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Lab Journal... Tissue Culture Startup

Discussion in 'Journals' started by adkaqua, May 25, 2018.

  1. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    Fyi- not a brief post. Please don't read it and complain it's long. Youve been warned. Yes. Essay. If its not your thing, this isn't the thread for you. It's a journal thread about my tissue culture startup, Adirondack Aquascaping. Being launched from a 2bdrm apartment using half of my 401k.


    So I've been asked by ppl on discord, Facebook, and other forums to do some kind of journal about what I've done/am doing. There are no promises I will update it super often. I will not, however abandon the thread. What's discussed here... Is currently effectively a second full time job. I work 3 to 4 12h days in semiconductor fab, am in a raid guild in Warcraft (say what you will, it's fun), and have a marriage to actually maintain a through those and this startup. So a blog being updated day by day... Eh. Not #1. But I will come with updates and pictures and converse in comments and such as frequently as I can. At least a few times a week, and on my days that I'm off work and only working in lab, I'll make time before I get on for raid in wow to respond to anything in comments that I can if people have engaged me. Maybe nobody will read it and nobody really cares. Who knows. But I'll check and add to it as often as I can.

    **Background- BS in plant biotechnology from SUNY ESF. Worked in tissue culture and molecular biology labs in undergrad years. Ended up in semiconductors because my wife and I wanted to live where we grew up, and there's not exactly ag research going on in upstate New York. So this isn't some internet educated dive off the deep end into something I thought would be fun. In quite a bit of debt to learn how to do this stuff and study under the professors I did. So while I don't have a master's degree, I'm still quite familiar with the workings of a TC lab**



    So the good stuff... The 'journal' for the journal thread.

    About a month and a half ago I went to a workshop at my favorite LFS. Cost $25 to go, got a $25 gift card for store, so a free day to learn about plants from some company Id never heard of before, but that promises to talk about aquascaping and plants. (That company? Dennerle, hah). Prior to this day, I'd kept only one tank with many plants in it. Low tech 35g with a planted+24/7. Had some easy stuff in my 10g quarantine. Moss balls and feathery plants with my wife's betta. Nothing major, but I wanted to learn more so I went.

    As he talked about their company, that had flown him here to USA to talk to us, in a small store in upstate NY.... I was blown away. First thing that came to mind was "hey I should ask him if they're going to be branching operations out to USA, I could apply to work in their labs....". Then I thought 'why?'. I went to school for plant biotechnology. I had some lab equipment at home that I'd slowly been accumulating to have a tissue culture and biohackerish style lab when we got a bigger apartment. Why.... Why not do it myself. So I came home a) with a ton of plants and stuff for my 35g that I decided to get wayyyy super involved in a massive project on, which is another thread entirely, and b) resolved to figure out how to make it happen. I looked into bank loans for the 8 to 10k I'd need to finish setting up. (*Note- I am not saying a TC lab only costs 8k to set up. I had some of the major capital equipment already that I had driven sometimes many hours to pick up from auctions I won over the last 2yrs, things like a ~$20k water distillation rig with auto collection jug, ~$3.5k sterile work cabinet, items I paid a fraction of retail price for but had pieced together over a bit of time). I was not about to pay that kinda interest, and make payments out OF my loan since I didn't have the extra out of my normal paycheck to cover what amounted to almost as much as my car payment for short term personal loan, unsecured.

    Debated on crowd funding. Eh. Beggars. Nope.

    Cache out Roth? Yep. Let's do it. Then I found out I can borrow half my 401k and pay interest to myself, rather than a bank. So I did that instead. And dumped almost all my penny stocks (that'd actually been doing pretty well, up almost 30% in last 6 months, so I was happy). Finished buying equipment and materials. Cases of growing containers, culture rack and lighting, pipette tips and Petri dishes, agar and plant growth regulators... You name it. I suddenly had a small, but surprisingly well equipped tissue culture lab. Then inventory... Hah. Inventory. I kinda went nuts. Now, starting out a tissue culture lab is easiest with sterile plants to start with. Sooo as is done in the industry (TC, not specifically aquatic plants), I bought them. Last count I think I was up to... 44 species already in tissue culture when. Purchased. Another 50 some odd in a 30g aquarium I bought on Facebook just for use as a holding tank for stock plants. Common things. Expensive and rare things. Everything in between. Even working with APHIS currently to get import permits to buy a bunch of plants I want from Ukraine... But that'll be a later entry.


