Float the bagged jellies in your jellyfish tank until the temperature inside the bag matches your jellyfish tank water. This will take about 15-20 minutes, more or less. Rotate and turn the bag occasionally to keep the jellies stimulated and belling. This helps mix the water inside the bag and expedite the process.
Take the temperature of the bagged water and compare it with that of your tank water. They should match before moving on to the next step.
Water Chemistry Acclimation
Once the temperature has equalized between the bagged jellies and the tank water, you can begin to conduct small water changes inside the bag. This is called water chemistry acclimation.
Exchange water between the bag and your tank water. Open the bag and pour out (or scoop out using a small plastic cup) about 20% of the water in the bag. Then gently allow about 20% of your tank water into the bag, secure with the rubber band and allow it to float once again. You can leave some air in the bag as you band it up so it floats well. Still rotate and turn the bag to gently stimulate the jellies to bell and therefore move the newly introduced saltwater through their system. They must be actively moving the water through their system in order to properly acclimate and they need you to help them do it. Gently spin, turn & rotate the bag with each water change.
You will do 4 or 5 of these small water changes over an hour. Pour a little water out of the bag and then introduce a little water back into the bag—you are slowly and gently getting your jellies comfortable with their new watery environment. Do not rush this step. It is crucial to your jellies survival and development. Please complete it within 1-2 hours total time from temperature acclimation until introducing them into your tank. (i.e. don’t spend all day getting them acclimated… they do need to get out of the bag in a timely fashion).
Releasing the Jellies into your Tank
• Now that you have properly acclimated the jellies, you should see nice and even belling inside the bag. Now you can release them into the tank.
Do you love keeping fish and would also like to keep jellyfish? What to do?!
You can keep them both in our Eon Jellyfish System because we have a fully-functional wet/dry filter on the back of the tank! Once your system is cycled, you can safely add fish. They also love feeding on the jellyfish food …
We have been testing our Eon 2ube Jellyfish System with 3 Pajama Cardinal fish and a pair of Clownfish. Also hanging out in the tank are 15 moon jellies about 2″-3″ diameter.
Please note, this system is fully cycled and has a heater in it to maintain a constant temperature of 72-75ºF for these tropical fish.
Everyone has been getting along and thriving for the past six weeks and only being fed our jellyfish food. Next, we will add a sea anemone specifically for the clownfish, and see how that goes!
More to be revealed soon! But we are super excited to have a co-habitation situation happening between the fish and the jellyfish! The clownfish are extremely interactive with us and seem very happy. The pajama cardinals are super relaxed and love the jellyfish food!
St. Louis Zoo has done an outstanding job raising their jellyfish! On January 18, 2016 we shipped them 22 moon jellyfish that were 2.5″ in diameter. As of February 10th, just under a month, they are 5″-6″ in diameter and doing wonderfully. Great job, St. Louis Zoo! That is an impressive growth rate! They look fantastic! A big pat on the back to your jelly keepers!
There have been situations where folks started cycling their tanks and then the cycling process was interrupted for some reason. Perhaps you interrupted the cycle due to premature cleaning of the tank and/or changing of some filters or water? Or, you went out of town for a few days and the tank wasn’t receiving any food and therefore the beneficial bacteria starved and left you with a zero population? Whatever the reason, you now got back on track and finished cycling the tank. Yay! Now you finally have a zero reading for ammonia and nitrite! Great! So, you order some new jellyfish and they go bad after a few days? What is going on? You did what you were supposed to and cycled your tank. Why are your new jellyfish so sad? Read on….
If you have already interrupted the cycling process, then you need to do a few more steps before your system is safe for jellyfish. Your nitrate & phosphate levels have skyrocketed because you have prolonged the normal 4-6 week cycling process & no substantial water changes have taken place. (Remember, after your system cycles, you are supposed to do a 20% water change and then get on a weekly maintenance schedule where at least 10% of the water is being exchanged every 7 days) But, because your system didn’t cycle in a timely fashion, your nitrates and phosphates are very high–toxic. Again, although it is great that you no longer have any ammonia or nitrite in your system, your nitrates and phosphates are through the roof because you haven’t changed out any water! You may be experiencing cloudy water because of these high levels (cloudy water can also be caused by a bacterial bloom).
