Day one

Meet Two of Three – the 2mm red snail with three loops. He feeds on the algae that grow on the inside of the jar. He also eats rotifers.

He could have been there all along, hiding in the moss, but only noticed him today. I may have spotted another, but am not sure. This snail is the only organism large enough to be seen with the unaided eye.

Under the microscope I saw ciliates – rotifers to be more exact. The highest concentration is just below the water line, among the algae that grow on the inside of the the jar walls. The vast majority are well active, moving around or clinging to some invisible speck with their split foot. I saw some which were still in standby mode, tucked inside the shell, cautiously probing outside then quickly retreating again.

I also saw a different, smaller organisms – probably ciliates as well, with what looked like whiskers both in front and in the back. Two nematode worms, jerking around, about 1-2mm in length.

There are algae of at least two sorts: the circular, spot-like colonies where the initial water line was, and the long filaments with a really pretty spiral of chloroplasts. I could see no segments. These are light green and occupy most of the water volume.

The tree moss is brown and doesn’t seem alive. I’m, hoping there are spores and various cocoons inside to populate the ecosystem. I saw a water bear in that moss when i first collected it, so there is hope.

The jar is getting 24h light.

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