Why would you culture at home when you can buy a cultured product online and have it delivered to your home?
Well, there are many reasons you would culture at home with a Home Culture System whether it’s a Marine or Freshwater culture. The benefits of having a ready supply of cultured product at home mean you can ensure your aquaria is being fed the best foods possible. Knowing what you are feeding to your critters is very important as well as knowing what is going into your display tank.
All shop purchased packaged foods like flake, powder, granules, frozen, freeze-dried, dehydrated contain ash, thickeners, preservatives, bulking agents, drying powders, hydrophilic additives, starch just to name a few. Then there are the issues with frozen foods, how many times have they been frozen, thawed and refrozen the quality of the original goods overseas, what else is in the bag with the food you want for your favorite critters. The ammonia levels found in some recent purchases of frozen foods gives you an indication of handling of frozen goods before they get to store. I won’t go into the ingredients, handling at origin and other things.
Culturing zooplankton like Rotifers, Copepods, Amphipods, Cladocera (water fleas), clam shrimp, fairy or brine shrimp, ghost or grass shrimp are all reasonably easy to do. By far the biggest and number one problem people have is contamination. Using the same pieces of equipment in multiple tanks and cultures. Using old equipment for there culture setups, insufficient cleaning no sterilization processes. The list of ways to contaminate is huge. Why even today at a University a phytoplankton starter culture I had delivered the week prior had been contaminated, everything had gone through an autoclave and one culture plate was drying on a rack, it was contaminated by another person bringing in equipment to be sterilized. First rinsing the equipment and somehow they splashed a drop or two onto the agar plate on the drying rack next to it, that caused the whole experiment to be put back two weeks.
ALF provides food-grade sterilized Culture buckets for zooplankton, as long as you follow the instructions (water changes) wash and sterilize your equipment after use, after drying, store separately to all other aquarium equipment. Using different coloured equipment for culturing makes a difference.
Clean fresh feeds, water changes and having a change over a bucket for monthly bucket cleaning work’s a treat. When culturing you should always have 2 back up cultures even if they are only 2L drink bottles at least, if the main one has an issue you have a back up to start again. Larger volumes of water provide more time to respond to issues. This is especially important if you are breeding fish, as the babies do not care about your problems if there is no food they die. Monitoring a culture for the first few weeks is always a good idea. Do water tests and try and understand what is going on.
Phyto culturing is the same, clean, clean sterilize, We will put up some video to show you what we do, we will also show you what precautions are taken in professional registered biosecurity Uni labs.