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Agriculture Organic farming, remineralization, rock dust, biochar, soil micro organisms and other discussion relating to soil, water and food.

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  #31  
Old 04-30-2011, 08:46 PM
petar113507 petar113507 is offline
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Savy, great thread.

Have you come any further with these plans? If yes, do you want to swap trade bio-reactor plans? I'm working with my room mate (used to be a marine bio major) -- but I sure could use some critiques, and it seems you're as interested in this as I am. I've plans for making either an acryllic-tube reactor, or a 2-liter soda bottle + PVC prototype reactor.

I am not going the "pond" route, as in the region I am in, I do not have a regular suitable background temperature.

As a side note, have you considered doping the water with ORME's?
to boost growth rate, and to make the ORME's suitable for human consumption through the plant.

Also, have you contacted any warehouses/wholesale stores for the minerals nescessary to feed the spirulina? Have you compared sources for cost for those nutrients?

I have heard seawater may be used to grow spirulina. I am currently investigating how to process the seawater as the nutrient base for the culture. Do you know anything about this?

Hope to hear from you soon,

==Romo
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  #32  
Old 04-30-2011, 08:58 PM
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Algae

http://www.algaelab.org/store/


Blogs under tag Spirulina


Found this location that sells kits to grow spirulina, with instructions.

Looks like a good way to go.

mart
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  #33  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:06 PM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petar113507 View Post
Savy, great thread.

Have you come any further with these plans? If yes, do you want to swap trade bio-reactor plans? I'm working with my room mate (used to be a marine bio major) -- but I sure could use some critiques, and it seems you're as interested in this as I am. I've plans for making either an acryllic-tube reactor, or a 2-liter soda bottle + PVC prototype reactor.

I am not going the "pond" route, as in the region I am in, I do not have a regular suitable background temperature.

As a side note, have you considered doping the water with ORME's?
to boost growth rate, and to make the ORME's suitable for human consumption through the plant.

Also, have you contacted any warehouses/wholesale stores for the minerals nescessary to feed the spirulina? Have you compared sources for cost for those nutrients?

I have heard seawater may be used to grow spirulina. I am currently investigating how to process the seawater as the nutrient base for the culture. Do you know anything about this?

Hope to hear from you soon,

==Romo
My plans are currently on hold as I'm putting money aside in order to get culture samples and supplyís in order to start experimenting and growing algae. I should be ready to start in a couple of week, but I'll be growing a few different algae strains - not just Spirulina.

I don't mind exchanging bioreactor plan ideas, although most of the things Iíve thought about - is in this thread. I will say that Iím currently looking to start off with, is 1 gallon pickle jars.

On ORME's - I've briefly looked at it, but don't have concrete info on how to make it. I do have other ideas which I'm looking to test which are easier to do before I go onto harder things.

On cost - I've done some costing for the different supply's and listed them in this thread.

On seawater - take a look at the culture websites, but basically it is to heat up the water before use, some pass the water through a filter. Take a look through this thread, I link to a culture site which has very good info on different process.

On a slightly different note, where the mediums call for salt, I plan to use real sea salt in it's place.
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  #34  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:11 PM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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Originally Posted by theremart View Post
http://www.algaelab.org/store/


Blogs under tag Spirulina


Found this location that sells kits to grow spirulina, with instructions.

Looks like a good way to go.

mart
I've mentioned them in a previous post, the problem is for those not in the USA - as geting the cultures can be problematic and costly.
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  #35  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:50 PM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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@Romo,

