Monday, December 24, 2012

Cheap jellyfish kreisel tank for sale!

So a friend of mine has been building a a jellyfish tank based off of the design that I posted on here several months back. The tank came out really nice. Unfortunately, he has run into some financial issues, and is selling the tank, plus a ton of other useful stuff for jellyfish.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271126516769?ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

If you want a cheap well made kreisel, this is definitely a steal. Tanks like these can be found in the thousand dollar range, but this one plus all the accessories is going for $500.

Accessories include food, refractometer (highly accurate saltwater level measure tool), guide book, LED lights, tools etc. It really is a one purchase kit to get everything you need to keep some jellies. Check it out if you are interested.

As for my own personal updates, I will be back after holidays with some news.







Sunday, December 9, 2012

Breeding Cold Water Moons

As time has passed I began to notice a fairly large amount of moon jellyfish polyps growing along with my Upside Down Jelly polyps. The tank is currently sitting in the garage, so the sudden success of this colony would suggest that they are cold water polyps. I moved several over to a petri dish and let them reattach. Last Friday they began to strobilate on their own, and I rushed to re set up my breeding system. The cold weather knocked out any of the warm water jellies in it. A change of water, and the system was ready to go. I set the dish inside the polyp tank, and waited for the infants to be released.

Many of them are now in the ephyra tank circulating around. I noticed several differences immediately. The cold water ephyra are a good bit larger than my previous warm water ones. They are also a darker color, perhaps a redish orange, compared to the previous yellow color.

Some of the ephyra appear to be doing rather good, and other seem to be having some difficulties. This will be an interesting experiment to work with. One bonus I get to let the breeding system sit in the garage without a heater or a chiller, as the temperature is about right. If these jellies do live, and make it to summer, then I would simply bring them inside, as they should do fine at room temperature or below.

I havent gotten a chance to get some images of my own, but the resemblance is exact to these photos, which are of some jellies that Jim Stime (Midwater Systems) grew a while back.
Pictures from--

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/7/aafeature2

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sudden Cold Front

So many of my jellies were doing quite nicely for a while, and then a cold front hit us on the Atlantic Coast. I believe it was caused by Hurricane Sandy, although we didn't see any other adverse affects (luckily). My juvenile moons seemed to randomly start showing issues, such as a wrinkling, and then eventually deteriorating.

I've also had to shut down my Moon Jellyfish breeding system. The polyps were acting up. I believe the tank needs a stronger filter and a heater. To react to the sudden cold, I have begun to take polyps of all my species inside, in case things begin to get worse (most of my jellies exist in the garage).

The most recent jellies I acquired have been have had mixed results. Both comb jellies have been doing absolutely fine. I noticed that the flat hydrozoans with long tentacles began to swim far less. I assume this is from the cold as well. Unfortunately I also noticed that their lack of swimming has caused them to lay on the bottom and become fairly rough looking. I picked several and moved them to my 10 gallon kreisel, as the previous Moon Jellyfish inhabitants have died. Im hoping they will do all right in there. They were found in cold waters, therefore I am reluctant to move them inside. I moved the two comb jellies to a glass bowl to protect them in case some jellies begin to die and produce ammonia in their previous tank.

The week has been pretty rough on the jellies, but nothing that cannot be recovered from.
Good news: I will be taking a trip to the beach this Thanksgiving, and I plan to collect several Atlantic Sea Nettles again.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wild Caught Jellies

Just recently, some jellyfish were caught for me on the Atlantic coast. All of them range under the size of a quarter, with four different species being present(as far as I can tell so far).
Species,


(1) Mnemiopsis macrydi Lobed comb jellyfish. (Same kind I caught a while back)


















(1) Pleurobrachia sp. Sea Gooseberry. (Comb jellyfish) 











(several) Bell Jellyfish, I'm unsure of the species though. No picture currently.

(Several) Eirene/clytia Sp?, I dont know the common name. 













All of these jellies are quite interesting. Their sizes are all quite astonishing. Even the Mnemiopsis comb jellyfish is very small (Eraser head size). It has the potential to grow fairly larger, however. I've noticed that all these jellies do just fine without any supporting water flow. Some are being kept in a 30 gallon rectangular aquarium, the only flow being a light air stone. 

I will be moving some of each species into another tank as well. They may go into a 20 gallon kreisel or a 5 gallon regular tank. I will be going Sea Nettle collecting over Thanksgiving, so I will need room for them as well. 

An interesting point I found- Sea Gooseberries and Bell Jellies are often found living together in the Pacific Ocean. But here they were, living together yet again, this time in the Atlantic ocean. I wonder if they were brought in through the Panama Canal on the ballast water of ships?

I also found out that the Eirene Jellies are also found in Japan. Thats quite strange, considering that Japan is nearly on the other side of the world from here... I would assume thats a clue that the reproduce  in a proliferate manner.  










Thursday, October 4, 2012

Moon Jellyfish Breeding

Lately I have been working on breeding Moon Jellyfish again. I tried a batch last month that did well for a while, but later crashed. The problem was a poor quality brine shrimp I was using. Bacteria from the brine shrimp cultures built up on the screen and caused many jellies to get sucked up on it.

Since then, I have washed the ephyra tank out copiously, and changed my food. I am back to using "Aquaculture Nursery Farms hatching decapsulated brine shrimp eggs". These are a little more expensive than the other eggs I bought, but the quality is immensely superior.

After changing the food I noticed a higher quality of life for the jellies. The tank remained cleaner, and all of the jellies seem to be growing quite well. The screens did get a little clogged earlier this week. I simply took all of the ephyra and developing jellies out, and washed it using a spray nozzle on my sink.

Several ephyra have reached the size of about 1/4 inch in bell diameter. At this point they look like mini adult Moon Jellies. They have four tiny oral arms, and a mostly filled in bell. These jellies got moved to my 10 gallon pseudokreisel tank, along with Think the jellyfish who is now 1 inch in diameter.

video


All of this is pretty exciting for me, as this will be my first large scale batch of successful ephyra. I have had a minor problem this batch, but it's fairly humorous. I have too many ephyra! The polyps have been really active this month, and I may actually have too may of them as well. Im selling some of the polyps off, but the moon jellies should provide enough funding to simply add a second ephyra tank to the system.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Updates, and My Tanks.

