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Bacteria? What's a good magnification if I wanna see bacteria?

Posted by Anonymous on

  • jeesa Nov 03, 2008

    i have a 900x microscope. will i be able to see bacteria w/ it?

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Anonymous

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Hi there,

Seing bacteria isn't just about magnification, many
are transparent and need to be stained. Even at X1000, you will see little detail, but can make approximations of shape etc. Here is a good starting point for staining bacteria.
With a toothpick scrape a little plaque from your teeth (size of a pinhead is plenty). Put this in the centre of a slide with 1 drop of water and mix thoroughly. Allow this to dry then pass the sample through a flame three or four times (hot, but not hot enough to burn fingers) Stain for five mins using either Methylene Blue or Eosin. If you don’t have these, Blue or Red fountain pen ink will do for starters. Rinse off excess stain with very slow running water. Blot dry and observe at X400. If you have an oil immersion lens, you must use a cover slip and mount your specimen in balsam first.
If I can be of any further help, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Cheers…..Dave

Posted on Mar 10, 2008

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Anonymous

Realistically I would suggest 1000x, bacteria is visible at 400x but can be hard to recognize from debris.

Posted on May 14, 2008

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The eyepiece offers 10x magnification. Depending on the type of bacteria, looking at them with the 40x objective (for 400x magnification) or the 100x objective with immersin oil (for 1000x) should give you enough magnification for even the smallest prokaryotes and protozoans.

The proper way to do it however is to find your target with the 10x objective and focus it first with the coarse adjustment and then with the fine adjustment knob. Then switch the objective to the 40x and focus it again with the fine adjustment knob. If the cells are still too small, move the objective away, add a drop of immersion oil to the coverslip and then move the 100x objective into place.

Oh, and almost forgo, it always works best if you have your cells stained to spot them easily and to enhance the cell contents, otherwise they can be tricky to spot or on the move, but it'll depend on the application really.

Posted on Apr 28, 2008

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Bacteria or any single cell creature. pond water is great because it contains protozoa that can be quite large, and are fascinating to watch. easily see them a 200x to 400x

Posted on Jan 10, 2008

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1000x or greater as long as a clear focus can be acheived, many bacteria would be too small at 400x.

Posted on Aug 16, 2007

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I personally think it should be x400. You can probably view it with less, but if you really wanna see it, the higher the better!

Posted on Aug 01, 2007

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