Algae question

Discussion in 'Supporting Biology' started by Hands Solo, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. I've got a Q1 at home and it's definitely powerful enough
  2. JFKtech

    JFKtech and then there were two - now JFK Techs :)

    I've used a T shaped connector to put both the outputs of the pump down one tube, and checked for any leaks, so presumably it is bubbling as hard as it can ? I can't find any way of varying the airflow so I'm assuming it's always on full. WP_20200115_11_35_01_Pro.jpg I guess I could remove the non return valve in case that is reducing the flow too much, but I don't really want to run the risk of flooding the pump. This is what it looks like at about midday today - it has been in the flask since last Thursday, I shook it up at about 9 this morning.
  3. That looks fine - I would move the bubbling air-stone around near the stuck algae to remove - I think you'll find that there is still free algae in the flask and they will eventually spread throughout the whole solution - leave it going
  4. JFKtech

    JFKtech and then there were two - now JFK Techs :)

    Ok, thank you. Everything I've read says the algae needs to be kept in suspension constantly, so it's good to know that it's ok for some of it to sink !
  5. Yeh, Just be patient and it should come good
  6. Okay, I need some algae advice. I keep successfully subculturing my algae, after a week or so, I get a pleasing green algae suspension, however, about a week later it then goes a rather sickly brown yellow colour. I then pour off almost all the liquid, add some more nutrient growth medium, top up with water and then after another week or so it goes green again. What I am unable to achieve is a really dark green, soupy algae before it goes yellow. Is this because the algae has used up all its food, so should I just add more growth medium and it will go darker green, or does it reach a maximum density and die as it were? Its in a 2 litre drinks bottle, with a bubbler, under a light bank.
  7. That has stumped me as I never get this problem. I'll take you through what I do:
    1. Get my large container (demijohn -see my avatar).
    2. Nearly fill it with tap water (treated with tap safe) or rain water.
    3. Add a few drops of babybio (or hydroponics fertilizer) then my algae culture (or about 200ml of my old culture) and top up to just below spout.
    4. Put the aerator air stone into the bottom turned up to maximum.
    5. Seal with cotton wool plug.
    6. Place on window ledge with a good access to sunlight (again see my avatar) - my window is frosted and facing south.
    7. leave it alone with constant aeration.

    It will gradually get darker and darker green over the next 3 weeks or so, may be put a few more drops of babybio after 3 weeks - renew to a fresh batch as above every 6 weeks. It has never gone yellow.

    Do you do anything different? Too much fertilizer? Not enough light? Not aerated enough?
  8. Thanks Peter - that is pretty much my check list. It just seems to be going yellow faster and faster after each subculture. I've been subculturing off the same algae for over 2 years now - I'm wondering if its got contaminated perhaps. I'll add some more nutrient medium and see what that does. There is always a healthy bloom of dark green algae clinging to the bottom of the bottle, its the suspension that goes yellow / brown. Could it be getting too much light, being under a light bank which is on for 12 hours a day?
  9. This is mine right now - with a spare at side - could be your light source too strong and killing some of the algae - the yellow being breakdown products of chlorophyll
    algae culture.jpg
  10. that's what happened to me. :(

    so went back to spinach.
  11. I've just added more growth nutrient and given it a good shake. Watch this space...
  12. What's this about spinach? Do you mean making alginate balls using it?

  13. yes
  14. ...and this morning I've just checked on my algae and its looking much happier - nice dark green colour. All it needed was feeding!
    ClaireS likes this.
  15. @Paul have you let SAPS know about the alternate use of spinach - they would love to know I'm sure because, if it works, then they will add it to their method. I'm guessing you liquidise the spinach leaves in water then treat as algae.
    As long as the biochemistry of photosynthesis and respiration (Chloroplasts and mitochondria) is still in working order then I can see no reason why it wouldn't work - but of course it will have to be very fresh as the spinach cells (unlike the algae) will be disrupted, die and start to degrade. Do you know how long 'spinach balls' last?
    I know from my Uni days you can isolate intact mitochondria from maize shoots by liquidising/grinding and using an ultra centrifuge to separate them from the cell debris but you have to be careful as to how much liquidizing/grinding you do - I assume the same will apply to spinach.
  16. Brilliant - that's a relief
  17. JFKtech

    JFKtech and then there were two - now JFK Techs :)

    Next annoying question :oops:
    Does anyone have any top tips for straightening air line tubing ?! Mine came in a coil, and has remembered that shape, so the stone is sitting about an inch below the surface and just springs back up when I try to make it sink. I've tried dunking it in boiling water and then pulling it straight, but it hasn't really worked. (I've just moved my algae into a larger container and so had to get a longer piece of tubing, hence the problem has only just arisen !)
  18. Loosely weight it with a Hoffman (I think they are called) clip - the plastic thingy you use to clamp off tubing when using a respirometer. Or a clothes peg might work...
  19. Use a glass/plastic tube or if is it's silicon try hot water.
  20. Pull it straight by fixing it on a shelf or some such protrusion then hanging a weight on the bottom and gently heat it with a hair drier being careful not to melt it