Does your room mate still have access to research paper available on online libraries like JSTOR or Sciencedirect.
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  #36  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:49 AM
Stealth Stealth is offline
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I have always been interested in hydroponics, and would love to grow Spirulina and vegetables inside in an aquarium. It is just that right now I am just too busy, as I am remodeling my house. After I finish, I would like to start one. You can find many products available on the web by doing a hydroponics search. It would be invaluable in a survival situation where you could grow your own food year around indoors. I use Spirulina myself, and like it very much. I buy mine at a health food store. It is expensive to buy,but it goes a long way when using it with other foods.This could be a sustainable food source when all else fails, or as food prices soar. It is estimated that the US will have 15% less food production this year than last. Add to that the rising costs of fuel to produce and trasnsport, and we could see food prices escalate to an astronomical level.Since the US is one of the worlds largest suppliers of food, it could mean food exportation could be down drastically, or food levels here in the US could decline rapidly. Either way,growing algae for food or oil is a viable and wise decision that can be implemented without a huge investment. Good Luck. stealth
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  #37  
Old 05-06-2011, 08:21 AM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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Just adding to what Stealth wrote.

The Nasa papers that I have read indicate that Spirulina could be used as the only food source in long term voyages to Mars. That it would produce all the oxygen and food required.

The fact that you can easily produce Spirulina with different levels of carbohydrates and protein can also be a benefit (I covered this in a previous post, the deciding factor is temp).

In one Nasa proposal that I read, it gives the figure of 2.7kg (dry weight) of daily production for a 15 man crew. Thats 180g per person per day, that small figure is enough to feed and produce oxygen for a single person.

Based on the store bought prices I've seen of 1kg costing about £30 ($49.0874 - where 1 GBP = 1.63625 USD @ 2011-05-06 08:10 UTC), it would cost £5.40 (8.83771 USD) a day. Growing it yourself at the figure I stated in post 22 (less than £10 per kg - see: Growing Algae...) it would cost less than £1.8 a day.
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  #38  
Old 05-07-2011, 10:37 AM
Sun Fusion Sun Fusion is offline
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Just to highlight here that CNN declared algae to be the ultimate source of renewable energy. It is also referred to as the green fuel due to its capacity to replace fossil fuel. More attention should be payed to this,and I am so glad that I can discuss the matter in a forum like this
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  #39  
Old 06-01-2011, 09:53 PM
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It's been a while but I'm finally ready to get going. I was going to order the culture samples this week, but based on the time it takes to get them ready for shipping - it wounít be until next week that Iíll be placing my order.

With that being the case, Iíve been preparing to order all the component minerals/chemicals that Iíll need to make the mediums. As I plan on growing 4 algae strains to begin with. I've got my eye on a couple of others - but the cost to acquire them, is putting them on the back burner for the time being.

The main problem that Iím currently running into is with some of the chemicals, trying to get some of them in either food grade or lab grade is an issue. A good example is Copper Sulphate - one supplier listed lead and arsenic at 50 ppm each - although low Iíd rather have them at 0. Considering that the algae is going to be consumed.


On a different note, as I've been doing my research my ideas on how to grow the algae keep evolving, the only issue is that I have a lot of ideas but no definite, firm "right this is how it's going to be done" plan.

The ideas are based on a few principles and facts that I've found along the way, some of them are listed in this thread - for example:
Different colour light results in different growth types - blue light will cause spirulina to divide more (increase in number), red light will result in it growing larger.

Higher temp (30 degrees C) results in higher protein content, at 25 degrees C, it's less protein with a higher % of carbohydrate.

Light is actually a limiting factor - too much light and spirulina will stop growing and self shading will increase.

To grow in winter, the limiting factor is heat - more specifically the lack of heat.
One of the new principles that I recently come across is that some algae growers are forcing the algae into dark areas. To allow for the processes which only take place in the shade or in the dark - to take place. Instead of having the algae in light continuously, for 8 to 12 hours a day. The cycle is altered to being in the light and being in darkness multiple time a day - if not per hour.

On a volume basis, half the volume is in light while the other half in is darkness/shadow. This is mainly done with circulating enclosed bio reactors, where half the volume will be in a dark tank with the other half going through the light collecting part of the pipes/bags etc.
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  #40  
Old 06-07-2011, 10:20 PM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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Just a quick update...

