5 How to Get Live Culture
It's important that you have everything (containers/equipment/products) ready before ordering a live culture. You want to keep live Spirulina as fresh as possible since the live culture is extremely difficult to find. In the UK, it can take days until it's delivered. The longer it stays in the dark+anaerobic environment (like in a parcel), the more it suffers; the death of a small part of the culture is unfortunately unavoidable, as the bottle will be sealed, preventing the gas exchange. So let's make sure we have a proper home for the sad little live culture that is coming to you. Ideally, you should go collect it yourself if you are lucky enough to have a source within your range.
5.1 Find Local Companies/Labs Near You
Most of the live culture in the UK is for research purposes. I struggled to find it after contacting several labs. Eventually, I had to order from a company in Sweden 🇸🇪 (Health Algae) in 2019. However, I've got recent updates that they haven't responded to emails/orders (updated 25/6/21). So please do get in touch with them first before purchasing.
• Aim for 250-500ml, you don't really need more than that as it grows really quickly.
• Check out the list curated by Grow Organic Spirulina - countries included: 🇺🇸 USA, 🇿🇦 South Africa, 🇮🇳 India, 🇮🇷 Iran, and 🇮🇱 Israel.
• 🇺🇸 US: Algae Research Supply
• 🇦🇺 Australia: Spirulina Grow Co
🔎 Searching keywords 'Spirulina Live Culture Starter'
I want to create a Spirulina global map 🌏, please get in touch if you know a reliable source anywhere, especially here in the UK 🇬🇧 ! → firstname.lastname@example.org
5.2 Make Sure the Culture is for Human Consumption
• Before you buy, make sure the culture is safe to consume! It should be clearly stated on the site.
And just to save you some time if you're in the UK, below are the labs that DON’T sell consumption-safe culture.
5.3 Purchase Their Nutrients For the Medium as Well
Just like plants, Spirulina needs nutrients in order to grow well (enhancing photosynthesis performance). When you purchase the live culture, look for a starter pack that also includes the nutrients mix.
E.g. I bought a starter pack that included 500ml live culture, grow medium (nutrients mix), and a manual.
To give you a bit more of an idea...
Message from the Creator
You can mix your own nutrients if you want. The next section will tell you more about open formulae. However, it's very tricky because you need to be very precise and you need time to experiment. If the nutrients are even slightly imbalanced, the culture won’t grow, and might even die. I haven't mastered this myself, but this is, without a doubt, my next research task!