These high levels will cause your new jellyfish to shrink and/or fall apart. Nitrates can be removed by exchanging the old water out with new saltwater. There are some liquid drops available on the market now that will remove the phosphates, Ultralife and Phosphate Rx, but you still need to attend to those high nitrates. Best thing to do is to conduct a 20% water change every other day until your nitrates drop from 80+ppm to under 40ppm but only if your system is already fully cycled and your nitrates are over 80ppm. I know this seems extreme, but once it’s done, you’re good! Water chemistry is an art, but if you have a system that has a fully functional mechanical, chemical and biological filter in place, it will do the job for you over time once you get it balanced and eliminate those nitrate and phosphate levels that have built up over an extended period of time (over 8 weeks) while you were waiting for your system to biologically cycle.
So, to recap, if you had an extremely long period of cycling (over 8 weeks), then you need to test your nitrate and phosphate levels. If you are getting readings of 80+ppm for nitrate and/or 2.0+ppm for phosphate, you need to conduct several water changes over a week to bring them into range. You want to achieve levels of under 40ppm for nitrate and under 0.5ppm for phosphate.
If you need some assistance with this process, please email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you through it. It’s just some water changes…no big deal, really. Hang in there…you’re almost home free! Once you correct the water chemistry, your jellies will instantly start repairing themselves and get back to a healthy state.
If they do, I’m sorry to hear that, but don’t despair just yet. Once you determine the problem & fix it, the jellies can bounce back and repair themselves in no time! Here are the top 5 reasons jellyfish will start to fall apart…
1. Improper filtration and/or incomplete cycling of your filters.
2. Ammonia spike.
3. Not Acclimating your Jellyfish Properly
4. Improperly making up your saltwater
5. Heavy metal contamination.
1. Improper filtration and/or incomplete cycling of your filters.
If you haven’t properly cycled your tank, then you most likely have toxic levels of ammonia and/or nitrite in your water. This can happen when you initially set up an aquarium and add jellyfish (or any life forms, for that matter…this is not a jellyfish specific issue, but a standard fish or coral tank issue. You must take the time to properly cycle your aquarium no matter what animals you choose to keep in it). Once jellyfish are added to the tank, they begin to produce ammonia. Once ammonia starts to build up, you need to have a way to eliminate it. This is why proper filtration is important. A properly filtered aquarium will have a biological filter in place, which will remove the toxic ammonia and nitrite by way of the beneficial bacteria that populate the filter media (i.e. bio balls). If you do not have beneficial bacteria actively removing the ammonia and nitrite, then the water becomes toxic and the jellyfish will soon begin (within 2 days) to disintegrate like the pictures demonstrate.
2. Ammonia spike.
Why are you having an ammonia spike even after you’ve already cycled your tank? An ammonia spike can occur if you stopped feeding your tank for any reason. Sometimes folks let the aquarium go down, or let it run without any animals in it for awhile like if they go on vacation or take some time away from keeping jellyfish, or they don’t have jellies in it for several days for whatever reason. This leads to an ammonia spike because your beneficial bacteria in you filter box didn’t receive any ammonia to eat—your system wasn’t creating any ammonia because you had no jellyfish in it & subsequently weren’t feeding any jellyfish. This means the beneficial bacteria went with out food (ammonia) and starved to death. So, if you then add jellyfish to the tank when you get back from vacation (or whatever), there is no beneficial bacteria available in the filter box to eliminate the toxic ammonia & you experience an ammonia spike and shredded jellyfish as the pictures show.
