Sunday, December 25, 2011

Success with breeding....Finally

I have finally had some success with the breeding of my moon jellyfish. I have four ephyra that are getting pretty big. They have all exceeded the largest ephyra I have grown up to this point. I'm extremely happy to see them grow. I think they are at a stable point too. They just need brine shrimp every day and they should grow up with little chance of dying unless something goes terribly wrong.

I finished my pseudo kreisel tank and I'm using it to grow these four ephyra. So far its a total success. The spray works excellently and so does the whole tank. The screen is 1000 microns, meaning that it may be just a little too big for new born ephyra. But anything bigger than that seems to do fine in the tank. So I'm thinking I will raise ephyra in dishes and jars on a magnetic stirrer. Then when the get big enough I can move them to the kreisel. I do realize I built this tank for comb jellies but I don't have comb jellies right now so I'm putting the tank to good use. :D


I have delayed this, but my next post should be on how to build a pseudo kreisel.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Building a Kreisel Aquarium for Comb Jellyfish

Well I'm almost done building my pseudokreisel tank for keeping comb jellyfish in. Im rather excited about it, as its looking really good. Right now, I just need a screen, a spray bar, pump and valve to finish everything up.

~The design~
I modeled the design after Jim Stime's Polyp and Ephyra system, but without the polyp chamber. As you can see in the picture, there is a Large chamber on the right. this is where the Comb jellyfish will be housed. The area marked in red is where the screen will go. I'm thinking the screen is going to be 1000 microns. The water will flow through the screen Into the one inch chamber. This is just to keep some water volume behind the screen. The water will flow through some holes and into the bio balls chamber. this will act as filtration. Water will seep under the bio-balls into the pump chamber. The pump will send water back to the large chamber via the stir bar. 

~Comb jellies~
If I haven't mentioned this before, I'm buying my comb jellies from Gulf Specimens Marine Lab. They sell all sorts of aquatic organisms from the Gulf of Mexico. These comb jellies are Mnemiopsis macrydi (sea walnut)I'm thinking I may get two comb jellies. They aren't very big according to the website. Comb jellies are also Hermaphroditic, so they should fertilize their own eggs. These eggs may develop and eventually become comb jellies. Unlike Schyphozoan Jellyfish, Ctenophores don't have a polyp or ephyra stage. They simply grow straight from the egg.

I'm not going to buy any new jellyfish until after christmas. I need to make sure that Gulf Specimens has Comb jellies and Cannonball jellies in stock. Both jellyfish will be readily available in the spring and summer. But I will call and see what the stock is looking like in late December.



~Also~

I will be making a post on how i built my aquarium soon. I just want to purchase all the parts so I have a good parts list. I've never been able to find good instructions for converting common aquariums into jellyfish aquariums so I hope that will be lots of help.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My plans for the future.

So I feel I haven't touched much on what I'm currently doing or what projects I'm planning for the future.

Right now I'm working on a major project through my school on growing moon jellyfish. I'm taking the class "Biotech I", and we have a semester project due in january. Im working specifically with polyp cultures and ephyra. Since I've been such a failure with growing the ephyra, I've begun to try some new methods. I have access to a huge amount of equipment and tools to help raise these ephyra. Some particular things that caught my eye were, the magnetic stirrers, water baths, incubators shaker tables, etc.

My first experiment was finding out whether the stirrer or the shaker table worked better. Over a course of two weeks me and my team felt the magnetic stirrer was showing much more positive results. The shaker table was on its lowest setting and still ended up beating the ephyra around and deforming them. The stir plate was set at 65 rpm and kept the ephyra up and moving in a good motion.

An experiment my friend did caught my eye. I let him use 5-10 ephyra for an experiment. He brought back a two liter bottle of ocean water and sand from myrtle beach, and requested to grow some ephyra in it. In my mind I thought this was a terrible idea. This bottle had been sitting, capped with no air or sunlight for around a month. The ephyra would have no circulation and would be lying in a sand bed. surely they would die. But they didn't die. They showed fantastic results, and grew much faster that any ephyra I have worked with. They are still growing as of right now. I thought for a while, as to find an explanation for this. I noticed the jellyfish were constantly feeding on this brown substrate at the bottom. it must be a mixture of algae, bacteria, micro crustaceans, and fish waste. The bacteria, algae and micro crustaceans must be supplying them with a good source of food. Perhaps the ephyra didn't mind growing up on sand. They probably end up on sand a lot in nature. the tentacles don't have a solid surface to stick to, therefore the issue of tentacles sticking and rotting is eliminated. The bottle is now being aerated as well. So to mimic these great results I'm going to buy some real ocean water from the pet store and inoculate it with the beneficial bacteria and organisms from the beach water. Perhaps I can achieve some better results this way. I will also be sure to post my results here, they could be very helpful for many people.


I have a few projects in mind for the future. Some time after christmas I'm going to be ordering several cannonball jellyfish and a comb jellyfish or two. I really like cannonball jellyfish, and I want to study their behavior. I also want to obtain some polyp cultures from them. I have a 55 gallon tank I plan to put the cannonball jellies in. I figure that should be around enough room for four or five cannonball jellyfish. I will just build a simple overflow to drain the water down into a sump and filter it there. Cannonball jellies are really strong and will have no issue with being sucked up into an overflow. Thats one reason I like them :)

Cannonball jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris) with several small fish trailing behind to capture food. 

The comb jellies are a  different story. They are extremely delicate and they will need to live in a kreisel tank. I plan to just convert a 10 gallon tank into a kreisel with a plastic sheet, some acrylic and a screen. These particular comb jellyfish (Mnemiopsis macrydiare bioluminescent and display a cool refraction of light on their cilia. Apparently most comb jellyfish contain both male and female organs and can reproduce on their own. So I may try to culture a few comb jellies.



So thats what I'm up to right now. Hope you are looking forward to my upcoming projects. Feel free to email me for help or general questions about jellyfish, at [travis.brandwood@gmail.com]


Picture credits~

  • http://www.tnaqua.org/Libraries/Invertebrates/Sea_Walnut.sflb.ashx
  • http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_BLysnmXIPfM/S_7J988H8fI/AAAAAAAAAVw/1QzdkTJuj30/s1600/stomolophus+community.jpg
  • http://www.aquarium-design.com/invert/40.jpg

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dealing with hydrozoans.

Hydrozoans are one of the nastiest creatures that could invade your aquarium. Once they are there its very difficult to remove them. They spread very fast and may take root all over your tank.

Hydrozoans may not affect your tank negatively. Some jellyfish get along with hydrozoans. Often times, however, your jellyfish will not coexist with the hydrozoans. This means they must be removed before they overpower and kill your beloved jellyfish.

The most straightforward method of removing hydrozoans is to bleach your tank. Depending on your tank type this may be a simple task or a difficult task. Kreisel aquariums are relatively easy to bleach. Just shut off water leading to and from your sump area. Take out your jellies and anything you wish to not bleach. Then add bleach to the water. the amount depends on the size. The bleach should kill off everything in the tank. De-chlorinator should be used to neutralize the bleach. I'm currently unsure as to how much dechlor you should use, but it is proportionate to the amount of bleach you use. Now, bleaching your tank will only kill the hydrozoans in the tank and not in the full system. You would have to bleach your sump as well, which would kill off all the beneficial bacteria. If the hydrozoans become a problem then you may have to do this.

