The extreme alkalinity of the water used in spirulina cultivation caused the paint to peel away from the sides of this tank.
PHOTO: DAVID LAMPE
Early experiments in spirulina cultivation employed outdoor tanks and a swimming pool pump to aerate the water. The pump tended to chew up the plants.
After harvesting and drying, spirulina is ready for consumption in this dark, granular form.
Texas researchers first grew spirulina in closed laboratory aquariums under artificial lights.