Homemade diatom circle MkII

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Beatsy
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Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:10 am
Location: Malvern, UK

Post by Beatsy »

Chris,

Once you have "a few thousand diatoms on a strew slide", the cleaning has already been done. A good description of the process here, though it varies widely for different kinds of samples (fossil, freshwater, mud, soil etc). http://micrap.selfip.com:81/diatomiteclean/catalog.html

For arranging, I use homemade glass needles and crude micromanipulator mounted on a stereo zoom microscope. It's pictured in my last diatom circle thread.

As for time. Cleaning can take anything from a day to weeks (elapsed). The sample used for the above was cleaned over the course of 3 days - i.e. quite quickly.

Arranging the above took a lot longer. About 130 hours. In my defense I am relatively new to this and thus still quite slow, but I am getting more adept with practice. The worst problem is static and the very small forms. You spend 10 mins nudging one gently into place, then decide it needs to be moved a tiny smidge more. Sure enough, it sticks to the needle on the last touch and gets dragged out of position as the needle is retracted; sometimes displacing other "unfixed" diatoms on the way. Only cure I've found is to be patient, accept this happens, and keep trying again until it goes right. I have been wondering if a de-ioniser might help though...

TimmyG
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:06 am
Location: Leeds, UK
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Post by TimmyG »

I scraped my chin on the floor when I saw this. Truly amazing stuff!

Charles Krebs
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:02 pm
Location: Issaquah, WA USA
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Unimaginable effort! Congratulations, just stunning!

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