how to sterilise salt water?

Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby rayjay » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:23 am

Why not just buy the phyto paste then?
You eliminate cost of lighting, containers, and your time.
It takes very little to do a lot.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby johnrt » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:40 pm

The "Blue Tooth Walrus" that Johnrt designed will help me re-use culture water because I do live in a sub-division and have a septic tank so I will be unable to continually dump the used water.


You might want to look at the "Bluetooth Seal Pup" at http://auroracorals.ca/?p=89#more-89 down in the comments (Jan 17th). I rethought the design of the Walrus in response to another comment there where a reader had pointed out that my design was too big for a hobbyist. So The Seal Pup is a scaled down, simpler Walrus that is fully functional, but might suit your needs better.

Remember, the Bluetooth Walrus/Seal Pup produces water suitable for growing algae. There is no provision for removing Nitrate or Phosphate and therefore, not the best idea for fish or coral tanks.

John T
Last edited by johnrt on Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby sunny d polyp » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:43 pm

quote="rayjay"]Why not just buy the phyto paste then?
You eliminate cost of lighting, containers, and your time.
It takes very little to do a lot.[/quote]

Hello rayjay,
I consider it part of the hobby I enjoy it. Everything I do is laying the ground work for my dream which is breeding fish and inverts, at some point I will have to work smarter and not harder but if push comes to shove I will know how to raise rots and culture phyto.
"If you opened my head there would be a plethora of copes swimming in a sea of phyto"
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby sunny d polyp » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:54 pm

Hello Johnrt, I did scale down to the "pup" but I am adding a refugium type sump, a 5/gal "deep sand bed" bucket, Fluval filled with Bio-chem carbon and a sand filter (fluidized bed), it's no built yet but you will be the 1st person I send the pic too since I owe you for the idea/design in the first place, thx.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby johnrt » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:34 pm

sunny d polyp wrote:. . .and a sand filter (fluidized bed), . . .


A fluidized bed is a different animal from a sand filter.

A sand filter removes fine particles, entrapping them in a bacterial slime that coats the sand grains, and makes the water clear. A fluidized bed breaks larger 'lumps' of organic material and breaks it into smaller 'bite-sized pieces' that bacteria and small critters can nibble on. A fluidized bed has little effect on water that is cloudy rather than chunky. You pump in big grunge and get out fine grunge. Bacterial slimes do not get well established on moving, grinding sand.

You may want to use a slow, top - down, sand filter to clarify water. It has the added advantage that it consumes those complex fine particles and converts them into their base components. Yes, it is a nitrate and phosphate factory. Normally, this is a bad thing in the hobby, but here we are re-manufacturing water to grow algae, not fish or coral. The product is water with a higher mineral load but a low organic load and low Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) which is what we want in this case.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby sunny d polyp » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:45 am

johnrt wrote:
sunny d polyp wrote:. . .and a sand filter (fluidized bed), . . .


A fluidized bed is a different animal from a sand filter.

The sand filter that will be filtering the large particulate matter at the beginning (like on the pup and the Walrus) will be just how you intended it when you created it, the 5/gal bucket filled with sand will be for the nitrates (like a deep sand bed in an aquarium) and will be used for the sump to clean the final product and the fluidized bed is a filter I used on my chiclid tank thats just sitting unused in the garage and it will produce the nitrates for the 5/gal deep sand bed to hopefully rid the excess nitrates, the fluidized bed filter is rated for a 200/gal tank, this is the area that will also be filtered with the Fluval/carbon. The uv/filter will also be placed here and I'm assuming I may innoculate the end product with sodium hypo and store it in a drum until I use it.

I'm not trying to improve your design I think it will work well and a great idea and may copy it to a "T" because like you said the water will be used for algae and rots and as long as the nitrates are not off the charts it will not matter and the 5/gal bucket may be an extra step that is not needed.

Thanks for the reply Johnrt.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby natureAddict » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:19 am

rayjay wrote:Why not just buy the phyto paste then?
You eliminate cost of lighting, containers, and your time.
It takes very little to do a lot.


