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:!/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.

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.