Doing Diatoms a Different Way

Here you can discuss sample and specimen preparation issues.
Message
Author
Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#1 Post by Charles » Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:48 pm

I'm finally getting started on mounting some diatoms! :)

I've been busy this weekend after getting home for Thanksgiving. I've processed all the material from Fan's Pensacola sand sample. I first boiled them with H202 and separated out some foramins before boiling them in HCL, to clean them up some more using the hardware variety Muriatic acid for the HCL boil. The HCL ate up everything including the foramins. The only thing left were the diatoms and some small bits of sand. I used the centrifuge to help separate out the diatoms initially but noticed that some of the delicate forms were being damaged, so I've resorted to just letting them settle out via gravity and time. I give it two hours between rinses.

Then I made a bunch of unmounted strew slides so I could separate out the diatoms to a storage slide, in order to make some arranged slides from them. I got the micro-manipulator limbered up and managed to get some glass needles pulled from capillary tubes without burning my fingers. It reminded me of high school and college labs when we would melt and pull out stings of glass from capillary tubes. :) It took awhile but finally got some needles made which will do the job. Got the glass needle mounted to the micro-manipulator and started picking out the diatoms on the stereo scope. I then take it over to the compound scope to pick out the damaged ones.

Cleaned up the slides and cover slips and brought out the adhesive and mountant and made some sample slide runs to just get back in the hang of things. It's been awhile since I started this up the first time. A relearning process for sure because I had diatoms floating here and there. One slide I had too much adhesive and the diatoms just sank into the adhesive with only indentations where they were placed.

In the mean time, I'm starting to process Rod's sample from Iowa. I just finished boiling in HCL and I have to say, that sample is like a boulder field.

I will post some pictures when time allows.

User avatar
zzffnn
Posts: 2710
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:57 am
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#2 Post by zzffnn » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:16 pm

Great work, Charles.

It looks like you are doing it the scientific way :mrgreen:

Yes, HCL would eat up those Pensacola forams. They even got destroyed in Rod's cleaning protocol (H2O2+dicromate, without acid).

And yes, Rod and I had this suspicion previously that high speed centrifuge would damage some delicate diatoms.

You boil Muriatic acid / HCL outside your home, right? That acid vaporizes like crazy and smells terrible. For amateurs who want to stay safe, slightly dilute sulfuric acid will work, though probably not as well as concentrated HCL.

The Pensacola diatom sample is of very good quality, as it has minimal other organic materials and big sand particles. Those big sand particles can be easily filtered out by 300 micron pore sized filters. Regular fresh water samples, such as Rod's Iowa sample, usually have much more organic derbies and much smaller mineral particles (that are close to diatom size). Our Galveston beach sample is even worse.

May I suggest you practice mounting using diatomaceous earth. I have zero Pensacola sample left. Everyone else is probably running very low too. And we probably won't go back to Pensacola next time. But, we will go to Miami next year. Hopefully, we can get some nice diatom samples there.

User avatar
rnabholz
Posts: 3066
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:11 pm
Location: Iowa USA
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#3 Post by rnabholz » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:36 pm

Hey Charles,

Very excited to see your results! As you may remember, I have not gotten my courage up to work with acid yet, so your results, especially with my sample, has my attention.

Sorry about the boulders... Pretty hard to avoid the in the waters around here.

You are a manipulator? Wow, as you have time please show us the equipment and discuss the technique, it is fascinating, but daunting.

Regarding sinking diatoms, I have seen noticeable improvement from the inverted curing process that I have been using lately. Perhaps it might be worth considering?

Looking forward to the next update.

Rod

User avatar
KurtM
Posts: 1513
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:08 am
Location: League City, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#4 Post by KurtM » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:19 am

I want to know about the adhesive. I've fooled around with arranging some, but hit a wall when it comes to putting them down as desired, and getting them to stick. But even if I were to get an arrangement successfully placed, I still have no idea how I'd cure Pleurax without the bubbling undoing the arrangement.

