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ECN-L  February 2014, Week 4

ECN-L February 2014, Week 4

Subject:

Re: alcohol storage vendor?

From:

Andy Deans <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Andy Deans <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 12:59:21 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

Hi all,
Thanks for dozen or so responses to my question about alcohol-stored specimens and containers. I hope you don't mind, but I summarized your responses below. Seems like most people store specimens in shell vials, stopped with cotton and stored in some sort of glass container with a plastic lid. A couple people lamented that this made specimens less accessible and that specimens stored in vial with polyseal caps or some other stoppers were a better solution.

No one, apparently, uses ground glass containers, like those at the NHM: http://flic.kr/p/avgsGq
see also: Clark, P.F. 1992 Ground glass stoppered jars for fluid collections. In: Storage of Natural History Collections: Ideas and Practical Solutions, Rose, C.L. and de Torres, A.R., editors.
It's been impossible for me to find a vendor for those anyway.

Thanks again! I'll be following up with several of you for sure.

Andy

Your responses (edited for succinctness)

==========
I ... can recommend the following vendor in New Jersey (we've used them as a source for flint glass vials and jars for invertebrates stored in 70 - 80% ethanol):

  O. Berk Co.
  3 Milltown Ct.
  Union, NJ 07083
  tel. (908) 851-9500

http://www.oberk.com

See the following links for a selection of jars:

 http://www.oberk.com/containers/glass-containers/glass-jars/2-oz-flint-glass-sample-jar.html
 http://www.oberk.com/containers/glass-containers/glass-jars/4oz-flint-glass-sample-jar.html
 http://www.oberk.com/containers/glass-containers/glass-jars/8oz-flint-glass-sample-jar.html
 http://www.oberk.com/containers/glass-containers/glass-jars/16-oz-sample-jar.html
 http://www.oberk.com/containers/glass-containers/glass-jars/16-oz-flint-glass-mayo-jar.html
==========
We've been using straight-sided quart jars with TFE lid-liners [purchased from Fisher] within which we put two layers of cotton-stoppered shell vials for storage of insects.  We just use the jars as they are (w/o shell vials) for crayfish and larger inverts.  With hundreds and hundreds of jars after ca. 20 years, there has been zero loss of alcohol, or at least it's imperceptible.  
==========
We order our larger vials from ACME glass and our tops come from Kols Containers. I know it seems weird to order them separate, but the specific Kols tops we order are supposed to be top of the heap for archival quality.
==========
We use  a double jar system employing La Parfait "Super" terrine jars-- http://www.leparfait.com/le-parfait-super-terrines --just as do the major spider collections (Copenhagen for sure, and I believe SI). If your shrimps are larger, you can increase the jar size. Most of our specimens are stored in double-jars; i.e. inverted vials within the terrine jars. I suppose for archival purposes, we should also house our largest calterpillars also in a larger double-jar system, but we simply but large larvae into the terrine jar with cotton to absorb sloshing. We do not use the rubber gaskets that come with the jars, but a synthetic gasket also used by the spider people.
==========
Wet collections in general. Historically, [we] used vial racks that are one 3-4 dram width and 21 vials long. Patent lip vials and neoprene stoppers were employed. However, stoppers of high quality are now almost impossible to find. Bioquip offers white latex and if you don't get in and out too often, they are good for a couple of decades (tops will dry, bottoms swell, but all is well with specimens). There is a small amount of red pigment in them that if the stoppers are in alcohol will leach out. We are slowly going toward plastic 8 ml cryovials (with O-rings) from Sarstedt ... They can go into the freezer too. Or course, we don't have long-term data on how long they last and how well they hold alcohol. It seems the further we get down the road on this, the less we know how to preserve this material. Alternatives are glass vials of 3 or 4 dram with screw caps and a polypropylene liner. These hold alcohol well--although I have heard them ping in the room, gassing off probably due to being too full. Careful with 3 dram ones, cannot fill them too full because pressure will blow the bottom glass out in some vials. This size does not pass most forceps to bottom, need to have forceps without shoulders to work with them.
 
