Culturing Phytoplankton Without F2 Fertilizer

BRS

reefsaver

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
99
Reaction score
66
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Milkyway
I have decided to remake this thread because answers to this will help reefers all over the world: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/culturing-phytoplankton-without-fertilizer.767227/

Guillards F2 Fertilizer is American made. Which means anyone outside of America has to import it. I have been endlessly searching the internet for substitutes to F2 Fert, some say Liquid Plant Fert is the next best thing but can throw off your Reef Parameters [Apparently, I have seen no cases of this in forums]
I'm never going to pay $45 postage on top of the F2 Fert cost. Someone please help me, I want to grow Phyto but I am new to reefing and don't really know the possibilities.
My brain has just been totally affixed on creating a self sustaining Copepod Culture but Guillards F2 absolutely ruins it for it's unavailability and no real information on ANY other option..

Please Do Not Recommend Guillards F2 Fertilizer In This Thread. Not Everyone Lives In Your Country.

@andrewkw , I'm located in the States, any sources up in Canada?

And no. It's not possible to culture phytoplankton without fertilizer. The phytoplankton we work with are not diazotrophs (take in atmospheric N2 nitrogen), and thus need nitrogen supplementation as well as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and a couple of other things. You could try culturing with skimmate as a fertilizer, or better, miracle grow liquid fertilizer, but really Guillard's F/2 is highly recommended.
One of the best answers to this thread online I have found so far.
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture

LordofCinder

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
472
Reaction score
522
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Toronto
I’m in Canada. I got the guillards (I know you said you didn’t want to hear about it) from Amazon for $40 no extra shipping cost. And to be honest the bottle will probably last forever, such a small amount is needed to cultivate the phytoplankton. Which, if you figure the cost of phytoplankton from retail stores, for me a one time cost of $40 for lifetime of phytoplankton is not too bad. But I understand what your saying, a lot of things are just not available in Canada compared to U.S. and if it is then it cost way much more than it should.

I would also like to hear if there is another alternative besides F2
 

JosephM

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
1,039
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Lincolnton
I see a ton of people opt for miracle gro. I’ve never tried it myself but with the sheer amount of people that use it I’d have a hard time believing there’s any adverse affects when using the phyto or pods in a reef system.
 

SE7ƎN

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
36
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Thailand
I have the same issue as well with not being able to get my hands on F2, since I am living abroad as an Expat.

I have been reading on people being wary of using anything else other than F2, however, I came across this article from Melev’s Reef and he uses Miracle Grow as well: https://melevsreef.com/articles/culture-your-own-phytoplankton

I’m going to give it a shot…
 

ThRoewer

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
1,103
Reaction score
1,593
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fremont, CA
Biomass production and nutrient uptake by Isochrysis aff. galbana (Clone T-ISO) cultured with a low cost alternative to the f/2 medium
Unfortunately the article isn't open access, so you either need to have access through a company or institution or purchase it.

Protein, carbohydrate, lipid and chlorophyll a content in Isochrysis aff. galbana (clone T-Iso) cultured with a low cost alternative to the f/2 medium
Free PDF via Researchgate.net: Protein, carbohydrate, lipid and chlorophyll a content in Isochrysis aff. galbana (clone T-Iso) cultured with a low cost alternative to the f/2 medium

Alternatively you can also always mix your own F/2 solution as the recipe is public:
 

ThRoewer

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
1,103
Reaction score
1,593
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fremont, CA
It is also flat out false that all Guillards F2 Fertilizer is American made. It's an open recipe and, if you do some research, you will find it to be available in many countries:

UK:

Hong Kong / China / East Asia:

Germany/EU:
 
Last edited:

elysics

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
810
Reaction score
727
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
If there is really no supplier of F/2 in your country or your surrounding countries (kinda doubtful), then why not buy all of the ingredients, mix it up yourself, and become that supplier as a side thing for a little extra money? It's not that expensive to buy those vitamins, and the rest is just cheap salts
 
https://www.youtube.com/c/ReefStache

ThRoewer

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
1,103
Reaction score
1,593
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fremont, CA
Still costs >$50 USD plus Customs for me…
Thailand has a massive ornamental aquaculture industry. Also lots of shrimp farming for human consumption. Those farms definitely culture algae and need fertilizers in decent amounts. I would bet a university with an aquaculture department or a fish or shrimp farm can point you to local sources.
 

chema

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2016
Messages
216
Reaction score
153
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salamanca (Spain)
Guillards F2 fertilizer is a general formula which can be reproduced or modified. There is no patent related to it, therefore I do not see the problem in using a fertilizer based on F2 in any part of the world. For example, in Spain the company EasyReefs sells its own modified recipe, known as EasyPhyt.
 

ThRoewer

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
1,103
Reaction score
1,593
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fremont, CA
I see a ton of people opt for miracle gro. I’ve never tried it myself but with the sheer amount of people that use it I’d have a hard time believing there’s any adverse affects when using the phyto or pods in a reef system.
Now, Miracle-Gro is truly a U.S. product.
And whether it is suitable depends on the microalgae you intend to grow and what you want to use that microalgae for.
For aquaculture purpose it wouldn't be my first or even second choice.

And, once you dive a little deeper into culturing microalgae, you will find that even the standard f/2 formula isn't a one size fits all solution. It's a decent compromise but ultimately, each microalgae has a slightly different nutritional profile, and some even vastly different.
People who grow microalgae for a living usually make adjustments to the f/2 formula for different species or use a different base formula.
There simply isn't an ideal one size fits all solution.
 
BRS

What's the main reason you take on DIY reefing projects?

  • Save Money

    Votes: 74 33.6%
  • You Like To Make Things

    Votes: 78 35.5%
  • Necessity, you want it a certain way

    Votes: 56 25.5%
  • Time, you need it quick

    Votes: 3 1.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 9 4.1%
Top Shelf Aquatics
Top