So yeah, you have a bunch of us stirred up pretty well with your post, I'd say. 8-) :lol:
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#5 Post by Charles » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:31 am

Here is my setup. B&L StereoZoom 7 with 15x eyepieces so I get over 100X. For illumination I use a Zeiss 12V 60W illuminator for transmitted lighting. This manipulator is made by Prior and can move in four directions but I mostly use it for going up and down. The two slides are placed on the stage and moved from strew slide to storage slide. I circle different areas on the storage slide to hold different types of diatoms.
Stereo and Manipulator1.jpg
Stereo and Manipulator1.jpg (102.95 KiB) Viewed 5790 times
Stereo Scope and Manipulator2.jpg
Stereo Scope and Manipulator2.jpg (111.45 KiB) Viewed 5790 times

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#6 Post by Charles » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:44 am

KurtM wrote:I want to know about the adhesive. I've fooled around with arranging some, but hit a wall when it comes to putting them down as desired, and getting them to stick. But even if I were to get an arrangement successfully placed, I still have no idea how I'd cure Pleurax without the bubbling undoing the arrangement.

So yeah, you have a bunch of us stirred up pretty well with your post, I'd say. 8-) :lol:
I use an adhesive which Klaus Kemp uses. It is made of 1/3 finely ground gum tragacanth dissolved in 1/3 distilled water and 1/3 IPA with few drops of glacial acetic acid added after.

They say the key to keep the forms from moving is proper adhesive and gentle heating.

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#7 Post by Charles » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:54 am

rnabholz wrote:Hey Charles,

Very excited to see your results! As you may remember, I have not gotten my courage up to work with acid yet, so your results, especially with my sample, has my attention.

Sorry about the boulders... Pretty hard to avoid the in the waters around here.

You are a manipulator? Wow, as you have time please show us the equipment and discuss the technique, it is fascinating, but daunting.

Regarding sinking diatoms, I have seen noticeable improvement from the inverted curing process that I have been using lately. Perhaps it might be worth considering?

Looking forward to the next update.

Rod
The HCL seems to removes most organic matter and some minerals. It cleaned up the Pensacola sample quite a bit but not as much in the Manchester sample.

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#8 Post by Charles » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:56 am

zzffnn wrote:Great work, Charles.

It looks like you are doing it the scientific way :mrgreen:

Yes, HCL would eat up those Pensacola forams. They even got destroyed in Rod's cleaning protocol (H2O2+dicromate, without acid).

And yes, Rod and I had this suspicion previously that high speed centrifuge would damage some delicate diatoms.

You boil Muriatic acid / HCL outside your home, right? That acid vaporizes like crazy and smells terrible. For amateurs who want to stay safe, slightly dilute sulfuric acid will work, though probably not as well as concentrated HCL.

The Pensacola diatom sample is of very good quality, as it has minimal other organic materials and big sand particles. Those big sand particles can be easily filtered out by 300 micron pore sized filters. Regular fresh water samples, such as Rod's Iowa sample, usually have much more organic derbies and much smaller mineral particles (that are close to diatom size). Our Galveston beach sample is even worse.

May I suggest you practice mounting using diatomaceous earth. I have zero Pensacola sample left. Everyone else is probably running very low too. And we probably won't go back to Pensacola next time. But, we will go to Miami next year. Hopefully, we can get some nice diatom samples there.
No worries Fan, I boil in HCL outside for about 1.5-2 hrs. I've been practicing on broken and imperfect forms so, no waste. ;)

User avatar
zzffnn
Posts: 2710
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:57 am
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#9 Post by zzffnn » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:47 am

Charles,

You mount diatoms on cover slip, correct? If so, sinking would make diatom closer to cover slip, which is not a bad thing, isn't it? Am I missing something? Please kindly comment.

You mentioned "One slide I had too much adhesive and the diatoms just sank into the adhesive with only indentations where they were placed."

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#10 Post by Charles » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:34 pm

Z,

Yes, they were mounted to the cover slip. I just used way too much adhesive and even heating it after didn't resolve the issue. Even trying to view if from the other side. Lesson learned.

User avatar
KurtM
Posts: 1513
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:08 am
Location: League City, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#11 Post by KurtM » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:23 pm

Can you say how you came across the (very cool looking) micro manipulator "made by Prior"? It's interesting to hear you say you mostly only use the Y axis, which is consistent with how others use theirs, so far as I understand. I figured to make one from an X-Y mechanical stage mechanism.

You mention your stereo scope giving "over 100x". Do you find this sort of magnification necessary? And how is a Greenough system even able to do that?

