I think most people in the marine aquarium hobby enjoy the daily surprises our piece of the ocean supply on a daily basis. Whether its hitchhikers, spawnings or new growth of our corals we all look on with a big smile. A few years back I added a different dimension to my enjoyment by purchasing a microscope that also came with a camera. I started thinking about getting one when my White Spotted Pygmy Filefish (Rudarius ercodes) started spawning. Their eggs and fry were so small I was curious to see what they looked like. Shortly after a quick trip to an online website, I had my microscope.

Whitespotted Pygmy Filefish (Rudarius ercodes) Eggs

After I got everything set up and I took pictures of the filefish eggs. I started looking at all sorts of reef-related stuff under the microscope. Soon after the pygmy files spawned my Bristletail Filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus) started spawning and I was able to gather their eggs for observation.

Bristletail Filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus) Eggs

Things got rolling from there. I didn’t miss an opportunity to view anything I could. Here are a bunch of things I thought were interesting. The captions describe what they are.

Hippocampus erectus Stillborn Fry

Grass Shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio) Fry

Berghia Verrucicornis Egg Cluster

Northern Pipefish (Syngnathus fucus) Egg

Asian shore crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) Egg Cluster

Spotted Anemone Shrimp (Periclimenes yucatanicus) Fry

Besides entertainment, a microscope also could be used for necropsy purposes of dead fish and corals. This can be a useful tool in identifying the cause of death and help treat for disease and infection more efficiently.

Microscopes can be found online on many sites and in all different price ranges. Mine has a max of 1000x magnification which is plenty for what most of us would use it for.  I recommend getting one. The entertainment value alone makes it worth it.

More pictures can bee seen here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=159375587415630&aid=49773

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