Having a smaller 9 gallon cylindrical tank may be more difficult or easier depending on how you look at it. You will pretty much have to nuke your whole tank with bleach. They hydrozoan hydroids attach themselves to the substrate and that will have to be bleached. Sadly that means getting rid of your colonies of helpful bacteria. These colonies may grow back fast since there is the same bacteria living inside your jellyfish. So just move your jellyfish and other live material (snails, crabs, fish etc) into a safe holding tank. You can just put everything in a rectangular glass tank until you finish bleaching. scoop out the marbles and then the ceramic media. Put them into two separate bowls. Trust me, keeping the two separated save you and hour or two of sorting out the marbles from the rocks later on. Add about a cup of bleach to the empty tank. As for the substrate, wash both the marbles and rocks (separately!) in a strainer with very hot tap water. The heat, chlorine, and fresh water will help kill the hydrozoans. Then you can bleach the media or boil it for an hour or so. Just make sure that ceramic rock is really soaked. It's very porous and small hydrozoans may take refuge in those pores and then return in your tank.

Once you are sure your tank and substrate media has been sterilized, you can return everything to the tank. Personally I would drain all the old water out and wash everything then get new saltwater. I feel a good wash of everything will remove dead hydrozoans and will give your tank a fresh new start.

Bleaching should leave you with a hydroid free environment, assuming you eliminated their source of entrance as well. Hydroids can come from a variety of sources and you should make sure you don't introduce new hydrozoans into your tank after you go through the suffering of bleaching your tank. These sources may include~

  • Brine shrimp eggs.
  • Hermit crabs. 
  • Ocean water that has not been sterilized.
  • Live rock/live sand.
  • Things bought from major pet shops. 
You can eliminate hydrozoans from brine shrimp eggs by getting decapsulated brine shrimp eggs. These are eggs that have been bleached to have the shell removed. Some varieties of these eggs will still hatch, and get rid of the hassle of separating the hard brine shrimp shells from the shrimp. They are also often free of hydrozoans. just make sure your supplier specifies that they are sterilized and also still hatch-able. 

Try not to buy hermit crabs or fish/ invertebrates from major pet dealers. Buy from reputable fish stores. This may help eliminate hydrozoan introduction.

If you want to use real ocean water then you should sterilize it first. Otherwise, using manmade saltwater works just fine.

Sand and live rock aren't often used in jellyfish aquariums since only certain jellyfish can tolerate sharp objects in their tank. Jellyfish art's tank uses live rock as filtration. The tank comes with dry ceramic media containing no life. They some live rock with every purchase of jellyfish. So there is no need to add any live rock which could introduce hydrozoans to your tank.




Monday, November 7, 2011

A Jellyfish Emergency; When Hydrozoans Attack!

Hydrozoans are like the bad cousins of jellyfish. They can deplete your tanks nutrients, cover your tank walls and most importantly, damage or kill your jellyfish.

Earlier this year in march I witnessed a major hydroid attack on my jellyfish. I had no clue what was going on, as I was not expirenced. All I could understand was that something was making my jellyfish very sick. I did nothing to stop the undetected attack and my jellyfish died. My three jellyfish began acting very strangely. They slowed down and began to become very soft and gooey. Obviously moon jellyfish are already gooey, however it seemed like my jellyfish were beginning to melt! The jellyfish spent their time stuck to things such as the substrate or sadly, even the heater. Eventually the jellyfish withered away like a block of melting ice, leaving me with several questions. The tank was empty except for a snail and two hermit crabs. I began to notice this intricate spider web design on the acrylic near the bottom of the tank. I was searching for polyps, and at first I thought I found them, however I later realized that I ran into hydroids.

Hydroids are simply the polyps of hydrozoan jellyfish. They live in a network style colony, forming branches with little buds at the end of the branches.

I watched these strange hydroids for a while, and to my surprise they began to produce small jellyfish. These new jellyfish were very strange. They were very simple and didn't do much. In fact they pretty much latched onto the walls of my tank and stayed their until something disturbed them. They didn't get very big either. At times I would have 20 or 30 of these things. And then their populations began to decrease. They were draining my tanks food and I didn't feel like replenishing it. Then of course I ended up knocking my tank over, and wiped out their population.

A video of some hydroid jellyfish found in my tank in march. 

Im sure your thinking this is a nice story and all, but why? Well I realized yesterday that their are hydroids present in my tank again. I think they hitched a ride on my clown fish and were accidentally introduced. My first thoughts were to nuke the tank with bleach. But then I began to question that. nothing in my tank is any different. My jellyfish are healthy, as are my clownfish and snails. These hydroids may produce jellyfish, and possibly a new jellyfish Im unfamiliar with. So I decided I would attempt to remove them and grow them elsewhere. Well I scraped as many as I could see off, and put them in a flask. They grew back almost immediately in the tank. The colony still seems small though, and there is no sign of any hydroids gearing up to produce jellyfish. They just seem to be busy eating. in fact not all hydroids produce jellyfish. These may just stay hydroids. However I hope that they produce something cool while they loiter in my tank.

So I'm just going to watch the colony and intervene if something goes down. My next segment of this will be on the removal of hydroids and what you can do about them.

Picture credit~
http://kentsimmons.uwinnipeg.ca/16cm05/16labman05/lb5pg4_files/image002.jpg

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Stage V: The free swimming ephyra and juvenile Jellyfish

The fourth stage is the ephyra. This is the first stage where things start looking like jellyfish. Ephyra generally pulse off the strobila looking like little star shaped jellyfish. They generally eat rotifers or baby brine shrimp. Once they begin to grow bigger they fill in their flesh, so that they appear more round. The also begin to grow a stump, and then full oral arms.

Once the ephyra get bigger they pass into the juvenile stage where their bell measures 1- 2 inches in diameter. At this point they can breed amongst each other. The jellyfish will continue to grow if fed well. Moon jellyfish can get very big in their adult stage, up in the 12 inch diameter region!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stage III: The Polyp ad strobila.



Once the planula has found a good, solid surface to attach to, it will metamorphose into a polyp. This stage is fairly stable, as the polyp doesn't do much, nor does it move.

A polyp is essentially a small bud and stem, very much like an anemone. It has a large mouth compared to the body. When capturing food, it will sting the food material then retract its tentacle so the food comes flying through its mouth into the polyps oral cavity. When the polyp is hungry it is very easy to see its tentacles mouth an oral cavity under a microscope.

Polyps have to complete several tasks. Polyps have to eat, so they will extend their tentacles and open their mouths wide open. Polyps can also produce more polyps by budding off asexually, leaving you with two polyps. The third thing polyps will do is transform into a strobila. When favorable conditions occur, such as temperature  spikes or drops or perhaps higher iodine levels, the polyps will begin to elongate. This means that they literally begin to get long and skinny. Then, the polyp begins to look bumping with ridges going up and down their upper region. These ridges get deeper until the polyp looks like a stack of discs. Each disc will eventually be a jellyfish. The discs begin to pulse as the near the end of their maturation. Then they will pulse off and swim away. This stage is known as the ephyra, and is the next stage in the life cycle.
Two small polyps and a strobila are shown here in a petri dish, feeding on brine shrimp. 

