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Outdoor Phyto Grow Experiment


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I'm currently in my 11th cycle of growing phyto using the Poseidon Reef Systems 1 gallon jar setups.  (see My Battle with Dinos thread).   But my I want More!   Copepods have taken off and I'd like to double their capacity... but don't have enough phyto to keep them, and my display tank, both fed.

Inspired by others on the internet, I started an experimental outside phyto grow using a 5 gallon container.   I tried to get this setup last weekend, but the spigot leaked and I had to replace it.   

Let's see how this goes.   Maybe I can get a summer's worth of grow out of this, before temperatures turn too cool in the fall.

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"Tin Man" hat (inverted funnel) is to keep rain water from pooling on the cover.

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Air pump is protected from rain by this plastic box.

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I can visibly see phyto growth!   Picture on Friday vs Picture on Sunday, approximately same time of day.   Not bad for two days of growth.

Friday, notice how easy it is to see the green bubbler hose inside the tank

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Sunday, green hose is much harder to see

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2 hours ago, youcallmenny said:

Would you say it's progressing faster or slower than inside? Seems like more light but colder temps?

Inside colors up "quickly" (few days), but I've never tried a 48hr check.  It's also tough because I don't have anything to measure algae density.   

Inside is warmer, and more Direct light.   I've been worried about how much sun light is really making it to the outside jar, especially with all the recent rain.

I posted because I was happy I saw ANY color change.  :)

1 hour ago, Flash21 said:

What was the Ratio in comparison  to the Poseidon kit? 

I started this outside grow Using the Poseidon kit ratios.   Approximately 250ml of culture, per gallon of water.  Approximately 2ml of A&B fertilizer, per gallon of water.   Knowing the Poseidon kit doesn't actually hold a full gallon.    But I didn't fill my outside container to the top either.  So it's approx.

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Thursday evening - Outdoor Phyto looks to be successful

  • This is approximately 1 week of growth
  • I normally harvest inside-phyto every 7-9days
  • I think I'll do the same here.  (harvest this weekend)

I'm going to treat this grow differently than inside grow and treat it as an almost continuous grow.  Harvest most phyto, refill jar with fresh salt water, add appropriate fertilizer, and just let it keep growing again.   Not planning to fully drain, sterilize container, and start again from scratch.

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Harvest #1, about 2.5gallons today.   Observations:

  • Spout makes it super easy to harvest.
  • "Continuous Grow" concept made it easy to harvest, and reset up.    Just Draw down some phyto, add 5gallons of weekly fertilizer, and top off container with fresh/clean salt water.  (aka, 2.5 gallons today)
  • Acknowledging risk of Continuous Grow is culture crashes from contamination.   Oh well.  

But, Conclusion from this harvest...   Phyto was not as dense as my inside grow harvest, which I also did today.    Let's see how this goes.  Maybe the cooler temperature from being outside means it takes longer to grow between harvests.

Harvest #1:

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Outside vs Inside phyto compare.   Inside looks denser/darker to me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well...   Temp does seem to create problems.   I've been off grid for a week fishing salmon in Alaska.  Came home to our high temps, and culture looks crashed.   Likely calling this experiment too temperamental and moving inside.

This looks crashed to me.  (big chunks at the bottom, basically clear liquid)

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