beads are made from Chlorella vulgaris (green freshwater algae common across the world and commonly consumed as a nutritional supplement). We concentrate the culture and add sodium alginate in the presence of calcium ions- and POOF- algae beads are born.

These simple and robust beads can be used repeatedly in experiments in the classroom. Store in the refrigerator or leave on your benchtop in light bright enough to read. You do not need to do anything to them for them to stay healthy for weeks.