Sea Nettles- Unfortunately, all of the Atlantic Sea Nettles have died. I believe that the cause of most of their deaths was due to a bacterial crash in the filter. I added reverse osmosis water to an already established jellyfish tank. Looking back, this probably nuked most of the bacteria in the filter. With the large density of sea nettles I was housing, the ammonia probably got to them. Three did manage to survive longer in a test cylindrical tank. They seemed to do just fine, but did require a fair amount of food and attention.

This wont be my last shot with the sea nettles though. It's likely I will be going back to gather more jellies this summer or possibly sooner in november. I hope to also acquire some of their polyps at some point as well.

2 species of Moon jellyfish- I still haven't managed to figure out what two species of moon jellies I have. Research online has shown some interesting results. After searching for pictures of Aurelia labiata strobila and ephyra, I found pictures that showed dark purple ephrya. Pictures of Aurelia aurita ephyra were all yellows or whites. At this point, I am thinking that the moons are not Aurelia labiata, but rather both are variations of Aurelia aurita. The only question is which is which? I will be able to tell later, when I obtain mature jellyfish from both variety. I am currently growing out ephyra and juveniles of both, so hopefully we will have some results soon!

My Tanks- Some people were requesting that I show off all of my tanks in a video. Well here you are! :)


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Invasion of the Upside Downs and Cold Water Moons

I've been posting quite a lot lately, as quite a lot has been happening. Every day, surprises pop up.

Upside Down Jellyfish polyps 
In my last post, I mentioned that I had found a single polyp in my Sea Nettle tank. Since then, it has produced five buds, leaving me with 6 polyps total. As I have been studying the polyp and its buds, I have come to an unfortunate conclusion. They all look very similar to polyps of my Upside Down jellyfish. The main polyp has a very long stalk, unlike the polyps I remember seeing at the public aquarium. The prolific rate is also quite strange, and suspicious. The Sea Nettle polyps were closer in looks and behavior to moon jellyfish polyps. The only jellyfish I know of that has polyps which produce visible and mobile buds are those of Cassiopeia (Upside downs). Cassiopeia is also well known for their invasive behavior. Obviously, none of these polyps from the tank have strobilated yet, but when they do, we will know their species. Cassiopeia ephyra are unmistakable in shape and size.


Atlantic Sea Nettle polyps at a public aquarium. 

This morning I found that my largest tank bred moon (Think) has everted entirely. It turns out that the salinity got too high. Normally the sump drains and the pump stops before the salinity gets to high. In this case, I accidentally left the sump raised at an angle, so the pump had far more water. I added reverse osmosis water to bring the salinity down. Think is still everted, but I have managed to get him to almost revert back to normal.

The unidentified moon polyps.
A few months ago, I noticed that there were some Moon polyps growing amongst my Upside Down polyps. This made sense, as the polyps came from someone's tank of moons. The Upside Downs were invaders. After watching them for a while, I scraped three off and set them in a dish. They appeared to be slightly different from the moon polyps I use to breed moons. Just recently two polyps began to strobilate, allowing me to delve further into my investigation. One healthy ephyra was released this morning. It had an obvious difference to it, compared to my other ephyra. It appeared to be born with slightly more tentacle tissue than normal. Its coloration is also strikingly different, as it is a cloudy pale color. The metabolism of this ephyra also seems to be quite vigorous. I wouldn't normally do this, but with no other choice, I added it amongst my moons in the breeding system. To prove to myself that it looked different, I stepped away from the tank and came back later. I was able to identify it from the rest. I have narrowed the species possibilities down to three. It could be either Aurelia aurita (from Asia), Aurelia aurita (from the Atlantic Ocean) or Aurelia labiata (from the pacific coldwaters). I would like to believe that the polyps are from Aurelia labiata, however I'm really not sure. I will be able to tell once the ephyra grows tentacles. Aurelia labiata have clumped oral arms unlike Aurelia aurita. I dont know the origin of my original moon polyps, but they are definitely aurita. I feel like they may be an Atlantic species.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Demise of the Moon Jellies

I have been breeding and raising moon jellies in my breeding system lately. They were doing quite well in the breeding system. With three dishes of polyps, i easily found myself with 200 moon jellyfish ephyra. I got most of them to grow up to the 1/4 inch size. This is right before they start looking like mini adult Moon jellies.



Thursday night I noticed that the tank was looking a little dirty. Diatoms and brown algaes were beginning to grow on the surfaces of the tank. There was also quite a lot of debris in the tank. I thought that a sponge scrub of the tank would do no harm. After scrubbing the entire ephyra tank (while still in operation) I went to bed. The next morning I found most of my ephyra stuck to the screen. Many were missing as well. It turns out that I stirred up a ton of debris, which then clogged the screen up, and caused tons far to much suction. Scrubbing the screen the night before also caused part of it to come loose. I have a feeling that many ephyra slipped past the screen and into the drain.

I was left with around 40 ephyra, 20 of which were in horrible shape. It's so saddening to see that I lost so many jellies. Among the survivors were two jellies that were raised in my last batch of dish bred ephyra. They mean a lot to me, as they are currently the biggest moons I have ever bred. They are also the only jellies I have named in a long time. The largest is named Think, after my business. The second is named Mono, as he only has one gonad ring, unlike most moon jellies which have four. Seeing the two of them boosted my morale a little.

