Probably one of the best foods you can feed your tank for many difficult to keep marine critters is Phytoplankton.

This is the basis of life in the food chain.

Marine Boutique are one of the only Aquariums in Australia we know of, that cutivate Phytoplankton for sale. We provide this to our MB Club customers on tap. We run reactors 24/7 and make the produce available to our reefing customers. Because of the slow regeneration time and the high demand on this product, we must limit the supply to 100ml per customer and we can only supply five doses a week at this stage. If you are in need of this for your tank, you may need to call and book a dose for pickup. It is sold at $10.00 per 100ml dose in a small plastic bag. We also have live rottifers.

Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of the plankton that drift in the water column. The word phytoplankton comes from the Greek words, phyton, meaning plant, and planktos, meaning to drift or wander, and combined to mean, "drifting plant." Most phytoplankton are too small to be individually seen with the unaided eye. However, when present in high enough numbers, they may appear as a green discoloration of the water due to the presence of chlorophyll within their cells (although the actual color may vary with the species of phytoplankton present).

Phytoplankton, like plants, obtain energy through a process called photosynthesis, and so must live in the well-lit surface layer (termed the euphotic zone) of an ocean, sea, or lake. Through photosynthesis, phytoplankton (and terrestrial plants) are responsible for much of the oxygen present in the Earth's atmosphere. Their cumulative energy fixation in carbon compounds (primary production) is the basis for the vast majority of oceanic and some freshwater food chains (chemosynthesis is a notable exception). As a side note, one of the more remarkable food-chains in the ocean — remarkable because of the small number of links — is that of phytoplankton fed on by krill (a type of shrimp) fed on by baleen whales.

Aside from light, phytoplankton are also crucially dependent on the availability of nutrients for growth. These are primarily macronutrients such as nitrate, phosphate or silicic acid, whose availability is governed by the balance between the so-called biological pump and upwelling of deep, nutrient-rich waters. However, across large regions of the World Ocean such as the Southern Ocean, phytoplankton are also limited by the availability of the micronutrient iron. This has led to some scientists advocating iron fertilization as a means to counteract the accumulation of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

While almost all phytoplankton species are obligate photoautotrophs, there are some that are mixotrophic and other, non-pigmented species that are actually heterotrophic (the latter are often viewed as zooplankton). Of these, the best known are dinoflagellate genera such as Noctiluca and Dinophysis, that obtain organic carbon by ingesting other organisms or detrital material.

Unless your reef tank/fish tank is completely sterile, then there will be microscopic life in your system,not just bacteria in the filters but also phytoplankton & zoo-plankton.Adding phytoplankton kick starts a massive chain reaction that helps your system turn into its own echo-system. Phytoplankton is a vital source of nutrients for your reef inhabitants. Apart from the requirement for micro-algae for culturing and/or enriching live prey organisms such as Artemia and rotifers algae are often used directly in the tanks for rearing marine fish larvae. This “green water technique” The effects of the presence of micro-algae in the larval rearing tank are still not fully understood and include: · stabilizing the water quality in static rearing systems a direct food source through active uptake by the larvae with the polysaccharides present in the algal cell walls possibly stimulating the non-specific immune system in the larvae; · an indirect source of nutrients for fish larvae through the live feed (i.e. by maintaining the nutritional value of the live prey organisms in the tank); · increasing feeding incidence by enhancing visual contrast and light dispersion, and · microbial control by algal exudate's in tank water and/or larval gut.

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