FlowCam® - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Effects of Monsoon Flooding on Microplankton Communities in Kochi Backwaters of Western India: a FlowCam Study

Researchers Karnan et al. have recently published the results of a study performed from 2013-14 in Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Their paper, titled "Implications of micro-plankton and micro-detritus on the food web in the largest monsoonal estuary along the west coast of India" tested the hypothesis that flooding would increase the quantity of available detritus in the Kochi Backwaters (KBW). 

Read More

Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Eliminate Taste-and-Odor Events With Cost-Effective Algae Control

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) publication, Opflow, has featured another story this month on the benefits of proactive algae monitoring in eliminating taste and odor (T&O) complaints for water utilities. 

The cost of monitoring equipment can seem daunting and funding is not always attainable to small utilities. But solutions are available.

Read More

Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight

Quality Control on the FlowCam Cyano

Have you ever wondered how our technical customer support team performs quality control checks during services and before shipping new instruments? Here's one example of the process our team uses to check for accuracy on the FlowCam Cyano.

Pictured here: Enterprise Pond at YFT headquarters in Scarborough, Maine. The source of the sample used in this demonstration.

Read More

Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), Aquatic Research

FlowCam Can Assess Cell Viability Using Fluorescein Diacetate (FDA) Stain

Determining whether algal cells are alive or dead is useful for a variety of applications including, but not limited to: wastewater analysis, algaecide testing, mesocosm experiments, and ballast water monitoring. Viability staining is a common approach used in flow cytometry to evaluate the relative abundance of live and dead cells in a sample. The FlowCam 8400, equipped with a laser, digital camera, and 2 channels of fluorescence detection, can be paired with various fluorescent stains to assess the viability of algal cells. Here we will describe how to pair an example of one such stain, fluorescein diacetate (FDA), with the FlowCam 8400 equipped with a 488nm blue laser.

Read More

Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, FlowCam Technology, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Tackle Taste and Odor with Proactive Water Quality Monitoring

An article featured this month in the American Water Works Association (AWWA) publication Opflow describes the challenges currently facing water utilities across the country, and lays out a strategy to proactively monitor for cyanobacteria and taste & odor causing algae.

Read More

Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight

FlowCam Used for Analysis of Diazotrophic Organisms in High-Nitrogen Water

A long-term study undertaken by Chaffin et al. at Ohio State University monitored nutrient levels and phytoplankton growth in the Lake Erie central basin from 2014 until 2017. The purpose of the study was to determine the primary limiting nutrient determining phytoplankton growth, and determine if multiple limiting nutrients existed during this time period. The FlowCam was used to image and analyze phytoplankton species and to estimate biomass and biovolume of the species under consideration.

Read More

Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Introducing the FlowCam Aquatic Image Galleries

We are happy to announce that we have made available curated galleries of our favorite aquatic images from around the world, in a variety of applications. Are you curious what your water samples would look like when analyzed on the FlowCam? Check out all of the images in our galleries, or peruse below for a sampling of what's available. This is only a small sampling of what the FlowCam is capable of; please contact us if you'd like to see more.

Read More

Topics: Algae Technology, Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Answering Your FAQs about Analyzing Microcystis with the FlowCam

FlowCam customers frequently ask us how to optimize analysis of Microcystis, a globally pervasive colonial cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) which is seen in source water systems and recreational lakes. The colonies can range in size from a few microns up to several thousand microns in diameter. Customers are concerned about losing part of the sample or not being able to capture a quality image due to the colony’s size and density. Dense colonies superimpose cells in the image, making it easy to underestimate cell counts, while large colonies can make it challenging to determine what objective is best used to image the sample.

Question:  What protocol does Fluid Imaging recommend to analyze colonies and scums of Microcystis?

Read More

Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater)

FlowCam Tracks Larval Oysters with Goals of Population Restoration

In 2018, a research study was performed by our customers, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, using oyster larvae from the Mobile Bay - Mississippi Sound system off the coast o f Alabama. There have been concerted efforts to reestablish a flourishing population of oysters and oyster reefs in this area, in order to protect the shoreline and to save the population from rapid decline. An important piece of this puzzle is the ability to track larval transport (the movement of oyster larvae from birth to adult settlements), and this study's aim was to establish a method of tracking these larvae.

Read More

Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Aquatic Research

Paleolimnologists Use FlowCam for Microfossil Research

Paleolimnologists study the diatoms, foraminifera, and other microfossils within sediment cores to reconstruct paleoenvironments and understand how they have changed over time. 

Diatoms are among the most common types of phytoplankton, and originated more than 200 million years ago.  They are commonly monitored when studying water quality, both past and present, because of their sensitivity to a variety of ecological conditions. 

Read More

Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Aquatic Research