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 macrydi) are 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 [firstname.lastname@example.org]