    Got species in. Got my 14qt pressure cooker ready. Media logbook out. Batch 0001.

    Now my cooker, while large, holds a Max of 7 of the vessels I had on hand at the time. (This has as of last night been remedied, I have new containers and methods in place to be able to produce 2L, 24 of my new containers, every 40 minutes using the same equipment, so now I can really ramp things up). While the cubes were great in lab at ESF .. with an autoclave room that I could put dozens in at once to steralize... I had to find a solution for that soonish (hence the aforementioned new containers and methods I put in place), but at the time... I made it work. 1/3 of a liter at a time I steralized my culture cubes. That's 40m cycle time to heat, cook 30m, rapid vent to reload and repeat. x6L of media. 12 hours of media prep to make 6L.... But my wife helped me out once I showed her what I was doing stepwise. She was watching to learn and see what exactly I do, had never watched me in lab before, just knew of the work. So she made media when I was at my normal day job and such, when she got home from her job as a teacher.


    Started transferring plants from the tissue culture cups I purchased into my own media formulation this past Sunday. 5/20. I've got about half of my tc-stock in culture at this point. Dealing with poor quality purchased plants. Cups that came sealed but had still been contaminated. Cups with no media left because it leaked out into the shipping boxes, or had turned brown and nasty. Bloated and deformed cups. Crushed cups. Cups that appeared to have barely had any media in them to begin with. So what *should* have, in theory, been an easy "open, divide, close, repeat" operation became much involved. I had to wait for some of my chems to come, PPM specifically (plant preservative mixture, an autoclavable antibiotic/antimycotic) to resolve it. So it drastically slowed me. That came in on Wednesday and I've started cleaning up contaminated cultures for use. I also purchased .22um filters and luer lock syringes to use on antibiotics in future to avoid being blindsided by contamination in the future... Those arrive today.

    So out of the species I put in my media, 3 showed early signs of bacteria and/or fungal contamination and have been treated. This morning before I left for work at 5am, I moved one from the PPM soak into a low-agar 'liquid'ish media, supplemented with PPM and additional PGRs (plant growth regulators) that I don't use in my normal media. The other two I discovered yesterday were showing contamination so they're currently on my orbital shaker in sterile distilled water + ppm and full strength murishige salts. Tonight they go to their own liquid media with PPM to try to save em. I bought Glossostigma (vendor unnamed, because they were GREAT, but it was specifically all the cups they sold from Aquatic Farmer that were in horrible, horrible condition, and I had issues with same brand from other sites too) that was super bloated. So contaminated the PP cups had deformed from gas pressure inside. I decided to also try to save them, so I treated them last night as any other explant would be treated from a non sterile source. 70% IPA, bleach wash, sterile water rinses, and a 24h PPM bath on the shaker. We'll see if they make it... Those cups we're BAD, and it's a cheap enough plant I don't mind starting over, but it'll be good practice and show me if my experimental liquid media I formulated will be sufficient when paired with my steralizing protocol (slightly modified from the steps listed in any textbook or journal article for decontamination of explants). Also hoping that the liquid media I made will function as a rescue media... My riccardia came without any media at all basically ... And when put under ~20k lumens of t5.... It scorched. Almost everything else thrived as expected, but the riccia and a moss (Vesicularia 'creeping') got burned pretty badly because of being almost dry inside their retail containers. So the surviving green pieces of that are now on the shaker in that media too. Time will tell.



    I'll have my tween 20 in today, so I can begin steralizing from my stock tank. Going to start this weekend with a single explant from my iguazu 2009, Anubias snowwhite, a few Echino, and my fissidens nobilis. Hopefully steralizing protocols work, because I have a 30g tank entirely filled with plants. So full I have some floating in a breeder box, and I had to hang a moss mat on the wall of the tank hahaha. That tank is running CO² (my first tank to do so, my 35g rebuild project incorporates it but that's still in progress being built), daily fertilizer rotation of Flourish trace and Excel, Flourish Synthesis every 4d since there's no animals in it except snails, and Flourish (original) every 4d. Has fugeray2 on it. 225gph circulation pump, air bubbler, and a HOB filter designed for a 75g. all the plants are in 2" and 3" mesh cups from hydroponics store, weighted with aquarium gravel in the bottom, organic potting mix, and capped with sand (except a few plants I was lazy on that don't *need* soil, like my rotalla, and plants that rot in soil like the few neat java ferns I have in there, those are just in cups with gravel and lead weight). I need to make room ... Since I have 5 more new Buce, a few Crypts, and another java fern coming. And I am actively hunting for a list of about 30 other species that will need homes if and when I find them. Some I'm trying to source from overseas even, finding suppliers who ship here that I can get my APHIS import permits for.