One little discovery boosted my morale even more. I am left with three Sea Nettles. One appears to be everting at the moment. The sea nettles have also been a discouraging failure. They were a gift to me, and here they are, all dying on me. I could not help feel that all of my work was for nothing, and that I have destroyed such a wonderful gift. On friday afternoon, I noticed that one sea nettle was laying amongst the marbles in my desktop tank. I used my arm to blow water over it, and get it to move around a little more. As I did this, a single polyp came flying out from the substrate. I wasted no time in grabbing the polyp and moving it to safety. It now resides in a small dish. A polyp bud is developing on it as well. This single little polyp holds the potential of all of my work and effort. I really need to do everything possible to protect this polyp. Soon it will be able to divide and produce more polyps. Then I can begin to work on breeding Sea Nettles. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Decline of the Sea Nettles

Unfortunately, my Sea Nettles have not been doing well. They started to decline about a week after being put in their tank. Im still not entirely sure what went wrong, but I have my ideas. The first jelly I put in my 9 gallon desktop tank is doing great. One other I put in there is doing well also. Thinking back, I used reverse osmosis water to drop the salinity in the 20 gallon kreisel. I didn't think about it at the time, but such a large change in salinity probably nuked the bacteria in the tank. The filter is pretty much useless at that point. Then the ammonia climbed slowly, and shot up eventually. This explains the ratty, tentacle-less Sea Nettles that I found in my aquarium.

I currently have three jellies, as of writing this. One appear to be everting. the other two are doing really great. Its pretty frustrating to see this happen. I'm really hoping I can find some polyps in my desktop tank. That will make all of this work worthwhile. I just need one single polyp. With three jellies, it is quite possible that I wont have a male and female. I guess we will find out soon though. If I cant find polyps, I may be able to have someone send some to me. Either way, I will likely restart my try at Sea Nettles with breeding. Polyps are often more stable, and you learn so much about the jellyfish themselves through breeding.

Very soon, I will be building an identical copy of my first moon jellyfish breeding system. That will give me the chance to build a guide on how to build it! Hopefully that will come in handy for people. If I can manage to get some Sea Nettle polyps, then I will likely build a third similar system to raise them in.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sea Nettles for Sale?

All of my sea nettles are alive except for one that died. I noticed that some of them weren't doing so well in the 20 gallon pseudo kreisel. Thinking ahead, I set up my 9 gallon cylindrical jellyfish tank. I put one sea nettle in as a test. It took forever to acclimate to the tank. For the longest period of time, it was just sitting on the bottom of the tank. It later got up and began to become active. I added two more reccently. One is mostly acclimated, and the other is still having some swimming issues. The three in the 9 gallon are actually doing quite nice compared to the ones in the 20 gallon. All of their tentacles and oral arms are nice and relaxed. The jellies in the 20 gallon seem to be shedding some arms, and their tentacles are often retracted. I think it may be an ammonia problem, so I will try some water changes to fix the issue.

Now that I have added three Sea Nettles to the 9 gallon, I can test their compatibility in the tank. Everything is looking great so far. As long as nothing happens, we will offer Sea Nettles and the cylindrical tank on ThinkJellyfish. Im quite excited, as the sea nettles look really beautiful in the futuristic looking cylindrical tank.



I havent noticed any Sea Nettle polyps yet, but I will continue to look. With three in the 9 gallon, I would expect to find some polyps growing on the live rock as well. Of course, there could easily be all of one gender in the tank, but I'm hoping for the best. There are 8 jellies in the 20 gallon. Thats realistically a 100 percent chance of a male and female. I hope to find some soon!


EDIT: You can now purchase Sea Nettles Here: http://www.jellyfishwarehouse.com/shop.html#!/Jellyfish/c/11878978/offset=0&sort=normal

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sea Nettles Update

So far, the Atlantic Sea Nettles are doing well. Only one has died so far. It was sad, but causalities are common amongst beat up wild jellies. A few others are looking semi beat up as well. Im hoping they will all grow and repair back to full healthy soon. These really are some lovely jellies.

Out of curiosity, I decided to set up my 10 gallon cylindrical desktop tank with one Sea Nettle in it. I am hoping for the best, as it would be fantastic if they can make it in such a tank. ThinkJellyfish is now offering the cylindrical desktop tank. Unfortunately, I can only prove that Moon Jellies can live in the tank. So I guess this test will tell us if Sea Nettles will do fine in such a tank.

I made a video of the sea nettles in HD. It really shows how elegant they look. Play in 1080 HD. :)




Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Atlantic Sea Nettles

My beach trip has been quite successful! Several things occurred while I was there.

I managed to ask the local aquarium to give me a tour of the jellyfish culture room. They were fine with that, and the aquarium's jellyfish aquarist showed me around. I was very impressed with everything I saw.

The culture room had four large brine shrimp hatcheries, two sea nettle tanks, a large moon jellyfish tank, a sea nettle breeding system, a moon jellyfish breeding system, and a few tanks here and there. The moon tank was the aquariums display tank as well. Curtains surrounded the tank, so that people would not be able to see the silhouettes of the workers through the tank. Once the curtains were moved, you have access to a scaffold that takes you up to the top of the tank. Two lids can be removed to access the jellies within. The display sea nettle tank stood about five feet to the left of the moon tank. The second sea nettle tank stood in the center of the room, next to the sea nettle breeding system. It was essentially a thin acrylic tank. It had no edges like a kreisel, but the flow was still arranged like a kreisel. The two breeding systems were quite like mine. An acrylic box sat in a large reservoir/water bath. Sheets of acrylic held hundreds of polyps. The polyp tank drained into a smaller acrylic box. 1000 micro mesh was glued at the end in a parabolic shape.

At the time, no jellies were being bred, although the temperature was being dropped in the moon polyp tank. They will bring it back up later, so that the polyps will strobilate.

Along the trip I also managed to obtain twelve atlantic sea nettles. The aquarium directed me to a few locations where sea nettles are present on a near constant basis. They are all quite varied. Some are pure white, others have stripes or blobs of brown/purple on their bells. Some even have brown oral arms, and one even has all of the above characteristics. Its unclear as to whether or not the colors will interbreed, but I would guess so judging by the unique variety. All of the jellies are under 2 inches in bell diameter. Most are around 1 inch, but two reach 2 inches. Some of them have tentacles that reach a foot, and others show signs of tentacle loss. I managed to get some fairly healthy jellies, so hopefully they will all do well.

