Frequently Asked Setup Questions
Q: Can the algae grow in artificial light?
A: Yes, they grow very well in artificial light. Full sunlight can be very bad for a thin (not very dense) culture. The sunlight can overload the algae's ability to process the solar energy, and it will crash (die). Also in a culture less than 20L sunlight can heat the culture too high also killing it.
Q: How long is the growth cycle?
A: Algae is one of the fastest growing organisms on the planet. There are a lot of ways to define growth cycle, cells can divide in hours to days. Practically speaking, the percent change in biomass per day is the probably the best way to define. The cultures that Iwe sell should grow (depending on conditions) from 5% to 40% per day. Temperature, water quality, and light intensity and gas exchange are the reasons for the variability.
Q: What kind of pump should i use to aerate the algae culture?
A: For most algae, using a centrifugal pump is not a good thing. The algae will get chopped into bits as the culture cycles through the pump. An air pump is a good way to promote gas exchange and to add physical motion to the tank. Simple aquarium air pumps work well. You may wish to pay attention to the air inlet and make sure that the filter is clean. If the algae culture is not a fast and aggressive grower (like haematococcus) then preventing airbourn cells from 'infecting' your culture by using a filter is good practice.
Q: How long can the culture last?
A: They should be opened and put into their culture vessel ASAP for best possible results. The stability testing in our lab has them at room temperature for two weeks. They will last longer in the refrigerator.
Regardless, crack open the bottles to allow for gas exchange at the very least upon arrival.
Q: Can you use distilled water?
A: Yes, the algae strains that we sell will grow in distilled water as long as you add the culture salts. However distilled water is stripped of all their minerals and salts that the algae could use to grow. For the best results, use bottled water or carbon filtered water.
Q: Is it ok to use distilled water and not drinking water, because i heard drinking water has chloride?
A:Chloride is found in just about every source of water. It is necessary for algal growth. Chlorine on the other hand is bad for algae (thus the no-tap-water specification). I like bottled drinking water because it is generally sterile and is a great starting point for a new culture. Distilled water will have very few minerals in it, it is essentially only H2O. That said, it is OK to use distilled water, as the salt and nutrient kit I provide will add all of the macro and micro nutrients that the algae will need to grow.
Frequently Asked Maintenance Questions