Showing posts with label Jellyfish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jellyfish. Show all posts


Pet JELLYFISH Facts: What Are Jellyfish?

Flower Hat Jellyfish (Olindias formosa), Monte...
Flower Hat Jellyfish (Olindias formosa), Monterey Bay Aquarium, California.
(Photo credit: 
Jellyfish are gelatinous zooplankton from the Phylum Cnidaria. From an anatomical standpoint, they are little more than a sac within a sac. Their body composition is 95% water. They do not have a brain or even a central nervous system. They lack anything that remotely resembles a skeletal system. Most jellyfish do not even have eyes. Aside from eating, their only interaction with their immediate surroundings is the ability to distinguish between up and down, light from dark, or physical contact. Yet somehow their light sensory abilities allow them to perceive and maneuver around foreign objects.

Jellyfish are one of the oldest non-extinct life forms in existence. This should come as little surprise considering they are just one step up the evolutionary ladder from single cell organisms. Jellyfish fossils have been unearthed dating as far back as the Cambrian Period some 600 million years ago. The Cambrian Period predates not only the extinction of dinosaurs but their existence itself. These mysterious creatures will probably be swimming the Earth's oceans long after mankind is gone.

The largest known jellyfish species is the Arctic lion's main jellyfish followed closely by Nomura's jellyfish off the coasts of China and Japan. The largest lion's mane ever officially documented washed up on the shoreline of Massachusetts Bay in 1870. Its bell measured 7.5 feet (2.28 meters) in diameter and its tentacles stretched to a length of 120 feet (36.5 meters). There have been claims of larger jellyfish being discovered since then but none have been officially documented.

Can Keep Pet Jellyfish be Kept in an Aquarium?

Most people don't realize this, but until just a few short decades ago scientist did not possess the technological know-how to keep jellyfish alive in captivity. Jellyfish are 95% water. They would be liquefied instantly if sucked into a conventional water filtration system. Jellyfish cannot be housed in a typical square aquarium. They will get stuck in the corners and lack the higher brain functioning ability to get out. If there is not a flow of turbulence in the water, they are reduced to the equivalent of a bowl of jello. Keeping a jellyfish in a home aquarium was unthinkable. There was not a single jellyfish exhibit in a public aquarium anywhere in the world.

Jellyfish were first displayed in a public aquarium just over twenty years ago in Monterey California. This feat was made possible by the pioneering work of German Oceanographer, Dr. Wolf Greve.

Dr. Greve invented a circular aquarium that circulated water in a horizontal circular pattern. He dubbed his invention the Kreisel (German for carousel) tank. This revolutionary aquarium was originally designed for the study of arctic plankton. The tank's circular design and water flow gently pushed the plankton away from the aquarium's outer perimeter and toward the center of the tank. This technological breakthrough was essential in keeping jellyfish alive in a man-made environment.

    By Stephen J Broy
    The jellyfish home aquarium industry is still in its infancy. The industry itself is less than a decade old. To date, there are only two manufacturers of Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank systems in the world.
    Moon jellies are by far the most easily obtainable jellyfish on the market. Moon jellyfish are even being tank raised to supply the recent demand of home aquarium owners. Learn more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


Pet JELLYFISH Facts: Moon Jellies (Aurelia Aurita)

A Moon Jellyfish.
A Moon Jellyfish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) are from the phylum Cnidaria. This phylum contains over 9,000 aquatic species. There are 10 nearly identical species in the genus Aurelia collectively referred to as moon jellyfish. In fact, they are so close morphologically that it takes DNA testing to distinguish one species from another.

Moon jellies are the easiest jellyfish to keep alive in captivity. This is because of their diversity in nature. Moon jellies can be found in almost every ocean in the world. Their natural habitat stretches from the equator as far north as 70 latitudes and as far south as 40 in every ocean that falls within those geographic parameters.

They are prominent in the shallow coastal waters of estuaries and harbors which explains their abundance in what is still an infant branch within the larger saltwater aquarium trade industry. Because they are common in both temperate and tropical water, they can tolerate temperature ranges anywhere between 42-88 F (6-31 C). Although they can survive in brackish water, a salinity level (specific gravity) of 1.023 will mimic their native marine environment.

The name moon jellyfish is purely descriptive. They are named for the most prominent part of their anatomical makeup, their large disk or full moon shaped bell. They can be further distinguished by the four horseshoe-shaped gonads at the center of their bell. These reproductive organs resemble the craters found on the moon. These fish are very popular as pets because they are transparent and will appear to glow in whatever color is shined through them. They look particularly stunning in an aquarium with an LED fader system set up in it.

