Water mite (?) and ciliate in freshwater aquarium

I have a 55 gallon aquarium that houses  one giant ‘red terror’ cichlid, 3 silver dollar fish and a catfish. I stirred up the gravel at the bottom of the tank and collected some of the muck that had settled down there.  Then I imaged a drop in my foldscope. I used a glass slide and coverslip, and put doublestick tape on the slide first–total of 4 small pieces, 2 pieces stacked on top of each other, and another 2 about 2 inches away. This prevents the coverslip from squishing live animals. Then I put down a drop of ‘muck’,   placed the coverslip and imaged.

Very cool discoveries–I saw several ciliates of some kind (paramecium?) and something that looks like a spider or a mite.  What is it? I found out from Wikipedia that Hydrachnidia  “are a group of mites covering more than 40 families and 5 000 species (Smith & Cook 1991) found in freshwater and marine habitats.”  Maybe it is one of those.






4 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    This is really gorgeous. Love the spider-mite view. I think a slow study of this with head, legs and abdomen viewed under digital zoom would be really great. Love the ciliate, It doesnt look like paramecium, but is pretty large.

    1. mcyert says:

      I loved all your posts and videos on ciliates! Also it was great to read your post about the workshops you have held. they looked really successful! I will be teaching an introductory course to biology students at Stanford, Bio60, starting in April. All our students will assemble and use a foldscope and will be posting on the website with #Bio60. Stay tuned! This was the first blog post i ever made–I am very proud of it especially since i am still a foldscope novice

  2. laksiyer says:

    Dear MCYERT: I am really looking forward to what the students unearth in your class.

  3. djbeede says:

    Mcyert – This is really impressive! And I’m glad to find some more recent posts on this forum. Could you tell me what lens/magnification you used on these? Keep up the great work.

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