Whether you’re a regular here at AlgaeBarn or a newcomer, we always get tons of questions about live phyto. So, we thought, there’s no better way to answer all these questions than making a brand new blog post!
This article will cover what phytoplankton are, what OceanMagik is, and if live phyto is good for your tank (spoiler alert: it is!). Then we’ll dive into how and when to add OceanMagik to your tank. We’re also going to touch on the life expectancy for phyto. And how to prolong its shelf life at home. If this article sounds like it’ll answer any questions you have, then let’s get started!
What are phytoplankton?
Phytoplankton are microscopic marine algae. They provide life to almost every creature in the ocean! They’re often overlooked, but these single-celled organisms are crucial. There would be no food chains or coral reef ecosystem as we know it without phyto!
These tiny alga are like terrestrial plants. They require sunlight to live and contain chlorophyll. Phyto lives toward the surface of the ocean, where sunlight is plentiful. They get sustenance from nitrates, phosphates, and sulphur which convert into proteins, carbohydrates, and fat.
In marine ecosystems, phyto is the primary food source for many creatures. Snails, shrimp, filter feeders, and jellyfish all rely on this source of nutrition. Phyto uses light to make nutrients from water into organic compounds. These compounds become their bases (known as glucose) which zooplankton, crustaceans, and small fish love!
What is OceanMagik?
OceanMagik is our hand-selected blend of the most bio-available strains of phyto. Our four-species blend features Nano, Iso, Tet, and Thal. These strains all play crucial roles in the coral reef ecosystem’s health. OceanMagik is the perfect choice for a reef tank. This blend of phyto strains are superfoods for the reef and will keep the system thriving!
Our blend of live phyto feeds corals and invertebrates. It is also preventing growth of algae by consuming excess nutrients. If you’ve found difficulty managing nitrate levels in your tank, OceanMagik can help! It works to reduce high nitrates in the water. High nitrates would otherwise lead to a toxic build-up of ammonia.
This means less demand for water changes and heavy filtration methods. It is a far more effective method to manage the reef tank’s nutrient levels. OceanMagik is four-strain blend of phyto which is designed to outcompete algae for nutrients.
Is phytoplankton good for the aquarium?
Although phyto is at the base for almost every aquatic food chain, many reef keepers have doubts about adding it to the reef tank system. At AlgaeBarn, we want to see all forms of marine life thrive in captivity. That’s why we strongly advise using phyto in your feeding regimens.
OceanMagik features a blend of four nutritious species of phyto. This means more incredible biodiversity for your critters. Biodiversity is crucial for improving the stability and balance of natural ecosystems and reef tanks. So why not give your creatures the building blocks of life? Each strain in OceanMagik plays a special role in maintaining and improving the stability of the reef tank.
How do I use OceanMagik?
To dose your reef tank with OceanMagik, we recommend adding 5mL every day per 20 gallons of water. After just a few weeks of adding OceanMagik to your tank, you can adjust the amount to a dosage that better suits your tank’s needs. What’s excellent about live phyto is its hard to overdose a tank. However, as you begin a phyto feeding regimen, we recommend keeping a close eye on nitrate and phosphate levels.
Phyto loves to eat nitrate and phosphate. So, OceanMagik is great if you’re seeing issues stemming from nutrient export. In systems with high levels of excess nutrients, dosing phyto will provide great results in a short time.
Monitoring parameters is crucial if you have an SPS or zoanthid dominant reef tank. In systems like these, you don’t want nitrates going undetected. If there are no detectable nitrates, these corals will show signs of distress. In either case, keep an eye on your nutrient levels for the first weeks when starting a phyto regimen. It’s always better to start with a lighter dose and adjust from there.
When should I add live phytoplankton to the aquarium?
Thankfully, dosing phyto is not something that demands a lot of extra time and attention! So, you can simply add it whenever it’s most convenient for you. Many reef keepers choose to add OceanMagik when feeding their fish!
How long does OceanMagik last?
Phyto is, as we discussed above, a microscopic plant. Therefore, it requires access to sunlight and proper nutrients to grow and live.
One concern among reef keepers are phytoplankton blooms. These occur when salinity, water temperature, wind, and runoff meet all the right conditions for these algae to thrive. In nature, phytoplankton algae blooms can last for several weeks at a time. Sadly, blooms like this can cause massive threats to coral reef ecosystems.
However, the four species of phyto we use in OceanMagik are not responsible for phyto blooms. OceanMagik has a shelf life of about four weeks when stored properly. We chose to aquaculture these strains also for their longer life spans. If your bottle of OceanMagik has spoiled, it will smell like old broccoli. There are only a few things to keep in mind to increase the shelf life of OceanMagik.
We ship our products using the best temperature control methods on the market. To maximize the life of OceanMagik, you must refrigerate it as soon as it arrives. Doing so will put the phyto cells into hibernation. The temperature range for chilling your phytoplankton is 32°F – 39°F. Anything higher or lower will take away the nutritional value of the phyto.
The second part of storing your phytoplankton requires you to agitate it daily. If left stagnant for days at a time, phyto will settle to the bottom of the bottle. From there, the phyto will begin to break down, and clump together. Again, think about mimicking the ocean’s elements. The constant tides agitate the algae, which prevents it from settling.
To agitate your OceanMagik, simply shake the bottle with enough force to keep the phytoplankton in suspension. If it’s been agitated properly, you will not see any clumps at the base of the bottle. Agitation and suspension are crucial for prolonging the life of your algae.
OceanMagik is a product that we here at AlgaeBarn are incredibly proud of. We’ve worked hard to perfect a blend of live phyto strains that are nutritious and effective for reef tank systems. We hope this post has helped answer any of your questions about OceanMagik! We know how it is when starting a new feeding regimen or adding a product because we are hobbyists too. But we believe you will also see great results dosing live phyto in the reef tank.
Please feel free to drop a comment or a question below. We are more than happy to answer any other questions on OceanMagik!