Their sting is quite potent, but is still fairly mild compared to the Portuguese Man of War and the Box jellyfish (both found in the area). The area of skin affected by the sting burns slightly (I find its quite similar to being pricked with a briar or a nettle plant) and turns red. Each individual stinging cell can be felt as it fires off its barb. I also noticed that stinging cells seem to rub off the jellies, and will remain potent for an hour or two afterwards.

video
I plan to keep my sea nettles in my 20 gallon kreisel tank. Thats probably just under what they would prefer however. It shouldn't be an issue to make them a tank. I could probably build a stretch kreisel from a 30-50 gallon tank. Im not quite sure what size I should get. I will definitely make an attempt to breed these jellies, but we will see how that goes. The aquarist said that the polyps seem to respond to certain changes one year but not the next, and so they have a hard time getting them to strobilate.
The moon jellyfish breeding tanks. 


One sea nettle in the holding tank. 
A large and old moon jellyfish.
The Moon Jellyfish display from above.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

To The Beach!

I am off the beach soon! I will be leaving saturday and spending five days there. In that time, I hope to catch some jellyfish. Several species have been known to occupy the area including, but not limited to,


  • Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)
  • Cannonball Jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris)
  • Australian Spotted Jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata)
  • Atlantic Sea Nettles (Chrysaora quinquecirra)
  • Atlantic Box Jellies
    • Chiropsalmus quadrumanus 
    • Tamoya haplonema
Other jellyfish that could be potentially present are,

Lion's Mane Jellyfish (Cyanea capillata)
Mushroom Jellyfish (Rhopilema verrilli)

I would love to catch more cannonball jellyfish to go in my tank. Im still not sure if I have a male and female, so the more the merrier. I also fairly interested in the Atlantic Sea Nettles. They require other jellyfish in their diet, which could be an issue. Of course, knowing me, I will be interested in ay jellyfish that the oceans bring me!

My packing for the trip includes,

  • A five gallon bucket for holding jellyfish in during the trip.
  • An airpump. 
  • Two mini sein nets. These will be helpful for jellyfish that are hard to see or for swarms of jellies.
  • A container for collecting single specimens, so I don't have to drag my bucket everywhere. 
  • Bags for storing jellyfish in on the way back.
  • A mini oxygen canister for cannonball jellyfish (they use a ton of oxygen when confined in bags)
  • Dishes
  • A pipette
  • Jars
  • Other miscellaneous stuffs
I will post updates during the trip or when I get back. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cannonball jellyfish incident II

I have some bad news on the cannonball jellyfish. Something contaminated the 200 gallon tank, and caused some damage to the cannonballs. They began to slow down the 3rd day of living in the tank. On the fourth day, they were motionless. The water and even the jellyfish smelled fine. All jellyfish are known for decaying extremely fast. You can check to see if they are dead or just not pulsing by the way they smell. I decided that I would move these jellyfish into my 30 gallon saltwater tank (Non jellyfish tank). Immediately the jellyfish began to twitch and eventually started pulsing again. I kept them in a net while we tried to track down the issue in the 200 gallon. All the parameters were assessed. They all seemed fine except for pH. We adjusted that, but found it did not help. The jellies would stop, as if frozen when placed in the tank. After thinking about things, we eventually decided the problem must be copper. Twice now, i have had LED lights fall into the tank and fry. The first time my LED lights fell into the tank, the jellyfish died. It was unclear as to whether their muscles were damaged from electrical shock, or copper posioning. I dosed the tank with Amquel, which is advertised as removing metals. The second time the lights fell in, I also dosed the tank, and assumed all was well. After dosing with Amquel we even tried a different product, Novaqua. Obviously neither product helped remove our copper problem.

In order to save the jellies, I converted the 30 gallon into a temporary cannonball jellyfish tank. I removed all the live rock, and anything that had sharp edges. The result was a sand bed and some macro algae. I let the jellies go into the tank. After watching them for a while, I assumed it was safe to add a small hang-on in tank filter. The next morning I woke up to find a jellyfish stuck to the filter. Over time its flesh seeped into the filter and formed into the shape of the protective grid. The jellyfish was dead by the time I woke up, but after spending a good 5 minutes working it out of the filter, I found myself with a handful of jellyfish chunks. I decided that I would need better way of filtering the tank.

video

I took a cooler, and attached a flexible hose to the drain at the bottom. All of the live rock, hermit crabs, snails etc. were placed inside the cooler. Water was then added to fill it up. I took a small fountain pump and used it to pump water into the cooler, and let water drain out of the cooler at the same rate. In a sense, I built a sort of reverse sump. Its pretty low grade, but seems to get the job done. Inside the sump i have three air hoses running, and the internal hang on filter.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Jellyfish and Polyp Trading or Buying and Selling!

I am always interested in expanding my collection of jellyfish. One of the best ways of doing that is to gain polyps! They are like hundreds of jellyfish condensed down into a single polyp. I've noticed that people all over the world are now keeping jellyfish. Some are keeping very interesting species!

I am willing to trade polyps and even jellyfish for your polyps or jellyfish. I would really prefer to receive polyps (even more specifically warm water). I will take any offer into consideration! Just email me or comment. :)

I currently have,

  • Moon jellyfish polyps (Warm water Aurelia aurita)
  • Blue Upside Down jellyfish polyps (having the species identified now)


In the future I may have,

  • Cannonball jellyfish polyps 
  • Lagoon jellyfish polyps. 


I also have some comb jellies, I can trade those too, although they wont be here much longer!

Personally I am particularly interested in polyps of,


  • Pelagia noctiluca (Mauve stinger)
  • Mastigias Sp.(Lagoon jelly and Jellyfish lake jellyfish)
  • Stomolophus melagris (Cannonball jellyfish)
  • Chrysaora quinquecirrha (Atlantic sea nettle)
  • Catostylus mosaicus (Blue Blubber jellyfish)
  • Of course any others will be considered as well!


I will also consider trades of polyps of box jellies. I don't want to trade any polyps if they become lethal box jellies, however.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Surprise Cannonball Jellyfish!

I got word that the company Gulf Specimen Marine Lab had some cannonball jellyfish in stock. I called them up to inquire about getting cannonball jellyfish that were 2-3 inches in size. They told me that they had in fact seem some around the size out in the gulf, where they operate. I left them my number so they could call me when they collected the cannonballs. About a week later I got a call that they had some again. I ordered them immediately. 5 cannonball jellyfish totaled to 150 in costs and a good bit more in shipping (Still unsure at the moment). They arrived this morning.

