How to Culture Your Own Phytoplankton

Have you been wondering how you could save money and resources on your aquarium hobby, while also becoming more skilled? Many people choose to culture their own live foods and phytoplankton at home, as it’s a highly rewarding experience and can heighten your expertise and overall knowledge of aquaria.


So, what exactly do you need to start creating a continuous supply of phytoplankton for your aquarium?


Essentially, there is only one kit you will need to start culturing phytoplankton – The Algae Culture Starter Kit.


About the Algae Culture Starter Kit:


Our algae culture kit is also referred to as a phytoplankton starter culture. They are the same thing, as algae is just another word for phytoplankton. Our kit includes all the essential components you will need to start culturing


This kit is available in both Freshwater and Marine types and a variety of species. When purchasing your kit, you choose which species you would like to culture. The most common choices of strain for Marine phytoplankton are Nanno and Cheato. However, there are currently eight different species available as starter cultures and they all have unique features and benefits. You can read more about each strain of Marine phytoplankton on the product page here.


The most common choice for Freshwater phytoplankton is Chorella, due to it’s innate ability to multiply rapidly with limited resources. It only requires carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, and a few minerals to reproduce.


Size of culture


When purchasing your phytoplankton kit, you also choose your size of starter culture between 5ml, 50ml or 100ml. The size of starter culture that you begin with will assist in the process of overall growth. It is recommended that for a small tank, or general hobby to choose 5ml. However, for larger tanks or experiments, 50ml or 100ml will provide more starter culture to work with and can quickly transform into litres of phytoplankton for feeding your live foods.


What the kit includes:


  • Culture Flask – for mixing and holding the liquid components to culture
  • Freshwater culturing nutrient and vitamins – each kit includes enough of these two to make 1L of ‘culture media’. Culture media is the liquid that contains all the nutrients to feed the phytoplankton/algae and help it grow. The media is mixed with clean (bottled or RO) water to make it 1L.
  • Algae Culture – this is your strain of choice and comes in a separate vile of 5ml, 50ml or 100ml
  • Culturing instructions – these come on an easy-to-read piece of paper, ready to help you set-up your kit!


You can also check out the demos we have filmed on our YouTube Channel…


How to Culture Algae Part 1

How to Culture Algae Part 2


These video demos are an easy way to watch and understand how the kit works. If you have any questions about the kits, you can always contact us and ask – we’d love to help!


What to do next to create a larger culture:


After this, you could consider expanding your culture with the use of the Phytoplankton Culturing Kit which helps to expand your culture to a larger volume.


There are two options for the Phytoplankton Culturing Kit which are Basic or Professional and include different components. You can check out the components on the product page here.