When setting up a beautiful marine aquarium, it’s easy to be mesmerised by the most colourful, the most beautiful or the most prestigious species. It’s the vibrant corals, elegant wrasse and entertaining clownfish that seem to get all the attention, but as every discerning aquarist knows, it’s actually the tiniest and most unassuming of creatures – the phytoplankton - that could make the biggest difference to your marine aquarium.

Phytoplankton are extremely simple, single-celled organisms that use sunlight and carbon dioxide to create their own food as they float around the world’s oceans. Resembling single-celled plants, these tiny photosynthetic energy-factories are incredibly beneficial to any reef ecology because they form the very base of the food chain, providing an abundant food source for krill, corals, sponges and molluscs, which are then preyed upon by other, larger species. Canny reefkeepers know then, that by dosing their marine aquariums with live phytoplankton, they’re providing a rich, natural source of food for all of their invertebrates.

By giving them a nutritional boost in this way, they’re not only helping encourage their growth but also improve water quality by feeding their sponges – the best natural filters known to mankind. If you do intend to add phytoplankton to your aquarium, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Any of our 160+ stores across the UK will be happy to help source phytoplankton for you, so check our storefinder for your nearest branch and give your reef aquarium a boost of green goodness!