This Microscope stuff for the Soil Food Web School is pretty nerve wrecking in ways. Now that I am practicing with this Microscope in a more hands on fashion, I am learning what I am in for. For example, I spend maybe more time double checking and triple cleaning the lenses on this microscope than I do actually using it. I need special lens cleaner and lens tissue to properly clean this Microscope but breathing on the slide and slide cover works a majority of the time.
Man, this microscope business is pretty wild. As much as I wanted to learn this microscope to learn what is in the soil and make better teas, compost extracts and compost; I honestly do not enjoy doing it as much as I hoped. Biology is not my strongest point in life but I am worse at math and gender studies...
There is an app that I will use to quantify the microorganisms that I see called SMApp (Soil Microscope App). After observing and counting certain organisms and inputting the numbers into the app, I am given a results page. Which btw, when I saved the results, it saved as a .txt file that seems a bit off so I will skip the results page on this post.
So hopefully, my mentor with the Soil Food Web school can help me better match the resolution on my computer screen vs the eyepieces, better focus on samples as well as saving the SMApp file appropriately.
Today, I tested the little bit of compost I have left over from Ground Up Soil and the soil in the Mango Kush (Cannabis) container for soil life using a Compound Microscope. This is in an attempt to prepare for my mentor that I need to contact and take Microscope proficiency testing with for the Soil Food Web School that I am apart of.
I also chose this compost and soil because this was soil that was supposedly tested by Earthfort for good and bad microbes and should be have a healthy set of microbes to observe.
Well, mid way through writing this I discovered I had not properly saved the results from the SMApp and have a text rich file saved that will not help me illustrate on this post the data that I received from these two practice samples.
Basically, I found that this compost, while it did not have any bad microbes, it lacked fungal hyphae. The soil in the Mango Kush container had some fungi but not really enough to measure the biomass in comparison to the bacteria present. Both samples had LOTS of beneficial Bacteria, 1-3 Bacterial feeding/ Bacterial feeding omnivore nematodes and 3-4 protozoas per sample (drop of diluted soil sample).
Here are some practice pictures from today.
Bacterial feeding Omnivore Nematode
This was a very large nematode in comparison to a regular bacterial feeding nematode. It had tiny small teeth and was able to see a terminal bulb.
I saw a median swelling and terminal bulb on this nematode as well as ornamented mouth. I assumed this was a Bacterial omnivore due to its size
Bacterial feeding Nematode
Flagellate and Amoeba
Bacteria (Highly diluted- 1:1000 vs 1:5 dilution ratio)
Fungi (The Mango Kush sample had some fungi in the fields of view)