Skip to main content

PyroDino and Bio-Orb Instructions & Information

IMPORTANT:  Remove the white PyroDino spout pouch from the shipping box once you receive the shipment.


The white PyroDino spout pouch should be stored in a lighted room.  Loosen the cap on the pouch and leave the PyroDino pouch upright in a location that receives daily filtered sunlight and/or artificial light.  Moderate temperatures are recommended.  9C to 31C (48F to 88F).  Under these simple conditions, the white PyroDino spout pouch can thrive for several weeks, even months.  The ideal temperature is 20C (68F). 

You may tighten the cap and gently shake the PyroDino pouch at night in the dark to observe the natural light (bioluminescence).  PyroDinos will NOT produce light during daytime hours (day cycle), even in a dark room.   

PyroDinos are non-toxic but live in DinoNutrients (purified ocean saltwater).  Saltwater should not be consumed.  Drinking PyroDinos is not harmful but drinking saltwater is not recommended. 

The Bio-Orb (and other containers)

Your Bio-Orb is clean and ready to fill. Remove the silicone stopper and pour the contents of the white PyroDino spout pouch(s) into the Bio-Orb. Do not add any DinoNutrients at this time. Replace the silicone stopper on the Orb.

Place the Bio-Orb in a location where you would keep a leafy houseplant. PyroDinos require daily filtered sunlight and/or artificial light. We recommend leaving the Bio-Orb in a single place throughout the day and night. Make sure The Bio-Orb contents will not overheat due to direct sunlight or intense lighting. Be aware of temperature swings when placing the Bio-Orb near a window.

Bioluminescence (natural light)

PyroDinos will only produce natural light during nighttime hours (dark cycle), in the dark while swirled.  The natural light is transient and will only occur while the PyroDinos are in motion.  New PyroDinos are ‘programmed’ to begin their dark cycle at 5pm PST.  But this can and will change (over several days) if the lighting conditions change.  PyroDinos have a circadian clock and will ‘learn’ the new lighting conditions and only produce light while in their dark cycle. 

PyroDinos will generate their light-producing compounds throughout their dark cycle.  The later into the dark cycle, the brighter the light will appear.  Bioluminescence is best viewed in a dark area with little to no contaminating light.  After sustained motion, the light potential will slowly diminish but can recharge if left still for a half-hour.  

DinoNutrients (filtered purified seawater with added nutrients). 

PyroDinos are grown in DinoNutrients.  PyroDinos can survive for several weeks, even months, with nothing but daily light.  For optimal long-term health and to expand your culture (grow more PyroDinos) you should add more DinoNutrients (feeding).  ‘Feeding’ is akin to feeding a plant, recommended for optimal health but not altogether necessary for survival. 

DinoNutrients are added for three main reasons.

1) To provide room to grow

2) To supplement required micronutrients in the seawater

3) To compensate for evaporation which occurs over time

‘Feeding’ your Bio-Orb:

Wait one week after filling your Bio-Orb, until you see a thin brownish line of PyroDinos aggregating at the waterline (during the daytime).  This is a sign of good health.  PyroDinos do not move but they can change their buoyancy.  

Shake the DinoNutrient Pouch to mix the contents and aerate seawater.  Swirl the Orb to evenly distribute the PyroDinos.  Make sure the DinoNutrient pouch is the same temperature as your Bio-Orb.  Feed (add) small amounts of DinoNutrients (approximately 5%-10% of total volume) and observe your Bio-Orb over a few days after feeding.  You can feed again after a couple of days if you see the brownish line of PyroDinos aggregating at the waterline.  If you do not see the brownish line at the waterline - do not add more DinoNutrients for at least 5 days.  

If you do not see the thin brown line of PyroDino aggregation at the waterline - do not worry - try changing the light conditions (usually less lighting) and wait a few days for observable changes.    

Bio-Orbs should be maintained anywhere from ¼ full to ¾ full.  The ideal volume is about half-filled.  Excess PyroDinos can be poured down the drain or into a new container. 

