Phytoplankton are basically the microscopic plant-like organisms, photosynthetic creatures that drift about in the ocean and absorb the sunlight turning it into delicious sugars. Phytoplankton happens to be key for your saltwater tanks looking at the fact that in the end the filter feeding invertebrates such as the clams, corals and sponges will get to eat on them for their nutrition. By far and large, phytoplankton happen to be seen as a good source of nutrition for marine life for the fact that they have been seen to be high in concentration of the Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids which is a sure dietary need for many of the invertebrates.
Talking of the phytoplankton strains that you can grow at home for your saltwater tanks, there are three basic and most common kinds. By and large, these are the strains such as the Nannochloropsis, Isochrysis and the Tetraselmis. And by and large, looking at all the available strains and kinds of phytoplankton that you can grown in your home for your saltwater aquarium, the one that actually stands out is Nannochloropsis. This is the particular phytoplankton strain that is largely seen to be the best for the fact that it happens to be well balanced, having such better levels of concentration of the essential fatty acids, HUFAs and EPA, which are more than essential for the growth of the fishes at their larval stage of development. As such if at all you have plans for breeding saltwater fishes in your saltwater aquarium, then the best strain of the phytoplankton to go for is the Nannochloropsis. Moreover, Nannochloropsis has been seen to have some antibacterial properties.
When it comes to the need to culture or not to culture phytoplankton, the choice will generally be your own to make, looking at the pros and cons. The reality however is that growing your own phytoplankton will be a bit of an investment in time and energy as it takes some time for you to set up your culture station and to have them grow. Besides this in as much as the strains will be as hardy to grow afterwards, there will be a need for you to spare some time monitoring and for maintenance of the culture set up on a daily basis. Instead of going through all the stress there comes with culturing your own strains of phytoplankton for your need to dose your saltwater aquarium, you can alternatively settle for the many available commercial products for the same purpose and avoid all the inconveniences there may be with the option of culturing your own.
Bear in mind the fact that many of the informed aquarists actually do dose phytoplankton into their aquariums as a supplement to their feeding schedule all due to the fact that they happen to be such natural and nutritious food sources.