Neutral fixer for field

Dean Pentcheff dean at
Sat Jun 11 19:23:04 EST 1994

William C. Banta <WCBANTA at> writes:
}I've been working on the histology and development of marine
}bryozoans for many years.  We are looking for a recipe for a fixer
}that is practical for use in the field.  For many years I used
}2-4% buffered formalin, but there is a great danger that delicate,
}lightly calcified bryozoans will be partly decalcified if they
}are not transferred to alcohol shortly after fixation. 

Have you tried adding an excess of powdered calcium carbonate to
the formalin before adding the specimens?  (Or is that what is
implied by "buffered formalin?)  I've done this for calcified
specimens (barnacles, to be specific) by just putting about a
quarter of an inch deep layer of powdered calcium carbonate in
the bottom of a 1 liter jar.

N. Dean Pentcheff 
Biological Sciences, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia SC 29208 (803-777-3936)
Internet addresses: pentcheff at or dean at
WWW link:  <a href="">home page</a>

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