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Here you go Harold.

An Algae culture topic.


So I'm looking at Spirulina. Its easy enough to grow and its a 99.9% complete food. The methods and inputs aren't costly or complicated and it runs on Urine(welcome news for TC I'm sure), sunlight, oxygen, and at 10.3 and over PH, it is germ free. This is the last key, freeing AP to finally become self sustaining. As hobbyist we can supplement with worms, larvae, food scraps etc, but to answer the question of human sustainability we really need to get more serious, don't you agree?


Kobus I know you have been experimenting with this for some time now, if you'd like, design a simple model, I sure we can persuade Sylvia to market it for AP use. We have to start somewhere, how about here?

So I've done a bit of looking into this topic but haven't had much time to really get into it. A wider range pH test method is needed than what we in Aquaponics are used to but aside from that I expect it shouldn't be too hard.

Here is a link to a web site that is already selling kits and starter culture
Algae Lab

And here are the pdf instructions for the kit they sell.

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Replies to This Discussion

Adam, this was not by any means meant as a reprimand, only as a suggestion
you can delete whatever part of the quote you wish and only leave the essential
Adam Shivers said:

Frank, I think this comes down to personal choice and specific situations, but thanks for pointing out that it is possible to shorten the quoted text if you so choose.
yes - I was unaware until you pointed it out that the text was fully quoted every time. Maybe just when you click to reply to a specific text.

Hi Sylvia,

Good to hear from you! How's downtime treating with you?

Sylvia Bernstein said:

Frank, I think this comes down to personal choice and specific situations, but thanks for pointing out that it is possible to shorten the quoted text if you so choose.
Hey Harold! Honestly my vacation was too long, too much work, with too many kids, and was too far away from civilization (re:internet) for my taste.  It is good to be back!  Thanks for asking

Hi All,

This is for those interested in growing your own Spirulina trying to approach a more sustainable AP. After some investigation into Algaculture of Spirulina, it seems that Arthrospira platensis is the most common and widely available spirulina and most of the published research and public health decision refers to this specific species. This is the most widely commercially grown because of growth rates and health benefits.


It is very important to purchase SP from a reputable source as they suck up most all toxins from their environment and in a marine environment caution is necessary as we can multiply or magnify as we go up the food chain and finally arrive at our plates. UTEX in Texas supplies a wide number of different strains of SP throughout the world to most commercial operations and even accommodates the public wishing to grow for home use by shipping smaller amounts.


There are different strains with numerous varying health benefits including targeting different types of Cancer which you can read up on before purchase. 


SP can't survive for long without sunlight/oxygen so you would have to prepare your system in advance before ordering. You can use the information in the links earlier in the discussion to design/build/cycle a system beforehand.This is the link to UTEX

are there any Spirulina strains indigenous to Europe?

Hi Frank,

From all the readings I've come across they suggest that SP grows all around the world, but only in the Tropical belt. Light, alkaline water and high temperatures are key ingredients to their survival. If you're looking for live starter cultures, UTEX is world renowned and trusted for quality, and most of the major commercial farms use their stock. Small starters are only $75 USD and you can choose the strain most suitable to you and know they are about 99% pure, but as i said earlier you must prepare your media beforehand.

I am going to experiment with growing SP as a sole food for fish, but due to financial constraints it will take some time. If all goes well by the end of the year it could happen. Of course I'll be using Urea as the main nitrogen source and using extractacted nutrient from composted humanure to grow SP! Closing the poop

Frank De Block-Burij said:

are there any Spirulina strains indigenous to Europe?

Thanks, Harold

I have some connections at the aquaculture faculty of the Ghent University (only 10 km)

They will probably be able to advise me on the matter


Seems the algae would be a good option to supplement tilapia feed. Its the ace in the hole for many fish farmers. I understand most algae does not work well with the AP systems. Algae would need to be produced and removed, separated, and pelletized? Quite complex. Possibly Spirulina could be harvested in a easy manner??

Hi Steve,

I think it can be used not only to supplement but to replace fish meal entirely. The entire harvest of algae can be fed directly to the FT, or it can be frozen into blocks, or dried and cooked with corn starch, or even yes, pelletized. Pellets may appeal to us because we have been conditioned to feeding that way, but is it really necessary?

As some of you might know, I've made feed using insects. Algae is a big part of the natural nutrient cycle but not all fish eat algae so I'm currently working on a new experiment, deliberately enlarging the bio dynamics and diversity of my system using algae as the base feed. My eventual design calls for six or more separate grow out ponds to raise separate aquatic products ie trout in the first stage followed by bluegill/ feeders, then talapia/ baramindi/ carp/ catfish, crayfish shrimps and lastly snails; all in the same cycle. I mean why raise only one aquatic product?


Bio diversity means diversified risk management....but sometimes I do get carried away.


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