How do you make the circles on the storage slide?
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

User avatar
zzffnn
Posts: 2710
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:57 am
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#12 Post by zzffnn » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:34 pm

Kurt,

B&L SZ7 goes to 70x with 10x eyepieces. 15x gives you 105x. Add 2x objective over the existing 1x-7x zoom objective system, you can get up to 210x. For some tiny diatoms, 200x does help, at least for my terrible eyesight.

If you are willing to accept minor image degradation, any stereo 2x objective that is big enough will work on SZ7 (just Blutak it on), though image periphery may not be so sharp.

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#13 Post by Charles » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:08 pm

KurtM wrote:Can you say how you came across the (very cool looking) micro manipulator "made by Prior"? It's interesting to hear you say you mostly only use the Y axis, which is consistent with how others use theirs, so far as I understand. I figured to make one from an X-Y mechanical stage mechanism.

You mention your stereo scope giving "over 100x". Do you find this sort of magnification necessary? And how is a Greenough system even able to do that?

How do you make the circles on the storage slide?
Kurt,
Z is correct. The B&L is a SteroZoom 7 which goes up to 70X with 10X eyepieces and with the 15X eyepiece I can get it to 105X. I tried to use 20X eyepieces but it was like looking through a bottle. I also have and tried the 2X Barlow lens made specifically for the Zoom 7 but the working distance decreased too much for my liking. I'm looking for a 1.5X Barlow B&L lens which might work. And yes, the more useful magnification, the better to hunt down those smaller diatoms as well as to inspect the diatoms for flaws.

The Prior, I got off Ebay 3-4 years ago. I see them now and then pop up. The X-Y slide holders also works well, I have heard.

The circles are made with a fine tip Sharpe pen while spun on the brass slide ringer you see in the last photo on the right. I just shift the slide to make the next circle without the slide hitting. I find I can make about four circles on a standard slide. I usually use one circle for centrics, one for pennates, the third for unusual shaped diatoms and the fourth for non-diatoms...like foramins. Within each circle I use the four points of the clock and the center to separate them out into like forms.

Also, I had to find a storage solution for the open strew slides and the selected pick slides since they are not protected by a coverslip and they need to be stored flat. So I found these folding flat slide holder with recessed space for 20 slides. The top which folds over the slide like double doors,also are recessed so it protects and still doesn't touch the slide. You can see that on the left of the last photo.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/361830370427?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

User avatar
KurtM
Posts: 1513
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:08 am
Location: League City, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#14 Post by KurtM » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:19 am

Hah - I didn't notice the slide ringing table to the right, but was looking at the "storage solution" on the left. Cool beans!

So lemme ask this: How do you sort diatoms? I mean, if you pick 'em up, that means you gotta be able to put 'em back down again. And that pretty much requires adhesive ... but then, how can you pick 'em up a second time (or more)? I know from experience that if you so much as touch a diatom with anything (like a needle), they cling to it, and then the insurmountable challenge I've run into is how to persuade them to un-cling from the manipulating instrument??

Also, since I'm baring my ignorance to the world here :lol: what kind of glass are you using to draw needles? I saw where you said capillary tubes, but can you link to examples? Thanks!
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#15 Post by Charles » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:33 pm

KurtM wrote: So lemme ask this: How do you sort diatoms? I mean, if you pick 'em up, that means you gotta be able to put 'em back down again. And that pretty much requires adhesive ... but then, how can you pick 'em up a second time (or more)? I know from experience that if you so much as touch a diatom with anything (like a needle), they cling to it, and then the insurmountable challenge I've run into is how to persuade them to un-cling from the manipulating instrument??

Also, since I'm baring my ignorance to the world here :lol: what kind of glass are you using to draw needles? I saw where you said capillary tubes, but can you link to examples? Thanks!
I don't use adhesive on the storage slide because it would be most difficult to pick them off the storage slide again and it would collect dust. The ease of picking up and putting back down depends on the diatom varieties. You will find that the easy ones to pick up are the very difficult ones to put down and there are those which are hard to pick up and easy to put back down (and you could lose it if it drops off before you reach the storage slide. More reason to keep both slides together). And then there are the in between. I try to pick the diatom up on the very tip of the needle and sometimes for the very difficult ones, on the very tip of the diatom, and when you get to the storage slide, most will come off by touching the storage slide, or by sliding the needle a bit on the surface and sometimes you will need to tap the needle holder slightly. For the most difficult ones, I take it over to the frosted end of the slide (one of the reasons I use a frosted end slides for strew and storage) and dragging it on the frosted surface will dislodge it and you can pick it up on a different area and try again. Keeping your needle clean and dry really helps and again I use the frosted end to clean my needle buy dragging it through it lightly. I also keep a small paint brush to brush the needle if needed.

