Cultivating a Glass Grown Chlorella

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 by Dr. Steve Hruby
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby

I am a chiropractor, father, husband, coach, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. Feeling good about yourself is a choice: My mission is to transform lives through optimized health and overall well-being.

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 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’ve been called a Data Ninja, The Fact Checker, and a Human Search Engine. I’m an indie content curator who does research daily, and quizzes myself on the important issues of the day.

glass grown chlorella

Thanks to many chlorella health benefits like detoxification and increased endurance, this supplement enjoys much popularity. The alga is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. With the promise of boosted health, many people consider incorporating chlorella into their lives. 

To grow chlorella, you must provide suitable pH, nutrients, aeration, and sunlight. This guide walks you through everything you should know about how to grow microalgae at home.

You’ll learn about the supplies you need and whether glass grown chlorella is for you. By the end of this guide, you should have everything you need to start growing your own healthy, nutrient-rich chlorella.

Types of Chlorella Production

How is chlorella grown? There are three types of chlorella production: heterotrophic, autotrophic, and mixotrophic.

Heterotrophic

Heterotrophic production is the best type of chlorella production. It involves growing the algae in a closed system, such as an algae reactor, under artificial/natural lighting. 

This method is sterile and hardly impacted by changes in sunlight. Hence, it is ideal for applications where consistent algae growth is desired. 

However, heterotrophic production is more energy-intensive than other methods and can be expensive to scale.

Autotrophic

Mixotrophic production is a method that combines elements of both heterotrophic and autotrophic production. Algae grow in flatscreen systems or tubes under natural sunlight in mixotrophic production. This method has the advantage of being less expensive than heterotrophic production.

However, autotrophic production is more susceptible to contamination by factors like pollen, bird excrement, and rainwater. Besides, you cannot control sunlight and its impact on production.

Mixotrophic

Autotrophic production is the oldest and most natural form of chlorella production. In autotrophic production, algae grow in open systems, such as ponds, under natural sunlight. This method is less produces more lipids than heterotrophic cultivation. 

However, mixotrophic production is more challenging to control than heterotrophic. Unlike heterotrophic, sunlight has a significant impact on production.

Pros and Cons of Culturing Chlorella on Glass Tube

Glass tubes are easy to obtain and are typically inexpensive. So, they are a good choice for those starting with chlorella cultivation. 

petri dish and glass tubes

Another pro is that glass tubes are easy to sterilize. This way, you can prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria and other microorganisms.

Pros

Other advantages include:

  • Requires less space than open production
  • Less carbon footprint than pond production- no need to locate large land pieces far away
  • Milder taste than pond-cultivated chlorella prone to contaminants
  • Better control of germination conditions than outdoor production

Cons

One con of using glass tubes is that they are breakable. Also, glass tubes do not allow for much airflow, leading to stagnant air and anaerobic conditions if unmonitored.

How Long Does It Take for Chlorella Algae To Grow?

Unlike spirulina, chlorella enjoys an immense developmental boost thanks to the chlorella growth factor. Chlorella can double its cell count in as little as 20 hours under optimal conditions.

Spirulina takes around three weeks before you harvest. Keeping the conditions and quantities constant, the chlorella plant needs about one week. 

FAQS: Must-Know Questions Chlorella Famers Ask

Can I Grow My Own Chlorella?

You can grow your own chlorella, provided you give this organism the required conditions. These include a source of light, warmth, nutrients, oxygen, and water at a suitable pH. Well-aerated, slightly alkaline water under a pH of 10, at 25-33℃, is perfect.

Can Chlorella Be Organic?

Chlorella can be organic, the most desirable form of any health supplement. Organic chlorella is safe to eat because it is free from harmful chemicals and pesticides.

hand reaching for a glass of green smoothie

The benefits of organic chlorella include improved digestion, detoxification, and increased energy levels. Before consumption, familiarize yourself with who should take chlorella.

How Can I Grow Chlorella?

You can grow chlorella by starting with a chlorella culture.

  • Obtain your culture medium from trusted suppliers. You also need a culture medium and a container, such as a sterile glass tube.
  • Place the culture in the medium at a pH of 7.5 and seal the container.
  • Put the container in a location receiving sunlight and a temperature between 25-33℃.
  • Keep monitoring the temperature (maintain under 38℃) and pH (maintain under 11).

How Fast Does Chlorella Grow?

Chlorella grows fast and may be ready for harvest in a week. The time it takes for chlorella algae to grow can vary depending on the conditions under which you cultivate it. However, the alga can double its cell count in as little as 20 hours under optimal conditions.

What Does Chlorella Vulgaris Need To Grow?

Chlorella vulgaris needs water, sunlight, carbon dioxide, and nutrients to grow. It uses photosynthesis to convert sunlight into energy. It then employs the energy to produce carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water. These carbohydrates facilitate cell growth and division.

Nutrients are necessary for synthesizing proteins, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules.

Conclusion

Chlorella can grow in various ways. The most common commercial method is to culture the alga in a closed system, like glass-grown chlorella. The alga needs a nutrient solution and a light source, which allows it to photosynthesize and grow.

Chlorella can also grow in an open system, such as a pond. However, this method is less common because it is more difficult to control the environment.

Chlorella is an excellent supplement to nurture, provided you have fantastic starter supplies. Check out our store for quality chlorella cultures, amongst other cultivation supplies.

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