Edexcel exam board Algal Balls

Peter Sigsworth

COMMITTEE
Just looking at my backup one - I got build up on the sides, so I cleared it with the bubbler a few times, and it is gradually coming good.
 

MarieW

I work with Carys
Came in this morning and it had stuck to the sides, the bottom and the air tube :crying:
I've given it a good shake and swished the air stone around and got most of it off, but now there's lumps floating around ...
View attachment 9881 View attachment 9882
Don't panic it sometimes does this, mine had settled this morning so gave it a good shake. have split the really green one and fed it ready to be left over half term.
 
I've said goodbye to my algal balls - Locked the prep-lab and handed my keys in. They have advertised and the school will have no tech support until Christmas at the earliest. I have made a whistleblowing report which has been ignored so I handed my notice in.
Good luck to you Peter, I had a colleague in the same situation, not nice!
 
Just thought I should post an update !

They are still alive !!!!!!

The ones in the small flask are looking really good, the ones in the big demijohn have gone a bit yellow. Is it likely that they have used up all the nutrient and need more ? I gave five drops of baby bio when I set them up nearly a month ago.

1668162190759.png
 
Just thought I should post an update !

They are still alive !!!!!!

The ones in the small flask are looking really good, the ones in the big demijohn have gone a bit yellow. Is it likely that they have used up all the nutrient and need more ? I gave five drops of baby bio when I set them up nearly a month ago.

View attachment 10064
so do you think it is the strain of algae? scenedesmus not as easy to culture? I've just started a culture of chorella - hoping for more success than the last time I tried with scenedesmus. Do you have the culture lit or just by the window?
 
so do you think it is the strain of algae? scenedesmus not as easy to culture? I've just started a culture of chorella - hoping for more success than the last time I tried with scenedesmus. Do you have the culture lit or just by the window?
Difficult to say for certain with a sample size of two :laughing: but that seems very possible, since I haven't done anything different from before. As Peter mentioned upthread, these are single blobs not fours so they are obviously not scenedesmus. When mine have grown a bit more I'll post some out to someone else and see if they get the same result !

It's just by the window at the moment, but I might put a light on it soon as the window looks onto a quad so doesn't get much sunlight.
 

Peter Sigsworth

COMMITTEE
Difficult to say for certain with a sample size of two :laughing: but that seems very possible, since I haven't done anything different from before. As Peter mentioned upthread, these are single blobs not fours so they are obviously not scenedesmus. When mine have grown a bit more I'll post some out to someone else and see if they get the same result !

It's just by the window at the moment, but I might put a light on it soon as the window looks onto a quad so doesn't get much sunlight.
I'd post out more but mine are now locked in the prep-lab and I am no more a Lab tech.:(
 

MarieW

I work with Carys
Just thought I should post an update !

They are still alive !!!!!!

The ones in the small flask are looking really good, the ones in the big demijohn have gone a bit yellow. Is it likely that they have used up all the nutrient and need more ? I gave five drops of baby bio when I set them up nearly a month ago.

View attachment 10064
They are looking good, I would give it another feed now should help it green up a bit more. Mine has gone a bit clumpy at the bottom at the moment but it's been a bit chilly in school right now I think it's just settled a bit as there is a lot of Agale in both pots.
 

Peter Sigsworth

COMMITTEE
They are looking good, I would give it another feed now should help it green up a bit more. Mine has gone a bit clumpy at the bottom at the moment but it's been a bit chilly in school right now I think it's just settled a bit as there is a lot of Agale in both pots.
Only a couple of drops or so - don't over feed
 
Difficult to say for certain with a sample size of two :laughing: but that seems very possible, since I haven't done anything different from before. As Peter mentioned upthread, these are single blobs not fours so they are obviously not scenedesmus. When mine have grown a bit more I'll post some out to someone else and see if they get the same result !

It's just by the window at the moment, but I might put a light on it soon as the window looks onto a quad so doesn't get much sunlight.
Curiouser and curiouser ...

When I first received the algae from @Peter Sigsworth I looked at them under the microscope and confirmed his observation that
it should be in quads but it is single celled so definitely not scenedesmus.

My current stock looks more like this:
View attachment 9676
Probably some form of chlorella.

But I've just looked at some again and it's in quads now !

1668438737501.png

What's that about ?!
 
I've just bought 100mls of dark green Scenedesmus algae from Darwin Biological, that can be used straight away to make balls.
Wish I'd known about this company before! If anyone has recommended them I've missed it.
I made balls with it yesterday & saving some to propagate.
Made some balls with my sad looking algae too. will test both today. Fingers crossed.
 
my new batch worked this time, after a couple of hours, I used it straight from the flask to make the balls without concentrating it.
Teachers trying to be helpful, " I've got some green looking water in a gas jar of dirt you can use".
They mean well but after several days, nothing settles from this pale green water except dirt.
Testing mine now.
Update, after 40 mins, one nearest lamp purple, running through to yellow furthest away.
I called a teacher in to look as proof...and took pics!
 
Last edited:
Teachers trying to be helpful, " I've got some green looking water in a gas jar of dirt you can use".
They mean well but after several days, nothing settles from this pale green water except dirt.
Testing mine now.
Update, after 40 mins, one nearest lamp purple, running through to yellow furthest away.
I called a teacher in to look as proof...and took pics!
the ones the kids did didn't work and someone turned the lamp off overnight. they don't put enough balls in, i'll have to look at the worksheet.
 
the ones the kids did didn't work and someone turned the lamp off overnight. they don't put enough balls in, i'll have to look at the worksheet.
We have small plastic screw top bottles that hold about 6mls. We half fill with balls. so if in a hurry we do by eye with spatula, if more time I do set weight ( several weighing boats on scales at once for speed) 3g per bottle.
We tried counting them out but took forever & the amounts they give, you'd be there 'til christmas.
 
Top