Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back From the Beach

Im back from the beach finally. :) I've brought with me a few surprises for everyone.  I caught four Cannonball jellies. They were very populous on the beach. Hundreds were lying dead upon the beach. But I did manage to find several live ones. The first day (saturday) I snagged 4 jellies out of the tide. Most died that night however. The beach was very rough, and ended up being too much for them. But the next day I went to find more, and found two very healthy jellies and one not so healthy jellyfish. I saved all three from the tides anyways. That left me with four again (one from saturday). I took them all home with me. Sadly the two less healthy jellies died shortly after. But my two other jellies are doing fantastic. They are also huge! Right now they reside in plastic bins, while I assemble a very large aquarium for them. Im going to convert a 200 gallon filter tank into an aquarium for them. I think that will be plenty of room. :)

I've also learned a lot this trip. I found out my two jellies are from brackish waters, which I found strange. I found the two jellies swimming actively in a clear and shallow beach spot. I assume the water was brackish due to water flooding in from the marshes at low tide. Its interesting that these brackish jellies have done so well too. Hopefully they will continue to do well. I really want to keep some alive, so that my work will not be in vain. I also want to see some cannonball jellyfish polyps. Its no good to have jellies if you don't have polyps.

This was just a small update, but I plan on posting more updates soon. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Catching Your Own Jellyfish

One downfall to keeping jellyfish is the lack of availability of some species. Moon jellies, Mangrove jellyfish and Lagoon jellyfish tend to be for sale at least somewhere. Thats three species (there are multiple sub species of Moon jellies that do differ but they maintain similar appearances). What about Cannonball jellyfish, Egg yolk jellies, Crystal jellyfish, Comb jellies, all the varieties of Sea nettles, etc? Those jellies are rarely available anywhere. You might be able to get some from an established lab or aquarium if you are a public operator as well. Even then may still have trouble obtaining some species.

My point here is that most species of jellyfish cant be bought. For most of the jellyfish, wild collection is the only answer.  I bring this up because I will be returning to the coast this weekend or possibly next weekend. I intend on finding some jellyfish to add to my collection but you ever know. South carolina is where Im off to this time. That means warm water jellyfish, off the Atlantic coast. Jellyfish that can be found here could be, but not limited to,

  • Atlantic sea nettles
  • Moon jellyfish
  • Upside down jellyfish
  • Cannonball jellyfish
  • Mauve stinger (purple jellyfish)
  • Comb jellies. 
  • Portuguese man of war
  • Blue Button Jellyfish
  • By The Wind Sailor
  • Pink meanie 
  • Lion's Mane jellyfish 
  • possibly a few Box jellies
  • as well as an assortment of hydrozoans
  • Etc
This is a fairly large assortment to choose from. Some of these jellies are very uncommon, however. Box jellies are very rarely seen.  The Portuguese Man of War, By The Wind Sailors and Blue Button jellyfish aren't out of the question but they are rare and tend to stay far out at sea until storms hit. 

On the reverse side of things, the most common jellyfish is by far the Cannonball jellyfish. I read a statistic that once accounted them for 60% of the biomass of the Atlantic Ocean during summer. That is a ridiculous amount! They can be found in huge quantities sometimes. And yet I cant seem to get one. I would still like to catch a Cannonball jellyfish or two. I think they are pretty attractive and interesting for a jellyfish. They come in a spotted brown color, Pure white and blue (in South America). 

I'm set for really anything I catch, however. I wouldn't mind a portuguese man of war or a box jelly. I suppose I would have to be much more careful though. :) But often times in the Carolinas I see either moon jellies or Cannonball jellies. I once saw a dead Sea Nettle, as well. 

I intend on bringing my microscope so I can see the gender of a jellyfish or try in vitro fertilization if necessary. I'm also bringing a bucket, air pump, oxygen tank, bags, nets, etc. I will comb the beaches, the charleston battery and the tide pools. Jellyfish swarm in on beaches sometimes and dead jellyfish can still be used for in vitro fertilization (test tube babies). Jellyfish are often found in deeper water with less movement. The battery is perfect for this. And of course the tide pools allow you to find all sorts of cool things including a giant moon jelly (true story). 

Hopefully I will bring some new jellyfish back soon. I will also post about some techniques for jellyfishing if they actually work.

~images from~

Monday, February 6, 2012

Building a New Jellyfish Aquarium and Comb Jellies.

Several posts ago I stated that I would be keeping comb jellies in the 10 gallon pseduo-kreisel aquarium. I ended up putting young moon jellies in the tank, however. I finally got the hang of growing moon jellyfish ephyra and I suddenly needed a tank to put them in, but they were still too small for my 9 gallon display tank. I decided I would simply put them in my new tank and grow them out. Well I did just that and here I am. Some of my moon jellies are getting pretty big (1 inch plus range) and I still want more moon jellies on hand.

I've decided I'm now going to build a second pseudo-kreisel tank. This tank will be made from a 20 gallon glass aquarium. The design will be mostly the same, I just had to change some dimensions and get thicker acrylic. I'm already at work on it and it should be done in a few weekends time.

Once the tank is done I will start raising my moon jellies in there. Hopefully I can then get some comb jellies for the 10 gallon tank.
Pictures from: