Step 3: The Light Fountain in action

The first image above shows the Light Fountain on display at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire last October, filled with highlighter fluid (fluorescein). Next to a flask with steaming dry ice (cuz, well, we're scientists, right?)

The second image illustrates that fluorescein fluoresces very brightly under UV light - quite spectacular! You can just see a litle violet glow of the UV LEDs at top and bottom.

The final picture is of the Light Fountain filled with dinoflagellates. Hard to photograph, because they are not nearly as bright - but mesmerizing to watch in person!

We removed the flasks from the setup and filled them with a batch of dinoflagellates (in our example, Pyrocystis Lunula). In a room with minimal light, we reassembled the light fountain, turned it so the flask full of dinoflagellates was on top, and started a stopwatch. The light fountain took about 7 minutes to fully empty into the other flask.

One thing to note is that dinoflagellates need to maintain a circadian rhythm (day and night). They give off light at night in relative darkness. After about a month, they will require a monthly addition of growth media to survive. They were kept at room temperature away from windows or lamps or other sources of heat. This instructable provides instructions on how to care for your dinoflagellates.

Alternative: Other bioluminescent organisms can be used here, such as the Vibrio Fischeri bacteria from this instructable. We have a big 1L culture of Vibrio growing up right now, and will post some more pics when it is ready to glow.
<p>is the glow in the dark paint usable? may be mixed by glycerine etc...</p>
Lightbulb terrarium<br>
this is cool
i watched the ocean all night long and had to go play in it bioluminessent show was the coolest yhing ever and when playing in it the water it reminded me of Avatar how everything glows <br>
would running the dinoflagellate solution through a pump be harmful?
Does anyone know of a UK source for the Dinos?
What a great instructable, it's a shame they need monthly maintenance so you can't really give them as presents. I'd probably just fill it full of tonic water and light the bases with UV LEDs.
They don't really *need* monthly maintenance though. And the maintenance is pretty simple: get some salt water from an aquarium store and add a few drops of plant fertilizer. I'd say they make as good a present as cut flowers, or even a potted plant. <br> <br>I had a bottle of these sitting on my nightstand for a long time. Unfortunately, they don't tolerate heat very well, and our apartment doesn't have AC, so they didn't make it through some of the hottest summer days.
This is so awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. I love this type of thing and plan on making one soon!
I checked the links and I can't find where I can order anything? maybe I just didn't see it. Can you post a better link. Thanks.
Top Notch Instructable. I can't wait to try this!
How bright are they how many lumens
I love this! Living fluorescence is amazing, and you've done a great job making your dinoflagellates a unique home.
Thanks! The dinos look even better in person - they are a pain to photograph, and even harder to video. We could really use one of those EOS Rebel T3i from the Make it Glow contest :-D
Do you need to feed the algae or can it survive on natural light? What is the lifespan of the living component on this project?
The dinoflagellates photosynthesize, and they grow very slowly. Ideally, you should start a new batch with fresh growth medium every 4-5 weeks or so, but we've had cultures going for months without too much trouble. At that point, contamination with cyanobacteria (aka &quot;blue-green algae&quot;) becomes more of an issue.<br> <br> The growth medium is simply salt water, plus a tiny amount of additional nutrients. You can buy a bottle of the official nutrient mix, or you can actually use some plant fertilizers with more or less the same effect.<br> <br> We handed out 250 vials of dinoflagellates at the last Maker Faire (not sure how many of them survived getting carried around all weekend though), and we put together a little &quot;care and feeding&quot; page for them: <a href="http://tinyurl.com/MyPetDinos" rel="nofollow">http://tinyurl.com/MyPetDinos</a>
What an awesome, creative project!
Wow! wonderful hour -glass.

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