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A Real Beginners Question....

 
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Red Seven



Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Victoria, B.C. Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:56 am    Post subject: A Real Beginners Question.... Reply with quote

OK, so I've got the microscope...a Lieca ATC 2000 with 4x, 10x, 40x and 100x(oil) objectives. I also live near a pond and in Victoria, B.C. (lucky me!) so it is warm enough to scoop up water samples. I know there are tons of cool things living there so...
Do I just drop some water on a slide, drop on a cover slip and observe or is there more to do. I don't yet have any oil to use with the 100x lens. I'm still figuring out where best to get oil and if there is any special kind I need. I have by estimates about 7000 questions I need answered but I'll start here!
Thanks in advance from the greenest of the green microscopist!
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Red Seven asked:
Quote:
Do I just drop some water on a slide, drop on a cover slip and observe or is there more to do.


Basiclly that is it but do not add to much water from the sample or you will end up floating the coverslip and the pond critters will be able to swim up and down making focusing a headache. How much water from the sample to apply will come to you mainly by trial and error until you get used to preparing wet mounts. Another word of note is to make sure your slides and cover slips are quite clean or else specks of dust may become a bother while you are making your observations. Very Happy

Another suggestion and this comes from you stating:

Quote:
I also live near a pond and in Victoria, B.C. (lucky me!) so it is warm enough to scoop up water samples. I know there are tons of cool things living there so...


When taking water samples for the use of observing protozoa and the various other organisms associated with pond life, be sure to scoop up also some of the decaying organic debris and some of the pond sediment also. Allow the samples at least 24 hrs. to settle and the organisms there in to become less agitated by the collection. Usually they will congregate at or around the surface area. You can immediately begin observations after your collection however and you may find a few or maybe many. It would depend mainly on the time of year and the populations themselves, I have found out in my observations when taking collections. Very Happy

As for immersion oil, yes there is a specific type of oil that is required. The properties of this oil is quite technical and really above my head to explain but not any type of light oil can be used. Zeiss offers immersion oil as do some of the other manufacturers of microscopes. Biological supply houses such as Carolina Biological (www.carolinabiological.com) can meet those needs also and is recommended.
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Red Seven



Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Victoria, B.C. Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outstanding reply! Thanks!
I have seen that there is "high" viscosity and "low" viscosity immersion oil. Any idea what the difference would be and how much it matters? Also what is the typical magnification best suited for observing this type of subject?
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Red Seven asks:

Quote:
I have seen that there is "high" viscosity and "low" viscosity immersion oil. Any idea what the difference would be and how much it matters? Also what is the typical magnification best suited for observing this type of subject?


I would imagine that the viscosity referes to the speading of the oil after it is applied to the slide or microscope components. Some may even oil the top condenser lens when using a 100X objective. Wim, Charlie, or Gerd may be able to answer questions more along this line. I seldom use oil but I am thinking that, that will change soon for me. Wink

Typical magnification? Start with the lowest, usually a 4X or a 10X objective (40X/100X), to scan the slide first and pick out subjects of interest. Then you can move on to higher magnifications to observe those you have selected. Smile
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Kenneth Ramos
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Kens Microscopy
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