This whole process of polyps making jellyfish is known as strobilation. The interesting thing here is that the polyps will go back to being regular polyps after the strobilate. They can produce hundreds to thousands of jellyfish in a lifetime under perfect conditions. So polyps can produce tons of ephyra and also make asexual copies of themselves. This means that if you have a few polyps you could theoretically have an infinite source of jellyfish as long as you don't let the polyp colony die. This is why I feel the polyp stage is the most important.
A strobila under 10x magnification. Notice the clear stacks of disc shaped ephyra. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stage II of the jellyfish life: Planula/embryo

The first stage in the jellyfish life cycle is the planula. A planula is a ovular shaped, microscopic organism. they move them selves around using many cilia, or tiny hairs.

Planula are the byproduct of sexual reproduction in jellyfish. At least two adult jellyfish of opposite sexes must be near each other for sexual reproduction to occur. The jellyfish will release gametes (eggs and sperm) into the water and they will meet, thus fertilizing the eggs. The eggs will begin to multiply in cells up to 64 cells. Then they become a full blastocyst and eventually form a planula. Millions of planula are formed at one time.

These planula will move around with their cilia for around 7-10 days. Then they will find a clean place and settle down on it. once they have a hard surface to attach to they will begin to metamorphose into what is known as a polyp. That is the next major stage in the jellyfish life cycle.

I have a video of cannonball jellyfish sperm cells as well.


Image credits~
http://www1.fccj.cc.fl.us/dbyres/images/planula.jpg

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What are jellyfish?

Jellyfish live very complicated lives and have a strange life cycle. I want to take the time to really explain what jellyfish are and how their life pans out. So I will start with the simplest stage of their life.

What is a jellyfish? 
Jellyfish are known as medusas. medusa refers specifically to the stage of a jellyfish's life that we all know and recognize; the jellyfish.

A jellyfish is a simple marine organism from the phylum Cnidaria. Cnidaria encompasses many corals, anemones, hydrozoans, cubozoans etc. True jellyfish are a class known as scyphozoans. Moon jellies, sea nettles, cannonball jellies (plus many many more) are scyphozoans.

There are other types of medusa, however scientifically, they aren't actual jellyfish. These medusa are all still cnidarians, they just aren't scyphozoans. I still generally refer to these medusa as jellyfish because they are very close and there is no use in getting caught in the little specialized names and classes. Examples of these include hydrozoans and cubozoans. Hydrozoans include jellies such as the crystal jellyfish or the cross jellyfish. cubozoans encompass jellyfish with four sides that form a cube shape as their bell. these are also known as box jellies. Some cubozoans are extremely toxic and others are not.

Jellyfish structure and makeup. 


There is an extreme diverse population of jellyfish in existence right now. Jellyfish within their class tend to be similar in body layout, however.

~Scyphozoans~

~Hydrozoans~


~Cubozoans~


So here are the three basic types of jellyfish. A lot of this information is not necessary to own a jellyfish. however I think it should shed some light on the first stage of the jellyfish. Part two will be on planula!

Credits to~

  • http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/cnidaria/images/CuboMorph1.jpg
  • http://www.esu.edu/~milewski/intro_biol_two/lab_9_porifera_cnidaria/images/hydrozoan_medusa_diagram.jpg
  • http://cronodon.com/files/Jellyfish_diagram_2.jpg

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Got my new clown fish. :)

So I got my clown fish. I actually got two. A male and a female. They seem to be getting along fairly well. The jellyfish hasn't caused them harm. Both are true Percula clown fish. The female is named Dorito and the male is named Cheeto. Fitting names I suppose. ;) 

My clown's do seem to need somewhere to hide or to rest in. I'm really not leaning towards an anemone. I know they are clownfish compatible but jellyfish and anemones don't seem to get along well. Anemones tend to eat jellyfish in the wild. I'm not sure how they would act in a tank. But I don't have enough lighting for the anemones anyways. So I'm thinking a live algae of some sort. Caulerpa or Chaeto would be the most famous, and the first choice for a reef keeper. I don't really like the way Caulerpa looks and it seems a bit spiny for a jellyfish aquarium. Chaeto seems very nice and fluffy. However I've heard it can overtake and outgrow aquariums. So I will have to ponder about that for a while. Of course I could always opt for a fake rubber anemone from petco. 

But as far as clown fish go : great choice. They really brighten up the jellyfish aquarium and add so other interesting aspects to the tank. Clown fish themselves are actually pretty funny. They tend to dance about the aquarium looking for food. They are also very attractive too. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A jellyfish aquarium with jellyfish and fish.

What comes to mind when you see jellyfish and fish crossing paths? You would expect to see the jellyfish capture the fish in its billowing tentacles and then sting and consume it. However that's not always the case.

According to research done by the popular company, Jellyfish Art, many fish can be kept with moon jellyfish in peace. And I know for a fact that clown fish will do fine with moon jellyfish. Of course that suddenly makes sense right? If you have ever seen finding Nemo you will remember the scene where Marlin rescues Dory from the swarm of jellyfish. Anemones and jellyfish are related because they are both Cnidarians. Their venoms are similar and clownfish don't mind either sting. 


So I've decided I'm going to get one clown fish for my tank. I really like the black clown fish, however Im not sure if I want one quite yet. I may buy a regular clown fish now or opt for a black one later. I'm not entirely sure.  Clown fish are easy to care for and look good too. 





~Images from~

http://images.wikia.com/villains/images/b/bd/Jellyfish.jpg
http://aquaviews.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Ocellaris-Clownfish.jpg
http://animal-world.com/encyclo/marine/clowns/images/BlackPerculaWMC_U28.jpg

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shopping at petco :)

Went shopping at Petco today for  jellyfish supplies. Its actually a pretty good place to find supplies for building jellyfish aquariums or to find various tank chemicals, salt and even food.

Today I went to my local Petco store to buy several things. I needed a new "critter tank" for my ephyra and I wanted to browse the frozen food isle for possible jellyfish food. While browsing for food I picked up a variety pack of frozen food fit for most marine animals and Hikari brand "first bites" food. I'm hoping to find a food that I can feed to all my ephyra of any size. Some ephyra are born at a size where brine shrimp is no problem. Others can even catch a brine shrimp. So theres and obvious problem there and I'm hoping an improved diet will help the ephyra stay alive. I've seen hundreds of ephyra shrink into nothingness and I'm tired of it.

So I'm thinking of two ways to improve diet.