Spent the past few days ordering the equipment and supply's that I'll need. Still got a couple of things to get, one I'm not sure about.

The chemicals that are needed for the medium the algae will grow in have all been ordered - except for some of the metal trace minerals, as their purity (at least the ones that I have found) are questionable.

Because I'll be growing more than just Spirulina, the amount of chemicals and equipment that I needed is more than those who are just looking to grow Spirulina. For example I have bought a pressure cooker, some mason jars (very difficult to find in the UK - and not cheap), and other things to ensure a non contaminated growing environment.

I've tried to minimise the amount of things I need to get by focusing on things that are reusable and can be re-sterilised - so as to minimise cost. So that means a lot of glass "equipment". I Managed to find a bargain on test tubes, but still need to find a bargain on autoclavable caps that can withstand the pressure cooker.

I also ordered the main 3 cultures today, if everything goes as planed they should arrive here by the end of next week. At which point my focus will be to ensure their establishment, before moving on to large volume growing and the best bit: testing.
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  #41  
Old 06-13-2011, 08:48 AM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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13 June 2011 update...

The cultures should be ready to ship out today, so should have them this week - baring any shipping problems.

Managed to win myself a brand new 5 stage reverse osmosis filter with tank and faucet. Itís only a 50GPD unit (would have like at least 100 GPD), but for the price I canít complain as Iím getting it cheaper than basic 3 stage filters, without the extras. Still have to figure out the waste water issue, Iím looking to get a Permeate Pump as my water is right off the mains and should have enough pressure. Although it may actually be too much, as there is a local pumping station near by, until I test it - I'm not 100% sure.

On a different note I've received nearly all the chemicals to start making up the mediums for the 3 different algae. I'm going to start off with the standard recipes in order to get them established. Then I'll start testing.

A couple of funny issues that I've had so far:
The pressure cooker that I bought is slightly too small for what I wanted it for, so I may have to buy either a bigger one or actually get an autoclave.
The 1,000ml/35oz mason jars that I bought are a bit tall for the pressure cooker.

Non absorbent cotton wool (to be used to plug open gaps/holes in test tubes, growing containers) - very expensive, in fact the lab supply companies that I have look at. Their standard delivery charge (£12, nearly $20) is as much the wool and then they ass VAT. Hopefully I can find an alternative supplier, who doesnít charge outrageous prices.

Got myself some Agar Agar, the supplier that I got it from has the weirdest price structure in that the more you buy the the more expensive it gets. Not only that, if you were to buy 5 200g bags, itís £10 cheaper than buying a 1kg bag. But the shipping cost on the 200g bags is a joke. Luckily I only need about 10g per 1 litre of medium, so the 200g will last me for a while, as the agar versions of the medium will only be used in the fist few stages of culture volume growth.

I may make some agar jello.
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  #42  
Old 06-14-2011, 07:04 PM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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14 June 2011 update...

Algae samples arrived in the UK today and are due for delivery tomorrow.
Wasn't expecting a Wednesday delivery, but towards a Friday one.

Oh well let the good times begin...
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  #43  
Old 06-15-2011, 09:14 AM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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15 June 2011 update...

Algae arrived early this morning.

In the picture attached, the tube on the left contains Spirulina. The other two will remain a secret for a little while longer.

For the next week or so Iíll be leaving them in their current test tubes, so that they can establish themselves - before I start dividing them up for culture multiplication.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg snap2.jpg (53.2 KB, 35 views)
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  #44  
Old 06-16-2011, 04:15 PM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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16 June 2011 update...

I been giving the Spirulina test tube a shake every couple of hours (during the day), to get the algae off the bottom of the tube. This morning, I removed some of the Spirulina + medium - into a small vial that I had prepared.

