DT's Live Marine Phytoplankton Reef Blend & Oyster Eggs Information

Reef Aquarium

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.

Manufacturer Storage Requirements and Product Odor
  1. Refrigeration: Refrigeration should be in the range 32-39F (0-40C). Warmer remperatures will very quickly increase the odor and lower the nutritional value of the phytoplankton, even though it stays alive.
  2. 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.
  3. Odor: These are several causes of odor in DT`s Live Marin Phytoplankton;
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Natural phytoplankton odor: Some species such as the Chlorella simply smell stronger.
    4. 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.