I'm a noob and I can't find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

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Jonnyvine
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I'm a noob and I can't find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

#1 Post by Jonnyvine » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:42 am

Hello. I live in London, UK.

I'm a newbie microscopist and I'm struggling to find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

Can I grow my own Water Bear or Paramecium? Because I don’t have access to an aquarium.

Anyone have any tips or advice?

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mrsonchus
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Re: I'm a noob and I can't find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

#2 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:05 am

Hi, Yes, moss - gather a handful from gutters, drains, garden etc, add water to make it very wet - mix and squeeze the water out into a glass etc then take drops from this water and examine under 'scope....
You can of course put tiny bits of very-wet moss under the 'scope instead - if they're there you'll soon see them!

I find them very often indeed in mosses up-North in Cumbria - maybe it's similar in London.

Good luck.

John B.
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Hobbyst46
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Re: I'm a noob and I can't find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

#3 Post by Hobbyst46 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:24 am

You only need a 500-1000ml clean glass jar.
Fill a 1/3-1/2 of its volume with freshly boiled, then cooled to room temperature, water (to remove any disinfectant).
Pack inside any of the following:
1. The peel of a ripe yellow- brown banana.
or, as soon as the present ice coat over the UK melts :) :
2. A bunch of yellow hay.
3. A weed plant picked out from the garden, including its roots (traces of dirt are OK).
4. Some remnants of aquatic plants with water from any local pond or lake (where approach to the water is permitted).

Leave the jar exposed to natural light (direct/indirect sunlight), wait a few days. Cover it if the odor changes into stench. Cover with a mesh to prevent mosquitoes or other insects colonization.
You will find plenty of ciliates, paramecium or others. This will hold for several days at least.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

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Pat Thielen
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Re: I'm a noob and I can't find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

#4 Post by Pat Thielen » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:24 pm

The thing is you can't really be sure what you're going to find in any given moment. I saw my first ever paramecium in the wild just last month and I've only ever seen one waterbear. What I do see rather consistently are nematodes, rotifers and bacteria. The types of protists and other animals will vary quite a bit, from culture to culture and even vary over time. So, for me at least, luck has a lot to do with it. I would encourage you to do what others have posted here; their advice is really quite good.
Pat Thielen
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Hobbyst46
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Re: I'm a noob and I can't find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

#5 Post by Hobbyst46 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:53 pm

I Agree with Pat. Yet, on several time-spaced occasions, the hay or banana peel culture provided nice paramecium - among bacteria and some other guys.

One favorite food for paramecium is a fresh lettuce leaf. They multiply rapidly.
When you want to watch them moving, try slowing them down by adding a tiny drop of thickener to the water.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

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actinophrys
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Re: I'm a noob and I can't find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

#6 Post by actinophrys » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:02 pm

I will add that what you find doesn't just vary over time but depends heavily on where you look. Paramecium for instance love bacteria films and do not form cysts; my experience is that they are common among algae or dense plants from standing water like marshes, but rare in more temporary puddles or flowing water. Some other ciliates are the opposite. I haven't seen many tardigrades, but I also haven't looked much in their preferred places, which are mosses and lichens.

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Jonnyvine
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Re: I'm a noob and I can't find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

#7 Post by Jonnyvine » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:04 am

I agree with you. I seem to find lots of Protists and Rotifiers.

Thank you all for your advice. Will try them out. ;)

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Jonnyvine
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Re: I'm a noob and I can't find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

#8 Post by Jonnyvine » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:00 pm

.

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Jonnyvine
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Re: I'm a noob and I can't find any Paramecium or Water Bears.

#9 Post by Jonnyvine » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:59 am

If anyone else has any other ideas, feel free to post them as I will try it out as soon as I get some free time. :P

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