For the needles, any capillary tubes will do. The cheaper, the better:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kimble-Chase-me ... SwImRYMiBk
I also use an alcohol burner (you can see in the last picture on the wooden storage stand) to heat up the tubes to pull the needles. Then I mount the needles onto hypodermic needles (which the ends have been clipped to the length I need) with the use of sugar water. The mounted needles goes onto a tube, which fits the end of the hypodermic needle.

User avatar
zzffnn
Posts: 2710
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:57 am
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#16 Post by zzffnn » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:12 pm

The alcohol burner that Charles used there is a simple old fashion one. So those glass capillary tubes have very low melting point.

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#17 Post by Charles » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:19 pm

zzffnn wrote:The alcohol burner that Charles used there is a simple old fashion one. So those glass capillary tubes have very low melting point.
It does not take much heat to melt the capillary tubes. Even the smaller length tubes can be safely held by your fingers at the ends. And the lower the flame, the better for pulling needles. It takes practice and a certain touch/pull to get usable needles. They tend to get real whispy, which isn't useful, or severely bent when heated too hot and not pulled straight. It took me about half a bottle of capillary tubes to get it right.

User avatar
KurtM
Posts: 1513
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:08 am
Location: League City, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#18 Post by KurtM » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:22 am

Thanks for the very clear descriptions, Charles. I ordered some capillary tubes, and already have everything else on hand. Well, except for a stereo scope that goes past 100x. :shock:
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#19 Post by Charles » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:50 pm

Some pictures of the process taken with USB 5MP eyepiece camera on the B&L 7. Resolution is not all that good but gives you an idea of what's going on. You can also see the glass needle and how small it is compared to the diatoms.

First a Pensacola strew only cleaned in H2O2 and Dichro.
Pensacola Strew cleaned only with H2O2.
Pensacola Strew cleaned only with H2O2.
A Pensacola Strew w H2O2.jpg (62.63 KiB) Viewed 5679 times
Pensacola strew cleaned with H2O2 and HCL.
A Pensacola Strew Small Centric with Needle.jpg
A Pensacola Strew Small Centric with Needle.jpg (34.85 KiB) Viewed 5679 times

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#20 Post by Charles » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:01 pm

Here are the forms on a storage slide again taken with the USB camera on the B&L Stereo and again lousy picture quality but shows how I do things.

Large centrics:
Large Centrics
Large Centrics
A Pensacola Pick Large Centrics.jpg (50.71 KiB) Viewed 5678 times
Small centrics:
Small Centrics
Small Centrics
A Pensacola Pick Small Centrics.jpg (38.25 KiB) Viewed 5678 times
Foramins:
A Pensacola Pick Foramin.jpg
A Pensacola Pick Foramin.jpg (31.32 KiB) Viewed 5678 times

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#21 Post by Charles » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:05 pm

And the first attemps at arranged slides. Again with USB camera on a B&L7 scope.

Circle arranged but too much adhesive and all the forms sunk in.
A Pensacola Arranged Sunk Forms.jpg
A Pensacola Arranged Sunk Forms.jpg (41.61 KiB) Viewed 5677 times
Type in a line, 10 forms but one form drifted out of view...there was one between the large centric and the next small one.
A Pensacola 10 Arranged 1 Drift.jpg
A Pensacola 10 Arranged 1 Drift.jpg (27.34 KiB) Viewed 5677 times

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#22 Post by Charles » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:16 pm