    All in all, Adirondack Aquascaping is looking to launch with a catalog of over 100 species. Took about 10k from my retirement and brokerage account to make it happen, but as long as I can do it with acceptable contamination rates, and find wholesale and direct to consumer sales at a volume to move my inventory, I plan to hopefully be able to quit my job doing microscopy in a semiconductor fab by November and do this full time. It's the perfect combination of my lifelong goal of being a botanist, with my biotech degree, and my love of aquarium keeping. Itd allow me to have a small lab on my property, as my mother once did with a wedding bakery when I was a kid. Letting me always be home and be there for my wife and our kids when we have them. If I can make it work.... This one project could be the key to getting exactly what I wanted out of life. Seems like an overstatement.... But it will. Father who is home and a large part of family life. A home with lots of land. My own business. Working with plants. Its just perfect. And all because I decided to go to a 'free' seminar on aquascaping that gave me the inspiration to put all the pieces together in my head.


    Yes, there's a website. Parked. Nothing on it. Facebook has one picture. No updates yet. See disclaimer at start about time for blogging, that's Facebook right now too. Linkedin? Yep. Exists. Has the logo I threw together one night with a graphic I got small business licence for a few weeks back and that's it. Made that page yesterday on break at work haha. I'm very active on discord in a few planted tank and aquascaping channels, namely bc I use discord regularly for warcraft (hence my username ON discord is the same as my main character in WoW, Ehlsuh#8622). I'll do my best to respond to questions and engage in conversation on here though. I promise.



    Sorry for the essay. Was several posts worth of journaling but easier than reserving even more posts to make multiple entries. Which... As soon as I post I'm doing. Will also respond inline to comments and convos if anyone wants to chat or learn or ask questions.


    Pictures are assorted. My lab as is. Stock tank with all my current inventory. Close-up of my iguazu '09. Shots of the cultures I bought (the small round ones). The cubes with my media in them. I'll add more pictures as time goes along too.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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    #1 adkaqua, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  2. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    Reserved

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  3. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    Liquid media test I started 2d ago seems to be working well. Had some plants come in that were contaminated in their tissue culture packaging already so I had to try to save them. Lost one completely, nbd. The others made it into a quick isopropyl wash, bleach wash, rinsed, and into my experimental media before their new cubes got completely overtaken by bacteria and fungus. The 4 I was worried about all turned out nasty. Lost one from that batch though. Also decided to take two cups I was to throw away, Glossostigma, and try to save em. Original and replacement were both horribly bloated and slimy with bacteria. Same lab as the others.... No surprise. Different website but same supplier. Rather than toss em I hit em with a little more aggressive steralizing protocol, and before work this morning they also got put in my low agar liquid media on the orbital shaker. Time will tell. Glosso is cheap enough, but it'll be a good test. If I can save it, odds are good that protocol will work on the plants coming out of my aquarium next. Submerged (and terrestrial plant explants taken from under soil) plants can be hard to steralize without killing them. So this is as much a test of the media and protocol as it is saving 2 cups of glosso. In a week I'll move them back to a more solid media on the grow racks with the rest. Got all my tools and glassware cleaned last night so I'm ready to get back to multiplying tonight after work! Aiming for another dozen or so.

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  4. jbs47

    jbs47 Lifetime Members
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    Great thread...will be following. Took a similar path in college while studying for a degree in horticultural production,. it was only a short 3 course program in tissue culture but piqued my interest. Was able to work in an up and running commercial lab with all the equipment and racks of growing plants in vitro. It is so easy to contaminate a container if your work habits are not up to par.. I have always wanted to do what you are now doing. Good luck with your venture.
     
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  5. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    Thanks!