I was extremely impressed with my order. All five jellyfish were alive and in good shape. They all came in separate bags. Within each bag was a balloon filled with oxygen gas. Cannonball jellyfish use up a ton of oxygen compared to other jellyfish. They are still susceptible to being torn apart by air bubbles during rough shipment. The balloons were the solution to this. O2 leaks from the balloon into the water throughout the trip. After pulling out each bag from the box I noticed that I had three totally white cannonballs and two brown spotted ones. I have never seen the pale variety in person before. They have a very nice coloration, which allows you to fully see inside them. So far, I see no differences in the two varieties. I have no idea if they are compatible for breeding. I hope so, but the chances seem slim, as I have never seen a mix of the two colors on one jelly. Perhaps the pigmentations are very dominant and will only appear as one or the other. In that case, breeding could be possible. I suppose we will find out!





Thursday, July 12, 2012

Automatic Breeding System in Operation!

I finally filled up my moon jellyfish breeding system. Its about 12 gallons total when running. So far I'm quite happy with it. All the ephyra made their way from the polyp tank into the ephyra tank. Some of the ephyra were born healthy and other, not so much. I've noticed that ephyra of a healthy size do fine in the tank. Ephyra that were born tiny and unhealthy get stuck at the air-water interface on the screen. I think they unhealthy ones simply cannot swim and then water's property of adhesion pulls them up against the surface on the screen. I can fix this by taking a long rigid piece of air tubing and positioning it right in front of the screen. After about an hour of the system running, I decided to add one 1/4 inch moon jellyfish that i had raised in a dish up to this point. It showed no issues, and has been doing fine. I'm hoping it will grow quickly in this much larger space! So I must thank a few people for helping with this. The system design isnt readily available to the public. Wyatt Patry provided the ephyra tank design on his jellyfish blog here -http://www.jellyfishaquarist.com/consulting/. Sunset Marine labs also has a nice video on the Moon Jellyfish life cycle. Several of their tanks are shown in the video, and they helped to form my total system.

So anyway, if this system works well, then I will have moon jellyfish galore! I can then begin to sell them on ThinkJellyfish.

Here is a video on the system. I will likely make another if they jellies start growing.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Upside down jellyfish tank release!

The upside down jellyfish tank is officially ready for purchase! We are officially read to sell. I am currently working with growing out a large stock of upside down jellyfish. Jellyfish availability shouldn't currently be an issue. :) Moon jellies will be heading to the market soon as well.

Friday, July 6, 2012

New Page; Jellyfish Index

I added a new page to the blog recently. The page includes a giant list of all of the Jellyfish, Ctenophores, Hydromedusa, Cubomedusae etc. that I can find. I'm attempting to provide one of the first resources that will include jellyfish species and pictures. I will be adding to it and updating it regularly, but feel free to suggest species! I have also used many images that are not my own. If you find that I have used one of your images, and you want to have it removed, please contact me and I will do so. If you simply want me to provide credit for the photo, I will also gladly do so. Please provide the name for the photo credit. :)

So far, I'm quite amazed at all the varieties of jellyfish-like gelatinous zooplankton. Seeing them all condensed into one page is impressive. At the moment i have a ton of jellyfish already listed but I'm at the tip of an iceberg. There are so many to add! The hydrozoan medusa section will especially lengthy.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Jellyfish for sale in 4 days!

In four days Think Jellyfish will be offering the upside down jellyfish tank. Upside down jellyfish, moon jellyfish and for a very limited time, comb jellyfish will be offered as well. Moon jellyfish tanks are available through the site too. We try to offer all the major supplies needed to keep pet jellyfish. The reason the upside down jellyfish tank was withheld until now is due to the fact that it is our own creation. We wanted to have ample time to test, and ensure that it is safe for jellyfish!

The design for our website banner.

I'm hoping that I will be able to provide the public with species of jellyfish not previously offered. I can also use this as an opportunity to raise funding for bigger and better jellyfish related projects.

Enjoy! Happy Fourth of July to those who are currently residents of the United States.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jellyfish Trip: Comb Jellyfish Caught!

To collect more jellyfish, I ended up heading down to my favorite jellyfishing spot, in South Carolina. I was generally expecting to be greeted with many cannonball jellyfish as usual. This time however, I found no such cannonball jellyfish. Normally there is at least a few that have washed up onto the beach. None were to be found. Winter is apparently their better season (the other two times I found them was in winter).



As I was walking around in the tide pools, I noticed a glimmer in the water. I recognized the shine, even though i had never seen it before. It was a comb jellyfish. Pushed against the shore and slightly flattened, it still appeared to be alive. I gently scooped it up into my bag. Professionally, I should have used a cup or scoop to carry it, due to their delicate flesh. I had no such cup, so I made do. Later I identified all of the combs as Mnemiopsis sp. On my was back down the beach I found a second comb jelly stuck against the shore. I caught it and set my bag down to look for more. Five minutes later the bag disappeared. The tide was changing and the pool there filled up just enough to carry my bag away. It was located down shore, but empty. I frantically looked for more combs, and luckily found two more. One was in very good shape, and the other, not so much.



The next day I came back at around 6:30 am. The tide was low again. No jellies were washed up on the pool shore. As I walked down the shore I noticed a strange shadow in the water. After I could see it well, I grabbed at it. The shadow turned out to be another comb jellyfish. I caught three this way. In the afternoon I returned yet again, but this time I was greeted with tons of comb jellies. The water was absolutely still, and many of the combs were caught up at the shore because of this. Some were entirely beached on the sand. All the combs I encountered were still alive. After I got home, I counted a total of 21 comb jellyfish. Some were in very good shape and some were torn in a few places. Luckily comb jellyfish have super fast healing abilities. I will likely put them in my 20 gallon kreisel.

Video and editing credit to Brady Brandwood.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Lights for the 200 Gallon.

I recently received a shipment of LED lights to go on the 200 gallon tank. As you may have read, a few weeks ago my old LED light was dumped in the tank and trashed. The light did do its job, but it wasn't very bright. Therefore, this opened up the opportunity to get some better lights. I visited the local fish store to browse LED lights. Unfortunately, everything there was marked up and had unnecessary parts. I turned to the internet and found a raw strip of LED lights. They were very cheap, and advertised as water proof 10,000 K lights. I was quite skeptic of this at first, but bought them anyway. The price for 6 feet of the lights was quite cheap, therefore I figured it wouldn't hurt to test the lights out.