  1. Smaller food for all ephyra grants every ephyra the chance to eat and they can all digest food better and take more nutrients from food. 
  2. Various foods like planktons and frozen fish blended finely. 
Im going with both, but for right now I'm staying with frozen food and live brine shrimp. However I will order live planktons and copepods if need be. Right now the ephyra are eating brine shrimp and a little bit of the frozen food i bought today. The frozen food was a variety pack and included, mysis shrimp, squid, brine shrimp and omnivorous food. There were four different kinds of food in the pack based on those four ingredients but they all seemed to contain the three in different quantities. Squid was the only exception, which was by itself as a frozen food. I fed them the food that was mainly brine shrimp to start off with. It seemed blended enough to the point where the jellyfish could gain nutrients just from soaking in the food.

I also really wanted some frozen rotifers to try but this Petco didn't carry them. They seem to be the appropriate second hand food with brine shrimp being first. But maybe this frozen food will work just as well. :)



Image from -- http://pet.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pPETS-10611816t400.jpg

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Live Moon Jellyfish Polyps for sale

So in an effort to raise money for my research I am going to begin selling warm water moon jellyfish polyps. I need funding to be able to grow out ephyra, and this should help.

I will be posting an ebay page next week with 10 loose polyps for $100 plus shipping. At the moment I will ship to the continental US only.

I only have one package available. This includes 10 loose polyps, and a  pipet for transferring polyps. If you know that you want some polyps email me at Travis.brandwood@gmail.com. First come first serve. If no one buys directly from me then I will continue the plan and sell via ebay.

Feel free to contact me for more information or to buy. Thanks, this should really boost my funding, so I can possibly start selling adult jellyfish!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gah, these ephyra are so difficult!

Ephyra really are extremely difficult to raise. I just cant get the hang of them. There are so many things that can kill or injure them. It even goes down to what food you give them.

I was going on having a set of really nice ephyra. They were getting big and looked as if I was going to be successful in growing them to adulthood but then they just quit out on me. I tried feeding them frozen blended brine shrimp, and the next morning there was just piles of goop I the dish, with too piles of goop still pulsing. Strangely this only happened too the larger ephyra. The smaller ones were fine.

So I ordered a screen for the new breeding system. Its a nylon 1000 micron screen. I bought it off amazon for 12.00. Should get here in a few days.

I havent really said much about all of my system lately so I will now. I have a 1.5 gallon aquarium with polyps on petri dishes. My display is running with one warm water moon jellyfish and two snails. I have a bucket with live rock, two hermit crabs and two snails in it. This is all stuff from the beach that was and maybe will go with a cannonball jellyfish tank or maybe Cassiopeia. I also have several dishes with polyps and ephyra living in them.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tons of ephyra!


So over the past few week I've  had  huge strobilation. I'm up to about 50 ephyra. The polyps literally stopped strobilating for a day then got back at it. I could be expecting more, say 100 total in a few days. The ephyra are all growing in a large flat bottom dish, similar to a culture dish.

Now the difference here is the fact that these ephyra are big, eating food and growing even larger! Many of these may actually make it to adulthood if I can keep everything stable. So I'm going to keep my hopes up and see what happens!

On a note about the polyps. I did a super thorough cleaning of the polyps dishes. I was always very picky about cleaning the polyps. I've heard some scary stories about fungus, algae bacteria attacks etc. but I could never clean the stuff up right next to the polyps. So it kinda piled up and eventually the polyps grew over top of the debris. And after the heavy cleaning I noticed I had nocked a bunch of polyps off the dish. So I started a third dish of polyps. I really need to start growing polyps on dishes turned sideways or upside down so they don't have to sit in their own debris.

Hopefully I can just hurry up the breeding system. Even if I don't finish the ephyra tank for a few week the polyps really need a large volume tank with filtration! They have been sitting lonely in a 1.5 gallon glass tank. Thats not really healthy for them and its burning a hole in my wallet to change that much water all the time.

You should be seeing great material from me in the near future!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Some success with ephyra


So after a long time of growing polyps, and failing to grow ephyra I learned a few nifty tricks. Polyps grow much better in an aquarium or tank of reasonable volume.
A few months ago I took a strobila that was floating in my display tank and put in a petri dish. Then I nocked my tank over and managed to save two more polyps. They all lived in petri dishes with limited success. The polyps were small and therefore the ephyra they produced were small and not healthy. The ephyra were almost premature if you will.
I finally decided to dump all my polyps into a 1.5 gallon aquarium since I was going on vacation. This way I could feed them enough to make it through the trip, but without fouling up the water. I came back and was blown away. They polyps were reproducing at extremely surprising rates, and they were a lot bigger. Every one of them was round and happy.
And just yesterday I received 32 ephyra from my polyp culture. Some were still small, I assume the strobila never had the chance to cash in on the food and space since they were busy with bearing ephyra. But others ephyra were much larger. They were larger, healthier and better looking overall. And as a plus they already have small tentacle stubs growing which means they can be fed brine shrimp immediately! I used to have to soak the ephyra in raw nutrients to help them grow when they could not eat.
The tank the polyps are living in is just a small 1.5 gallon glass aquarium. I need to finish my breeding system soon so I can move the polyps into a filtered tank. They are just sitting in the tank with an air tube as their only means of filtration. I also want to get polyps in the new system fast , so that they don't start multiplying on the walls of the glass tank. Then I would have to scrape them off and move them to dishes.
I should have some pictures up of the ephyra and maybe the polyps soon. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

jellyfish for sale?

So the Cannon ball jellyfish did not make the trip back. The bucket acted like a furnace and essentially killed the jellyfish with heat.
My jellyfish at home is doing fine. he is a little smaller do to lack of food but that wont be a major problem. The polyps are better than ever. they were living in a 1.5 gallon tank with an air tube. they grew a lot due to the larger amount of space and water volume. I also found several ephyra. I moved the ephyra to a small glass beaker for now. more are on the way.
That was the good news, now for the bad. Im in a bit of a sticky situation. I have several time sensitive tasks to complete but without sufficient funding. I really need to finish my breeding system soon so I can hopefully grow moon jellies. maybe then I could sell them to fund all of this. I also need to buy a filter for my second tank. I found a great company that can sell me cannonball jellyfish. They also sell atlantic sea nettles, Cassiopeia, Lion’s mane jellies, comb jellies and cross jellies. The Cannonballs are almost out of season though.
So I may just build a tank to house combs or atlantic sea nettles for now. That way I can concentrate on building the breeding system and then work on gaining a second species.
But  I really need to find a good source of funding for my research. I have a lot of great projects in mind and things I need to buy but I just cant afford everything. I would love to research the Atlantic Box jelly, and comb jellies as well. I also want to find ways to keep even more exotic jellyfish in simple aquariums. It seems people are limited to the moon jellyfish and possibly the Cassiopeia/lagoon jellyfish combo. Wouldn’t it be great to keep comb jellies or sea nettles of some sort?
I really want to sell jellyfish in the near future. I' m also looking into building and selling tanks. I just need the money to fund more research and get started. Donations would be great :D. Well thats what Im working on. If you have any ideas on funding or research idea I would love to hear them!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Caught a new Jellyfish :)


So while on a 6 day beach trip with family and friends I caught a Cannonball jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris). My friend and I were casually drifting in the surf when we found it. I waded over to grab  the jellyfish. When I flipped it over to inspect it I noticed a large cut stretching from the top of his bell down to near the bottom. It was about 1 inch thick. I wasn't sure whether I should have tossed him back or taken him in. So I ran with him back to my bucket for collecting jellyfish.