What I should now have is a small vial with the most buoyant of the Spirulina. With the most intact spirals or at least thatís the theory. Iíve taken a look at the vial under one of my microscopes and can see all the Spirulina spirals. Unfortunately I donít yet have a means of taking a picture of what I see on my microscopes. Itís one of the things that I still have to get.

Even without a microscope you can see the Spirulina in the water, their like little specks of green dust moving about. But under a microscope, it's even more amazing, while their free floating and moving about.

I've now placed them under a diamond grading lamp which has a day light tube in it. I've got a more permanent lamp that is still on it's way. This afternoon I received a box of 6500k lights that Iíll be using, (I paid for 5, and received a box of 8 instead - 3 of them, as a gift from the merchant).
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  #45  
Old 06-17-2011, 09:45 AM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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17 June 2011 update...

Something woke me up at about 2 am in the morning, once I was up I checked the algae. The Spirulina that was left in it's original test tube had clumped up really badly over night. So did the Spirulina in the smaller vial, but when I gave it a shake, it loosened up and is not as bad as the Spirulina in the original test tube. As it now has a number of green clumps floating around.

Thinking about how to prevent the clumping, I got the idea to lay flat the test tube and the vial. As the Spirulina settles, the greater surface area (while the test tube and the vial are on their sides) will prevent the algae from clumping up as badly, as compared to when they settle at the bottom of an up right test tube and vial.

This morning when I woke up, I again checked on the cultures and found that my theory had proven to be right.

The other two algae are growing on agar slants so their likelihood of clumping in the same way as the Spirulina is virtually nil.

I think its time to reveal a bit more about one of the other two strains.

In the picture that I posted on the 15th, the test tube on the right contains a green algae which can be used to to produce biofuel. Although the strain itself isn't one of the highest lipid producing algae know, I got it for a different purpose. The biofuel aspect is just an added extra, if I decide to experiment in that direction, I'll have a good test candidate to experiment with.
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:00 PM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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17 June 2011 update - part 2...

I've just uploaded a video of what I can see under my microscope. Its at: Spirulina Platensis 17/June/2011
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:11 PM
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18 June 2011 update...

Nothing much to report on the Spirulina front.

On the other two strains, they look to be doing well, the area of the agar slant that their covering is increasing.

The biofuel algae is starting to grow everywhere, even in the area between the agar and the test tube wall.

The other strain is now green, especially where its covering agar, there are some red sports at the top end of the test tube which is agarless. Those spots look to be the same algae but in their dormant state.

New video showing what I mean: 18 June Update...
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:25 PM
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21 June 2011...

I haven't made an update post since the 18th, as there hasn't been much to report on the algae.

On the equipment side I've received my digital ph meter, digital TDS meter, as well as my 5 stage Reverse Osmosis Unit.

Still need to calibrate the meters, but the readings Iív done on my tap water are: pH: 7.3, TDS: 314 ppm. If the TDS numbers donít change much after calibration I may just find that I got a pretty sweet deal on my RO unit. Before the readings I was thinking of adding a DI stage and a Zeolite stage, before the 1 micron filter - which then feeds to the membrane. The reason being is that I thought I had higher TDS, and because of the increase in radio active particles - the Zeolite stage should help.

Still on it's way is a digital Lux meter, a non contact IR thermometer and a couple of more things - I think.

My intention is to really document everything I possibly can - within monetary reason. As I donít have unlimited funds, not even a large amount to work with. So Iím making every penny count.

I've also got my eye on a Trinocular Darkfeild 2000x Microscope - but that may have to wait for a bit - as it's over my budget. If anyone is felling generous and willing to contribute to my brain fund. Or have a spare Trinocular Darkfeild 2000x Microscope doing nothing, send me a pm.
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Last edited by Savvypro; 07-03-2011 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Title date wrong
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  #49  
Old 06-24-2011, 04:38 AM
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Thanks for the update my friend, you have done well what an inspiration to read

Ash
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:58 AM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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Originally Posted by ashtweth View Post
Thanks for the update my friend, you have done well what an inspiration to read

Ash
No problems Ash, stay tunes as I'll be getting ready to do some real experiments. Once Iíve divided the samples out and multiplied them a couple of times. Itís easier said then done, simply because of the time it will take. Just waiting on the algae to multiply.

