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.