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!