It took me some time to gather all the stuff I needed but my small indoor algeafarm is now up and running.. I constructed a box from insulationboard and mounted a fluorescent growlamp inside. To fully use the light, and heatloss, of the growlight I lined the inside of the box with aluminiumfoil. The growlight is controlled by a timerswitch on a 16/8 hour light/dark cycle. With just the growlight, the inside temperature of the box reached to about 25°C. For optimal growing conditions Spirulina likes it a bit warmer so I added a propagator heatmat in there. Now the temperature is around 33°C wich is perfect.
I had some issues with preparing the Zarrouk grow medium. The base for this medium is distilled water but I thought I’d give it a go with just plain tap water… Turns I couldn’t dissolve 17grams of soda and bakingsoda in tap water. The final solution looked like some milky water so not all the salts were disolved. I tried to add some algea to that mix but after a few hours all the loose salts and the spirulina had binded together in one clump. So I went to the hardware store for some deminerelised water and started over. This time it worked and the growmedium looked clean. I prepared 500ml of growmedium and added 150ml of culture from my ‘motherbottle’. Today, about 36 hours later the seem to be multiplying quickly. The bottle looks a lot greener.
In a previous post I stated I wanted to continue my further explorations on the Nannolith but the spiral Aloë kept on buzzing in my mind. Ideas kept flowing and it was even waking me up at night… I felt I needed to to some more exploring on the leaves and the spiral. So I spent about 6 hours in total exploring leave shapes, overlap distances, curve/bend ratios.
Figuring out how connect the leaves with some overlap, make them stand in a desired angle connecting them together AND have them spiraling out is as slow trial and error proces. It feels a bit as if I’m hacking into the code of the plant :-)… To speed things up I made a quick design>> spiralleaves2 for a leave in cad, exported it to illustrator and put 9 leaves scaling up per 10% on an A3 page and printed them. For referencing I printed the size on each leave.
On 15th I discussed progress on the project with my teacher. He was surprised to see me go back to the Aloë after stating last week I wanted to continue the project with the Nannolith. Then he told me that an Aloë was on his ‘blacklist’… Because it was such an obvious first ‘google’ choice that many students put into their inspiration collection. When he looked at the things I did so far he was glad to see I wasn’t just sticking some leaves on a pole but analysing the complete structure and trying to really get as close to the real thing as possible. Allthough he warned me for the the time it would cost to get ‘close’, he gave me ‘permition’ to continue.. Later on I heard him giving feedback to another student stating that; inspiration is not the same as imitating something. Get inspiration and ideas, let it rest and then use aspects of your inspiration to create something new; that was what he was looking for. A very valuable lesson for me that is!