Another point in their favor is that their stinging cells do not produce enough pressure to pierce human skin. In the wild, a moon jelly's life cycle is limited to one year from start to finish. In captivity, they can easily live up to three years. These jellies can grow up to one foot in diameter.

In nature, moon jellies spend most of their time drifting on currents rather than swimming. In captivity, they will require an aquarium with a well-designed turbulence system to keep them from becoming a helpless ball of gelatinous goo at the bottom of your tank.

There are currently two retailers in the United States that sell moon jellies. Although moon jellyfish can tolerate a wide temperature range, 77 F is most conducive to their adult phase of life. Moon jellies typically arrive ranging from 2-4 inches in diameter. Their growth rate and maximum disc size are proportional to their caloric intake. This means that they may never grow to their maximum disc size of 12 inches in an aquarium. You can, in fact, prevent them from doing so if you wish to keep them in a smaller aquarium. Depending on their size, moon jellies can be fed brine shrimp, feeder shrimp or feeder fish. There is also commercially available frozen jellyfish food created from zooplankton. This frozen preparation will provide them with all the nutrients they need to keep them alive and healthy.

Moon jellies look absolutely amazing with an array of fading LEDs shining through them. You can now buy a Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquarium to raise your own pet jellyfish in. You can even light them up just like they are in the big public aquarium jellyfish exhibits.

Moon jellies are by far the most easily obtainable jellyfish on the market. Moon jellyfish are even being tank raised to supply the rising demand of home aquarium owners. Learn more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies.


The Birth of an Industry: The Pet JELLYFISH Aquarium Tank

Flower Hat Jellyfish (Olindias formosa), Monte...
Flower Hat Jellyfish (Olindias formosa), Monterey Bay Aquarium, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Keeping jellyfish as pets is still in its infancy. You can't just stroll into a national pet store chain or the closest specialty fish shop and purchase a jellyfish aquarium. Nor can you find jellyfish for sale even at the biggest online fish retail websites. So what good is a jellyfish tank if you can't even buy jellyfish to go in it?

These are the problems often faced by entrepreneurs looking to market a product that was previously nonexistent. The answer is that you have to become the "end all & do all" of the niche market you are looking to cater to. To the best of is knowledge, there are only two companies in the US that have been able to successfully accomplish this.

Jim Stime had ten years in the aquarium business selling Clear-For-Life aquariums in L.A. before entering the jellyfish arena. Jelliquarium went live in 2002 and is the longest running website in the US offering jellyfish and jellyfish tanks. The term jelliquarium is a registered trademark.
Jelliquarium offers self-enclosed, freestanding Kreisel style tanks. Kreisel style tanks are not cheap to manufacture and this is reflected in the sales price. But Jelliquariums's traditional porthole aquarium cabinets are truly a wonder to behold.

The jelliquarium's patent-pending faceted tank design employs state-of-the-art laminar water flow to keep your jellyfish safely suspended just like the original Kreisel design. Jellyfish cabinets feature a 3-in-1 filtration system utilizing mechanical, chemical, and wet-dry biological filter technology. Dual 1" flexible water flow lines allow for quiet water circulation throughout the cabinet. An optional venturi protein skimmer is available for maximum water clarity. Jelliquarium also offers an Aqualogic aquarium chiller for cold water jellyfish applications. Aqualogic chillers use only ozone-friendly 134A refrigerant. Their cabinets arrive prevented for easy heat expulsion from the chilling unit.

Jelliquarium cabinets also feature digital thermostat controlled heating and both blue Actinic and white lighting standard on every model. The LCD controller on the digital thermostat provides a constant readout and can be programmed in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.

Cabinet sizes are currently available in the 24" mini-jelliquarium and the full size 32" models. The mini jelliqaurium is available in black. The 32" cabinet comes in a vast array of finishes from laminate cabinets to a variety of wood finishes to compliment any home or workspace decor. Jelliquarium cabinets are also available in gigantic 48" models. Jelliquaium will also design and install custom in-wall setups for both commercial applications and private residences.