New video at: YouTube - ‪9 Days later...‬‏

The video shows the progress so far - after just 9 days.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:01 PM
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Biofuel...

For those interested in the biofuel side of things, take a look at the following video: YouTube - ‪Biofuels from Algae Project - Brunswick Community College Center for Aquaculture & Biotechnology‬‏
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:18 AM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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In a different thread I stated that I had found the research on how to grow AFA, and that AFA was my next algae to get (actually it's one of a couple more - one of them being a biofuel algae).

The only issue I have with reviling this type of information and the reason I've held back the names of the two mystery strains I am currently growing: is that their edible strains. But specifically, the conditions they grow in are also those that other algae (which can be toxic or produce toxic by-products), can also grow in. This is what is keeping me from telling all. Someone may follow along and could get hurt as they haven't taken the precautions that I am taking.

For example, all that follows is the precautions Iím taking:
Isopropyl Alcohol (99.7% pure, I got 5 litres of the stuff - enough to start making my own disinfectants and so on - if need be),

SURGICAL FACE MASKS (may be over the top, but I got a good deal on two boxes and until I build my laminar flow hood Iím not taking any chances).

Medical gloves - two types. (I got a good deal on 10 boxes of 100 (1000 gloves total) since using them Iíve found out why they were such a good deal (so far 1 glove has had a hole in one of the tips). Canít complain though as they were only £10 (total including delivery - about $16) and I happened to order two boxes of Nitrile gloves that day as well).

The containers that the algaeís will grow in are all glass (lab test tubes, lab flasks and mason jars), and can be autoclaved.

I also have a pressure cooker to do the autoclaving, but may have to get another one that is bigger - as some of the jars I have are too big for the one I currently have.

Reverse osmosis filter with extra stages for extra pure water.

A laminar flow hood - which I'll be putting together.

To just grow Spirulina, most of the precautions I'm taking are not needed as Spirulina can grow in medium which other things can't survive in. But for the other strains - that's a whole different issue.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:04 AM
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28 June 2011 update...

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year here in the UK (or at least it was where I am). I decided to move the algae to the north facing kitchen which is normally cooler than the rest of the house. The result wasn't that much of a difference, so I ended up placing the test tubes in a jar of cool water to try and lower the temp a bit. The Spirulina can handle the high temp, but the other two algae do well at a lower temp.

I've decided that when I divide out the algae I'm going to do a couple of Spirulina tubes with agar. Simply because with the algae grown on a slant, you can tell if it's still alive as the test tube wall above the growing area gets covered with water vapour from photosynthesis.

My main concern at this stage is just to ensure that the algae are established and that I can multiply them out, otherwise I'll have to reorder more samples - which are expensive. So far so good, for the two algae in agar, the Spirulina is a different issue as it's in liquid and going by the colour of the water is somewhat subjective.
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:48 PM
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3 July 2011 update...

Yesterday I made up a bath of media for each strain.

The way I've done it is to have all the mediums with out agar (just in case it goes off) that way I can just take as much as I need, add the agar and steam sterilise.

Which I did yesterday. This morning I found that the test tubes which had agar mediums didn't set - but the 75ml flats did. I made up the agar mediums in the flats then poured the required amount (for the test tubes) into the test tubes.

Iíve got some videos of what I did yesterday (which I still need to edit together). Itís quite boring as itís basically me washing all the glassware, drying them, weighing the chemicals then adding them into the jars. Heating the medium jars in a bath of hot water to increase the absorption of the chems into the water. Boring really.

This morning I transferred samples into the viable flats and test tubes. And will see what the results are. Iíll be redoing the agar test tubes, maybe adding a bit more agar or maybe doing the agar mediums in one container, then filing the test tubes from that container.

