A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

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Metrophage
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A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#1 Post by Metrophage » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:20 pm

I'm terribly new at this and just graduating from pre-prepared slides so please bare with me. I took a drop of water from my aquarium and put it under a cover slip. I guess all I want to know is am I actually looking at anything or have I been chasing air bubbles and scratches for the last few hours.

PS. Sorry about the image quality. All I have is an iPhone that I try my best to hold in place. All were taken at 640x

1. Very green and stationary. They seemed separate but clumped up together.
Image

2. A few large clear motionless structures
Image

3. I followed a few of these little things around for some time. It's kinda hard to make out in the gif but they were quiet fast and roughly cylindrical with a little black spot in the rear half. There seemed to be a definite 'front' which it's would direct it's jerking or circular movements.
Gif 1
Gif 2


4. Final silly question. I tried staining a drop with Methylene blue. Not really sure what I was trying to accomplish but I only just bought the stuff so I was excited and wanted to see what would happen.
Image

I figure this is either the water and methylene mixing in an odd pattern or perhaps oils from the fish food. Anyway my question - is there any reason to stain a water sample like this with Methylene blue? What can I use it for besides cheek swabs?

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75RR
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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#2 Post by 75RR » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:35 pm

First image looks like Scenedesmus
Second image looks like some detritus
I think Methylene blue is best used on plant sections

Here is a link from the Resources (online, books etc.) section, lots of useful information there.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1024
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billbillt
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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#3 Post by billbillt » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:54 pm

Hello,
Looks to me you are off to a good start!.. I think the first pic is some kind of algae... The others- no idea!

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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#4 Post by apochronaut » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:31 pm

The small species with the black spot , might be a dinoflagellate of the genus gymnodinium.

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Oliver
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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#5 Post by Oliver » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:46 pm

Hello,
I took a drop of water from my aquarium and put it under a cover slip.
Don't look at the water itself, but scratch some stuff off from rocks, leaves or some algae from the inside of the aquarium glass (do not clean the glass for some time, to allow the build-up of a biofilm). The concentration of microorganisms in "open" water is much lower compared to the stuff growing on a surface.
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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#6 Post by Charles » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:54 pm

Your aquarium water is constantly being filtered and you will find very little in the water so your best areas to find things are in your filter material or surfaces of things in your aquarium. Even water from lakes and ponds need to settle or centrifuged to concentrate organisms in the water so your best source of seeing anything significant are scrapings from rocks, plant material and such.

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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#7 Post by JimT » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:08 pm

Metrophage , great thing about this site is the good advice from the others. Looking forward to more images of a "scrape" along the glass edge or from the filter. You will find lots of good stuff there.

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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#8 Post by Tom Jones » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:40 am

Metrophage,

Don't worry about using a cell phone. Here's a link to an article I wrote awhile back for Micscape: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... omicro.pdf

It's a pretty thorough treatment on using a cell phone camera for still and video photomicrography, and has some examples of what can be accomplished. If nothing else, it will give you an idea or two and help you get up to speed.

Tom

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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#9 Post by 75RR » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:38 am

Don't worry about using a cell phone. Here's a link to an article I wrote awhile back for Micscape: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... omicro.pdf
Had come across this article before. Did not realize it was yours - I found it nicely written and very informative. :)
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Metrophage
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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#10 Post by Metrophage » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:48 pm

Wow! Thanks a lot guys. Terrific advice. I took a scraping from some sludge of a leaf in there and it was teaming with interesting stuff. Loads of different shaped algae and hundreds of those little dinoflagellate little The difference was night and day.

Image
Image
Image
Image

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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#11 Post by Metrophage » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:04 pm

Oh and I nearly overlooked this little guy stuck to some debris. Two big spikes at the back and lots of cilia at the front that directed into it's mouth. A rotifer?

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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#12 Post by MicroInspector » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:00 pm

Interesting, how long the water has been standing?
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Metrophage
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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#13 Post by Metrophage » Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:46 am

MicroInspector wrote:Interesting, how long the water has been standing?
The first few were pretty much straight from the tank. The gif of the rotifier was about 30 minutes later and which point I had stained the slide with some Methylene blue (just experimenting). I believe he is dying here because I've observed a few more identical ones since this and they were a lot more energetic.

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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#14 Post by MicroInspector » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:03 am

Ever want to find a ameba?
I found a breeding ground of microbes outbin the desert in a pond.
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Metrophage
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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#15 Post by Metrophage » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:47 am

MicroInspector wrote:Ever want to find a ameba?
I found a breeding ground of microbes outbin the desert in a pond.
Hell yeah! I've got one in a pre-prepared slide but I'd love to catch one live. Was there anything in particular about the pond you noticed? Something I should look out for?

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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#16 Post by MicroInspector » Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:28 pm

Yes I was looking at an eco system when I was looking
For microbes, also dry washes might have microbes I took a sample from a dry wash in a small bottle and put in clean water and let it sit forba long while sndvtest it.
You can see in the photos of the eco system.
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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#17 Post by Radazz » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:16 pm

Suck up some gunk from the substrate of your aquarium and check it for amoeba.
Let the drop sit for a few minutes and see what sinks to the bottom.
Amoeba generally get freaked out by the trip through the pipette, and will freeze up or just put out short pseudopods until it relaxes. I've seen some move right away, and some sit still for 5 minutes.

If you have house plants with trays under the pots that fill when you water them, there are surprisingly many protists in there.
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MicroInspector
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Re: A drop of aquarium water and other questions.

#18 Post by MicroInspector » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:20 pm

If tap water sits a long time it gets scummy...
The microscope reveals the truth of life.
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