Week two

It’s been about a week since I brought goodies to the swamp jar and – behold – there is much activity. Macro at that, too – quite a few creatures can be seen with the naked eye: some segmented worms, the snails I had previously seen, cyclops (happy they’re here – I like these guys with their bright red spot) and what I suspect are mosquito larvae that seem to have hatched recently and are jerking around just below the surface. At least three fully grown mosquitoes are flying around in the jar. These I don’t like.

Large worm found at the surface after having switched the lights off for 8h

To my great surprise I found some mosquitoes and these I believe are the larvae hatching:

I started giving the jar non stop light about a couple of weeks ago – not particularly bright (470 lm), but constant. The idea is for the plants to properly oxygenate the water and sustain the living organisms. I switched it off for about 8h during the night thinking maybe some things only happen when it’s dark and I found many many worms on the surface, I think gasping for air. The snails were on the surface as well so I assume the plants and algae consumed most of the oxygen while the light was switched off. The sealed jar I had started last year died this way – three days by the window instead of under a lamp. I may switch off the light at some point again, but waiting for warmer temperatures and more sun during the day – it shall sleep outside because I don’t want *anything* crawling out of the jar and into the house.

I need to remove the mosquitoes so I can open the jar again. I’m thinking of knocking them out with smoke.

They were knocked out in less than 15s. Started to come to, somewhat, after about half an hour or so but I believe the damage may have been irreversible. Now they’re snail food, and that is very well.

Left, middle: larva and adult at 40x
Right: sample with scale in mm

In addition to the water plants and the two types of algae I had observed earlier I was pleased to find microscopic algae of different shapes:

And the long, pretty algae with the spiral chloroplasts:

Long, tubular algae with spiral chloroplasts

Catching a cyclope in a pipette is not the easiest thing, but great success was had, and here he is stuck under a cover glass for your inspecting pleasure.

And another sample of particularly photogenic algae:

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