If you are an avid DIY type with prior experience in saltwater aquarium set up you can also buy just the jelliquarium tank. Tank sizes range from 24-60". The 24 and 30-inch tanks can be set up for tabletop use. Serious do-it-your-selfers can build their own custom in-wall jellyfish tank ranging up to 60" in size. The Jelliquarium staff will gladly provide any technical advice necessary for an advanced DIY enthusiast. The 24 and 30" jelliquarium tanks make the perfect biosphere for pet moon jellyfish and blue jellies. Larger tanks can accommodate species such as Pacific sea nettles.

Jelliquariums offers the largest assortment of jellyfish available for US customers on the internet. This selection is based on availability. Jellyfish are cyclic in nature. Most jellies enter the adult phases of their life in the spring or summer months of whichever hemisphere they are native to. It is highly likely that seasonal availability will become year-round as more species start being tank raised.
Moon jellyfish have translucent bodies. They look absolutely amazing with an array of fading LEDs shining through them. You can now buy a Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank to raise your own pet jellyfish in. You can even light them up just like they are in the big public aquarium jellyfish exhibits.
Moon jellies are by far the most easily obtainable jellyfish on the market. Moon jellyfish are even being tank raised to supply the rising demand of home aquarium owners.


Pet JELLYFISH Facts: Upside Down Jellyfish (Cassiopeia Xamachana)

Cassiopeia xamachana - Wikipedia
Upside down jellyfish (Cassiopeia xamachana) is another member of the order Rhizostomae. The species name, xamachana, means Jamaican although their natural habitat is in no way exclusive to Jamaican waters. Populations exist throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean as well as along the coats of Florida. They are also present halfway across the globe in the Pacific Ocean. Although not native to these waters, upside down jellyfish were introduced to the Hawaiian Islands during World War II most probably from jellyfish polyps attaching themselves to the underbellies of warships coming back from the Philippines.

This species is prevalent in shallow, warm tropical waters such as mangrove swamps. They are often called mangrove jellyfish because they are frequently found in large aggregations in these swampy regions. Unlike many species of jellyfish, upside down jellies are completely marine. None have been found in brackish or fresh waters.

These jellies spend their lives completely differently than most jellyfish. Jellyfish typically spend much of their time drifting freely on the ocean's currents. Upside down jellyfish are free swimming until they reach about 2 cm. Then their bell inverts and they sink to the bottom of the ocean floor. From there they will spend the majority of their adult life upside down on the muddy substrate with their tentacles pointed up to capture the ever-present zooplankton from water columns.

Much like blue jellies, upside down jellyfish have a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae. This is the same symbiosis that occurs with many jellyfish and coral species. In addition to providing essential nutrients, these golden algae also produce oxygen to help support respiratory metabolic functions the jellyfish needs to survive in oxygen-poor environments. This is of particular importance to upside down jellyfish because they spend the vast majority of their life nestled in muddy substrate and must rely on their food to come to them. Because of their specialized eating habits, upside down jellyfish are usually found in nutrient-rich waters with high concentrations of decaying matter to support the zooplankton teaming within these swampy, saltwater environments.

Upside down jellies have flat, saucer-shaped bells. Their umbrellas are typically greenish grey or blue in colour. They have a central depression or exumbrella in their bell. The exumbrella acts as a suction device to help them stay anchored to the ocean floor. Rather than a single mouth opening, they have 4 elaborately branched oral arms. These arms have a frilly, lace-like appearance similar to many green, leafy vegetables. They are often referred to as cabbage-head jellyfish because of these appendages. It is believed that this species a filter feeder and also relies on some form of absorption of dissolved nutrients directly from the water to supplement its nutritional needs.

Upside down jellyfish do not directly inject their prey like most jellyfish do. Their nematocysts (stinging cells) are controlled by the cnidocil. This is the equivalent to a mechanically or chemically triggered grenade launcher. The stinging cells launched from the cnidocil produce a cnidoblast that will stun or paralyze prey in the immediate vicinity. The jellyfish then begin ingesting their prey with their primary mouth openings. Once the prey is reduced to food fragments, these nutrient particles are passed on to secondary mouths for further digestion.

The jellyfish's cnidoblasts also function as a self-defence mechanism. If abruptly disturbed, large groups of these jellies will launch themselves upward from the ocean floor and release their nematocysts. This massive venom release into the water is usually sufficient to ward off potential predators. The toxic compound is generally inconsequential to human beings. It may result in an itchy or tingling sensation of the skin or a rash on individuals more sensitive to the venom.

