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.