I was blown away, when I received the lights. The strip was coated entirely in a rubberized plastic to keep out water. The adapter for it was of high quality. The lights were also just as bright as advertised. I was quite pleased with the product.

In a few days I will clean off the underside of the top of the 200 gallon tank, and stick the lights in place. This way the cords and such will be sleek and covered. As of right now the tank itself is still empty. I do have some new life in their though. I bought a chunk of macro algae from my LFS. The algae included 2 kinds of  Caulerpa and some Chaetomorpha. Currently I have the algae in a tiny makeshift refugium, that is hanging near the top of the aquarium. This way the algae will receive some light, and wont be consumed by the other life in the tank.  I also got some hermit crabs, sponges, corals, and hydrozoans colonies from the beach last weekend. I believe the sponges may be dead, however I have no clue. They are quite solid, and smell fine, but they don't show any sorts of "life signs". Hopefully they will cause no harm, as I simply have them to give a place for hermit crabs and plankton to house. I found a live sea whip with some soft coral growing at the base. Everything seems fine, but I am unsure as to how it will do. One of the more interesting pieces I found was a clump of algae with a colony of hydroids on it. Amongst my catch of algae I also found a partially destroyed clapper hydromedusa. This jellyfish is a tiny atlantic hydrozoan species that may or may not be related to the hydroids I found on the algae. I guess we will find out!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Upside Down Jellyfish Strobilation

So my upside down jellyfish polyps have been sitting in their tank for the last few weeks with very little activity going on. The polyps themselves will twitch every now and then, oddly enough. As far as strobilation goes, there was nothing. I found one ephyra pulsing around the tank. There was no sign as to where it came from. So I decided it was time to figure out how I could get the polyps to strobilate and produce ephyra for me.

First I tried putting some polyps under a strong light. The upside down jellyfish does have a symbiotic relationship with the photosynthetic algae/bacteria zooxanthellae. Perhaps the polyps only feel comfortable strobilating in well lit conditions. After one week of testing, my hypothesis was wrong. No polyps had strobilated.

I decided to contact the person whom traded the upside down polyps for moon polyps. They told me that an increase in temperature of around 10 degrees would induce strobilation. I raised the temperature in the tank by ten degrees. Two days later, several polyps began to strobilate. Each polyp on produces one ephyra at a time. On day two I found 1 ephyra and noticed a few polyps strobilating. On day five I noticed around 20 free ephyra and several polyps strobilating.

I will likely lower the temperature at day ten. I don't want the polyps to produce ephyra nonstop. If they don't get a break to regenerate cells and tissues, then they will stop producing healthy ephyra.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Website for Selling Jellyfish and Tanks.

I have managed to partner up and create a website for selling live jellyfish and jellyfish tanks. My business partner is Zane Smith (izanesmithservo@gmail.com). Zane is responsible for providing the jellyfish aquariums. My job is to provide the jellyfish to go in said tanks. Im really looking forward to this new business. So far we have a partially completed website (http://thinkjellyfish.webs.com/apps/webstore/). Nothing is for sale quite yet, as we are still working on stock. The website is also still being worked on. You can however, look at our stock so far. Hopefully within a month we will have both tanks, and Upside Down Jellies! 



Thursday, May 31, 2012

Update on the 200 gallon tank

I havent said much about the 200 gallon tank in a while. A few events have occurred recently. Last week, the aquarium light fell into the tank. Im not entirely sure as to how this happened. It could have been the wind, or an animal. But either way the light fell in and most of the LEDs were trashed. So the jellies had to go without light. I'm still unsure as to whether or not they harbor zooxnthellae. I also don't know whether or not some copper leaked into the tank from the light. After a few days the smallest cannonball jelly disapeared. Only a small strip of "jelly" was left over. Strangely enough this tiny strip (2x1") still twitched. The next day I noticed the larger jelly seemed to be stuck to the bottom of the tank. When I scooped it up, part of its bell stuck to the sand. The best comparison to this would be stepping on chewing gum. It appeared as though part of the bell became quite sticky and slime like. I believe the jellyfish began to die and bacteria in the substrate helped that along. Both ended up dying around the same time. This would suggest that either the water had a crash in pH or perhaps there was copper present in the water. To remedy both of these potential problems I added oyster shells (pH) and Amquel (neutralizes heavy metals). Hopefully this will solve my problems. As a test, I added two spider crabs and a hermit crab to the tank. There are also around 50 tiny snails still rummaging in the tank. 

Im fairly happy with this try with cannonball jellies. I've kept them for around 3 months now. This is a major feat compared to the 1 week life span I had last time. Assuming the tank is safe, I will gather some more cannonball jellies. Hopefully this time I will get a male and female. 

Interesting fact: Cannonball jellyfish are gathered and served in various dishes! 


Picture credit: http://blogs.citypages.com/food/jellyfish.jpg

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Plans for This Summer

So summer is nearly here. In the summer I will be much less occupied and can concentrate on my jellies. :) I have several plan for this summer. 


As some of you may have noticed, I have a poll regarding comb jellies on the side of this blog. I was curious to see if anyone would be interested in buying comb jellies. It looks like the answer is yes. So I will be obtaining 12 comb jellies (Mnemiopsis macrydi). If the comb jellies sell really well, then I will get 12 more. Unfortunately, comb jellies do not reproduce through polyps, so I will not be able to keep cultures of them. Their reproduction involved fertilization in water which in turn creates an embryo that develops into an adult. I've never seen, never the less handled a comb jelly before. So bear with me here. :)





Im still working on those moon jellies. I've mastered raising the ephyra up until they get put into a grow out tank. I believe the filtration was a problem. So I'm currently trying to modify my 20 gallon aquarium. The internal filtration didn't seem like enough. I figure if I increase the filtration, then all will be sound. There isn't much room left in the tank itself, so I'm going to build an over flow and let the water flow over a large trickle filter into a sump. The trickle filter will likely be constructed out of one of those plastic office drawers with the sliding tubs. One tub will be filled with a sponge or mesh to catch large debris. The rest of the tubs will contain bio media. I will be sure to show my process of building that. 