Upside down jellyfish can reach up to 14 inches in diameter in the wild. In captivity, a maximum growth potential of 8 inches is more realistic. Depending on their size in captivity, upside down jellyfish can be fed zooplankton, or small invertebrates and fish. In order to allow their symbiotic algae to properly photosynthesize, a lighting system conducive to a marine reef tank is highly recommended. These jellies have a higher temperature tolerance than most scyphozoan medusa. Medusae or adult jellyfish can be found year round. However, the optimum temperature for these adult jellies is between 75-78 F. This simulates the height of the adult season. Upside down jellyfish typically strobilate during summer or early fall. Whereas most scyphozoans strobilate during the winter months.

    By Stephen J Broy

    Technological advancements in the aquarium industry continually redefine the concept of "home aquarium owner." Just twenty years ago not even the biggest public aquarium was capable of keeping jellyfish alive in captivity. Now they make desktop Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums. And why would you want a jellyfish tank? Perhaps you should check out what the translucent bodies of Pet Moon Jellyfish look like under LED lighting. Pet Jellyfish give a whole new meaning to the term exotic pets.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


Pet JELLYFISH Facts: Jellyfish Anatomy

Jellyfish have survived for 650 million Years. They belong to the phylum Cnidaria. This phylum is divided into definitive classes which include all anemones, corals, fire corals and what is commonly referred to as true jellyfish. Anthozoa contains sea coral and anemones. Hydrozoa includes the Portuguese Man o`War which contrary to popular belief is not an actual jellyfish but a massive colony of hydrozoans. The class Cubozoa contains box jellies, the deadliest creatures on Earth. True jellyfish belong to the class Scyphozoa which includes over 200 species.

Jellyfish at Sydney Aquarium
Jellyfish at Sydney Aquarium
(Photo credit: 
Jellyfish exist in every ocean on the planet. They cover the entire spectrum of oceanic depths from shallow estuaries and lagoons to the deepest, largely unexplored regions of the aquatic domain. The most geographically diverse and easily recognizable of these creatures is the moon jellyfish (Aurelia) or common jellyfish which contains twenty separate species that are so identical morphologically that it takes DNA testing to distinguish one form another. From a non-scientific standpoint, moon jellyfish might as well be a single species.

Anatomically, jellyfish can best be described as a sac within a sac. They are composed of approximately 95% water, 3% salt and 2% protein. They have no eyes, no brains, and no supporting skeletal system but yet are one on the oldest multi-cellular creatures known to man. They existed long before the first dinosaurs roamed the Earth and will almost certainly still be here long after the human race has vanished. Without a brain, jellyfish have managed to survive three planetary wide extinctions: This alone bears testimony to their long term survivability as a life form. Jellyfish are one of the simplest multi-cellular organisms in existence. They are most accurately described as gelatinous zooplankton. The actual term jellyfish is a universal misnomer. Jellyfish are, of course, not fish. Jelly refers to the gelatinous substance that accounts for most of the mass in a jellyfish's umbrella or bell. This jelly (mesoglea) is surrounded by two layers of epithelial cells. The top layer forms the upper portion of the umbrella. The bottom layer forms the subumbrella or underbelly of the bell.

Jellyfish do not have specialized digestive, respiratory or circulatory systems. In fact, they don't even have blood cells. Oxygen is absorbed by simple diffusion through their thin outer membranes. A second membrane within the jellyfish contains a gastrodermal lining which forms a gastrovascular cavity. This primitive cavity functions in place of a digestive system. Nutrients are absorbed and distributed throughout the body. Jellyfish either have a single mouth or multiple mouth openings positioned on oral arms that function for both intake of nutrients and expulsion of waste products.

Jellyfish also lack any semblance of an advanced skeletal system. They have what is called a hydrostatic skeleton that provides structural integrity and allows for limited mobility. Hydroskeletons are common in many lower life forms, specifically cold blooded and soft bodied organisms. A hydroskeleton consists of fluid or gelatinous filled cavity called a coelom. The coelom is typically surrounded by muscular tissue or muscle-like membranes. As the muscle tissue contract or expand the pressure of the fluid in the coelom is changed. This change in fluid pressure is what allows jellyfish to change shape and achieve locomotion. Most jellyfish are poor swimmers. They spend the vast majority of their adult lives drifting haplessly on the ocean currents. Box jellies, however, are quite good swimmers. Sea nettles are such accomplished swimmers that they spend most of their time swimming, quite frequently against prevailing currents. This is why they appear to be swimming upside down.