Phycotech Logo
PhycoTech - Sample Preservation & Shipment
Solution Graphics

A. Instructions for The Preservation of Algal Samples using Glutaraldehyde (25% in water)

    Read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and all instructions prior to the usage of glutaraldehyde.

  1. Pour homogenized sample into a 250 mL amber poly bottle (or similar bottle), leave 3-5 cm headspace from the top of the bottle mouth.
  2. Keep the sample in a cooler, protected from sunlight and heat, until the sample can be preserved. Samples can be held in a dark, cool container for several hours (until end of sampling cruise), and preserved on shore or back in the laboratory.
  3. Eye protection and gloves are required for the usage of glutaraldehyde. Glutaraldehyde is a toxic chemical and must be treated as such.
  4. Use glutaraldehyde only in a well ventilated area or under a chemical fume hood.
  5. Add 1.0mL of 25% aqueous general grade glutaraldehyde for each 100mL of algal sample which is to be preserved. The final concentration of glutaraldehyde in the sample should be 0.25-0.50%.
  6. Securely tighten the lid onto the sample bottle.
  7. Shake the sample bottle vigorously 5 times.
  8. Uncap the sample and smell the lid. A slight odor should be evident and there should be a thin layer of white foam or bubbles on the surface of the sample. If the glutaraldehyde can not be detected on the sample bottle lid, slightly sniff the sample bottle. DO NOT SNIFF DIRECTLY OVER THE SAMPLE BOTTLE.
    • If the glutaraldehyde is evident in the sample, tightly close the lid onto the sample bottle. The sample is now preserved.
    • If the glutaraldehyde can not be detected in the sample, additional glutaraldehyde might be necessary. Normally, additional preservative is needed only for extremely dense bloom or tow samples or dense periphyton samples where you are dealing with an algal slurry. Add the additional glutaraldehyde (in maximum increments of .25mL of glutaraldehyde per 100 mL of sample) to sample bottle. Repeat steps 5-7 until sample preservation is achieved.
  9. Store the sample in a cool, dark place (cover with aluminum foil) until it can be processed.

***Keep the glutaraldehyde bottle tightly closed and stored in a well ventilated area when not in use!

PhycoTech will not accept any responsibility for injuries or damage incurred due to the use, misuse, or storage of glutaraldehyde.

B. Bottle Labels

We continually strive to provide our customers with the most accurate data possible.    Due to the rising pricing and fluctuations in availability we will no longer provide pre-printed labels.

Please label your samples with water-resistant labels and include the required information which is necessary for us to process your samples as accurately and efficiently as possible. At minimum, we require the following information be provided: System Name, Date of Sampling, Site, Station, Preservation, and Date (if there is no date, we will use the date of receipt). If either site or station is not applicable, please write NONE.

These measures will improve our service and prevent us from having to contact customers for additional information once we’ve received the samples.

Please contact us if you have any labeling questions.

C. Cooler and Shipping Instructions

Due to the steady increase in shipping and handling expenses, PhycoTech, Inc. requires that you send a pre-paid shipping label with each cooler sent to us you want returned to you.  If you do not want your cooler/s to be returned to you please write "disposable cooler" on the exterior surface of the cooler or enclose a memo with each cooler stating that the cooler is disposable.

Alternate methods of packaging samples are as follows:
Securely tape all container lids closed. Place all sample containers into sealed bags for either shipping method. Dark plastic sample containers are highly recommended. All containers (plastic and glass) should be firmly packed with styrofoam, paper, or vermiculite (to avoid breakage), and shipped with freezer packs or ice (sealed in airtight bags).

  1. Place bagged sampled into a disposable styrofoam cooler and put the cooler into a corrugated box.
  2. Place bagged samples into a corrugated box lined with styrofoam sheeting.


Both methods will be more economical for you to ship your samples and there will not be any additional shipping and handling charges.
Samples should still be shipped to us via overnight service. PhycoTech, Inc. will also be assessing a $50.00 lab fee (handling, logging samples in, disposal of samples, etc.) for any samples which are sent to us that have not been properly preserved. However, if we know prior to receiving a sample that it may be questionable, the fee may be waived. This fee does not apply to live samples.
We are continually striving to provide the highest quality service to our customers at a minimal cost. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


As always, we appreciate your business.

*Please note - PhycoTech cannot accept any Saturday deliveries.


PhycoTech, Inc.
620 Broad Street, Suite 100
St. Joseph, MI 49085, USA
Tel: 1-269-983-3654
Fax: 1-866-728-5579 / 1-269-983-3653

corporate access

Last Edit:
Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:23 AM

Site Map
Site Design:
Cedar Eden Environmental, LLC
all content copyright © PhycoTech Inc 2014