Talking of phytoplankton, these are basically microscopic plant-like organisms which are photosynthetic creatures that drift about in the ocean absorbing the sunlight and 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. Phytoplankton have been billed a good source of nutrition for your marine life looking at the fact that they have a generally high level of concentration in Omega 3 unsaturated fatty acids which happens to be one of the key nutritional needs in a number 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 in all of these strains of the phytoplankton strains that you can culture in the home for the saltwater aquariums, one that is seen to be the most popular is the Nannochloropsis. This particular phytoplankton strain is seen to be such a well balanced strain with relatively higher levels of the fatty acids, HUFAs and EPA, which are quite essential for the growth of the larval fishes. For this reason if at all you are considering the breeding of saltwater fishes in your aquarium, then this is the best strain that you will be advised to start with. Further to this is the fact that Nannochloropsis has as well been seen to have some antibacterial properties in it.
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. Over and above this is the fact that after you will have so set up the culture station, in as much as the strains mentioned above are as hardy and will go, you will need to spare some time for maintenance and monitoring of the set up on a daily basis or else the culture may crash. 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.