The ephyra system I was building earlier is now done, for the most part. The polyp tank and the ephyra tank are complete. I just need to build a sump and trickle filter for it as well. I may end up combing the trickle filter from the 20 gallon above, with this ephyra system. I just need to calculate the amount of gallons this filtration will handle. 

My cassiopeia are doing fine so far. A few polyps have strobilated. As soon as I can get some boxes and shipping materials, I will be able to ship these jellies, and polyps. I should be able to accomplish this next week or the week after. :)

Happy jellyraising!






Photo credits~


http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l9ml1nOLS21qc6j5yo1_500.jpg

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New jellyfish! Cassiopeia!

Today I received a large package of approximately 70 Cassiopeia jellyfish and a few hundred cassiopeia polyps. I organized a trade of moon jellyfish polyps for cassiopeia polyps and a few juveniles. I ended up giving away nearly 70% of my moon jellyfish polyp stock. Normally this would sound insane, but there is a master scheme behind this. As you may have noticed, I'm still working on raising moon jellyfish to sell. I am getting the hang of growing them, now I just need to build more tanks and make the growing process more efficient. In the mean time my polyps were mass producing little ephyra. These are pretty much worthless if I have nothing to raise them in. (Cannonball ephyra are in my dishes currently). So giving my polyps away for a cool new species is a perfect answer.

I'm not kidding about the cool part either. After a year and a half of raising clear moon jellies, these new cassiopeia were quite a surprise. Most cassiopeia tend to be a brownish tan color. These cassiopeia are straight blue. Its a very lovely color. The polyps are also quite interesting. They are quite a bit bigger than moon jellyfish polyps (so are the planula, a few were swimming with the polyps). I find this to be a good thing. These polyps should be easier to move, and to handle. Speaking of moving, I noticed the polyps have the ability to twitch their entire body. It was quite eerie.

I have to be careful with these jellies, they are fairly invasive and could break into my other cultures. Hopefully I wont have that problem, as I'm very excited to raise these new jellies. Now I've got moon jellies, Cannonball jellies, and Cassiopeia jellyfish.

Acclimating the new jellies. 
Two of the larger specimens, clinging to the side of their tank. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jellyfish Tank Crash and Mysterious Polyp

So the 20 gallon jellyfish grow out tank nearly crashed this week. I saved the one remaining jelly from inside before the tank went all the way down. The problem was the filtration. I tried anaerobic (bacteria that don't need oxygen) filtration this time to see how it would work. The anaerobic bacteria weren't very effective in this system. The tank got really dirty and grimy fast. Due to the inadequate filter system I had to set an internal box-style filter in. This subsequently boosted the suction on the screen. I overlooked that factor and about 6 new ephyra disappeared overnight. The surviving jellyfish will be cared for in a beaker with an air hose to keep it moving. Right now I'm in the process of upgrading the filter system. I cut the drain holes on the tank into slots to allow better flow. Im also going to silicone a trickle plate in place. A trickle plate is simple a sheet of plastic with holes drilled in it. Water drains onto the plate and drips over the bio media.

My Fantastic work at melting the drain holes into a grate style drain. 



The mysterious polyp finally strobilated. It released 3 baby ephyra. It looks as if a few more could have been born but they were very damaged. I saw one ephyra that was born with 1/8 of its normal body tissue. it was quite strange, and mildly sad. The new three ephyra seem to be very healthy. I've moved them into my 8 inch culture dish on top of the magnetic stirrer. From here I am going to raise them and see what I get. Im hoping for cannonball jellyfish, but there is still the chance of them being moon jellyfish.

Now, the mysterious ephyra are occupying my only 8 inch dish. I've decided Im going to be setting up a new system for moon jellies. I want to eliminate the need to raise the brand new ephyra in a dish. This takes lots of time and I can only raise around 7 ephyra at a time. As I learn more about raising moon jellies I  make plenty of mistakes. I cant afford to only raise 7 at a time. So I'm going to use a tank design from the blog Jellyfish Aquarist (http://www.jellyfishaquarist.com/diy-jelly-tank/). The tank is simple and cheap. I save the major details for another post, but I will post a "teaser" image.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Swimming with Jellyfish

My cannonball jellyfish still appear to be doing very well. I was curious how their tank was doing, and I wanted to take a look. So I threw my swim suit on, grabbed a snorkel mask, and dove in. It was quite interesting swimming in the tank with my jellies. I had to very careful not to kick any jellies or stir them around too much. Overall they appeared to be fairly content with my presence. I couldn't stay long. After about two minutes the jellies begin to secrete a stinging mucus. Obviously stinging mucus is no fun to swim in. So the second time I dove in, I recorded my experience. Reminds me a tad of Jellyfish Lake in New Zealand. I will have to visit that place someday. :)
video


I will also take this time to update more on the cannonball jellyfish~


So as of right now, the Cannonball jellyfish in my 200 gallon aquarium are doing fine. The bigger one, which was previously fairly inactive, has begun to pulse around here and there. He is still healing up the scratches in his bell, but the process is going by fairly quickly. The smaller one is doing quite well, as usual. Last week it got stuck next to a heater and burned a curve shape into its bell. I removed the heater and set it in the center. The curve has already completely healed up.

Feeding - I've noticed that these jellies eat a ton of food. They are literally eating 4 times as much food as the moon jellies would. Needless to say, I cant keep feeding them the expensive decapsulated brine shrimp.  I've noticed the jellies will also eat the eggs whole, unlike the moon jellies. Im thinking I may try decapsulating brine shrimp eggs myself. Ive also done some research on their natural feeding habits. Cannonball jellies tend to eat lots of oyster eggs. I may also look into buying some oyster eggs off the internet. They seem to be expensive, but I don't plan to use the oyster eggs as a staple for the jellyfish. 

Tank upgrade- The tank cant run forever without a filtration system. So as filtration I will be taking a second tank (exact copy of the first) and use that as a pseudo-sump. The tank will be full of some sort of bio media, sand, plants etc. The second tank, being 200 gallons as well, will double the volume of the system to 400 gallons.

