Winogradsky column - how to get a really pretty result

Lesley Robertson l.a.robertson at
Fri Feb 6 11:00:02 EST 2004

"Trond Erik Vee Aune" <trondaun at>
wrote in message news:c005lv$fr5$1 at
> Hello,
> I'm thinking about making my own Winogradsky column to place in a window
> sill at home. I hope to get it really beautiful so it's more a piece of
> art than "work taken home". My questions are:
> - How do I maximise the numbers of colors I get?

Vary the amount of light hitting different areas to select for different
sorts of chlorophyll.

> - Can it be completely anaerobic? (I don't want it to smell.)

It can be completely closed - vacuum grease with a glass lid. It won't be
completely anaerobic as you'll get photosynthesis.

> - When should I inoculate it? Is it better to do it in the summer than
> in the winter?

I use garden soil and water samples for my 1st year pracs which start in
January, and finish in May, and while the results are eventually the same,
it's noticeable that the January ones are much slower to get going.

> - Is there anything else I can do to make my visiting friends really
> like it?

It's hard to really appreciate a Winogradsky column without a couple of
sample ports and a microscope - then you get to show off all the algae,
protozoa, etc, that you've got.
Lesley Robertson

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