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You Need To Know About Pet Jellyfish!
sp. & Aurelia Aurita)
are from the phylum Cnidaria.
This phylum contains over 9,000 aquatic species. While estimates vary
morphological similarities, there are somewhere between ten and twenty
belonging to the genus Aurelia. To the naked eye they are identical.
only be differentiated from another through DNA testing. All of these
are collectively referred to as moon jellyfish.
name moon jellyfish is
purely descriptive in nature.
Their name is derived form their most prominent anatomical feature.
jellies have large, rounded bells that resemble a full moon. Four
horseshoe-shaped gonads (reproductive organs) at the
center of their bell add to
semblance, conjuring up images of the caters on the moon.
jellyfish are the most common jellyfish on the planet.
This is because of their diversity in nature. Moon jellies can be found
almost every ocean in the world. Their natural habitat stretches from
equator as far north as 70° latitude and as far south as
40° in every
ocean that falls within those geographic parameters.
are prominent in the shallow coastal waters of
estuaries and harbors which explains their abundance in the jellyfish
tank industry an infant branch within the larger saltwater aquarium
trade. Because they are common in both temperate and tropical
they can tolerate temperature ranges anywhere between 42-88 °F
Although they can survive in brackish water, a salinity level (specific
of 1.023 will mimic their native marine environment.
pets in a home jellyfish
aquarium fish tank, moon
jellies are harmless. Their stinging cells don’t produce
enough pressure to
pierce the human skin. Even if partial penetration is achieved the
be little more than a mild rash type irritation of the surface of the
area. In the wild, a moon jellies lifespan is held captive by the
nature. Their life cycle is limited to a single calendar year from
finish. In a jellyfish aquarium their lifespan can reach in
excess of three
years if properly cared for.
nature, moon jellies spend most of their time drifting on
currents rather that swimming. In captivity, a jellyfish aquarium tank
a specially designed turbulence system to keep these delicate creatures
a helpless ball of gelatinous goo at the bottom of your tank.
slow methodical way in which moon jellyfish move
makes them almost mesmerizing to watch. They look particularly stunning
aquarium under LED lighting gradually fading from one color to another.
enterprising entrepreneurs at JellyfishArt have
taken the necessary steps to design and produce a jellyfish
tank specifically engineered to make keeping pet jellyfish no
complicated than your average freshwater aquarium.
a result, moon jellyfish are becoming immensely
popular as pets. Just three years ago there was no such thing as a
jellyfish are one of the most easily obtainable
jellyfish for home aquarium owners who wish to expand their area of
expertise. They are also the easiest jellyfish to keep alive
in captivity. The concept & design team at
JellyfishArt captured live
moon jellyfish from the temperate coastal waters off the coast of California.
then bred and tank raised Pet
Moon Jellyfish for Sale
to the general public to insure their
year round availability for the demand created by this new, up and
segment of the home aquarium industry.
raised moon jellyfish from temperate coastal
regions eliminates the need for an aquarium chiller, a rather
investment necessary for colder water jellies like Pacific Sea Nettles.
Although moon jellyfish can tolerate a wide range of temperatures,
70-80 °F is
most conducive to their adult phase of life.
the wild moon jellyfish can easily grow to up to 12
inches in diameter. Commercially tank raised moon
jellies typically range
in size from 2-5 inches in diameter. Their growth rate and maximum disc
proportional to their caloric intake. This means that in a jellyfish
tank they may never grow to their potential maximum disc size. You can,
fact, prevent them from doing so if you wish to keep them in a smaller
are carnivorous. In nature a moon jellyfish's diet
consists almost entirely of zooplankton. In a jellyfish tank, pet moon
can be fed commercially available frozen or freeze-dried plankton food
or live brine shrimp. Brine shrimp are readily available at any fish
store that sells saltwater fish. Many aquarists prefer to raise their
shrimp. See Jellyfish
Aquariums for more details on
feeding pet jellyfish.
Fact About Jellyfish: Blue
Blubber Jellyfish (Catostylus mosaicus)
blubber jellyfish (Catostylus
mosaicus) are from the
order Rhizostomae. Blue
blubbers are native to the
Indo-Pacific from Asia
all the ways south to the northern shores of Australia.
