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.