Im hoping the sump will help filter the aquarium, remove nitrates, and provide a source of food. Adding copepods, amphipods and other tiny crustaceans will allow the jellyfish to be surrounded by plankton in at least some quantities.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mysterious Polyp Appears!

A few weeks ago I was examining my 20 gallon moon jellyfish grow out tank. I noticed a lone polyp living on a piece of sea weed in the tank. Naturally, I extracted it from the tank and put it in a dish. At first I assumed it was a moon jellyfish polyp that had some how made its way into the tank. This was very possible, polyp tissue is sometimes left over from ephyra and may develop into a polyp. But I later realized the polyp was growing on some seaweed that was in a bucket with 4 cannonball jellyfish when I was at the beach. This left a great chance of it being a cannonball jellyfish polyp now. This got me excited and so I put it, still attached to a chunk of seaweed, in its own petri dish.

Average Moon jellyfish polyps.
I examined the polyp further, to find any differences between it and the moon jellyfish polyps I have. I noticed the mouth structure of the mystery polyp was more elongated and almost tube like. Moon jellyfish polyps never seem to have this mouth structure, but rather a flat hole as a mouth. The mystery polyp also seemed to be shaped very slightly different, and was slightly larger than the average moon polyp.
The mysterious polyp, before being removed from the tank. 

That being said, by all means the polyp could still be a moon jellyfish polyp. studying such tiny organisms is hard and many changes can easily occur between two induviduals. This makes it hard to judge the species. So in order to truly find out the species i will need to wait for the polyp to strobilate. If I have to I can grow out a mystery ephyra and see what it produces. But I found an interesting observation on polyps by a scientific article. In a study done on cannonball jellyfish, the polyps were found to produce only 1-3 ephyra per strobilation, often two. The article also explains that they had trouble raising the polyps as their water quality declined fast. My water quality is very consistent, as I buy stabilized ocean water for my polyps and ephyra. That could lead to more ephyra.

So the polyp has begun to strobilate. Almost perfectly the mystery polyp and a moon polyp are strobilating at similar times. The moon polyp is about a day ahead. I've noticed the mystery polyp is a little slower, but that could be due to several variables. The mystery polyp also started with 2 cleaves and has grown to 4-5 (a cleave is referring to the cleavage in a polyp where it begins to form disks and each disk is a jellyfish).

The next few days may be critical in deciding if it is a cannonball jellyfish polyp or just another one of my moon jellyfish polyps. If I cant tell from the strobilation the ephyra should begin to look very different from a moon ephyra within a few days. Moon jellyfish and cannonball jellyfish are vastly different. I find it strange how they look so similar at these stages.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Catching Wild Jellyfish and the Risks Associated.

There are some jellyfish you just cant find anywhere online to buy. Well, the alternative is to catch your own. Catching jellyfish isn't like catching ordinary fish. 

Generally you cannot use nets. Jellyfish being delicate, and mostly composed of water, they will often fall apart in nets. They may get cut on the net and form a hatch like look or crush under their own weight. To catch a jellyfish I recommend doing one of two things. You can either scoop they jelly up in a bucket or let it swim into a bag underwater. The idea is to keep the jellyfish suspended in water at all times. Remember to record the salinity, water quality, temperature etc. This will help increase the survival rate of your jellyfish massively. 

Now you know how to properly catch a jellyfish, but where does one find jellyfish? Good places for catching jellyfish are calm waters and eddies. Jellyfish are completely hopeless against the tides and currents. They can easily be pushed into calm waters. Once there, they cant easily leave. Long, low lying docks, drop offs into deep water, very calm beaches etc are good jelly spots  Jellyfish can also often be found in tides and waves on the beaches. This isn't a good place to find healthy samples. The jellyfish sound here, if alive, will often have injuries and may die very shortly. 

Even if you check all of the good spots in a location you may still end up with zero jellyfish. This is because jellies tend to travel in huge clouds or "smacks". They can be very random and hard to find but once you do, you may be faced with literally millions of jellyfish. Cannonball jellies have been seen in smacks of thousands and even millions. 

Once you have your jellyfish, your going to need to get it home. for people who live on or close to beaches, there is no problem. But many people live a good distance from the ocean. To maximize their chances of survival I recommend bagging the jellies in large bags with a lot of water. If you can, replace the air in the bag with  pure oxygen gas. Try to keep the jellyfish in each bag to a minimum, to prevent build up of waste. Bigger jellies may need to be placed 1 per bag. On the contrary, you can bag several small moon together. 

Environmental Impact-

Taking any living organism from an environment leads a high risk of harming that environment. Luckily, jellyfish almost always occur in huge populations. That being said, many jellyfish supply food to many organisms. In my case the cannonball jellyfish is a huge source of food for the endangered leatherback sea turtle. Cannonball jellies do happen to make up 16% of the Atlantic Ocean's biomass. I still refrain from gathering large amounts of cannonball jellies from one location to prevent a harm to the environment. Try to take just as many as it takes to obtain a male and female jellyfish. Then polyps can be produced, leaving you with infinite jellies. 

Also, never dump jellyfish ,or even water that jellyfish have lived in, into salt water. Microscopic jellyfish stages could end up introducing a new species. This has occurred before, and has decimated populations of other organisms. 


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cannonball Jellyfish Try II

I have arranged everything I need to try cannonball jellyfish a second time.
  • 200 gallons in reef salt.
  • Reverse osmosis system.
  • More cannonball jellies. 


I have three more cannonball jellies this time. Two smaller jellies and one very large one. The large one appears to be very scratched, and has several impressive chunks out of its bell. Its vitals seem to be fine, however. It pulses fine and hasn't shown signs of inversion. One of the smaller jellies is also having some problems. Its bell is bent and skew. It almost appears to be inverting, but hasn't quite gotten their yet. Its quite possible that it is just damaged from the waves. It also seems to pulse fine, but just looks funny in general. The last jellyfish is a very good specimen, and seems perfectly fine. It is unscathed and pulses with vigor. 

Ive recorded most of my progress,