Phytoplankton is fundamental to life on Earth. Their productivity is influenced by the microbial communities residing in the phycosphere surrounding algal cells. Expanding our knowledge on how algal-bacterial interactions affect algal growth to more hosts and bacteria can help elucidate general principles of algal-host interactions. Here, we isolated 368 bacterial strains from phycosphere communities, right after phycosphere recruitment from pond water and after a month of lab cultivation and examined their impacts on growth of five green algal species. We isolated both abundant and rare phycosphere members, representing 18.4% of the source communities. Positive and neutral effects predominated over negative effects on host growth. The proportion of each effect type and whether the day of isolation mattered varied by host species. Bacteria affected algal carrying capacity more than growth rate, suggesting that nutrient remineralization and toxic byproduct metabolism may be a dominant mechanism. Across-host algal fitness assays indicated host-specific growth effects of our isolates. We observed no phylogenetic conservation of the effect on host growth among bacterial isolates. Even isolates with the same ASV had divergent effects on host growth. Our results emphasize highly specific host-bacterial interactions in the phycosphere and raise questions as to which mechanisms mediate these interactions.