What is algaculture?
Those that farm algae opt for monoculture, which requires special care and efforts in order to keep the purity of the culture. One of the most popular methods of obtaining monoculture is represented by serial dilution. This process relies on combining a wild or lab sample of a targeted alga with filtered water.
As it usually happens, different species require different treatment. Although, water, carbon dioxide, minerals and light represent the basis of any algae cultivation. There are two methods of obtaining this plant: autotrophic growth and heterotrophic growth. Autotrophic growth refers to the fact that algae needs carbon dioxide in order to feed itself. Heterotrophic growth represents the possibility of obtaining it without using the light. This means that sugars are fed directly to the algae and there is no need of carbon dioxide.
Another important thing in the growing process is the temperature. Usually, algae require a temperature that goes from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius. It represents the perfect environment for it.
Professional growers do not recommend the usage of the sunlight directly on the plants. If you take an open pond, you will observe that light only goes on the surface, leaving the plants underneath in darkness. This is the reason why direct sunlight can mostly harm your plants. But, if you manage to use strong sunlight and position the pond in a manner that all the harvest will benefit from it, the culture will flourish due to it.
As you may know, algae have an intense smell that usually is not pleasant. This is because of the lack of oxygen that kills algae. So to say, you may want to expect some funny smells from your little farm.
If you want to grow healthy algae, you will have to take care of nutrients too. The crucial ones are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
So, if you want to start your own business in this domain, you will have to consider one more thing: the growing place. Usually, algae are cultivated in open ponds and photobioreactors. Open ponds require intense maintenance due to the fact that your plants will be exposed to the harsh environment. With this option, you may find yourself in the impossibility to harvest during cold season. Photobioreactors refer to tanks, bags or plastic tubes that can be used throughout the year. Those need to be translucent in order to offer you the possibility to provide the amount of light required.