Algae Research Supply: Mother Culture Kit- Algae and Zooplankton

Algae Research Supply


These kits are designed to be used as a semi-continuous batch culture of algae and brine shrimp for experimentation (or production of brine shrimp).  


Small Batches (1-gallon) Large Batches (5-gallon)
SKU BBMC-01000 BBMC-02000
Algae Culture 0.5 Liters 2 Liters
Brine Shrimp Cysts 2x (1-gallon/pack)(~3.8L/pack) 4x (5-gallon/pack)(~3.8L/pack)
Culture Media Kits

2x (1-gallon, packs) (~3.8L/pack)

4x (5-gallon packs) (~19L/pack)
Secchi Sticks 10 10
Counting Grid Stickers 10 10
Price $99.95 $209.73
Teacher discounts available Teacher discounts available
You will need Fish Bowl  ~1-gallon Fish Tank 10-gallon
Small air pump  small air pump
Lights  Lights


How to use:   

Receipt of kit-   You will receive a package from us in around seven days.  It will be OK if it sits over the weekend (up to 7-10 days will be just fine at room temperature in the dark).   Store in the refrigerator if you need to use it 3 or more days.  It can settle to the bottom of the shipping bottle- if it is green it is good!

Make Media:  Add the media kit (salts and nutrients) into the water.  Use a 1-gallon bottle of spring water or 5-gallon bucket of tap water left out for >24 hours to degas chlorine.   

Growing vessel: Clean out your growing vessel (fish tank or bowl) and rinse out all soap.  You can grow algae in pretty much anything-  plastic bags, water bottles, coffee mugs.... be creative.  

Lighting:  Set up your lights prior to starting the culture, but be mindful of water as it can conduct electricity.  Pretty much all white lights are good.  We recommend shop lamps, but read our info on picking good lights.  No direct sunlight- it is too bright and can damage the cells. 

Starting Algae Culture: 

  1. Add 90% of your algae culture from the bottle into your growing vessel.  The remaining 10% is your insurance policy-  fill the clear bottle back to 1/2 filled with media you made down in the step above.  Write the date on the bottle and set it somewhere out of direct sunlight where it can grow slowly. 
  2.  Add media to bring the total volume to 5x the volume of the culture from step one.  Thus, if you added ~1L of culture, you would add 4L of new media.  This is the 1:5 rule: do not dilute by more than 1/5.  
  3. Add air to mix culture-  the air stone will remove waste oxygen, but the real purpose is to mix the culture.  
  4. Cover the culture to limit evaporation.  
  5. Place the lights.  We like seeing the lights under the culture.  It makes the tank look pretty and may capture some of the heat from the lamp. Be careful of fire hazards and short circuit from spillage.  
  6. Relax: Sip a cup of coffee and watch the algae grow!

Measure:  Use our secchi sticks to track the algae as it grows.  


Starting Brine Shrimp Culture

  1. Grow algae per instructions above, to a density of algae reaches ~30mm of Secchi Stick depth.
  2. Transfer 50% of the algae culture into a second identical culture container. 
  3. Add brine shrimp cysts
  4. Timeline
  • Day 1-4 Hatching
  • Day 3-30 Metamorphosis to adults
  • > Day 30 reproduction and death. 
  • Use organisms for experimentation

Investigate:  use our Teacher Primers to start lines of inquiry for your students.