Now i m seriously considering using paste!!
my life cultures are not turning as green as it used to (some even half the green it used to, abit yellowish) eventhough i boil the water. some bottles r having more detritus (dead algae, i think) within 1 week, n i have the filter it thru a coffee sock .
any guru got any suggestions?

i have started experimenting using newly mixed salt water (happened to have some left over from water change, so :idea:
Lets see how it works out in the weeks to come.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby sunny d polyp » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:22 am

I'm not one of the guru's here but , what sg do you culture your phyto at and when you split what percentage culture water to phyto culture (50% to 50%) and how often?
I split 40% phyto to 60% culture water and inoculate with .8ml's of sodium hypo to 1/gal culture water with a sg of 1.021, I add the chlorine at least 24hrs before I split and dechlor with 1.0ml thio and I use .5ml's Algro per 1/gal, I then culture for 7 days exactly (end of exponential phase). I sieve everything including phyto and culture water through a 53 micron screen (just in case those little roti's show up), I used to use 1/gal Rubbermaid containers and washed them thoroughly with Alconox soap and keep them sterilize until I use them again but now I built a reactor and hang 17L plastic bags (much simpler).
Every three months I start a new batch of tet and nano because eventually my nano cultures do start to loose that beautiful emerald green, the tet seems to naturally be not as pristine green even from the beginning (not as dense and a bigger animal). I've only been doing this about a year and a half so I still learn something new and a better way to do it.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby natureAddict » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:19 am

thanks Sunny.
my sg is .021 n usually i use about 20 to 30% of the old culture thru a coffee sock n that would filter off some detritus. somehow i havent thought of filtering my water thru a 53micron, cus that could take away alot of organice matter.
but if the tank water is boiled, it wouldnt matter if there is anything in there, right? just wondering.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby sunny d polyp » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:50 am

nature, in my phyto culture water all I really want are the components of NSW with out any organics (bacteria or any other organism that was alive) I have found that even though you boil the water your still starting out with elements that could help facilitate bacteria production. I bought a 10 micron sieve from FAF and now I'm sieving my culture water and my nano and iso cultures that I'm splitting but since the tet is larger I ordered a 25 micron sieve (FAF) to strain the tet as well. There are more and more people on this forum buying spiralina powder it is so much easier but like I said in an earlier post I love doing it and have never seen it as work or too much to handle. Also, I do not sieve the phyto that I,m not using for the split it gets bottled and stuck in the fridge and I'm very careful not to stir or shake the vessel where I get the phyto for the split (the 10 micron sieve clogs easily) so it stays as clean as possible, some here shake their cultures daily and it seems to work well for them but I depend on the aeration to do that. Good luck with culturing if you decide to go that route and have the time.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby natureAddict » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:49 am

some updates - i now used newly mix sw for my nan n its growing well. Partly cus my Algae Turf Scrubber is working n i dont change water now except when i need to siphon my sandbed n that water cant be recycled.

Interesting news is that a bottle of nan i kept in the freezer for 1yr4months resurrected n is green. i wanted to experiment to see how long it will keep in the freezer,
n also to have a back up in case of crashes.

cheers
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby car2130 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:12 pm

Hello everyone. congratulations on the establishment of this forum. After a year reading it and learning from you already today I can share some of my experiences.

I used all the techniques discussed by you and the best for me has been the heat. But all farms I know use chlorine.

Sorry for my English but use a translator,
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby Zante » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:28 am

Ok, extreme noob alert here, so please be patient.

I have a 5 litre phyto reactor and I'm having problems with pollution of the phyto by algae.

This wasn't much of a problem this summer when I bought it, but it has become increasingly so. I have sterilized the reactor three times with a solution of half bleach and half water. It would work, but each time the culture would become polluted more quickly. This last time I only managed to split the culture once before the reactor got invaded with algae.

I have found this thread about sterilizing the water with chlorine every time, and it makes sense, but I'm not too sure how to do this, so please bear with me ans please tell me if I've understood the materials and the procedure.

So... I sterilize the water with this:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sodium-Hypoch ... 20c1dd1cd0
adding 1ml per litre

I prepare a solution of 75grams of this
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1KG-IN-20X50G ... 417c8fc4c3
in half a litre of water and use 1ml per litre of the solution to dechlorinate

I add the appropriate amount of f/2 and add to the reactor?
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby Amie » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:00 pm

Can you post a picture of your setup?