If you do go on vacation, or take more than 3 days away from having jellyfish in your tank, you can alway place a small, 1/4″ piece of raw fish or shrimp in the filter box to continue to decompose and create ammonia for the beneficial bacteria to feed on while you’re away. When you return, always take an ammonia reading and remove the piece of raw fish or shrimp before adding new jellyfish to the tank. Make sure your ammonia and nitrite levels are at zero before acclimating any new jellyfish into your tank.
An ammonia spike can also happen if you interrupted the cycling process by cleaning the tank, changing any mechanical or chemical filters, or conducted any water changes prior to the tank completely finishing its cycling process. Do not interrupt the cycling process. I know it’s tempting to want to get the sides & bottom of the tank clean. The algae growth can be unsightly, but remember, you are creating a living environment from a static one. Life can be messy! Let nature take it’s course and be patient– I know it’s hard, but it is necessary. You can clean the tank all you want after the cycling process is over! If you interrupt the cycle, it can take almost 3 times as long to get it back on track an in a non-toxic state. Be patient. It’s worth the wait!
3. Not Acclimating your Jellyfish Properly
You are receiving jellyfish that are coming from a pristine environment. When you receive a shipment of jellyfish, the water quality parameters are most likely different from yours. You must take the time to acclimate the jellyfish in the shipping bag to the temperature of your system. After 10-15 minutes of floating the bag so the temperatures equalize between the bag and your tank water, acclimate them to your water quality (pH, salinity), by conducting small water changes in the bag over 45 minutes to 1 hour. Don’t take all night doing this step. The jellies need to get out of the bag and into a moving environment. Acclimation shouldn’t take more than 1.5 hours from start to finish. If it is taking longer than that, then there is another problem at hand that needs to be addressed.
4. Improperly making up your saltwater
If you are making up your saltwater with tap water, your jellyfish will fall apart. Tap water has heavy metals in it that the jellyfish cannot tolerate. You must make up your saltwater with RO, RO/DI, or distilled water for it to be safe for jellyfish, much like a reef tank.
If you are not aerating your saltwater for at least 24 hours in a bucket with a small submersible pump, then you most likely are adding undissolved salts to your tank. The jellies don’t do well with undissolved salts. Please read our blog post that covers this topic in depth: “Problem with Your Jellyfish? Undissolved Salts Could be the Culprit”
5. Heavy metal contamination.
Do not use metal utensils or tools with your saltwater jellyfish aquarium. Only use plastic tools. Always wash your hands before dealing with your jellyfish or handling the jellyfish food. Zinc, brass, lead & petroleum products (sometimes found in soaps and lotions) will add heavy metals to your system. The jellyfish will fall apart if you introduce them into the water. Also, I should mention that aquarium heaters can get old– moreover, their seals can get old and crack. This can allow water to leak into them where the metal heating coil is located and other metal parts. If you have an old heater, check it for any visual signs of rust on the heating coil. If you see rust, throw it away and purchase a new one.
Send us your problem jellyfish pictures and we’ll diagnose the problem and tell you how to fix it. We’ll also write a new blog post about it so we can inform and help others that may be experiencing the same problem!
Send your pics to email@example.com
Have you had an unusually long cycling process? Are your new jellyfish shrinking fast even after the tank finally cycled?? Please read our blog post next week for answers.
I live for moments like this. Things like this make the long nights editing grant proposals, the paper rejections, the failed experiments all worth it. To me, the best part of science is stuff like this: seeing something that completely takes my breath away. Even after studying animals like this for the last five years, this video has me in awe. The animal captured in this footage, simply put, is stunning:
This video was collected as part of the Nautilus Live expedition, a broadcast ocean exploration that anyone with internet access can be part of. The expedition is being headed by Dr. Robert Ballard, who famously discovered the wreck of the Titanic. But to me, the video above captures something much more rare and mysterious than any sunken ship.