On a different note - anyone have an All American Pressure Canner lying around that they no longer need. As I spent most of my time during the steam sterilising stage (using the pressure cooker) in the hallway (I had distance and a wall between me and it, the pressure cooker was always in sight, it was never left unattended and there was enough water in the pot). Using that thing always gives me the impression that itís going to blow, even though its a new steel pressure cooker.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:11 PM
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6 July 2011 update...

The Spirulina is doing well, even the small amount that was left in the small vial (and by small amount - I'm talking droplets here, held back by the water tension) is starting to take hold in it's new medium. For the vial I did as follows: I poured out the contents (about 1ml) into a larger test tube with about 15ml of new medium. Even though this dilution is extreme (15 to 1), the Spirulina is getting darker in the new test tube. All the new test tubes including the medical flat, which holds about 50ml of medium (it's a 75ml bottle) is doing well.

The agar flats look to be doing ok - it's too early to tell.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:30 PM
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Good to hear from you Bro, thanks for the good news, please drop me an email have some extra info i found you for my friend

Ash
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:44 PM
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@Ash - I sent you a pm...

On a different note:

When I was transferring samples from the agar strain test tubes, over to the new agar flats. I used some plastic inoculation loops that I had bought. I didn't like the fact that each time I do a transfer I would have to dispose them. Luckily I saw a site that was offering what looked like DIY loops. But at a high price. So I ordered some Nichrome wire, which arrived this morning.

To DIY your own inoculation loop, just cut off a piece of wire. Get a thin piece of round metal - I got a screw driver that came with my pH meter. Fold the wire in half (donít bend the middle bit - just get the two end bits together) and take the two end bits which are now together and clamp them in the chuck end of a cordless drill (the business end of the drill - where the bits go).

Then you take the screw driver and stretch out the wire so that the looped end is being pulled away from the drill by the screw driver. Make sure that you donít kink the wire - trust me on this as it will give you a wonky loop.

Then all you do is press the drill button so that the chuck starts turning - do it slowly. Keep a hold of the screw driver, donít remove it from the wire where the loop will end up being. As the chuck turns, the wire will start forming a helix - with a loop at the screw driver end. After a few seconds the helix will have arrived that the loop end.

Now you have to be careful, because as the chuck keeps turning, the wire will start to turn on itís self - because of the tension that is building up. If you let go of the screw driver, it will go flying off. When to stop, is when you decide that the loop is ready. If the wire does turn on itís self - stop, itís done.

This process doesn't take long to make a useable loop. If you go too fast, or just keep pressing the drill button - you'll end up wasting wire and maybe hurting yourself or others.

The only thing I needed to buy was the 3m of 25 gauge Nichrome wire which I found on Ebay for a total of £2.19 (about $3.49 at the time of posting). I have enough wire left over to do about a dozen loops.

I did a test with 25cm of wire, and ended up with a loop that's 11cm long. You'll then need to find a handle to attach the loop to, I'm thinking a pen of some sort - maybe with a cap.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:02 PM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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12 July 2011 update...

I meant to post this yesterday, but didn't have time.

The following video shows the progress of the small vial sample.

Note that I recorded the video after I had left the sample settle, because when the algae is mixed into the medium itís quite difficult to determine if there is actually anything there (apart from the slight green tint which you see at the end of the video).

YouTube - ‪Spirulina Platensis - small vial test sample - 11/July/2011‬‏


One week ago (see 3rd July 2011 and 7th July 2011 posts), I poured out nearly all the content of the vial into a larger test tube with over 15ml or so of new medium. I then added new fresh medium to what was left in the vial. As you can see from the video, for a test that shouldn't have worked (based on the papers and research that I have read) itís not doing too badly.
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:52 PM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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16 July 2011 update...