For my new material. I have been using Sarstedt 2 ml cryovials with O-ring in cap. Most of my EPT specimens fit these fine and several at a time. I use Sarstedt's 100 count Styrofoam boxes for storage. This entire unit goes right into the freezer. This required a change in how I organize material. It is by cat. # now, not taxon (think of how many boxes I would need). I put labels on front with cat.# range. I cut 100 Cat. # and add them to the vials with the location and det. as I work on them. Then I hand the fully labeled box to a student to database the contents. This is entered really fast since all specimens from a site/date event are adjacent to each other and can be duplicated. Problems will arise in the future with multiple det. labels. However, for specimens going to molecular work, this small size makes a lot of sense since you are not using a lot of space to contain a single specimen.
==========
We use glass Le Parfait jars with the captive lids or bail lids. Our current supplier is Down to Earth Distributors in Oregon -
a long way from you. Perhaps you can find a closer distributor. The orange gaskets that come with the jars don't last long
so we replace them with gaskets made for us by Manufactured Rubber Products Co., in Philadelphia.

This is the same system our Herps and Fishes collections use, so if you have contacts with people in those collections, they may be able to help too.
==========
I have used mason jars for double storage for 30 years without little or no need to refill.  We get our alcohol storgae vials of various sizes (3dram, 6 dram, 1 oz, 2 oz) from Kimble Glass Inc. I am sure they have a website.  Our office mavens do the actual ordering so, I can't go further with an address.  The vials have black plastic caps with a cone shaped polypropelene insert in the lid.  I have material in these from 1994 that have not given up, failed or needed refilling. 
==========
We use Oberk jars and propylene lids (example: http://www.oberk.com/containers/glass-containers/glass-bottles/16-oz-cream-jar.html)

They come in various sizes. HOWEVER, as with any kind of screw cap lid, you have to check the jars once a year at least as they do come loose (although a second tightening seems to work longer).

I would still do the multiple upside-down shell vials in a jar system if possible. This way, if the fluid starts to evaporate, these specimens/vials always fare the best. Even using the bail jars with a buna-n gasket (although even the high quality rubber gaskets in this way are okay too) http://www.buna-ngasket.com/ is still a good method, almost better at preventing evaporation than screw caps but you just have to replace the gasket every time you open the jar.
==========
We use two standardized sized jars (16 and 32oz borosilicate) that we get from Fisher or other scientific supply venders and either cotton plugged shell vials or preferentially small plastic capped vials to go in the jars for small specimens.
==========
We have a large alcohol collection and order jars from Uline (glass jars with plastic lids and liners):

http://www.uline.com/BL_8168/Wide-Mouth-Glass-Jars?keywords=glass%20jars
http://www.uline.com/BL_8199/Straight-Sided-Glass-Jars?keywords=glass%20jars
==========
We've gone to ACME jars and other glass vendors for our large jars. Bottestore.com has several lid and glass jar options that have worked for us in the past...especially if you're wanting to switch to plastic lids.
==========

On Feb 19, 2014, at 10:31 AM, Andy Deans wrote:

> Hi all,
> We have several large arthropod specimens (shrimp, crabs) that need proper storage jars. Anyone have a good vendor? I tried BioQuip (vials too small) and Gaylord (maybe reasonable but plastic screw top). I also searched the archives here but didn't find what I am looking for. 
> 
> We'll also be looking to replace our large array of metal screw-top (cardboard gasket) shell vial jars. I'd love to get advice from people who work extensively with ethanol-preserved specimens.
> 
> Thanks for any help,
> Andy
> 

-- 
Andrew R. Deans
Department of Entomology
Pennsylvania State University
501 ASI Building
University Park, PA 16802 USA

Phone: +1 814 863 2863
FAX: +1 814 865 3048
skype: ardeans

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