Bio-Orb Feeding Tutorial Video

Other Containers: 

You may use almost any clear and clean glass or plastic container for PyroDinos.  The container should be wide like a Bio-Orb and have some sort of cover, lid, cork or stopper.  Mason Jars, Clear Water Bottles and Vases work well.  A loose cover is recommended to limit evaporation and contamination while allowing some air-exchange. 

PyroDino First Aid:

If you do not observe PyroDino aggregation at the waterline and you have been feeding your Bio-Orb regularly or if you are seeing less bioluminescence during their dark cycle, STOP all feeding.  Move the Bio-Orb to a location that receives even less filtered sunlight and artificial light (low light condition).  Swirl your Bio-Orb once a day. Try checking for bioluminescence later in the evening or early in the morning (in the dark) as the PyroDinos may have changed their dark cycle based on new lighting conditions.  

Locations: Try to avoid areas with wide temperature swings, like near a heating or cooling vent or next to a window during extreme outside temperatures.  Areas next to a window can overheat or over-cool PyroDinos even when room temperatures are mild.    

Send inquiries to or call 760-335-0990    

PyroDinos are a marine dinoflagellate named Pyrocystis fusiformis. They are plant-like plankton or phytoplankton.  PyroDinos are phototrophic (use sunlight as their main energy source) and can also be classified as single-cell microalgae or simply ‘algae’.  Our PyroDinos are grown under LED lights and filtered sunlight on our Algae Farm in San Diego California.  One PyroDino cell was isolated off the coast of San Diego in 2009 and from this single cell, all our PyroDinos have been grown.  

PyroDinos can be added to a saltwater aquarium or a reef system.  They are non-toxic phytoplankton and will be snacks for most aquarium inhabitants.  They may also be removed by mechanical filtration.   

About Bioluminescence 

Bioluminescence is a natural light produced by living organisms.  PyroDinos produce bioluminescence as a defense mechanism.  PyroDinos are at the base of the ocean’s food web.  Predators induce bioluminescence when preying on PyroDinos.  It is hypothesized that the light acts as a burglar alarm to attract a larger predator who will eat the PyroDino predator.  PyroDinos produce a blue light because blue light wavelengths are more compact and travel more efficiently through water.  

About Circadian Rhythm  

Like many people, PyroDinos have a circadian clock that helps them discern daytime from nighttime.  PyroDinos collect light energy during their ‘day cycle’ and produce bioluminescence during their ‘night cycle’.  PyroDinos will not produce light (bioluminescence) during their daytime cycle.  Steady changes to their light conditions will change their day and night cycles.  They can sustain day cycles up to 20 hours (of light) and should never have less than 8 hours of light in their day cycle. 

Changing their day and night cycle (circadian clock) is easy.  You will need a LED light, a light/outlet timer and a location that is relatively dark during daytime hours.  Program the light timer to provide light during nighttime hours (from 10 to 14 hours of light) and keep the PyroDinos in darkness during the day.  You should see changes to their circadian clock (day and night cycles) after a couple of days.  After a week the change in their cycle should be complete. 

About Photosynthesis

PyroDinos gain the majority of their energy from light.  In nature, this would be sunlight and in a Bio-Orb it can be either filtered/indirect sunlight or artificial light (room lighting).  Photosynthesis is a process plants use to convert the greenhouse gas CO2 (carbon dioxide) and sunlight into O2 (oxygen) and sugar.  During this process which only occurs during their day cycle, PyroDinos take CO2 from their environment and convert it into a usable food source (sugar) for cell metabolism. In doing this they produce life-giving oxygen as a byproduct.

On a global scale, the amount of oxygen produced and carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere is considerable.  Scientists estimate that all the oceans’ phytoplankton, which PyroDinos are a part of, produce up to 70% of the oxygen we breathe.  Under this assumption, phytoplankton would be the most significant carbon sink we have.  Our most important defense against climate change and leading supplier of life-giving oxygen.