These jellyfish travel in
enormous swarms often in excess of a million jellyfish. Their swarms
fact so large that they are considered a nuisance by Australian
because they can fill up entire nets. They have wreaked havoc with
stations and clogged ship intakes.
Blue blubber jellyfish do not have the long trailing tentacles
most commonly associated with jellyfish. Instead they have
oral arms extruding from just beneath their bell forming a
|Each of these oral arms
has thousands of tiny mouths as opposed to a
single oral orifice. Although blue jellies have eight oral arms, other
related species within this order only have three or four.
Blue jellies are among the species of jellyfish that do not have to
rely entirely on external sources for their nutritional needs. A large
part of their nutritional intake is meant by the symbiotic relationship
they have with unicellular algae living inside them. The
jellyfish’s body plays host to these algae. In return, part
of the algae’s photosynthetic process provides nutrients rich
in carbon for their host.
Blue jellyfish resort to nocturnal hunting to supply the rest of their
nutritional needs. The size of the mouth openings on their oral arms
limits what they may consume. They feed primarily on zooplankton
derived from the lower levels of their habitat. The blue jelly injects
venom into this zooplankton which either kills or paralyzes them thus
rendering them immobile for ease of consumption. This venom is not
toxic enough to be perceptible to most humans. However, very much like
a bee sting, some individuals are more susceptible to this toxin and
may experience a skin rash or even an allergic reaction.
blue jelly’s unique appearance
makes it one of the more exotic jelly specimens currently available to
aquarist. They have become increasingly popular as pets in the Eastern
hemisphere because of their almost “other worldly”
look and their abundance. Unlike
moon jellyfish, blue jellies are translucent rather than transparent.
not have that eerie, floating ghost-like appearance when light flows
them. They look, however, equally stunning under an LED fader. The
of their globular shape, they way they swim, their pearlescent
the colored light passing through their semi-transparent
bodies makes them resemble the globules in a lava lamp. They also look
great under T5 and
lighting. They come in a variety of colors including white, red, blue,
and yellow with hues of contrasting accent shades.
blue jelly’s unique appearance makes it one of the more
exotic jelly specimens currently available to home aquarist. They have
increasingly popular as pets in the Eastern hemisphere because of their
“other worldly” look and their abundance. Unlike
moon jellyfish, blue jellies
are translucent rather than transparent. They do not have that eerie,
ghost-like appearance when light flows through them. They look,
equally stunning under an LED fader. The combination of their globular
they way they swim, their pearlescent reflection, and the colored light
through their semi-transparent bodies makes them resemble the globules
lava lamp. They also look great under T5 and actinic lighting. They
come in a
variety of colors including white, red, blue, purple, and yellow with
contrasting accent shades.
should be understood that blue blubber jellyfish have a
symbiotic relationship with the algae growing inside them and are
them for a vital portion of their nutritional needs. If you intend on
keep them as pets, they will require an aquarium light set up akin to
that of a
coral reef tank. This will help keep them alive and healthy.
very often come small, but can grow to anywhere from 12
to 18 inches in diameter. Just like many jellyfish, a sudden shrinkage
is a sure sign that they are not receiving enough to eat. Their
lifespan is one
year in the wild. We were unable to find any information
life in captivity will negate their natural life cycle and extend their
longevity in home aquariums. Blue jellyfish live in tropical to
zones. In captivity, a temperature range between 75-78 °F is
About Jellyfish: Upside Down Jellyfish (Cassiopeia
|Upside down jellyfish (Cassiopeia
xamachana) are another member
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 half way across
the globe in the Pacific Ocean.
populations have also established themselves along the coastal shores
of the Hawaiian Islands. It is speculated that these creatures where
first introduced to Hawaiian shores from jellyfish polyps adhering to
the underbellies of war ships returning from the Philippines.
species is prevalent in shallow, warm tropical waters such as mangrove
swamps. They are frequently referred to as mangrove jellyfish of the
large aggregations found in this swampy saltwater environment. Unlike
many species of jellyfish, upside down jellies are exclusively marine
in nature. None have been found in brackish or freshwaters.
These jellies differentiate themselves from most species of jellyfish
in yet another significant manner. Most jellyfish spend the entirety of
the adult phase of their lives drifting haplessly on ocean currents.
