Toil
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Just ordered my microscope!

So I got tired of reading about all the things I can't see without a microscope.

Eventually I will be able to attach a camera, though it may be a while.

Still, I am excited!

Anyone else looking at soil this close?
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Ozark Lady
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Wow! Cool. So, you will have to tell us what you see!
Either get good at drawing, or finding photos online of what you see, or get the camera!

Inquiring minds want to know! Whatcha see?
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soil
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even though my scope aint the best i love it, and use to to look at a whole number of things not even related to gardening. things just look so damn cool up that close.

congrats on the purchase :)
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Very cool, I want to see pictures when that time comes.

Like my worm thread I just love all the life I see now. You really wouldn;t believe how many worms I have, but every time in the garden i see something new wriggling around, and to able to check out all the microscopic residents would be way cool for me, and obviously you.

So scope on and I'm sure it will bring a new meaning to this garden thing.

Dono

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There is something called a [url=https://www.optical-systems.com/bms-tcam-13mp-mikrokular-p-1559.html?language=gb]microcular system[/url] that I have used before that can be a really cool tool for scopes and PCs (or laptops)...

Nice purchase, toil. Can I come play sometime? I'm no Elaine Ingham, but can teach you a little bit I suspect, and with all the hours I have logged, have a pretty good eye... can't afford one right now, but soon...

HG
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yeah sure, I'll bring my kayak up sometime. I haven't been out since early fall.
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Ozark Lady
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Don't anyone laugh!

Once I got a kids microscope, because I was homeschooling my kids, it was a cheapy! But, we made up slides, and had a blast looking through it. It was a sad day when it quit working, due to being dropped and breaking some mirrors in it. I'm sure it was no comparison to the real thing! But, if you ever find a kids microscope at a yard sale, get it, it will still show you more than your naked eye can see. Just be sure the mirrors aren't broken.
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Toil
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I had one as a child. Wish I still had it. It had a battery in it for a light instead of just a mirror.


But this time I will be watching my critters in stereo baby. (sound of electric guitars)
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!potatoes!
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nice. i've got a dissecting scope, from my college forays in entomology, but can't get real tiny with it. enjoy.

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Stereo, baby!

Yeah once you go binocular, you never go back... sounds like you dropped some coin, bruddah...

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HG I was saving up for 6 months! I gave some things up, and here we are!

trinocular actually. not sure what that means, I just know it's good.

I got it because the write up from the guy mentions it's good if you spend a long time looking. when I get obsessed...
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Yeah, eye strain can be a bear, especially if you are spending hours at it. That's why the stereo eypieces are pretty much standard in labs and why I want to go there instead of monocular (and you are right; I have NO idea what trinocular means :? )

Still for the ampount of time I would expect to be using one now, I don't see why I might not go the cheap and get a monocular one. Don't expect to be running dozens of field counts on dozens of samples anytime soon, and I could step up later...

THEN I could afford one... $150 vs. $1500. I have seen the obsessive nature of a good scope; it's nice, then it's OK, but boy, if I spent another ten thousand, and then the next step is a $75000 dollar scope, but wouldn't it be great if we could really see the bacteria? Electron, anyone? Mortgage the house... :roll:

There's no end to it. But I'm not sure I will be happy on a monocular unit after using a fancy stereo one, so I've been waiting and watching...

HG
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oh it was 600. 1500 forget it i can't afford that.


If I spend over 1k on it, it has to get me in shape.
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you could just buy one of those adapters that hooks it up to a tv or computer screen. then theres no need to even look into the scope itself. and in turn no eye strain. only wish i had one of them lol.
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I think with the binocular you can perceive depth tho.
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Yeah having used those systems (not top of the line, and I'm sure they have gotten better) resolution is an issue, as is pixalation. I know they have gotten more definition, but it is still hard to get a defined field from the screen; easier with the eyball. I used to adjust it to my eye, then adjust from there to the microcular...