Here is some Manchester, IA diatoms taken with USB camera and B&L StereoZoom 7. These were cleaned by Rod with H2O2 and then I boiled them also in HCL.
The boulder field: :)
A Manchester Boulder Field.jpg
A Manchester Boulder Field.jpg (58.3 KiB) Viewed 5677 times
The storage slide ring with pennates:
Pennate Ring
Pennate Ring
A Manchester Pennate Ring.jpg (58.03 KiB) Viewed 5677 times
Storage slide with Centrics (not very many found):
A Manchester Centrics.jpg
A Manchester Centrics.jpg (34.41 KiB) Viewed 5677 times
Pickup sticks anyone?
A Manchester Pickup Sticks.jpg
A Manchester Pickup Sticks.jpg (38.42 KiB) Viewed 5677 times
And finally UFOs...Unidentified Forms and Objects:
A Manchester Unidentified.jpg
A Manchester Unidentified.jpg (31.13 KiB) Viewed 5677 times

User avatar
zzffnn
Posts: 2710
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:57 am
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#23 Post by zzffnn » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:33 pm

Very nice work, Charles!

I can see that "Pensacola strew cleaned with H2O2 and HCL" is a lot cleaner than "Pensacola strew only cleaned in H2O2 and Dichro".

So you H2O2+HCL cleaning did not include any other cleaning reagent, such as dichromate (and got to such a clean state)? I understand it is 30% H2O2.

It looks like you have collected and sorted almost all forms from the Pensacola sample, including the forams. I don't remember seeing more forms.

I like how sharp your pulled glass needle is.

Your arrangement looks very good for a first attempt!

User avatar
KurtM
Posts: 1513
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:08 am
Location: League City, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#24 Post by KurtM » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:57 pm

Very interesting, and very inspiring -- I would be delighted to be that far along, great work Charles!! 8-) 8-) 8-)

Now are any of those results permanently mounted in Pleurax, and the Pleurax cured yet? Assuming you're not using some other mountant?
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#25 Post by Charles » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:41 pm

zzffnn wrote: I can see that "Pensacola strew cleaned with H2O2 and HCL" is a lot cleaner than "Pensacola strew only cleaned in H2O2 and Dichro".

So you H2O2+HCL cleaning did not include any other cleaning reagent, such as dichromate (and got to such a clean state)? I understand it is 30% H2O2.
Thank you Z. The sample was first cleaned by boiling in 30% H2O2 and then Dichromate. Once I did some strew slides to pick out the foramins, I then continued the cleaning of the sample by boiling in HCL.

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#26 Post by Charles » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:43 pm

KurtM wrote: Now are any of those results permanently mounted in Pleurax, and the Pleurax cured yet? Assuming you're not using some other mountant?
Thank you Kurt. The two mounted slides shown are in Zrax. Zrax cures after 24 hours on the slide warming plate.

User avatar
rnabholz
Posts: 3066
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:11 pm
Location: Iowa USA
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#27 Post by rnabholz » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:36 am

Very very impressive work Charles!

The images of the sorted forms are very cool. Don't get too see them looking like that in my approach ;^)

The arranged slide is just super work. Well done.

And speaking of my approach, the clarity improvement after the acid is remarkable, and certainly go my attention. Are you using hardware store Muriatic Acid or something stronger?

Please keep sharing. Every post is a chance to learn. Love it.

Rod

Charles
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#28 Post by Charles » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:48 am

rnabholz wrote:Very very impressive work Charles!
And speaking of my approach, the clarity improvement after the acid is remarkable, and certainly go my attention. Are you using hardware store Muriatic Acid or something stronger?

Please keep sharing. Every post is a chance to learn. Love it.

Rod
Thank you Rod.

Yes, hardware store Muriatic Acid. You can also find it in swimming pool stores...they use it to lower pH.

User avatar
zzffnn
Posts: 2710
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:57 am
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#29 Post by zzffnn » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:07 pm

Rod,

You need muriatic acid with more than 25% of HCL. Some do not have that much (and won't be as effective), some Safety Date Sheet hides %. Read SDS to make sure - you want right around 30% as a good compromise.

This exact one from Home Depot has a good concentration at 31% (not too high to fume like crazy, still fumes, but will be effective):
http://m.homedepot.com/p/product/100119310

User avatar
KurtM
Posts: 1513
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:08 am
Location: League City, Texas
Contact:

Re: Doing Diatoms a Different Way

#30 Post by KurtM » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:11 pm

Charles, any words of wisdom on how best to apply just the right amount of adhesive to cover slip?
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

Post Reply