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Live Phyto - Six Species Blend

Live Phyto - Six Species Blend

Regular price $15.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $15.00 USD
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Live Phytoplankton has great benefits for your reef tank, adding biodiversity, feeding your corals and copepods, and supplementing your cleanup crew.

According to several trusted experts on Reef2Reef, it also reduces nitrates and phosphates noticeably in your reef aquarium, adding stability to your tank. Sadly, many other sellers only sell a single strain of phyto, but this doesn't give your reef creatures the balanced nutritional profile they need.

Each bottle/jug from Dinkins Aquatic Gardens contains six species of phytoplankton:

Isochrysis galbana
Thalassiosira wiesfloggi
Phaeodactylum tricornutum

Each phyto species is cultured separately and then combined upon bottling. I believe in quality above all else. Therefore, I follow rigorous sterilization protocols at every step in the culturing/bottling process. Each bottle of live phyto is super dense - measuring just 12mm on my Secchi Stick. Compare that to a well-known internet retailer that sells "barn"-loads of phytoplankton. Their phyto measures about 16mm on a Secchi Stick. (A Secchi Stick measures how deep into the liquid you can see; a smaller number means the phyto is denser, with more live cells to nourish your reef.)

Our Process:

Dinkins Aquatic Gardens uses lab-grade sanitation procedures every step of the way. First, we culture each phytoplankton strain separately in seven-gallon wide-mouth carboys. Once a batch of phyto finishes, we soak the carboy and rigid airline tubing in Alconox overnight, then scrub it by hand the following morning. After a very thorough rinse, we allow it to dry.

Once the carboys are dry, we thoroughly clean the inside with isopropyl alcohol and allow that to dry for about half a day. Late that evening, we fill the carboys with five gallons of saltwater and the appropriate amount of F/2 fertilizer from Florida Aqua Farms.

Our saltwater is made using seven-stage RODI water mixed with Hw-Marinemix Professional Salt. This lab-made salt is very high quality and mixes completely clean with no residue.

Once the saltwater is added, we then use bleach to chlorinate the water, which disinfects it. Next, we hook up the rigid tubing to our air pumps. The air from the pumps is filtered through 0.2 micron filters to remove any airborne contaminants. We let the chlorinated water bubble all night to thoroughly sanitize the water, the F/2, the rigid airline tubing, and the inside of the carboy. The following morning, we treat the water with sodium thiosulfate to remove the chlorine. Only after all this is done do we add one gallon of starter culture and begin the process of growing our new batch!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does phyto live in the fridge?

If kept refrigerated and gently shaken every couple of days, phyto will live for 3-4 months.

Will phyto survive shipping?

Yes! Phyto will easily survive a week or more in the mail. Just refrigerate it once you receive it to ensure maximum shelf life.

If for any reason your phyto arrives spoiled, it will have a rotten egg/sulfury smell. Just let me know and I'll replace it for free. Your satisfaction is my absolute top priority!

Is live phyto better than "preserved"?

Absolutely. Both "frozen" and "preserved" mean the phyto cells are dead. They are still nutritious, but you lose some of the benefits of having live phytoplankton.

Uneaten dead phytoplankton pollutes your tank, turning into ammonia and ultimately nitrate/phosphate. Uneaten live phytoplankton, on the other hand, continues to grow and multiply in your aquarium. As the live phyto multiplies, it actually removes excess nitrates and phosphates from your water!

Additionally, some microfauna such as rotifers are only able to use about 35% of the nutrition in "preserved" phyto, versus 100% of the nutrition in live phytoplankton.

(Source: Hoff's Phytoplankton Culture Manual, Sixth Edition)

What is phyto?

Phytoplankton is the very first link in the ocean's food chain. Corals and other microfauna such as zooplankton eat the phyto. Both corals and fish will eat the zooplankton and continue the food chain.

Adding phyto to your reef ensures maximum diversity of life, and replicates the conditions found on natural coral reefs.

How much live phyto should I dose?

My suggestion is to start with 5 mL of live phyto per 10 gallons of tank volume, dosed daily. After two weeks, increase that to 10 mL per 10 gallons, dosed daily.