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I've been preparing wet slides for my kids to look at from pond water. I have a mason jar of pond water. What can I do to keep the microbes in the jar alive going forward so that we can look at it any time we want without having to go back to get more pond water.

I remember we did something like this in 7th grade biology, it seems like we put in sugar, or oatmeal, or something. I can't quite remember that though, it's been over 30 years. Thanks!


Thanks for the comments. The pond water I get keeps for a couple of days easily. I can always get more at the pond.

If I want amoebas, I go near dark and get them at the bottom of the pond. If I just want paramecia and other critters, I grab some scum and fill the rest of the jar up with water.

The paramecia water I give moderate sunlight. The amoeba sample I keep in the dark. And I just pitch it after a few days. No Legionella for my family, please and thank you.

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    $\begingroup$ How long do you want to keep it. I think the water will have a sustainable microecosystem if it is kept open. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Jun 19 '15 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ Is there anything in particular in the pond water you want to look at specifically? Do you want to look at microbes, or more tardigrades and daphnia, etc? You could always fix the slides. Sunshine should keep it going on a microscale, but stuff like brine shrimp or around that size require snacks. $\endgroup$ – Resonating Jun 19 '15 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ I'd like to keep it alive indefinitely. As far as tardigrades/daphnia/microbes, yes, yes, and yes! $\endgroup$ – AKWF Jun 19 '15 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ And how open would it need to be? I have the mason lid sealed on it, but with a bunch of holes in the lid. $\endgroup$ – AKWF Jun 19 '15 at 16:31
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    $\begingroup$ You want to keep live water indefinitely? I don't know if you'll be able to tell if it gets colonized by Legionella. $\endgroup$ – rumtscho Jun 19 '15 at 17:00

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