Microscope (at least 100x), microscope slides and cover slips, sticky labels, tap water, rag or paper towel.


Photomicrographs of bacteria [tabular format]

Photomicrographs of bacteria [standard list]



1. Put a drop of the floc on a microscope slide.
2. Cover drop with cover slip.
3. View through microscope.

Oil-like films or bacteria attached to slides:

1. Remove any debris from slide (so as not to scratch the microscope lens).
2. Wipe off the back of each slide with a rag.
3. View through microscope (cover slip not needed).
4. To see more details, put a drop of water on slide and cover drop with cover slip.

Acid Creeks

acid creek
In acid creeks in mining regions like this at Contrary Creek, Va., iron-rich precipitates often contain sulfur and are yellow. Many iron-oxidizing bacteria such as Thiobacillus thiooxidans and T. ferrooxidans produce this "yellow boy." Not all water in mining regions is acid, however. Although Contrary Creek is acid, its tributary (slightly left of center) is neutral and has red flocs and the usual suite of neutral iron bacteria.

film on water
This oil-like film at Contrary Creek, Va., floats on acid water, as shown by the indicator paper. Under the microscope, the film is colonized by unknown rod-shaped bacteria.


"Tools Needed"arrow

Contact: Norrie Robbins
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