Cannon balls, as far as I know, are the thickest and hardest of all jellies. They feel like bone ligaments or cartilage.
I decided to keep it and see how if it would live through the night. In the mean time I decided to sample its gonads and check its gender. The gonads were already partially exposed and no dissection was necessary. Interestingly the gonads are a fine turquoise color.

This one is male. I have pictures of its gonads under 10x magnification and I will upload them soon.
He lived through several nights and his cut was healing up at a remarkable pace until I added some other items to his bucket. I added a few hermit crabs and snails to keep the pollutants in the 10 gallon bucket to a minimum but it appears it re-scratched the cut. so i dont know how he is going to do now. He is sitting in a large bag full of seawater inside the 10 gal. bucket strapped to the back of the car. With a large cut like that Im really not sure if he will make the trip back but we will see.

If it lives, then it gets the Cassiopeia tank Im building for right now. I think its 15-20 gallons and that should do fine for him. I will be getting an internal overflow filter since cannonballs behave and look very similar to lagoon jellyfish and blue blubbers (this filter works well for those jellies).

I gathered several samples of live rock, two snails three hermit crabs and some seaweed. Im hoping this and the internal overflow will keep the tank in balance. Cannonball jellies can be very nasty especially when introduced into a new tank, and taken from the wild. As a stress reaction, they release balls of goop with nematocysts (stinging cells) into the water. This stuff really makes the water go foul quick.

Anyways huge update right? Well I will also be posting a second update soon on how my jellies at home are doing. My father was responsible for their care but he had an unexpected work call and had to go out of town as well. So I really don't know what to expect.

Heres a photo of the Cannonball jellyfish. My friend took the photo while I held him in place.

They dubbed the jelly "aussie" after the infamous australian box jellyfish. although cannonballs have a very weak sting. I gained an immunity to it after 1 day. In fact the sting never really burned or hurt. It just itched a little.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Breeding system needs some touch ups.

The breeding system really needs a few touch ups, as it isn't working. The ephyra got sucked up into the mesh almost immediately. I tried substituting a paint filter but that actually tore one of the ephyra up. I also cracked the ephyra tank. So I'm just going to add a few new differences and maybe that will help.

  • New 1000 micron screen. 
  • New ephyra tank.
  • Drill several out flow holes in the ephyra tank instead of one. 
I noticed that in videos of successful breeding systems there were multiple out flow holes drilled in the ephyra tank. perhaps that will help and its worth trying. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Finished my brand new jellyfish breeding system!

Just finished my breeding system. The screen is glued it and I even purchased an air pump for the ephyra chamber. I've tested everything out with tap water and toilet paper (fake jellyfish :D).

Everything seems to be going really nicely. None of the toilet paper is sticking to the screen. It was at first but I bought a new air pump and added some rigid airline tubing to the ephyra chamber. This will help keep the flow up in areas of low flow.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Capturing the jellyfish king; the box jellyfish

So In a few weeks I will be going to Pine Knoll Shores in North Carolina. This is essentially the best jellyfish spot in NC. The last time I was there was before I got my live jellyfish. But this beach was my inspiration. I was there with family and friends. The surf was filled with dead moon jellies. It was an interesting sight. There was even a dead atlantic sea nettle there as well, although I didn't realize it until a few months afterwards. So that beach is known to have Cannonball jellyfish, moon jellyfish and, atlantic sea nettles. Thats already a very nice diversity. 


However, recently I found a website for tracking jellyfish in North Carolina (http://www.jellyfish.appstate.edu/). On the very same island ,no more that 6 miles away from where we are staying, there was a box jellyfish sighting recently. This was a Chiropsalmus quadrumanus. This species of box jellyfish is toxic and can be potentially fatal. This isn't particularly something I want to handle, although it seems like it is about as poisonous as a portugese man of war. So in other words, it could be deadly if stung near the heart, respiratory system or in the face. I'm sure if you were stung say, on the arm you would be left with large amounts of pain and scarring but no death unless you had other medical conditions. 


This box jelly isn't my real goal. there is a second species, one of which I prefer much more, found up north of the island (Tamoya haplonema). These have been found year after year at cape lookout. apparently the wash up dead on the beach often, and can even be found swimming in the tides. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Think I killed most of my ephyra :(

My ephyra were behaving poorly due to the quality of their water. So I changed their water with brand new saltwater. however, the water was cold so I placed them under a lamp until the water heated up to room temp. Sadly I left them too long and they fried..... They all got very small due to osmosis I suspect.

So no more ephyra until the polyps produce more. But in better news I ordered the pump for my ephyra/polyp system! It turns out that 100% silicone still isnt aquatic safe. It tends to degrade in saltwater aquariums. So I just need to buy some aquarium safe silicone and re-glue everything. Then it will be done!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My ephyra are actually growing!

So I've finally gotten my ephyra to start growing with less casualties. I've been keeping a good stock of 10 - 15. A few have died a long the way but some are starting to get bigger. Up until today I was keeping them in a tall clear glass. However I moved them to an interesting tank I bought from Petsmart.

The tank is a beta fish tank but it looks like a mini stretch kreisel aquarium. I thought it was pretty unique and went ahead and bought it. I also bought some frozen brine shrimp to try on my large jellyfish as well as two plastic species containers for building an ephyra grow system.
Here is what my tank looks like but mines in black. 

So anyways I'm keeping my ephyra in that little tank with no flow. I thought about adding a spray bar and jelly-pimping the tank out, but I decided no flow would be fine. The ephyra really seem to like it. it gives them plenty of flat bottom space for resting as well as a good volume of water to pulse around in. 

While my ephyra grow out in that tank I'm also building a jellyfish breeding system. Its nothing major, but it should allow for consistent jellyfish growth and results. Raising jellyfish in culture dishes and small tanks seems to lead to mis-formed and slow growing ephyra. This is because they must be handled often to change the water and they don't east as often either. 

My system consists of a polyp tank, an ephyra tank, and a reservoir. The polyp tank will hold jellyfish polyps. When the polyps release ephyra, the new jellies will get gently sucked through a small pipe into the ephyra tumble tank. This is a smaller tank with a parabolic screen at one end. The water coming from the polyp tank circulates the ephyra and keeps them suspended, along with the help of an air stone. Water passes through the screen into a pipe and down into the reservoir. The water then gets pumped back into the polyp chamber. 


This kind of system is great because it is cheap, generally effective, great for almost all species, and easy to maintain. You can also add more polyp or ephyra tanks if you choose to do so. 

So theres my update for now. Happy jelly keeping ;)
Images credited to~ Pet-dog-cat-supplystore.com  projectdibs.com

Monday, July 11, 2011

Alright so I'm staying here as well.

This will be my personal blog about culturing and raising jellyfish. I still encourage you to check out my cooperative blog (http://jellykeeping.wordpress.com/). That blog is a plethora of information on raising culturing and keeping jellyfish. However its not only my blog. There is another editor who also writes about his jellyfish experience.

