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Re: parmecium

Forwarded message follows:
lund at umbi_umd.edu (Eric Lund) wrote:

>Recently my paramecium culture turned red.  I had fed the culture lettuce
>leaves, wheat seed.  I have not seen this before and do not know if is
>to feed this to my fish.  Can anyone comment on this condition?
>Cal Him


        In my experience culturing Paramecium when a culture crashes it
goes from being cloudy to clear with a layer of debris at the bottom.  My
guess is that your culture has become containated with another organism.
Paramecium are quite large for protozoans and can easily be seen with a
dissecting microscope or even a powerful handlens.  take out a bit of your
culture, put it in a clear container over your light table and look at it
carefully with a magnifying glass.  You should be able to see the
paramecium (they are rod shaped) bouncing around.  If you do not see them
then the culture has crashed and is not going to help your fish.  If the
red color is due to bacterial, algal or other contamination you probably
won't be able to see the individual cells without a microscope, but you may
see clumps of red material.

If you suspect that your culture is contaminated you will probably want to
start a fresh one as the density of paramecium produced is probably lower
in a mixed culture than in a clean one.  If there are still paramecium in
the culture you can feed the contaminated culture to your fry until you get
a new one established.  What ever is in the culture is probably already in
your tanks, so feeding the mixed culture is not going to add anything new
to your tanks.

Let me know what you find.  I have a pure culture of Paramecium caudata,
but can't ship any for at least 3 weeks due to my travel schedule.


Eric Lund

lund at umbi_umd.edu

End forwarded message.