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Aquarium trash under the microscope.

Scott P.

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I have been seeing these tiny little things all over my on my tiger lotus leaves. They look like teeny bits of yellow string against the red leaves of the tiger lotus. I usually vac them off at water change time. This morning curiosity got the best of me, so I pulled out the old trusty microscope.

I took a pipet and suctioned up as many of these tiny bits as I could. The movement of the pipet was enough to make most of this stuff float away. Put in a small deli cup and let everything settle in one small area. Then suctioned up a good sample and put it on a slide with a fresh cover slip.

What appeared to the naked eye turned out to be mainly just detritus. That said there was a good bit of tiny critters roaming around. Lots of microscopic worms. Something I could not identify, looked like a cross between a rotifer and a vorticella.

There were a few round things swimming around. I have seen these before but have never figured what they were. Also a few teeny things flying by at warp speed. I have seen them before in pond water but they move so fast it is futile to try and follow them.

Tons of what I believe are bacteria, but bacteria isn't that easy to ID with a scope that doesn't have some serious magnification.

Nothing really alarmed me as I was expecting microscopic life to be there.

Any of you ever check out your tank for microscopic life? I know a few people that wouldn't like seeing what is living in their tanks.

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I do so wish I had kept the microscope I had in my teens...

I don't check the microscopic stuff anymore, but I get a chuckle when someone mentions wanting a hi-def camera for night viewing.  They have no idea how much detritus those lights are going to reveal on or in their tanks.

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On 9/5/2021 at 1:16 PM, GameCzar said:

I've often considered a microscope, I am fascinated by microbial life.   Journey to the Microcosmos is a great YouTube channel I've been begging to look at aquarium life. 

I did the same for years. Last year I picked up a well used university scope. Bad thing is the 100x objective is stuck. The nosepiece is supposed to be spring loaded. It is stuck and therefore useless.

On another note I have an ID on a few thing sI observed this morning.

Fairly sure there were some ciliates in there. The thing I couldn't ID earlier I believe is a stentor.

I'm the guy that people see at the local ponds all the time taking water samples. It is crazy the amount of life in a small sample of pond water.

I have a bowl on the back walk that stays full of rain water. I added a handful of leaves last year and now that bowl is full of life.

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Trying to figure out how to take a picture with my phone.

This is green hair algae up close. This sample was taken where there is good water flow. Funny thing is, I looked all over this stuff and there was nothing in the way of critters. I guess they don't like flowing waters. I sort of knew this to start but really thought I might find something hanging on.


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