DT’s ®Live Marine Phytoplankton- Premium Reef Blend
Nannochloropsis aculata, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Chlorella 2-20 Microns
One of the most important effects of regularly feeding live phytoplankton to your reef aquarium is the increased population of copepods and invertebrate larvae which is prey for corals along with some fish which selectively feed on copepods.
Phaeodactylum tricornutum is a large and very nutritious pelagic diatom that contains many essential fatty acids. Adding Phaeodactylum tricornutum makes Premium Reef Blend an even more accessible and nutritious food for clams, gorgonians, some soft corals, copecods and other fauna that feed on diatoms.
Phaeodactylum is not a nuisance species that will harm corals, if it grows on the glass it can be wiped off. There are thousands of species of diatoms and most will not be a nuisance in the event that they grow in the aquarium.
It is very rare for phytoplankton species to survive refrigerated storage. DT’s Live Marine Phytoplankton only contains species that have been proven to survive refrigerated storage for the entire five month shelf life our “best if used by” date is based on.
Why refrigerate phythoplankton?
Phytoplankton are very fast growing plants. For best nutrition, the culture must be harvested before nutrients are exhausted. While in a state of nitrogen starvation, phytoplankton loses it`s nutritional value exceptionally fast.
Feeding trials performed at the University of California, Davis prove: DT`s LIVE Marine Phytoplankton maintains it`s full nutritional value for close to 6 months if kept refrigerated. Phytoplankton stored at room temperature was still very much alive but nutritionally worthless within 7 days.
Cleaned for aquarium use:
Marine phytoplankton is cultured in a solution of saltwater containing nutrients and metals that are required for phytoplankton growth. In other words, saltwater with a special fertilizer to make the solution called f/2 culture media.
When phytoplankton is harvested, a residue of nutrients, metals and metabolic by-products remains in the culture media. The net effect is that nutritious phytoplankton cells are in some really dirty saltwater that you do not want to contaminate your aquarium with.
Concentrated for value:
The value of a phytoplankton product as a food for your reef animals is the phytoplankton cells and not the volume of saltwater they are packaged in. DT’s Live Marine Phytoplankton is about 20 times the cell density of other brands of packaged live phytoplankton.
Our 7 steps to excellence:
- Phytoplankton is concentrated.
- Clean saltwater is added to double the volume of the concentrated phytoplankton. This reduces the culture media to 50 %.
- Phytoplankton is concentrated for a 2nd time.
- Clean saltwater is added to double the volume of the re-concentrated phytoplankton. This reduces the culture media to 25 %.
- Phytoplankton is concentrated for a 3rd time.
- Clean saltwater is added to more than triple the volume of the re-concentrated phytoplankton. This reduces the culture media to 8%.
- Phytoplankton is concentrated for the last time to density of the product.
The result is washed live phytoplankton cells that will not cause any buildup of nutrients or metals in your reef or experimental aquarium.
Manufacturer Storage Requirements and Product Odor:
Shipping: In order to preserve the nutritional value of the phytoplankton, this product must be shipped via Next Day delivery. Shipping and handling charges is $24.99 (free shipping promotion does not apply). This charge covers the shipping, ice pack, and styrofoam box charge. Frozen foods can be included in the same shipment with no additional cost.
- Refrigeration: Refrigeration should be in the range 32-39F (0-40C). Warmer temperatures will very quickly increase the odor and lower the nutritional value of the phytoplankton, even though it stays alive.
- Shaking it up at least weekly: Phytoplankton settles out of suspension and will die if left packed down on the bottom for too long. Shking it up vigorously with the bottle upside down for several seconds is necessary to wash the cells off the bottom. Shake at least once a week to prevent the phytoplankton from packing down. Immediate settling is normal and it does not need to be shekn up every day. Keeping up this maintenance is extremely important for the storage of this product.
- Odor: These are several causes of odor in DT`s Live Marin Phytoplankton;
- Sulfides produced by living phytoplankton: A small amount of of sulfides are produced by some phytoplankton that are always in the product. Sulfides are very volatile and come out of solution even at low temperatures. If the phytoplankton is kept at a temperature in the 40`s instead of the 30`s it will have more odor. Dimethylsulfide is produced by some phytoplankton and is associated with cryoprotection in algae.
The levels of dimethylsulfide found in DT`s Live Marine Phytoplankton were very low, ranging from 17 to 21 ppb (parts per billion). People are very sensitive to sulfides and are detected at the very low levels of 0.05 ppb.
- Decomposition of cellular detritus: It is impossible to separate every bit of the cellular detritus from the phytoplankton cells when it is harvested. Although we have seeral steps to remove as much of the cellular detritus as possible, some small amout is always present.
- Natural phytoplankton odor: Some species such as the Chlorella simply smell stronger.
- Cell death: While in storage a small percentage of the cells will die. In recent testing of DT`s Live Marine Phytoplankton, more than 90% of the cells were still alive and intact after 13 weeks of storage. It is reasonable to assume that by the "best if used by date" which is based on a 5 month shelf life, less than 15% of the cells may die.
Any odor from the phytoplankton is most noticeable in the air that is trapped in the bottle, and it builds up over time. That is why a half empty bottle smells more that a full bottle, and a large bottle smells more that a small bottle. While odor intensity is almost impossible to describe; it is normal for some odor of sulfides to be detected, particularly in DT`s that has been in storage for a while.
If a significant amount of the phytoplankton is dead, the intensity of the odor will be so strong that it is unlikely that anyonre could stand smelling it.
DT`s Plankton Farm Aquarium Supplies
DT’s Plankton Farm produces products specifically designed for feeding marine invertebrates in home and research aquarium systems. DT’s Live Marine Phytoplankton is concentrated and cleaned to provide nutritious live phytoplankton without the contamination of excessive nutrients or metals from the culture media. DT`s Natural Reef Diet Oyster Eggs are nutritious with high levels of protein and omega3 fatty acids. DT`s Live Marine Copepods are a subtropical copepod species that will develop a thriving population in reef aquariums.
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