There are a couple of ways that a phyto culture can get contaminated, even if the container is sterilized:
1) the culture is already contaminated
2) the water you use, (RO), is not sterilized
3) you are not filtering the air going into the system (i.e. dust particles, contaminants from other cultures in the air, etc.)
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby Zante » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:08 pm

The setup is a clear acrylic cylinder, with a smaller cylinder inside it for the light.
There is a lid with a hole of approximately 2cm diameter to let the air out (should I plug it with some sponge?)
There are two inlets for the air as the cylinder is quite wide.

I don't use RO water, but the same salt water I use for water changes, which is stored in a 200 litre water barrel with a lid.

... And no, I'm not filtering the air, which is possibly something I should be looking into.

How is it possible though that contamination happens more quickly every time I sterilise the reactor?
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby Amie » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:43 pm

Zante wrote:
How is it possible though that contamination happens more quickly every time I sterilise the reactor?


There are a lot of factors involved that could be causing the contamination. I think that the fact that the contamination is occurring sooner, and that you are sterilizing the reactor, are two different things. I do not feel that the sterilization is causing the contamination, something else has been introduced that you may not be aware of. For instance, where are you getting your 'sterile' phyto starter from? Are you using the same phyto that you started with from the very beginning? If so, is it possible that the starter culture has slowly been contaminated over time and is no longer viable, which would account for the rapid contamination you are seeing now?

All salt and and all water, whether RO or not, is contaminated and needs to be sterlized if you want pure cultures. Also, you need to add filters to your air pump. This is why many people do not like dealing with phytoplankton. I have seen phytoplankton labs, and they are completely sterile, with reverse air pressure in the room so no contaminants can get in. When you enter the room, you have to wear a mask.

It is possible to keep a phyto culture alive for a few turn-overs, but after that, it will get contaminated and you will need to get a brand new, sterile culture, and start over again. That is just the reality of it, unless you set up a completely sterile environment. If you have a good microscope and the proper tools, you can basically dissect your culture, removing contaminates and get it back to a pure culture. Some people on the forum have been able to do this..but it is tedious work.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby Zante » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:57 pm

Every time I sterilize the reactor I buy a new culture and start over.

Ok, I guess it's inevitable. I'll get an air filter and start sterilizing the water when I split the culture, and just accept that I'll have to start over every so often.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby Zante » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:20 pm

Would a water filter work for cleaning the air a bit?

Basically the air from the pump goes into a bottle where it bubbles through the water (maybe using an airstone) and only then goes through to the plankton culture.
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Re: how to sterilise salt water?

Postby Jclaas » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:39 pm

robvdv wrote:
just 1 more question - is there a timing for boiling, like 3 or 5 mins?


I do 7 minutes per litre in my microwave. It doesn't boil (not necessary) and it seems to get very hot. Hot enough to kill pretty much anything, IMO. I usually microwave it in a glass jug with a dinner plate on top. The dinner plate reduces contaminants falling in the water as it cools.

With regards chlorinating/dechlorinating, I found it frustrating while researching this to find "the truth", but this is what I use now:
30 minute sterilize: 1.6ml 5.5% household bleach per litre
6 or more hour sterilize: 0.5ml 5.5% household bleach per litre

To dechlorinate, I use a solution of 55g/litre sodium thiosulphate. 1ml thio dechlorinates 1ml bleach at these concentrations.

When I want something really sterile, I microwave container and liquid together, as Andy says. Otherwise I use chlorine. I shake the vessel a few times during the chlorination process to spread out the chlorinated fluid across all surfaces.

I have a question for the gurus. What sterilizes the thio solution? I guess it's self-sterilizing, but I haven't seen anyone explicitly say this anywhere. I think I've seen references to thio being used as a sterilizer in its own capacity, but maybe someone can confirm?


I use 1ml bleach per L for 6 - 8 hour sterilization. 250g sodiiumthiosulphate crystals per L to make a stock solution. 1ml will neutralize 4ml bleach. Add aeration for a couple of hour till bleach smell is gone.
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