Just did a new batch of agar medium for the two non Spirulina strains. The test tubes are currently cooling down at an angle to form the agar flat. So far, doing the agar medium in one batch, then pouring to the test tubes - looks to be the best way of doing it.

Iíll probably do the transfers tomorrow, as I need to think about how Iím going to do it. Iíve got an experiment or two that I want to do.

The Spirulina in the large test tubes look ready for the next round of multiplication transfers. The Spirulina in the 75ml medical flat bottle still has some way to go but itís getting there.
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:49 PM
Savvypro Savvypro is offline
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24 July 2011 update...

Abbreviation: flat refers to the 75ml medical flat bottles Iím using.

The flat of the red mystery strain, looks to have developed a contamination - so I've done 3 transfers from it's original test tube (which isn't contaminated - well it doesn't look contaminated, but unfortunately I canít tell using my current microscopes as the lenses aren't that good for anything past 400x especially if you need 1000x to see something clearly).

Anyway, I transferred new samples to 2 test tubes and a flask which had 100ml of agar medium. I have a spare test tube with agar medium in storage as a control.

On the other mystery strain, Iíve also made new transfers, but only because the sample in the flat (which I made about a month ago) is growing very slowly. And I wanted to make sure I have other test tubes of the strain growing as backups to the flat.

Now on to the Spirulina, the vial sample just keeps getting greener. Last week the Spirulina were barely able to cover part of the corner of the vial - when the algae had settled to the bottom. Today, the whole of the vial bottom is being covered.

I transferred about 80% of the contents of one of the 3 new Spirulina test tubes, into a flask with about 200ml (medium level was at the 200ml mark on the flask). It just so happens to be about a 15 to 1 expansion (similar to the test I did with the vial sample test tube). I also did the same transfer to the ďvial test tube sampleĒ into another flask with 200ml of new medium. Both test tubes then had 10ml of new medium each added to them.

I then poured all the contents of the remaining new test tube into a flat and added 30 ml of new medium to the flat. I then added 10ml of new medium into the almost completely empty test tube. Iím going to be doing the vial experiment but this time on a test tube.

The flat that I created about a month ago, I poured just over half of the medium into a new flat bottle, then added 30ml of new medium into the new flat. The original flat had 40ml of new medium added to it.

At this rate, in 2 to 3 weeks (about the time itís taken for the test tubes and the liquid Spirulina flat to turn dark green, so dark that anything behind the test tubes and the flat. Thats black in colour - canít be seen through the Spirulina) I should be able to transfer the contents of the flasks to about 6L of medium (3L per flask). From there I should be able to start harvesting Spirulina.

Iím still trying to determine what the best container will be for bulk growing of the Spirulina (and the other algae) in a limited space. As it stands Iíve just used glass: be it test tubes, the sample vial, the flats and the flasks. They have all been glass - with the only plastic being the caps. When I started buying the equipment about 2 months ago, I weighed up the pros and cons of using either plastic (BPA issue, with BPA free plastics potentially also leaching other chemicals which could turn out to be harmful down the line) or sticking to glass. For the small volume stage I decided to go with glass - plus I managed to get some bargain glass lab ware.

Iíve managed to find some cheap 10l and 20l water/food storage containers which could be used for bulk growing (brewing DemiJohns for example). Finding the same size containers in glass for a similar price is nearly impossible. There are second hand glass bottles and containers, but Iím not going to take the chance on them. Especially when the algae is to be consumed.

The attached image shows my current inventory - if you will. The colour code is as follows:
Blue dot is for Spirulina.
Red dot is for the red mystery strain.
Green dot is for the green mystery strain.

On a different note.

Iíve noticed that with test tubes, the spirulina settle out much faster than in the 75ml glass medical flat bottles. In fact Iím able to watch the self shading process taking place. Unfortunately I canít get it on video, not with the cameras that I have anyway.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 24-07-2011.jpg (75.0 KB, 32 views)
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