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12 Jul

Microscope collecting

Posted by Optics Blog Experts on

Summertime for me means outdoors, so I haven’t had much chance to work with my microscopes, lately, but for those of you who are stuck indoors, you might want to spend some time at the microscope. I’m a hobbyist and playing with microscopes is one of my favorite indoor pastimes.

You’ll need to do some collecting, though. Here’s a tip for pond water fans. When collecting pond water, my advice is to think green. Algae and photosynthetic bacteria are the base of aquatic food chains, and just as in the macro world, most of the things we like to see will be hiding in the green stuff. When collecting, I also scrape the bottom to pick up organisms that are working that part of the ecosystem. Lastly, when preparing slides, don’t overdo. Just a touch of green or muck in your drop of water goes a long way. Too much and you won’t be able to isolate those protozoans and invertebrates from their hiding places.

If you are just getting started, you might also want to review some of my basic articles at Microscope Guide for Beginners and Using your First Microscope.

Good hunting.

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