So I will update this blog as well to account on my personal experiences of raising and culturing jellyfish.

So, updates!

  1. I bought a new moon jellyfish from jellyfish Art.com. Its about 4 inches in diameter. Its very healthy and good looking.  
  2. I've got 15 ephyra and they are doing very well! I've learned some new culture techniques and protocols from reading a few articles by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Heres a link to one , http://www.mpcfaculty.net/kevin_raskoff/raskoffCulture.pdf (Collection and Culture Techniques for Gelatinous Zooplankton). 
My new methods for raising these ephyra is cleaner and helps keep pollutants down. The ephyra live in a large tall glass cup or beaker. Instead of dumping live brine shrimp into that container the ephyra get transferred to a petri dish and allowed to feed upon brine shrimp. After an hour elapses, the ephyra are moved back into the clean container of saltwater. Daily water changes are made as well. 


A picture of my new moon jellyfish. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

At some point....

One day and at some point in time I would love to have tanks with the sea nettle trio. That is the -- black sea nettle, pacific sea nettle, and purple stripe jelly--. These are three great jellyfish and they are also jellyfish giants. The black sea nettle can get absolutely huge! And the pacific sea nettle and purple striped jellyfish get reasonably big a well.
     I dont plan to get these jellyfish anytime soon but perhaps one day I can have all three. They cant live together. At least, the pacific sea nettles have to live in separate tanks or they will die.

Here are some pictures. In order, black sea nettle pacific sea nettle, and purple striped jelly.

Strangely, the black sea nettle is an orange-red color when its young. It develops its maroon burgundy color as it ages. I like this color best however its younger tint is appealing as well. The same goes for the purple striped jellyfish. Its a pinkish hue all over with red-pink stripes, when younger. Some purple striped jellyfish don't even develop stripes! I like the thicker color shown here but the pink is still appealing. here is a photo of a young black sea nettle and a young purple striped jelly, in that order.




The black sea nettles and purple striped jellyfish are pretty rare, and the pacific sea nettles are usually pretty easy to obtain. But again its just a dream I have. And I'd love to see it come true. 


Friday, June 24, 2011

The worst accident in jellyfish history.

So I fell asleep the other night thinking about my jellyfish. I must have gotten too deep into thought, because i woke up to my jellyfish tank toppling over. Im not exactly sure what happened, but I think I kicked my tank over in my sleep. All I remember is gathering my senses and flicking the emergency off switch on my power strip. The whole room had to be emptied and the carpet had to be striped.
     However, my ephyra and polyps were safe. most of the polyps in the tank got rubbed into my carpet, however. But I did rescue two which leaves me with several ephyra and six polyps.
     I've already set my tank up elsewhere. Its ready to go and has my snail, as well a polyp in it. The polyp is on a dish and I'm waiting for him to bud off a few copies. It will be interesting for the tank to start out with just polyps. Usually an ecosystem of worms or other small organisms is set up when I introduce moon jellyfish and live rock bought from jellyfish art. The polyps were developed much afterwards. But now the polyps will start out and the ephyra will be introduced later when they get to a larger size.
     Speaking of ephyra, I've got three or four ephyra that are getting pretty big. Still not big enough for the tank but they are about 3 times bigger than they were when they pulsed off their strobila. I'm pretty happy that I've raised them up to this point and I cant wait for them to develop into juvenile medusa. In this stage the are fully round and look much less like a pinwheel. They also have longer, more obvious oral arms, as well as stinging tentacles around their bells.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cannon ball jellyfish, Upside down jellyfish, and ephyra updates

So I was at the beach from thursday to sunday. Of course I went jellyfishing most of the time. I did catch one cannonball jellyfish but he was ill and departed that night. I brought back a ton of sea weeds and lush sea plants. There were shrimps crabs, hermit crabs and even what looks to be something related to jellyfish. So I've decided I'm going to build a cassiopeia, upside down jellyfish tank. Im going to build it out of a regular 5.5 gallon aquarium. It will be split into two sections. One will be larger than the other by just a bit. The first chamber on the left will contain sand and the upside down jellyfish them selves. The barrier between the two sections will be mostly screen with acrylic as a base. A wide screen will hopefully help keep the jellies from being sucked in.In the rightmost chamber there will be live sea weeds and sea mosses. This will be a refugium/ filtration section. A low power pump or power head will be hanging on the edge here. this will suck water out of the filter section and deliver it ,at low current, back to the jelly section. Im thinking this idea will work fine, I might want a bigger aquarium though. I'm getting five upside down jellies from carolina biological. That means that 5.5 gallons will be too small, however thats the tank that I know I have. My dad might still have a 30 gallon tank from his goldfish days.... And of course with a bigger aquarium I could possibly add lagoon jellies if i can obtain some.
So updates on my ephyra... Right now I have 6-7 ephyra. I also have two polyps on culture. my stock of 25 ephyra was wiped out in the tank by fouling organisms. I have one ephyra in the

tank but I'm leaving him there since it could inoculate my culture of ephyra with fouling organisms. I may only have 6 or 7 ephyra now but these ones are more healthy than the others and they are bigger too.
hopefully they will grow to be healthy and can be put in my tank after I nuke it with bleach.

<---Right here I have my beach findings in a 1.5 gallon tank.

<--- That red/ pink thing in the center of the image looks a little bit like a polyp. Not sure though. Could be string from nets and fish lines.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Large strobilation!

So I found at least 7 or so ephyra in my tank today. Obviously all the polyps got the memo...
I also found two ephyra that were stuck together even after being released from their strobila. They separated when I moved them to the dish sadly. A double jellyfish would be cool although they would have separated eventually, without my help.
Anyways that whats going on right now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Updates...News, new set ups etc




So I've got a lot to discuss here as today has been a vey interesting day in jelly land.

I now have six ephyra. five are very healthy and one is a little mis-formed but seems like he will recover. Right now I'm keeping my ephyra in a petri dish, and I'm pretty sure it will stay that way until they get put in the main tank. Two of them are getting pretty big, compared to the rest. This is because they have been alive longer.
So today while searching for Ephyra I noticed a polyp drifting around in the tank. I got it on a slide and looked at it under my microscope. It turns out it was a strobila. None of the ephyra were very developed on it but it was still obvious. So I put it in a petri dish with tank water right next to the ephyra dish. i'm not really sure why it detached. It may have been the jerk flow I was using to get stray ephyra out of the substrate with. the detachment was very clean, so if its alive it should have no problem reattaching. I will be very happy if it lives, b/c that means I will have polyps in culture. that could bring me one step closer to my goal of restoring my tank.
So I figured I would take photos of my set up just to g
ive everyone a clear image of what I've got running right now. I will also include a video of that strobila.
My two petri dishes.
My whole culture set up.
My main tank. JellyfishArt's Desktop jellyfish aquarium.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back into the tank they go!

