Microscopes = Great Reef Tool

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by dansreef, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. dansreef

    dansreef Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    All I do is to take a sample and in a dish work it down to something small. I then will place it on a slide and cover it with a glass cover. Of course...the cover is not necessary.... I have also just put the sample on the slide. I try to keep the sample of the material small. Very quickly you can see if it is a mass of organisms moving autonomously (Dinos) or a strands (cyano and algae). That is as far as I go in identification of material.
     
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  2. dansreef

    dansreef Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I also generally use the lowest power of magnification.
     
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  3. TheEngineer

    TheEngineer Formerly icecool2 R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

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    The cyano mat is so thick I can’t see through it. I’m trying to see if this is spirulina or regular cyano. I’ll try if I can maybe smear it across the slide and get some thinner sections.
     
  4. mcarroll

    mcarroll moved on R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    You need a smaller piece of sample.....you don't need much more than a fleck to look at.

    I'd also suggest ordering some glass slides and glass cover slips. They improve the image you see IMMENSELY by getting your subject all into a flat viewing/focus plane.
     
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  5. Triggreef

    Triggreef Zoa Addict R2R Supporter CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Great thread. I came on to see who I might be able to send a sample to. Makes more sense to buy one. That can take pics.
     
  6. Triggreef

    Triggreef Zoa Addict R2R Supporter CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor

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  7. mcarroll

    mcarroll moved on R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I'm not gonna be helpful in deciding....but maybe in un-deciding (I'm still un-decided except for the $10 toy scope :p).....so be careful reading this. :D

    First, that's a really great deal from what I know....you'll probably love it.

    Second, there are tons of options in that price category.

    For example (form AmScope's sale page):

    [​IMG]
    40X-1000X Dual LED Solid-metal Portable Compound Microscope with Camera
    SKU: M170C-E

    $119.98

    Also check out their High Power Student Microscope section where everything appears to be on sale:
    SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M162C-2L-WM-SP14-50P100S
      $179.96

      $89.98


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M148C-E
      $239.96

      $114.50


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M130C-LED
      $219.96

      $89.98


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • B120C-E1
      $519.96

      $249.98


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M158C-E
      $239.96

      $119.48


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M170C
      $179.96

      $79.98


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M100C-LED-SP14-WM
      $199.96

      $84.98


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M158C-SP14-E
      $309.84

      $129.98


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M158C-SP14-WM-E
      $335.80

      $139.98


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M50C-B14
      $169.96

      $64.50


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M170C-R-SP14-WM-E
      $325.80

      $133.96


      SALE
      • [​IMG]
    • M158C-2L-E1
      $289.96
      If you have extra budget, you don't have to spend a lot more to get a binocular scope – with or without a cam.



    Third, the only other thoughts I can add are that I know I want a scope that's all metal, or close....the rickety-ness imparted by the all-plastic construction of my toy scope is it's main problem. Also, moving the slide around under stage clips is not really a great experience when you're hunting for life and then trying to track its movements....a 3D mechanical stage will be a high priority.....I want to try out an add-on moveable stage first if possible too. A binocular scope would be nice, but viewing through a camera serves most of the purpose. Being able to look directly with your eyeball while the cam is also on could be nice in some situations though.

    Whatever you do, definitely get a microscope. Don't get nothing. :)
     
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  8. dansreef

    dansreef Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Do what ever level of investment makes sense to you. The microscope I bought has gone up a bit in price... It works for me. If you spend more, then make sure it does the things you need it to do. I have taken pictures with mine.... using my Samsun S6 Active phone....and it has worked... not the best... but it worked. With the amount of money that we plow into this hobby.....obsession.... spending $75-$150 is not a bad spend... I see people doing stuff all the time without being 100% sure you have Dinos... I have looked at material I swore was Dinos in the tank...and it was a brown algae...


    Here are a couple of pictures I took.... not bad for a cheap microscope....and a phone.... IF you see stuff like this under your microscope and they are all independently moving around.... you got the dreaded dinos.... It is an easy, quick id... The fun side... is using the microscope to look at all the other stuff that is in our systems... All the algae... all of the micro fauna.... I have seen pods, embryonic crabs...or at least microscopic ones.... very cool to look at and watch. Then having your kids look at it... At the end of the day.. I think it is a great useful investment....

    image-69280.jpeg


    image-69264.jpeg
     
  9. thabizness

    thabizness Active Member

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    I have a series on youtube using a microscope with reef keeping. Here is a recent vid of a microscopic view of the skimmer cup but I have a bunch of other vids on algae and other micro fauna. I use a Amscope T490 with different cameras.

     
  10. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Partner Member 2018 Partner Member 2019 North Alabama Reef Club

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  11. mcarroll

    mcarroll moved on R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    It's about time! We, down at Club Nerd, were talking about whether we were gonna renew your membership! Now you're safe!! :D :p
     
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  12. mcarroll

    mcarroll moved on R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    There really are great deals on microscopes out there at all price levels seemingly all the time.....from $10, $20, $50 on up. I honestly think everyone should have a microscope. :)
     
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  13. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Partner Member 2018 Partner Member 2019 North Alabama Reef Club

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    Now I need to learn what all these little critters are!
     
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