Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Donner, J.  1956. Rotifers. Great Britain: Butler & Tanner Ltd.

Lund-Canter H, Lund JWG. 1995. Freshwater Algae: their microscopic world explored. Bristol (England): Biopress Ltd.

McFarland, Kenneth [Internet] Botany 111 Fall 2013. [cited 2013 October 28]. Available from http://botany1112013.blogspot.com/

Patterson, DJ. 1996. Free Living Freshwater Protozoa; A Color Guide. London (UK): Wolfe Publishing Ltd.

Sacramento Splash [Internet]. [SACS] Crustaceans; 2013 [cited 2013 October 28]. Available from: http://www.sacsplash.org/critter/seed-shrimp

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 2

It is week two of my microaquarium project and things are getting interesting.

The first creature to be spotted this week is a paramesium.

This little guy is called a ciliate, because of the hair like follicles that surround the organism and allow it to move about. The green dots scattered about his body are chloroplasts that he has picked up along his way (McFarland 2013).

Next up is Vorticella.

This single celled organism is also a ciliate, though the only cilia it has are in a wreath around its mouth parts. These cilia function as feeders rather than in a transport capacity (Patterson 1996). The stalk extending from the main body anchors Vorticella but can also be detached when the organism wants to move about. Any disturbance to my microaquarium caused this little guy to collapse and essentially disappear! (McFarland 2013)

A very nice diagram of Vorticella from Free Living Freshwater Protozoa shows the position of the cilia and the stalk.

And finally, we have my favorite creature to be spotted so far; the seed shrimp!

That picture looks a little like I spotted a UFO... Lets see if we can get a closer look...

Ahh, there we go! The seed shrimp is a very interesting creature. From the class Ostracada, it is a relative of the common crustacean, the sea shrimp. They both have hard shells that enclose a softer body. In this guy's case, his shell is shaped like a seed, hence the name seed shrimp. Around the opening it looks like once again we are going to see cilia, but in fact those are leg like appendages complete with tiny claws for scavenging food (SACS 2013). One final picture to get a really good look at those appendages:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Week 1

In the first week of our microaquarium project we set the initial conditions for our experiments. For my microaquarium I chose to use a water source from a pool below the spring in Fountain City Park (#12) west of Broadway at Hotel Ave in Knoxville, Tennessee. Full coordinate data is N36 02.253 W83 55.986 990ft. The water was collected on 10/9/2013 and placed in the aquarium on  10/15/2013 (Mcfarland, 2013)

To the basic aquarium two plants were added. The first was Utricularia gibba.
As the card states, this is a carnivorous plant. There are black nodules on the plant that traps and digests water fauna.

Also added to the aquarium was Fontinalis sp moss.
This gave the microaquarium its final look.
During the initial observation several small organisms were spotted. One, a rotifer, was too quick to snap a picture and identify! But this guy was a little slower moving:

He's pretty neat. Stay tuned for identification!
UPDATED: Identified as a diatom algae Surirella. See week 3 for more details!