    Contamination is what the last 2 days have been all about here actually. More than expected have contamination. That's what I get for not disinfecting every plant. I foolishly treated them as if sterile. However.... They were not. Every one that had leaked at all. . Mold. It's not ubiquitous in all samples. Just the ones that had been open. Even the containers I hadn't made it to yet to get into culture are starting to grow it. There must be less sugar in the media they are shipped in... Slower growth rate from less food, or maybe different pH than I'm using that inhibits the growth. But the little white spots are there. And the cups that we're leaking but sealed-ish... Same stuff. So rather than new cultures today, I was playing catch-up. And I have more to save tomorrow. Made myself a nice new media with half the agar (closer to liquid), and with PPM in it at .2% as directed by manufacturer for endogenous contamination. Had to steralize with 1% bleach, 70% IPA, 10% bleach. Now out of sterile distilled water gotta make more tomorrow. (Note to self- get a darn reverse osmosis rig .... ). Hopefully I can recover some of them. I lost 2 more species. One hadn't even been opened by me, it was just overrun BAD and I am not dealing with that. Time will tell now.


    Also realized I was letting my excitement get the best of me. 100 species at launch? In 6months? Hahaha. That's a joke. By myself that's never gonna happen. So I'm going to aim for a more modest 30 to 40. Species I have in culture from other suppliers already and can hopefully easily steralize and establish in my media. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to add to my collection as I can. Working in getting about another 30 in stock currently actually. They won't, however, be available at launch. I'll have to split my website into a 'for sale/coming soon' page that has all current sale stock and which species are being multiplied or established next. And then also have a page that's just 'my plant collection' that lists everything I personally own. They'll all hopefully make it into culture over time, however having available at start of sales is not only unrealistic, trying to do so is going to negatively impact my ability to get anything done properly. If it takes off and I gain enough traffic and fans and customers, I'll have votes on which plants people would most like to see moved from 'collection' to 'coming soon'. The only things I'm going to move into culture from my tank up front, or try to, is the 4 expensive Anubias I have, maybe my crypto nurii variations, crypto. x timahensis, and pink panther (once in stock, that's one I'm working on procuring ATM). Once I'm in a real lab space as a business, working out of a 6 or 8 foot laminar cabinet and making media by the gallons. . . I'll step up the rest. Right now I just don't have the capacity to do 100+ species on my own.


    Hopefully I don't lose more to whatever fungus this is. Here's hoping an aggressive steralizing protocol saves em. I'm well VB past doa, so I may have to move plants into aqurium to save them rather than have them die in culture. Then grow em out and try from scratch down the road. That's what I get for treating stuff I bought as being as sterile as something I'd make myself. Never again.

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  6. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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    Fantastic read, looking forward to the next entry :)
     
  7. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    ::evil scientist laugh::


    One foot firmly on the road to glo-plants for with glofish. [​IMG]


    (*These are thousands usually, FYI. Many thousands. Combined with the other 2 large pieces of capital equipment I have purchased at auction and actually regularly use already. .. I've saved 99.2% on retail from eBay haha)

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  8. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    Short post. Contamination from unopened cups was bad. Not my hood or room, tested. Fungal all coming from cups delivered to me. Had to resteralize. 28 successfully treated and moved into a media with a broad spec antifungal and antibiotic used in research labs. Expensive AF. $600+/liter. But it works. 4 more in liquid culture w/ same med. Struggling, but may recover. Time will tell.

    Plants in tank doing excellent. Ludwigia white is super vibrant. All my others perky and growing nicely. All in all. .. slowly moving the right direction. All those cups coming in contaminated set me back about a week, week and a half. Sold off the rest of my penny stocks to get more cash to afford things like the media additive for contamination, and a smaller scale water purification system that I can actually use in my apartment. Plus the plants I found and want to put in collection so badly. Ugh. I need to start selling things so I can afford to do more. Going to have to pick some fun ones to try to fast line to sell singles on forums and Amazon and aquabid to make some money.

    Thinking ludwigia white, iguazu 2009, snowwhite, and a Cryptocoryne or two or five (few to pick from, haven't decided which yet). Something that I can get a decent bit from and that will sell fast. We'll see.

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    My own little million dollar beach.


    Well. 600. Ish. Added that little Cryptocoryne in the back today. So pretty.


