Our tank's biology up close

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by jason2459, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    A few weeks ago my microscope broke. It wasn't as old as PaulB's relic (I think he calls it an antique) but it was several decades old. So, I was then overwhelmed and excited with all the new options out there today and got a trinocular microscope with a 5MP camera. 40-2500x. Much stronger then I was using before.

    I love looking at this stuff and now I can easily take pictures and videos of it all. Figured I'd share and maybe someone else might enjoy. I'll post stuff up periodically. Since there's no biology section I figure the Chemistry section will have to do... ha!

    Cyano and some of the creatures living in it.

    Sample was maybe around 1mm

    ~40x

    Can see the blurry swirls of the bigger creature I got images of in the next post.
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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
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  2. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    ~100x

    The cyano strands are constantly moving weaving in and out of themselves.
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    Biggest of the critters moving through the cyano and assume eating it
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  3. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    ~400x

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    Two of those right next to each other.
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  4. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    ~1000x (at 2500x I could see a ton of micro organisms but the camera is limited to 1000x right now with my setup but a lot more life can be seen)


    In the thick of it. Above was on the edges. This looked like snakes intertwining
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    Few critters here
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    This would twist like a corkscrew to move
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    There was a lot of these swimming around
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    See if you can find it in the next two pictures. This very thin filament shoots across almost like its charged with electricity and corkscrewing at the same time. Very excited critter.

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  5. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Then also saw a lot single celled organisms and protists with flagellates I don't think the camera was able to pick up as I saw it with the 25x WF lens in at 2500x. Spent many hours exploring that tiny sample of cyano last night. I'll see what I can do for the video taken.
     
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  6. shornik

    shornik Well-Known Member Partner Member

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    Very cool, I've always thought of doing this. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  7. fragit

    fragit Well-Known Member

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    Yes thanks for sharing that's really cool.
     
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  8. twilliard

    twilliard Last day 3-13 of the quarter! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Partner Member

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    Did you use any color dye?
     
  9. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Thanks and thanks.

    No I didn't for this sample. I was able to see more then enough life moving around I was so excited to get so up close with and forgot all about it at the end. I totally didn't eat dinner till like 2am. I think I'm going to sample some white bacteria I have plenty of in my sump from carbon dosing next. I'll probably use Methylene blue for that.


    Edit: I did manipulate the diaphragm and condenser to improve contrast here and there though.


    This is the microscope and kit I got. My kids had fun with the kit and prepared slides.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BPJJ70I?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00
     
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  10. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    Very nice. :)
     
  11. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Thanks! I love this stuff and hope you don't mind a little biology in your chemistry forum. I did mention I'll be using a chemical stain...
     
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  12. Rybren

    Rybren Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing. Great pictures. I've been thinking of getting a digital microscope and this sealed the deal for me :)
     
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  13. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Thanks. It's great having that digital camera. I can capture and look back now and the kids love it as they can see on my laptop display. Though my son still likes looking in the eye pieces.
     
  14. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    excellence
    the cyano pics
    there are cell walls in that pic and organelle packets and chlorophyll et al?

    that's not to say it didn't come from a patch of cyano, but wow that looks like algae and communities of more than one invader in a patch are routine, just musing. I was expecting oil immersion microscopy to be required to see the monera but that could be wrong, all I have is an antique one too at 100x max.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
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  15. McMullen

    McMullen Well-Known Member

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    Incredible!! Please keep this up!
     
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  16. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Could be. But also to note those pictures in post 2 and 3 were fairly dried out at that time and cells were breaking apart. Otherwise those larger long creatures were way to fast to get a clear picture like that. Video I still need to edit and compress to upload shows them moving all around in the cyano and possibly, just my guess, eating it.

    The 1000x is with oil immersion. The camera setup seems to me very similar to having the 10x WF eye pieces in.

    There was definitely a lot of life in that 1 little millimeter.

    Edit: in the first picture you can see one of those almost right in the middle. I's a blur that curves around on top. It curves around in and out of it a lot.

    Thanks! I will be working on the video first and then taking some more samples and will be sure to share them in this thread. I was thinking the white bacteria strands in my sump but also very curious about sampling some skimmate that's very thick in my collection cup as I haven't cleaned it out in many many months as it drains to a 5g bucket and have a neck cleaner which is another "experiment" I'm doing called laziness.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
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  17. McMullen

    McMullen Well-Known Member

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    That's my favorite experiment!
     
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  18. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Here's the pic highlighting
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    Now this thing was funny. It would switch directions all the time zipping all around spiraling very fast to move. It seemed stiff but flexible if that makes sense like lightning. It seemed very energetic like it was charged with electricity.
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  19. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Uploading first video that's really not good at all. I haven't had a chance to look at all the videos yet but this is the only one that got copied over to a drive I can get to to edit the video. This was originally over 5 minutes long and a LOT more movement and blurring. I'll have to keep in mind the 16fps of the video at the higher resolution next time. I was just concentrating at exploring the sample and taking a few pictures. Hopefully the other videos are a bit better and I'll try better next time.

    It's not fully uploaded yet but says this is the url for it. So should be live in the next 20 minutes or so.
     
  20. AlexStinson

    AlexStinson Plankton R2R Supporter

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    Super cool post! Makes me want a microscope to play with!
     
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