MICROSCOPY – The Swamp III / two months

The water is quite clear, as are most of the walls. There is one (barely) surviving plant and some green algae. The snail and the bubble bugs are still alive and happy. Saw a new, large insect cca 1cm.

I drilled a hole in the cork and installed an aluminium tube with an airtight screw-cap. I re-sealed the cork to the side of the jar with hot glue, then covered it with tape. The ecosystem is, for all intents and purposes, sealed, but allows access to take water and other samples.

I use a large-ish syringe on which i put a shrink tube and a plastic cylinder at the end to get the samples through the hole I put in the cork.

Most of the surviving plant life consists of algae. The one plant that seems to be alive has no more green leaves above the water line. The roots growing out of the stem do seem healthy and alive.

The algae are a deep shade of green and grow attached to the stick on the bottom of the jar, on the decaying leaves and on the side of the jar (above the water line).

I switched the light off for one night and there was a new bug floating upside down near the surface. It was still alive but obviously not ok.

There are more and more eggs, with obvious fresh ones appearing on the sides and on the bottom of the jar. Also new batches on the stick as well. The older ones seem to have been colonised by algae and have become green (picture on the left). The “nucleus” of the egg seems to be an elongated, twisted ribbon that looks pretty much like an intestine. It has not changed since the eggs have been laid. I still suspect the snail.

I found the large bug i mentioned before. It died. it’s big, and ugly, and am sure it could crawl out of the jar if it chose to do so. Seal your jars quickly.

Many nematode worms are visibile with the naked eye, about 1-2mm in length, swirling and jerking around the jar.

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