Grow your own fresh & nutritious live spirulina

It's super easy to grow your own spirulina!

Step 1: Order a live culture.

Step 2: Set up your bioreactor.

Step 3: Monitor conditions.

Step 4: Reap what you grow.

Step 1: order a live culture

It all starts with a live Spirulina culture.  It is like you need a seed or a cutting to grow a tree.  In this case you need a quantity of Spirulina cells to start your culture.  They will be suspended in a nutrient growth media.  You only need a relatively small amount to get started.  Under the right conditions the cells rapidly divide and so you can expand the volume of your culture at a geometric rate.

When buying a culture there are a few things to be aware of here:

Start with a pure culture

That is, you want to be sure that you are purchasing the real thing and you want it to be pure. The best way to ensure this is buy it from a trusted source.

Get a reasonable amount to start with.

You could start with just a few ml of culture and if you care for it you can end up with a swimming pool full. However, small amounts are vulnerable. It is better to start with a minimum of 50 ml or more. The more the better really.

It is best to buy local

There is nothing wrong with buying cultures from a reputable source overseas, but you run the risk of it either dying in transit or being confiscated by customs agents. Remember, it is illegal to import live organisms without a material transfer agreement, import licences and customs clearances. It is safer to buy a cultured from your home country.

Information and support

If you are new to growing, ensure the people you buy it from offer detailed instructions and good after sales support. Growing Spirulina is really easy but like anything there are a few tricks. You want the people you buy from to be generous with their know-how.

Relax. It takes very little space to grow your own spirulina.

A single 60L aquarium will provide ample spirulina to supplement the diet’s of two people.

Step 2: Set up your bioreactor

A bioreactor is just a fancy name for the container in which you grow your Spirulina.  The best thing to use is an aquarium because it has transparent sides and won’t breakdown in the sun.  You can also grow in clear plastic storage containers, large glass jars, or a small kids swimming pool.  As long as the vessel facilitates ample light penetration into the culture, you are good to go.

A 60L aquarium will provide ample spirulina to supplement the diet’s of 2 people.

Depending on how much Spirulina is demanded, you can easily expand your farm size by adding more bioreactors.

Other pieces of easy to obtain equipment include an aquarium air pump, a thermometer, a pH pen and an aquarium heater.

DIY Spirulina growing in aquarium
It' easy - use a secondhand aquarium.

Step 3: Monitor conditions

Spirulina is a robust organism that has survived for over 3.6 billion years. If you get a few basic elements right you will have a thriving culture that will keep you in an endless supply of fresh, live, raw Spirulina.  Here are some of the most important elements:


Because spirulina is photosynthetic it needs light to grow and thrive – just like a tree. Sunlight is best because it carries a lot more energy than even the strongest light globe and is composed of the correct light frequencies for spirulina. Your spirulina farm will do best when placed in a sunny location.


Water quality is important because spirulina will absorb whatever is in its environment. This means that it will accumulate heavy metals and other toxins if they are present in the water. Further, certain elements can kill spirulina at critical concentrations, chlorine and copper for example. Since tap water is usually chlorinated you cannot use tap water without removing the chlorine first.


The basics are: An alkalized water – high pH.
A source of carbon (atmospheric CO2 and inorganic salts) A source of fixed nitrogen that is soluble in water and thus available to the reproducing spirulina. A source of key nutrients: iron, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur calcium, chlorine and magnesium. A source of trace elements – these are essential nutrients needed only in extremely small quantities – such as boron, cobalt, manganese, zinc and copper.
There are various nutrient formulas used to start of and maintain a Spirulina culture. You can buy ready made mixes or make your own from relatively easy to obtain materials offered in the marketplace.

Temperature control

Regulating the temperature of your culture is important. You don’t want the temperature falling below 2ºC or rising above 42ºC . The culture will start to grow at temperatures over 15ºC and you will get optimal growth at temperatures between 30 – 37ºC.

Keep the culture moving

Mixing the culture in the bioreactor forces Spirulina filaments to cycle to the surface or near its transparent walls for a short while so they can photosynthesize (turn light energy and CO2 into sugar). Mixing can be achieved by bubbling air through the culture. The bubbles also facilitated gas exchange with the air.

Monitor pH

The pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity of a solution. What is unique about Spirulina is that it grows and thrives under very alkaline conditions; above pH 9. Organisms that could be harmful to the Spirulina, or you, cannot grow above pH 9.5. That is why you only harvest once the pH reaches 10 or above. You can measure the pH with an electronic pH meter or litmus paper.

"Once harvested there are heaps of ways you can use fresh spirulina!."

Step 4: Reap what you grow

Harvesting Spirulina is easy.  All you do is sieve the culture through an fine screen printing mesh.   You will be left with a thick paste.  You then wash the paste in clean water and sieve it again.  That’s basically it. 

Once harvested there are heaps of ways you can use fresh spirulina! From beauty products to beautiful food.  The thing is, fresh, raw spirulina has a very mild flavor and smell so it is highly versatile – you can eat it straight, add it to a drink or your cooking –  check out the food blog pages.

Want more happiness, vitality & health?

Start by growing your own FRESH live Spirulina.

You can have an endless supply of the world’s most potent superfood with PROVEN health benefits. It’s EASY to grow. We’ll show you how to get RESULTS fast. Have a 12 piece Spirulina Farming Kit delivered to your doorstep. Includes 1000 ml of live culture.

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Find out all you need to know in this comprehensive introduction to growing your fresh Spirulina EASILY and CHEAPLY. Harvest an endless supply of one of the most potent superfoods on earth.

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