Who uses a microscope here?
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Who uses a microscope here?

This is a discussion on Who uses a microscope here? within the Coral and Reef Creatures forums, part of the Advanced Saltwater Discussion category; --> So the other day I went to clean some algae off the front of my tank when somehow a few white specks caught my ...

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Who uses a microscope here?
Old 11-04-2008, 01:02 AM   #1
 
Who uses a microscope here?

So the other day I went to clean some algae off the front of my tank when somehow a few white specks caught my eye... (I painted the back of my tank black so they stood out). <p>
I think they are some sort of animal, and they are small, like really small... I first noticed a few, then I noticed... hundreds... maybe thousands. So far I can only see them clinging to the glass, and they seem to mostly stay still, but usually I can see a few of them moving short bursts with surprising speed.<p> Here's my tank:
29 gal FOWLR set up for about 2 months. The tank has cycled and ammonia:0 Nitrates: between 0 and .05, PH 8.3. I have a 1" live sand bed, Fluval 205 filter, plenty of water current, 2 tank raised percula clowns, 12 hermit crabs, and a bunch of other reef critters (bristle worms, peanut worms, peppermint shrimp, turbo snails, limpets, star polyps, blasto polyps, feather dusters, and a bunch of algaes not to mention hiding things and things I can't see). Question is, does anyone have an idea of what these things could be? I was thinking maybe snails, but it's been a week and they aren't getting bigger, or increasing/decreasing in #. They're visible white specks with your eyes, and I can get a little bit of detail under 4x magnification from a magnifying glass.

Oh, and the topic of my post, does anyone here think it advantageous to buy a microscope for aquarium use?
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:23 AM   #2
 
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Ok umm, i'm from the freshwater side, and I saw this post had to come check it out.
I also have this on the front glass of my tank, and can't for the life of me figure out what it is. It obviously can't be an exclusive saltwater thing if I have it too, so whats the deal guys?
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:07 AM   #3
 
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its a copepod.
there are also amphipods which are alittle bigger. they usually come out at night and scurry all around on your live rock if you look close enought with a flashlight after lights have been out for a long enough time.

i think it would be cool to use a microscope on some tank water but then again you'll prob. only see copepods and phytoplankton and not much else. if anything invest in a decent camera or if you already have one, a decent macro camera lens.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:08 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kritas View Post
Ok umm, i'm from the freshwater side, and I saw this post had to come check it out.
I also have this on the front glass of my tank, and can't for the life of me figure out what it is. It obviously can't be an exclusive saltwater thing if I have it too, so whats the deal guys?

i dont know what it would be on the "freshwater side" my guess could only be micro air bubbles?
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
 
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Here's a great article

Bitty Bugs: Copepods in the Reef Aquarium
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:37 PM   #6
 
Thanks

SKAustin, great article there! I am almost positive that I am currently experiencing a bloom of Calanoid copepods, since they have a narrowing of the body... It seems that as in the article most of mine are stuck to the glass... I think I will go ahead and scrape the algae off the sides of my tank, and hopefully keep some of those guys in there as well As for freshwater, the article notes that "Cyclopoids are typically planktonic and are very common in freshwater ecosystems." so looks like these critters are in marine and fresh systems (although i've never seen them in any of my fresh systems!)

Okay, now my next question is this... To what types of organisms are they useful? I'm certain I have both amphipods and copepods, will my 2 clownfish eat them? What about my peppermint shrimp? What about my blastomussa (I just identified them as a live rock hitchhiker the other day)? It would be really nice if these organisms could be of benefit to my tank.

As far as the microscope goes, I think I will get one someday... I've seen some decent ones, like something out of a high school lab for sale on E-Bay for less than $100. I just think it would be cool to look at water, scrapings from live rock, sponges, algaes, fish (parasites?), and corals... I think I will also purchase a macro lense for my canon powershot...
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:19 PM   #7
 
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There are many fish that eat copepods. Most of the dragonetts will eat them (ie. scooter blennies, mandarin) then you'll get fish like the wrasse that'll eat them quickly compared to the dragonetts. Also they thrive off detritus so eitherway they're good and amphipods eat leftover food as well. they aren't useless, you just have to poke around more to find out their uses.

I just use the magnet still to get them off my glass, it's either the glass be clean and i look into it unhundered or they grow on it... they live on rocks too so bye bye.
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