Upside down jellies are only free swimming as juveniles. Once their
bell reaches approximately 2cm in diameter it inverts. The jellyfish
then sinks to the bottom of its shallow watered domain. They spend the
entire adult stage of their lives upside down on the muddy substrate.
This points their oral arms (tentacles) in an upward position which
allows them to capture and absorb an endless found source from the ever
present zooplankton existing in water columns throughout the
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 color. They have a
depression or exumbrella in their bell. The exumbrella acts as a
to help them stay anchored to the ocean floor. Rather than a single
opening, they have 4 elaborately branched oral arms. These arms have a
lace-like appearance similar to many green, leafy vegetables. They are
referred to as cabbage-head jellyfish because of these appendages. It
that this species a filter feeder and also relies on some form of
dissolved nutrients directly from the water to supplement its
down jellyfish do
directly inject their prey like most jellyfish do. Their nematocysts
cells) are controlled by the cnidocil. This is the equivalent to a
or chemically triggered grenade launcher. The stinging cells launched
cnidocil produce a cnidoblast that will stun or paralyze prey in the
vicinity. The jellyfish then begin ingesting their prey with their
mouth openings. Once the prey is reduced to food fragments, these
particles are passed on to secondary mouths for further digestion.
also function as a self-defense mechanism. If abruptly disturbed, large
of these jellies will launch themselves upward from the ocean floor and
their nematocysts. This massive venom release into the water is usually
sufficient to ward off potential predators. The toxic compound is
inconsequential to human beings. It may result in an itchy or tingling
of the skin or a rash on individuals more sensitive to the venom.
down jellyfish can
reach up to 14 inches in diameter in the wild. In captivity a maximum
potential of 8 inches is more realistic. Depending on their size in
upside down jellyfish can be fed zooplankton, or small invertebrates
In order to allow their symbiotic algae to properly photosynthesize, a
system conducive to a marine reef tank is highly recommended. These
have a higher temperature tolerance than most scyphozoan medusa.
adult jellyfish can be found year round. However the optimum
these adult jellies is between 75-78 °F. This simulates the
height of the adult
season. Upside down jellyfish typically strobilate during summer or
Whereas most scyphozoans strobilate during the winter months.
Sea Nettles (Chrysaora
fuscescens & quinquecirrha)
Nettles are one of the most popular exhibits in public
aquariums. Their movement looks like sheer poetry in motion. Sea
inhabit the Atlantic (Chrysaora
Pacific Ocean (Chrysaora
quinquecirrha). Depending on
the species, they grow anywhere
inches all the way up to three feet in diameter. Typically their
tentacles reach over twice that length. Pacific sea nettles are the
the two species.
The Pacific sea nettle was successfully cultivated in Monterey
less than two decades ago. This was the first time they had ever been
was the first aquarium to exhibit jellyfish to the public.
sea nettle’s sting in very often deadly to proportionately
sized prey. Their sting is rated from moderate to severe in regards to
interaction. Their venom is not lethal unless it is the result of an
reaction. They will cause moderate discomfort levels in people that are
overly sensitive to jellyfish toxins. Toxicology reports on Japanese
sea nettles (Chrysaora
melanaster) indicate more
nettle bells are semi-transparent. Pacific sea nettles
can either be white and opaque in appearance or striped. Striped bells
typically reddish-brown adorned with small white dots. The species
native to the
is generally a pale shade of pink or yellow and may also
be striped. Long, flowing tentacles extend from the circumference of
generally stretching 2-3 times the bell’s diameter. Sea
nettles have a single
mouth opening on the underside of their bell. In addition to their
have a long, lace-like oral arm in the center of their bell that
their food to their mouth opening.Unlike
most jellyfish, sea nettles
are very good swimmers and swim continuously. They seem to prefer
against the current which is why they are so often seen swimming upside
down in most pictures.
should be noted that Pacific
sea nettles are the larger of the two species. There are not any
aquariums large enough to house them. They will require a custom built
You should also be aware that these jellies are indigenous to colder
from northern They are accustomed to water temperatures in the
degree range. Your jellyfish aquarium will require a water chiller to
Nettles stinging cells do pack enough punch to penetrate
the human skin. Sting victims report anything form a minor tingling
to a mild burning of the skin and upper dermal tissue in the stung
the body. Like most jellyfish, however, sea nettles travel in swarms.
stings from a sea nettle swarm can cause serious although not usually
harm to humans.