Availability of Zrax mountant

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MichaelBrock
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Availability of Zrax mountant

#1 Post by MichaelBrock » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:55 am

Does anyone know if Bill Dailey is still selling Zrax? His web page on zrax hasn't been updated since 2011. I contacted him about buying some but haven't heard back yet. He mentions on his site that Klaus Kemp sells it in the UK but I don't see it on his site. Wondering if I should continue to wait or jump on some Pleruax from diatoms.nl

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KurtM
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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#2 Post by KurtM » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:28 am

As far as I'm aware, Zrax is currently unavailable. I have used Pleurax from the source you mentioned quite a lot as my standard diatom mountant. I obtained some Naphrax from Brunel in the UK, but have not yet learned its ways, still use Pleurax for 99% of my diatom mounts. Both suppliers have provided excellent service.
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
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MichaelBrock
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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#3 Post by MichaelBrock » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:54 am

Thanks for the reply. It's a shame to hear that it's not available. Time to buy some pleurax.


Michael

MichaelBrock
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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#4 Post by MichaelBrock » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:06 pm

Ouch. Shipping from diatoms.nl is $30 for a 20ml bottle of Pleurax and they charge an additional $10 in tax. International shipping in and out of the US has gotten ridiculous. I'm not certain I can justify that for a $22 bottle of Pleurax. So I'm off to look into the alternatives, probably back to considering Norland 61. I find it surprising that it is so difficult to find diatom mountant.

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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#5 Post by Hobbyst46 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:10 pm

MichaelBrock wrote:Ouch. Shipping from diatoms.nl is $30 for a 20ml bottle of Pleurax and they charge an additional $10 in tax. International shipping in and out of the US has gotten ridiculous. I'm not certain I can justify that for a $22 bottle of Pleurax. So I'm off to look into the alternatives, probably back to considering Norland 61. I find it surprising that it is so difficult to find diatom mountant.
Likewise, I considered Pleurax and was faced with more than 27 EU H&S expenses for a 22 EU Pleurax vial. So I postpone it. I hope to try NOA61 within the next weeks, and will gladly exchange information about its use. Its RI is supposedly 1.61, higher than my non-permanent homemade medium which has somewhere 1.55-1.57.
There is quite some history regarding diatoms mounting media. Most of the good ones (high RI >1.6, durability and other advantages) are highly toxic and/or give out noxious and harmful vapors. No problem to use them in a proper laboratory, but not for home use. Apparently, for some reason, none of the major chemical manufacturers include them in their inventories. Perhaps not profitable enough.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

MichaelBrock
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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#6 Post by MichaelBrock » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:05 pm

I have read over your PS-CBO mountant thread a few times and considered that as well. Norland 61 is apparently used with fair frequency in academics to mount diatoms (if the papers linked to from Norland's site are to be believed) and my only worry there is shelf life. Norland themselves put it as "at least 4 months shelf life from date of purchase". I wonder how it "goes bad".

Definitely keep us up-to-date on how it goes with using it as a mountant. Norland themselves sell it for $37 shipped for an ounce.

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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#7 Post by Hobbyst46 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:24 pm

MichaelBrock wrote:I have read over your PS-CBO mountant thread a few times and considered that as well. Norland 61 is apparently used with fair frequency in academics to mount diatoms (if the papers linked to from Norland's site are to be believed) and my only worry there is shelf life. Norland themselves put it as "at least 4 months shelf life from date of purchase". I wonder how it "goes bad".

Definitely keep us up-to-date on how it goes with using it as a mountant. Norland themselves sell it for $37 shipped for an ounce.
I think that when stored in the fridge, tge shelf life is longer. Definitely more than 6 months. It is cured by UV. I have an "teen age atmosphere" UV tube, hung on the wall. I never look directly at it. I found that if cured gel nail polish very well. Some Norland adhesives can be cured with blue light, but their other features are seemingly undesirable for our purpose. Will report results, hopefully.
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MichaelBrock
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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#8 Post by MichaelBrock » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:43 pm

I had emailed Klaus Kemp about the availability of Zrax (he was carrying it in Europe) and he verified that Zrax is no longer being made.

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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#9 Post by desertrat » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:07 pm

If I remember correctly, long ago gum benzoin or gum styrax (maybe the same thing?) were used as diatom mountants because of their high refractive indices. I don't have a recipe, although maybe some old works on microscopy might have something.
Rick

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rnabholz
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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#10 Post by rnabholz » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:41 pm

MichaelBrock wrote:Ouch. Shipping from diatoms.nl is $30 for a 20ml bottle of Pleurax and they charge an additional $10 in tax. International shipping in and out of the US has gotten ridiculous. I'm not certain I can justify that for a $22 bottle of Pleurax. So I'm off to look into the alternatives, probably back to considering Norland 61. I find it surprising that it is so difficult to find diatom mountant.
I agree that there is an aspect of "Sticker Shock" with Pleurax and the shipping charges, but let me offer some perspective.

To date i estimate that I have made somewhere between 250 to 300 slides with my initial 20ml bottle of Pleurax, and have over half of it left.

I received it in May of 2016, and used it most recently 2weeks ago, still works perfectly.

Assuming I get another 250 slides from the remaining portion, that makes its cost about $.13 per slide.

Add to that the easy to manage solvency in alcohol, and it's proven performance, and of course, its availability, and I think it is a bargain.

If the issue is the cost to someone not sure of their long term interest in mounting diatoms, maybe a couple of people could share an order and split a bottle.

Two cents, for what it's worth.

Rod
Last edited by rnabholz on Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KurtM
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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#11 Post by KurtM » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:34 am

^^^ Yeah, what Rod said. Exactly. (He has a much better way with words than I.)
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
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charlie g
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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#12 Post by charlie g » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:39 pm

Please visit: " The Diatom Shop/ The Diatom Lab" on eBay. This person ( I've purchased radiolarian and diamtom slides from him) sells mountants, discusses their properties, please contact him..a very nice person based in Italy. Charlie guevara

Hobbyst46
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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#13 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:53 pm

I have just seen that Naphrax is on the Brunel (UK) list of products for sale. As well as by a the North-American supplier PhycoTech, inc. I think that Naphrax had been absent from the list of suppliers for a long time.
It has been suggested by G. Rosenfeldt of Hamburg, on the basis of IR absorption data, that Zrax and Naphrax are essentially the same.
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MicroBob
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Re: Availability of Zrax mountant

#14 Post by MicroBob » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:52 pm

Hi together,
I think this is the diatom mountant to buy today: https://diatoms.nl/index.php?seo_path=p ... m-mountant

The Pleurax I use was made by Georg Rosenfeldt and another colleague from our group. It is darker in colour but really nice to use.

Bob

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