    (That's Ludwigia 'white', Anubias snowwhite/pinto/marbled/stardust, Iguazu 2009, and Cryptocoryne x timahensis, there's a Buce Icarus bell in there. Not rare. But up front bc my wife picked that one and I wanted it front and center for her to be able to see)





    Still dealing with contamination. Transferred 5 tonight for a second time. Fell asleep doing it (score one for narcolepsy). But since I go autopilot when that happens, I continued to transfer cultures. Sooooooooooo all my green gecko is now mixed with all my pink flamingo. At least they'll be easy to tell apart once they are contaminant free hahaha. [​IMG]

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  10. jbs47

    jbs47 Lifetime Members
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    I check every morn for new entries...best thread going at the moment, IMHO. It is a difficult undertaking and most I knew from the course I took had lots of contamination until they got the hang of it, myself included. I guess you are using meristems for propagation. Really starting to dig the Iguazu 2009. One thing I remembered from the instructor/owner is that he didn't propagate it unless he thought he could sell it. It seems that you are following that advice by working with the difficult and rare. Keep at it...passion high.
     
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  11. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    Ive got rare to differentiate myself. But bulk sales. .. still are gonna be cheap fast movers. So the majority of the 35 I've got in my media RN are just that. No meristems ATM either. Ideally yea. But getting myself going, I'm starting cultures with plants purchased IN culture. Which is why I'm so mad they're arriving slimy and gross and with mold in them. But these plants I can just cut into pieces and multiply. As I establish my own from aquarium, I'm going to try a mix of meristems, rhizome, leaf, stem, and runners. As long as I can get them to survive sterilization I can get callus from any of them, in theory. Even Cryptocoryne... If I can get leaves to survive, I can induce callus, coax it to form shoots, and then get it to form rhizome in-vitro as an after thought.


    I've knocked out most of the contamination from the cups that arrived in the mail. Most of my cups arrived in horrible condition. Media melted and liquid and black in the cups. No media because it leaked out. Cups crushed. Lids popped open. Seals torn. They were terrible shape. Honestly.... Cleaning up the plants from the tank will prob be easier.




    And I appreciate the support and readership! Friend of mine from over on discord group talked me into doing the journal thread. I wasn't gonna bother. Kinda glad I did. Engaging and feedback from people. Ideas. Fun conversation. Glad I did it. Have it going on two forums so it's neat seeing the evolving differences in convo direction (I post same main entries, just the threads as a whole diverging)

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  12. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    Fast update, need to get up early. Going to meet a guy from Facebook for local aquarium club at a grocery store to buy more plants rofl.

    So second round steralizing seems to have cleaned up most of the plants. Only 3 still showing fungal. And that's gonna be remedied real fast before bed by moving all the other explants in the containers to fresh +ppm media. About half the plants are already showing fresh green growth after their (standard in TC) bleach/alcohol bath and rinses or their 8hr shake in 5% PPM. Even the mosses and delicate plants have little green areas popping up as they recover from the shock. I had one species, Cryptocoryne, that came in with endogenous bacteria. That's a little slower growing than fungus. So it'll need to be monitored over the next week carefully so I can rapidly extract healthy plants and possibly try to clean infected ones again. Or leave em behind. We'll see.

    Diy co2 is insufficient. Had to put my 15lb tank and regulator that was destined for my display tank in my living room in my tank in the lab instead. I was using a full mix of diy bottle per day. Ain't nobody got time fo' dat.

    Off to transfer a few to new media and get to bed so I can go get my new stuff in the morning!


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  13. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    Soooo I kinda ran out of space.


    Got new plants. So I tried to get another tank. Tank I got free? 30g. No room, desk only rated for half that weight. So my quarantine tank that's only 10g has now become a plant tank. And my wife bought two nice betta.... Gonna have the best betta homes ever. Hah. But, Still no room.


    Wife suggested using the new 30 instead of my existing stocked tank for the diy project I'm doing. Check. Love that idea. It's shorter and taller, changes project a little bit, but that means existing 30g will stay stocked and running until project is done. What to do with plants still..... Hey fish you're getting new plants. So now I have about a dozen of my bigger plants (most of my Echino, limnophilia aromatica, two apono). Fish werent happy to have their home torn up but it worked well. Now I can finish setting up betta tank for wife and getting the last of my plants out of baggies and into water. Fml. This has been a lot of work. Buckets of water and plants all over our apartment RN. My bushynose pleco is very happy now that she has giant sword plants to lay on though. She wasted no time exploring them all. None of them did actually. This is one happy tank right now. About time to get back to work though. Still got a ton to do, and I work 12s the next 4 days. So back to it!

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  14. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    Still dealing with that damn fungus.



    Dug through published papers. Fenbendazole is TC safe and doesn't seem to adversely affect cultures. One of the recommended fungicides across numerous papers.


    Fenbendazole. Aka Fishbendazole. Aka Dog dewormer. . .


