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Re: [Killietalk] microbes in Java moss
LeeH920226 at aol_com wrote:
In a message dated 1/26/04 10:16:25 AM, Edd_Kray at rf.doe.gov writes:
<< I think the value
of Java moss as a source of first foods is a myth worth debunking. Its'
just too "clean" to make a good substrate for microbial growth. >>
I wonder how this myth originated.
I may be guilty. Here's how it started.
David Gurr had observed that small plastic glasses for hatching eggs
clouded up unless he added a sprig of Java moss. Experiments proved that
side-by side, in identical conditions, a glass with and a glass without
had radically different clarity after a few days.
I then reasoned that the cloudiness was bacterial and that something had
consumed them. AHA! Rotifers, and similar critters filter water for
their food. Java moss doesn't exude any known bactericides, so I think
it was a reasonable assumption. [I overlooked the fact that the moss may
well have been eating the bacteria's food and starving it to death! :-)]
I looked for myself and I found just one
moving little worm-like thing, I think there is some other explanation. Perhaps
the "microbes" are easily displaced and when we take a sample we leave them
behind. I am thinking of the analogy of the copepods, etc., that are nowhere to
be seen in a clear lake until you run your net through the weeds and then you
have lots of them in the net. So, my next experiment will be to do a similar
sampling with a fine net (brine shrimp) in a tank with lots of Java moss. I
will report later.
Clearly we need more keen observers like Edd and Lee digging in to this.
I have observed much better baby growth with a drop of "Liquifry No. 1"
on a tuft of Java moss, than trying to raise them in a clean tank on bbs
alone. [Episodic, and not a controlled experiment.]
I never assumed that the infusoria were on or clinging to the moss as a
substrate, which both Edd and Lee apparently are assuming. I just
figured they were clustered around it and some came along in the water
with them. I also let the moss clear up egg water, but never assumed
there was very much infusoria there until I fed it with some "Liquifry,"
about when the hatch started.
One suggestion for future experiments. Don't use any water that has a
trace of the formaldehyde-like dechloraminators in it ("Amquel,"
"Prime," "Ammo Lock 2," etc.). IME they kill off all the infusoria, quickly.
Great observations, guys. Off to eat a slice of humble pie for starting
a myth. :-(
I think I should endow a perpetual trophy for the convention, called
"Post hoc, ergo propter hoc" for the wildest incorrect assumption for
that year! :-)
Wright Huntley -- 760 872-3995 -- Rt. 001 Box K36, Bishop CA 93514
"If the majority of Americans didn’t receive their educations at the
hand of government, these clowns couldn’t get enough votes to carry a
fraternity election" Neal Boortz
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