Winogradsky Columns

fuller at envirogen.com fuller at envirogen.com
Tue Aug 4 15:40:55 EST 1998

Martin Weiss wrote:
>     Has anyone experience setting up Winogradsky colums using only
> water? Can you get a stratified column of anerobic bacteria grwoing in a
> column of  water in the same way that you can with a column of mud? I am
> trying by building a small classical column, about 25% of the total
> volume of the column, (using mud mixed with egg or wood chips or paper)
> and the rest of the column water collected with the mud. So far, about a
> week no luck.
> I am hoping the colonies would be more visible and perhaps we could
> sample more easily, using a thin plastic tube, used to cover fluorescent
> light bulbs.
> Any ideas or suggestions?
> Cheers,
> Martin Weiss, Ph.D.
> Bilogy Director
> New York Hall of Science
> http://www.nyhallsci.org

Dr. Weiss,
I'd expect the mud is in the column not only for nutrient, but also for
a support matrix ... otherwise any bacteria will sediment to the bottom
or adhere to the sides of the column.  Also, many times you need the
mud, and associated carbon, to generate the AnO2 conditions (ie., to get
all the O2 consumed).  Having a layer of water above the mud should be
OK, but things might not start happening in only a week ... it might
take months to "see" anything.


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