Wednesday, July 11, 2012

more on my bioreactor

I've been reading about separating algae from water and it seems like their are several different methods that can be used. you can just let it dry out in the sun without a lid, this however presents some problems, it needs to both be very hot, or mildly hot with a breeze, and bugs.

now bugs are really annoying hence the name, bug, they like to lay their eggs in still water that then create larvae which in turn will eat your algae. and then they become whatever including mosquitoes so putting open containers out in the open is good as long as its hot and you have a draft and a way of covering the containers without restricting air movement by too much. one thing i have found works is you get some netting like the kind you can buy at jo anns fabrics something kinda like this would work i think I would be wary of this it seems like the holes might be too big but you want your holes to be smaller than the oppening of a water bottle and the netting needs to have an inch or more of space between itself and the water so no eggs get laid through the netting.

another method is to use a process called auto-floculation,  auto-floculation is the raising of the PH of the water to 10.5 or more (for most common species). this causes the algae to clump together and sink to the bottom of the tank, this doesnt remove all the algae from the water or any of it for that matter, all it does is make it easier to gather the algae. so the algae is then in clumps on the bottom of the container you can either use a find combed net to get the algae out or you can slowly drain the water off of the top and collect the remaing algae afterwords. the nice thing about this method is then you dont have to worry about getting a new starter culture you just reuse the water give it some more nutrients and wait.

you may be asking right now, (or googling) how to raise the PH level in water, well one way to do it with the algae is to remove the carbon dioxide supply the algae will continue to consume carbon dixide raising the PH and making the algae flocculate. another way i have read about but dont know how well it will work is by adding baking soda to the water. baking soda is sodium bicarbonate which is supposedly a basic substance therefore raising the PH (correct me if im wrong), therefore flocculating the algae.

well thats all i have for you for today (and the last couple of days) check in soon and i might even have a working camera to take pictures on!