So I released my ephyra back into the main tank. Not because they were big enough but rather because they will do better in their. I found a fourth one in the tank and he was doing much better that the captive ones. This is due to flow and a heavy environment around him, which will allow for proper water quality. Hopefully they will do fine in here and develop into adult medusa!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Update

So my three ephyrae are doing quite fine. They are growing little by little and will hopefully make it through this. They are still living in a rectangular tuppaware container. They get daily water changes, and are fed baby brine shrimp.
I was having a problem feeding them before but I found a nifty solution. at first i noticed that even though the were around 100 brine shrimp in their tuppaware container they still didn't get any food. the brine shrimp would dodge them and stay away. Well I put my ephyrae in a petri dish, while changing their water today and they managed to capture most of the brine shrimp in the dish. The solution is just getting them closer to their food. Im also thinking about picking up some frozen rotifers or maybe live ones. These ephyrae seem to filter the water out to obtain food as well, considering the fact that they are slowly growing. Anyways theres my update on these little ephyrae. And by the way, compared to having a specific tank system for ephyrae, I think that the tuppaware system works best. This is simply best for home growers or someone who is growing small amounts of ephyrae. The tank system is good for a mass producer of jellies.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Three ephyrae



I found a third Ephyrae in my main tank today. It seems the polyps are having no problem producing ephyrae and Im very pleased with the quality of ephyrae they are producing. They are rugged and tough which is a very good quality in jellyfish.I think I will lower the heat at four or five ephyrae. Then I will grow out my ephyrae and put them in the tank. I also found a few polyps which I may transfer when the time comes. I realize that if I obtain five ephyrae that there is bound to be one of the opposite sex needed for reproduction, but its nice to have some polyps in the tank to replace hydroids and to produce ephyrae just in case something happens. Plus I cant see why I should kill them for their excellent work :).
Anyways, once this situation stabilizes I will likely build an upside down jellyfish tank. This should be pretty easy. Im thinking a regular rectangular aquarium with the same substrate as in the moon tank (rough gravel then a glaze of glass marbles). And for filtration I think I will use a weak gravel filter. That should be all that is needed for these jellyfish. although Chad Widmer does have a stunning tank design for upside down jellyfish and lagoon jellies. I might consider that as well. Thats far in the f
uture though. I want to get good at raising moon jellyfish first.

I also have some pictures of two of my ephyrae.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ephyra

I found an ephyra swimming in my tank today! I was observing the hydroids in my tank and then a very small ephyra swam by. I was rather stunned that it browsed by. I had no clue that there were any polyps strobilating in my tank. The heat trick didn't appear to work, but I may have just been two impatient.
I caught the little ephyra in a cup and looked at him for a while. It looks pretty cool. I bought some petri dishes and other supplies online, but they haven't arrived yet so I reluctantly let the ephyra swim away in the tank. It should be reasonable safe there. I hope it gets bigger and develops into a mature medusa.
My plans for the tank are pretty sketchy but I think everything might just fall in place. i want to obtain about three to five moon jellyfish. Then I'm going to nuke the tank and start it all over, then add these moon jellyfish. I'm hoping I can collect enough ephyra to grow out and obtain my 3-5 moons. I really cant afford another set of three jellyfish at the moment. however the polyps can be rather unreliable. if they every once in awhile I will end up with mature medusa in my disgusting tank while I wait for more ephyra. I will have to try adding some lugol's iodine and see if i will get more than one ephyra.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Turned the heat up.

I turned the heater up three degrees. the tanks average temperature is 76.00 degrees F. its now from 79 to 80 degrees F.
I found one polyps that is definitely a moon jellyfish polyp. so hopefully overnight or as the week spans out, it will strobilate and produce me some Ephyra!
And I also have some weird hydroid/polyp creatures living in a petri dish on standby in a separate 1.5 gallon aquarium. they look kind of like polyps but they are mostly clear and at the moment, don't appear to have base stems. I thought at first that segmented worms were eating their bases that they use to attach to stuff with. But Im not even sure if the have bases. and to make it even stranger they have the ability to pulse around rapidly in the water column! s
So every time I spot one I suck it up with a pipet and put it on a dish submerged in the smaller aquarium. Im thinking they might be a polyp of another jellyfish species. i guess they could be a type of box jelly polyp or really any warm water polyps.
Anyways, I will keep you posted on updates for both of these topics. and i will have pictures for any ephyra that I may get.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Polyp update

So the polyps are growing pretty well. There are a few patches of colonial polyps at the bottom of the tank in the substrate layer. There are also stand alone polyps growing on the tank walls. These polyps are growing fasted since they have more room to grow. however the have unique problem. segmented worms are eating their stems off. So most of the polyps are sticking to the walls by their tentacles.
Before today I had no clue polyps could swim. I accidentally jostled a loose polyps and it freaked out and started pulsing around the tank then stuck itself to the tank wall. I was pretty impressed and I managed to get a fuzzy video clip of it swimming and then landing. I might post that up here soon.
So anyways, I will probably culture some polyps in culture dishes or set up a small 1.5 gallon tank for them to grow in. I don't think I will get the polyps in the separate tank to produce ephyra. thats just too unpredictable. I will likely work with cultures for that matter.

Monday, May 16, 2011

POLYPS!

Finally got some polyps. They just suddenly appeared in the tanks. there are several patches of them hanging to the glass marbles of the tank substrate. They seem to be new, and young. They are already budding off new polyps though and they shouldquickly take over the bottom of the tank. Im very happy about that because I have lots of segmented worms I want to get rid of.
I took a small pebble with polyps on it and put in a culture tube, making sure to eradicate all parasites and worms. This tube was capped and n
ow bobs around in the tank. This is basically my back up polyps in case something happens to the rest. If they grow well in the tube I will move them to a culture dish and grow them out, then cause them to strobilate at some point.
On other news, my jellyfish aren't doing to well. the injured one looks very lively and his oral arms are growing back already. he lost his gonads, unfortunately. Maybe he can grow those back, however I doubt it. anyways the other two are acting pretty sickly. Surprisingly I think its the medicine thats causing them to get sick. Iuse marine stress coat with aloe vera to repair fish tissues. Well it works but I think it adds to much slime coating to healthy jellies. They get sick because the literally stick to everything.
So im going to stop treating the whole tank with it ad just soak the injured jellies in a dose when they get hurt, so the healthy ones don't die b/cof it.

pictures of my new polyps ----

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update

my jellyfish are sick right now. One of them burned a hole right through his bell, and burned his oral arms off. He was in critical condition for a while and now he's getting better. However one of the other jellyfish just dipped in health. No reason why but he sits on the bottom rotting up his bell.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Excellent news

So I had to test out my jellyfish auto feeding technique. I had to leave my jellyfish for a week so I told my mother to drop a scoop of brine shrimp eggs in the tank every two days. Well it worked extremely well. all three jellyfish are doing better than normal. They are thicker and healthier than I've ever seen them to be. their stinging tentacles are very long as they should be. and their oral arms are looking good and healthy as well.
The jellyfish who burnt his tentacles off is doing very good. He grew one very long tentacle back already. Its abnormally long, which probably has something to do with cell trauma from the injury. The rest of his arms are growing back, just slower.
I also noticed that growing the brine shrimp in the tank adds the bonus of clean tank walls. these little shrimps are always scrubbing at the walls, plus they are much less polluting to the tank than frozen food is.
I have to say Im very happy with the current situation.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Updates...

