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.


  1. Sounds to me like you need another tank, and the other thing, You just added the cladonema jellyfish, could you add a video so we could see more and could you also add the video tour?

  2. Yeah, luckily I am fairly adept at making tanks. :) Here is a video I have on youtube of the jellies. Will that do? Ah yes, I can add the tour as well.