    Dog dewormer it is, since no LFS has fishbendazole and I couldn't wait days to get it in mail. 222mg/g. Need about 1/7 grams. Ez. No DMSO to dissolve it in.... (Now en route... But ordered after the fact along with more dewormer). Tried 2M HCl. Seemed to work well enough. Made sol'n of full strength MS salts and fenbendazole. First round of plants soaked for 24h. Then had to disinfect for bacteria again since fungicide was not sterile. They got plated and second set of plants went in today. Here's hoping it worked.

    Most of my mosses don't seem to have recovered from steralizing. Need to rethink technique going forward when I replenish moss. Soo much work lately. Been in there 4 to 5h a day after work last week. Then 8 to 10h a day last 2 days. Making media, cleaning stuff, tending to these plants trying to establish sterile healthy cultures.


    So much work. Will be worth it if I make it work. But starting a lab is significantly more time consuming than just making media and cloning plants you on purchased that were in TC already.


    Still aiming for november. We'll see if I can hit that deadline.

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  15. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    It's late. Im tired and I gotta get up about 5hr for normal job So not usual update post. Been at it all afternoon cleaning up the same offenders, a new one that had some sleeper fungus that I just discovered.... and trying to move some new stuff into culture (Madagascar lace, Anubias coffeefolia). Almost time to open up the next light rack tho. Which is exciting.

    [​IMG]

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  16. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    30 species currently without contamination.

    This weekend. I move to put ludwigia white, and limnophilia aromatica into culture. Maybe others too. But those two first.

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  17. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    (mini rant)

    THIS is why I'm doing what I'm doing. This is highway robbery. And according to the listing, they've been selling. $7 PER STEM.

    Right now you either gotta hope you can find an awesome hobbyist that cultivates to sell or sells/gives trim, go to Petco or another store and get a snail bomb, err potted plant, or get tissue culture plants that were grown overseas, shipped to wholesalers here, and then shipped to vendors or to you. So they arrive trashed, crushed, contaminated, and sad.

    Sure, there's a few incredible sellers. People like Han Aquatics. Dude is awesome. Passion and pride in what he grows and sells. Everything I've bought from him arrived in incredible condition. And the local fish stores that buy from good local suppliers growing submerged plants, selling only true aquatic plants and with knowledgable staff to advise and help you pick the best plants for your tank and help you learn to grow any that you want

    But it shouldn't be the exciting find; it should be standard. But the majority of plants are shipped in from overseas, grown emersed, loaded with snails, or some combination of the three plus any number of other issues. I bought tc plants among the $1800 worth of stock I got to start out my collection, and consistently across every website I used, 2 of the vendors carried by all of them arrived with fungus ans/or bacterial contamination IN SEALED TC CUPS. Contamination I've been battling to grow them myself. It's not my media or techniques, because everything would have been contaminated. Nope. Just consistently the same suppliers, regardless of the website purchased from. Stores selling pothos and other house plants as aquarium plants. It's insulting. Deceptive. And TBH, I'll never put my products in businesses that do that. Idc if Petco offered me a hundred grand a year contract in guaranteed orders. I don't want my brand associated with superstores more concerned with a quick sale to new or inexperienced hobbyists than providing the best quality products and teaching people so they can learn and be successful and have tanks they love and are proud of.

    No more. I'm never going to do that. Only true aquatic plants. Only the healthiest quality plants shipped out the door. We deserve better that $7 per stem Alternantheria.

    I should probably go back to work now tho. Since this place IS still paying the bills. Hah.

    [​IMG]

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    Kaldurak and Mike k like this.
  18. Kaldurak

    Kaldurak New Member

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    Yeeesh , that's some expensive AR Mini. Next time I trim, I'll give some away in the Portland/Vancouver area. Mines growing like gangbusters.
     
    adkaqua likes this.
  19. adkaqua

    adkaqua Member

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    Totally unrelated to the thread but I picked a good time to try to make this a reality.


    Would allow me a lot more freedom with being home for the baby we're, as of yesterday, now expecting. Can set a room up next to business office for the little one.


    Bloody terrified but excited right now hahaha. Life really knows how to test your confidence in your big endeavors

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    a1matt likes this.
  20. a1matt

    a1matt Prolific Poster

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    Congratulations!

    I'd be interested to read about your electroporation device if you ever feel like writing about how that relates to tissue culturing aquarium plants.
     
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