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  1. #1
    Senior Member Nelson's Avatar
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    DIY Phytoplancton Seeding

    Received my f2 algae grow formula this morning from Ivan. Now I'm wondering if can begin the grow by seeding with a capful of DT's in a 2L bottle of salt solution instead of the commercially available cultures. Seems to me that under the proper conditions the phytoplancton should multiply fairly quickly. Any thoughts??

  2. #2
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    DT's used to be a single type of phyto. Now it is a mixture phytos which is better for your tank. What happens when you try to start a culture with a mixture, the different types of phyto all try to take over. Eventually one will win and you will grow that type of phyto. Sometimes none win and you have a crash.

    It might be easier to buy a bag of NAN (Reef Crew) and use half to feed your tank and the rest to start your culture. As a rule of thumb, you use half a bottle of starter (phyto) to half a bottle of water plus your F2. I culture in I gallon bottles and use 1 to 2 ml of F2 per bottle. I use an old Salifert test kit syringe to measure the F2.

    Vickie

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vjvl51
    DT's used to be a single type of phyto. Now it is a mixture phytos which is better for your tank. What happens when you try to start a culture with a mixture, the different types of phyto all try to take over. Eventually one will win and you will grow that type of phyto. Sometimes none win and you have a crash.

    It might be easier to buy a bag of NAN (Reef Crew) and use half to feed your tank and the rest to start your culture. As a rule of thumb, you use half a bottle of starter (phyto) to half a bottle of water plus your F2. I culture in I gallon bottles and use 1 to 2 ml of F2 per bottle. I use an old Salifert test kit syringe to measure the F2.

    Vickie
    Thanks for the advice Vickie. I currently have four 2 L plastic bottles in line. A couple of days ago I put a capful of DT's in one bottle and will observe the results. BTW, the ReefCrew f2 I bought from Ivan came with two syringes. I'm also setting up to grow rotifers.

  4. #4
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    Before you start the rotifers ensure that you have a steady large supply of phyto. I use about half gallon of phyto per day. I have 2 rotifer cultures on the go and harvest one each day.

    Good luck

    Vickie

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vjvl51
    Before you start the rotifers ensure that you have a steady large supply of phyto. I use about half gallon of phyto per day. I have 2 rotifer cultures on the go and harvest one each day.

    Good luck

    Vickie
    Yes I will be sure to have enough phyto on hand, but I only plan on one rotifer culture. You have two on the go and harvest once a day, how much does that translate in terms of rotifer quantity? I can't see adding phyto and rotifer on a daily basis, along with the other foods that I provide critters to maintain a balanced diet. I may be mistaken but it sounds like there' may be a risk of overloading my systems ability to cope with the waste.

  6. #6
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    I culture rotifers in a gold fish bowl (about 2 gallon, I think). I stir and pour half of the very light green liquid (used phyto) through the seive for rotifers (like you buy from Reef Crew). This amounts to a thick layer of rotifers on the bottom of the seive (usually I have to swirl the seive so that the liquid drains out). The more rotifers in your starter, the faster the phyto gets consumed.

    Since these are live animals, they don't add to your waste. In fact some people believe that they actually reduce your bioload because they consume wastes until they are eaten.

    Every day I feed - one lot of rotifers and about1.5 teaspoons of just hatched brine shrimp (again live food so they don't add to your waste) as well as about 1 cup of phyto (diluted by about 1 gallon of tank water and dripped into the refuge). All the live food is added to the refuge and allowed to flow into the system. This promotes a continuous food source. Once or twice a week I feed Ron Borenman's blender mush for the fish (which I add to the sump). I add algae (nori) once or twice a week, as well. My system consists of a 90 gallon display, a 60 gallon display, a 50 gallon growout/sump and a 25 gallon refuge. Not much different than your system.

    I do recommend starting slow and then building to this amount. This allows the tank's pods, worms, etc to multiply and consume what you are feeding. What is not eaten will live until eaten or removed via the skimmer. I've based this feeding method on this article - http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...ture/index.php I gathered from that article that the natural food of most fish was not the high protien of the blender mush but rather pods, worms, "marine snow", etc. In nature fish eat continuously not once or twice a day like we feed them. My fish are happy with well rounded tummies (including my mandarin until she carpet surfed )

    I culture 3 types of phyto (NAN, TET and NCP) which I use to feed the rotifers/tank. This way the rotifer's guts are loaded (since I harvest at the light green stage before all the phyto is used up) with different types of phyto. Variety is better for the animals that eat the rotifers.

    This is just the way I do it, not the way the majority feed their tanks.

    Vickie

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