The jellyfish that burned his tentacles is growing them back. Although he is getting pretty tiny. To be honest I cant tell if he will make it or die before he can gather enough food. The tentacles are growing back ridiculously fast, however. This is due to the stress coat I have added to the tank and the fact that he is a warm water jellyfish.
Jellyfish regenerate parts ver quickly, much more quickly than many other species of aquatic life. Plus these jellyfish are warm water jellyfish, so they grow faster and eat more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jellyfish auto feeding.

So in the dilemma of bad food I have had lately, I found an interesting solution. auto feeding. Now there are mechanical auto feeders available but those aren't really practical for the desktop jellyfish tank from jellyfish art. However I did find a way to keep a constant supply of food for my jellyfish so that they may eat during the day like in nature.
So yesterday I tried feeding one of my jellyfish raw unhatched decapsulated brine shrimp eggs. Well they hated the so bad they dropped them off their tentacles almost immediately. So I dumped a serving (cap full) of eggs into the tank. My hypothesis was that they would land in the substrates and hatch, under very optimum conditions (good light, warm water, etc). And sure enough they hatched today. I noticed my jellyfish were half full on brine shrimp, which is very pleasing. I literally only have to dump a serving of decapsulated brine shrimp eggs in the water. the jellyfish ignore these eggs, which hatch into good food. Plus the brine shrimp that don't hatch are already on their way to the filter, and the dead uneaten shrimps will sink and be filtered.
On the down side one of my jellyfish burnt his tentacles off again. He did that before when he was having problems acclimating at first. His tentacles grew back but he burnt them right off again. cant say for sure if they will grow back this time. Last time he had a tentacle nub and the base of his oral arms. Well I will treat him with marine stress coat and see what I can do. problem is he hasn't eaten any brine shrimp, so he will definitely be shrinking before his tentacles can grow back.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bad news of course...

S today after arriving home from school I noticed my jellyfish weren't in fantastic shape. the healthiest one was glazing about the tank with a nice sized hole, all the way through his bell. It was quite disgusting. There are bubbles in the hole cavity as well, which I will need to remove. the second jellyfish was still pretty inverted, not sure how he will do. He kinda flaps around the tank. The third jellyfish was a sight to see. He looks like I took him, threw him in a bag and beat him on various objects amongst my room. I, of course, did not take place in such actions, but you get my point.
I called up Alex Adon, of jellyfish Art for some advice. He said the holes were do to lesser flow than necessary so I boosted the flow a little. The holes should be no big problem but the highly inverted, wreck ball, of jello is pretty much on death row. however, I have had three jellyfish live to see several more months after being declared done in by Jellyfish Art.
So I will try and get this under control and see how they do.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New jellyfish are here!

They got here today. They look bigger and healthier than before! They seem to have heat shock, giving them the inside out umbrella look, but they will heal from that quickly. When they get more active and start swimming around the water column I will take pictures and upload them.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New jellyfish

I bought three new small moon jellyfish. They were supposed to get here today but FedEx forgot to pick the order up from jellyfish art. So I will have to wait until tuesday to get my jellies. Oh well no problem, they will get here when they do. It also gives my tank more time to get ready.
So on wednesday I dumped out all the water. I cleaned the filter, gravel media, and the glass pebbles. After nuking the tank with freshwater, I added distilled water and conditioned it with stress coat and an ounce of cycle. All I have left live in the tank is a snail and a feather duster worm stuck the the shell of a deceased hermit crab.
I will have a new update on tuesday with pictures and the names of these three new jellies. anyways, Im out till then.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back to the start....

I came back to my jellyfish this weekend after being gone at someone elses house. I found both of my final jellyfish dead. I believe the problem was that the brine shrimp all died and went bad, but still ended up being fed to my jellies.
So I will clean out the tank tomarrow, and restart it. I only have a snail left alive so I may buy some hermit crabs and snails with a new order of jellyfish.
Im at a point where I could go and do anything I wanted. I could get upside down jellyfish and lagoon jellies, or get coldwater moons but I think im just going to start back where i came from. I will buy three warm water moon jellyfish.
Overall Im not that upset that my jellyfish died. After all in Chad Widmers book he says that raising jellyfish is not easy and failure will happen. thats extremely true. I'm ready to try again, this time should be a success since I have learned so much about raising live jellyfish.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jellyfish arts new tank.



So jellyfish art has revealed their new tank at the Global Pet Expo. It looks really good but I cant decide whether or not I want to buy it. It looks like the cost will be pretty hefty. Plus its only seven gallons, compared to the 9 gallon desktop tank. and even further is the fact that its a stand alone tank. I was really hoping I could add a UV sterilizer and a few other personalized accessories.
If I do get it then I will put my two moon jellyfish in the new tank. I will then edit the desktop tank I have right now and put in full spectra lighting. Im hoping to set up a tank with upside down jellyfish and spotted lagoon jellyfish.
In a dreamy perspective I would like to get a mini jelliquarium and go with the above plan just swapping the jelliquarium with the new jellyfish art tank. That way I could add the UV sterilizer to the jelliquarium.
If your wondering why I really want to add a UV sterilizer it is because of the small organisms Im having trouble with. They are supposed to help keep the tank clean but I think they are ruining the situation from my perspective. They killed most of my polyps and then my jellyfish of the opposite sex died, leaving me polyp-less. From a breeder and experimenters perspective these little nuisances are a problem. They might be good in a situation where a tank owner simply wants to enjoy the jellyfish from an aesthetics view.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Progress, finally!

Finally there is a positive streak in my jellyfish keeping. I got my decapsulated brine shrimp eggs and some Selcon enrichment. They really like brine shrimp and its keeping them much fuller than that frozen food that jellyfish art sells. I don't mean to make them look bad but that frozen food was terrible. They never ate much of it. The particle size was huge too. Its no wonder they didn't like it. Plus I found a nifty piece of evidence that makes me never want to use that stuff again. In the book "how to keep jellyfish in aquariums" by chad widmer, it says that red copepods are detrimental to jellyfish growth and proper health. Thats exactly what jellyfish art's frozen food is made of!
Anyways the live food is much nicer. My jellyfish shrunk a whole inch of their diameter, trying to live off frozen food. They have finally stopped shrinking and hopefully they are on the road to growing again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I have both jellyfish again.


Luckily I have found both of my jellyfish. One is living in a plastic wrapped beaker. The other is living in a large glass cup since I don't have any more beakers big enough to make him happy. They have both been enjoying a diet of live brine shrimp. It really seems to help with healing and energy regain rate. Both are totally healthy besides the fact that they are tiny.
I ordered some decapsulated brine shrimp and some selcon food enrichment as well. hopefully this will ensure they grow to a good healthy size quickly.
Right now the tank itself isn't very good looking. the gravel is mixed up with the glass pebbles. the gravel, beads are very flat either. But that doesn't matter right now with the jellies living in glass homes.
This looks like it will turn out better than the last jellyfish crisis I had.