I do see some scopes that have done away with the eyepieces all together...

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<3

:shock: Microscopic stuff!! >:3 cool!! :hide:
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Toil, in case you haven't already, make sure to get some microscopy stains. Most of the interesting stuff is nearly transparent. You'll see way more and depending on the type of stain, you can make some educated guesses as to what species you are looking at. Methylene blue is probably the easiest to use and very cheap, while a Gram stain kit will be more diagnostic. I also found a cool paper on staining for mycorrhizal fungus: [url]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC90956/[/url]

While you're at it, get some Protoslo ([url]https://www.carolina.com/product/885141.do[/url]) if you want to see protozoa. Most want to avoid the bright light of your microscope and move almost too fast to see (except amoeba, of course).

Toil
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well it comes with some custom filters for doing that with live microbes. The pics on the website look good. I've been warned there is a steep learning curve for the filters.

but I do have a lab supply place nearby
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Yeah I learned flagellates and cilliates on the first day and had the difference between actinobacters and fungal hyphae on day two, but it took me about a month and a half to spot my first amoeba, despite the prevalence. Without a stain they are incredibly hard to spot...

Sounds like you have some experience Dan...

HG
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:) Not in soil microbiology, but I did biomedical research for 5 summers which included LOTS of microscopy. There definitely is that learning curve, but it's pretty rewarding once you start to figure things out.

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dan that is cool. i will have lots of questions for you!

I'm not sure if I should post the site with shots taken through the filters as the guys sells his microscopes there as well.
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comfylawn
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Microbe organics is an excellent site. Tim has some great pics and a DVD available on ID and everything. I bought my scope of him.

https://www.microbeorganics.com/

Toil
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Hey that's where I got my scope and DVDs.
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Ozark Lady
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I am looking for a microscope. In another forum, I am learning to do such mundane and yucky things as fecal samples for my animals!

They posted links to slides of the various parasites in various stages, and times to look for them.

So, if we use the microscope also for garden applications, what exactly are we looking for? Besides just having fun with it?
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Toil
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It's just another way to get information about your soil. More is always better!

What pushed me over the edge was a trip to the dermatologist. He took a scraping and told me he was going to look at it under the scope.

"cool! Can I look as well?"

"no."

there are so many things I want to see besides soil. Like the mucelage from my sundews, bokashi, EM, you name
it!
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comfylawn
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You're looking for microbial concentrations: bacteria, fungi, nematodes, protozoa and other exciting stuff. You basically want to determine what their populations are and if you need to add more through compost and compost teas. Those microbes break down organic matter and feed the plant

Toil
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Hey, sounds like you do it?

Any tips? I am planning to self teach. For now the plan is just to identify reliably. I want to tie it to weed ID, by noting the weed and some prominent critters.

Plate counts I am leaving for later.


Sound reasonable?


I am a nerd. And proud!
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comfylawn
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Self taught is what I did concerning the scope. Sending out for a bioassay is really expensive. The reason I bought my scope off microbe organics A: good deal(I thought) B: It came with the DVD"S on teaching myself as well the calculations of figuring out the populations. Now my lawn customers are more inclined to have the test done now that I charge them say 1/3 of the cost as it would if I sent to SFW inc. Sure my counts and print outs aren't as precise and flashy as theirs but it does give me a rough idea.

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Right on, CL; a field count on your scope isn't a bioassay with SFW, but it can get you in the ballpark if not on base. I still would like to know what I have for nematode species, and I'll be darned if I can suss out active to inactive ratios on the SFI assay, but I do know good soil when I am looking at it in the scope. Too many cilliates? Probably compacted because it's certainly low on O2. Lots of bacteria and no protozoa? SOMETHING polluted it because a mast food source with no predators is an ecosystem gone wrong... no fungal mass? Houston, we have a problem...

Just more good information...

HG
Scott Reil

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it came it came!

I am setting it up tomorrow. Just watching the dvds for now.
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