This strange animal is a siphonophore, a relative of jellyfish. The most famous (infamous?) siphonophore is the portuguese man-of-war, but there are many species that live in the deep and are only seen on rare…
So, the flower hat jellyfish pretty much looks like someone painted it while tripping on acid. It doesn’t just have tentacles on the edges, no way man, its got a tentacle party going all up over its body. It doesn’t just have pink and purple colors, it’s got blue and orange and green all over too (did I mention it glows?) And it doesn’t just look trippy with its little highlighter fro, it acts weird too. Unlike most jellies, flower hats spend most of their day just chillin’ on plants or pebbles or whatever really, only interested in swimming around for munchies once the sun goes down. They’re found only around southern Japan, and aquarists pay a premium for a chance to put them on display. That’s because the weirdest part of the flower hat jelly is this: no one had ever seen a baby flower hat before, until now.
Are your jellyfish shrinking, getting thin and flattening out???
Here are 5 reasons why that might be…..
1. Feeding Non-nutritious food
One of the most common problems when keeping jellyfish is keeping them properly fed. Without a consistent supply of nutritious food, they will become weak and thin. Malnutrition causes listlessness and infrequent belling or pulsing, leaving you with inactive jellyfish that just float around the tank like pieces of tissue paper. Not pretty. Not elegant. Not fun! Your solution is to feed them jellyfish food that is nutritious & to feed them the proper amount. There are a lot of feeds on the market for fish and corals and you may think that they will work for jellyfish. Not the case. Reef Nutrition has some amazing feeds for filter feeders and some of what they have to offer are good supplements for jellyfish, but not strictly meant for a main food source.
Jellyfish are not goldfish & you cannot simply sprinkle some food in every other day or so. They need to eat each day and they need to get a good amount into their systems with each feeding. See our blog post Knowing How Much to Feed Your Jellyfish for guidelines & pictures of what a well fed jellyfish looks like. Without enough good food to eat each day, they will become thin and lazy.
3. Your Flow is too High—or Too Low.
If your jellyfish aquarium has adjustable flow, you may need to fine tune it. If the flow is too high, the jellyfish may not be able to keep the food on their tentacles as they whiz around the tank and this means they are not ingesting the food. This leads to underfed jellyfish, which leads to lazy and shrinking jellyfish. The same goes for low flow. If the flow in your tank is so low that the jellyfish cannot properly bell and keep themselves suspended, then they will not feed properly. Again, this leads to malnutrition and shrinking jellyfish. Jellyfish need to bell efficiently in order to move fluids and food into and throughout their system.
4. Your Jellyfish Aquarium is Not Cycled
If your aquarium is not biologically cycled then your water quality is toxic (you have ammonia and/or nitrite levels above zero) and the jellies will be stressed because of it. Jellyfish are 96% water, so if your water quality is suffering, so are your jellyfish. They will not eat much, if at all, and this leads to shrinking jellyfish.
5. Your Salinity is Too High
When your salinity is too high, the jellyfish will cease to eat. Keep your salinity in check–everyday if necessary–so your jellyfish can feed properly without the stress of spiking salinity levels. If you haven’t yet read our blog post about hydrometers and the inaccurate readings they can give….read it now. The plastic hydrometers on the market tend to have variable readings. Have your hydrometer tested at your local fish store to be certain that yours is giving you accurate readings. Again, if your jellyfish are not getting enough food each day, they will shrink.
And a word about vacations, weekends & days off from feeding….
If your jellyfish are healthy and being fed normally and on a regular basis with nutritional jellyfish food, then you can safely get out of town for the weekend. They will be fine given they have full stomachs 5 days out of 7.
Are you having repeated issues with ammonia spikes even after cycling your aquarium? Does your filter box look like this?
Level your tank!
You can see from the picture that only a small portion of the filter is being used. This tells us that the water is flowing down the side of the filter box and not over the filter media. The water is bypassing all of your lovely filters! Therefore, you have no real filtration going on and will have unstable water quality because of it. That drip tray has holes in it so the water draining from the tank will be distributed OVER the filter media. You want the water to pass through the media in the filter box, not bypass it. The filters cannot remove any toxic wastes building up in your saltwater (i.e. ammonia, nitrite) if they don’t come in contact with it!
And remember, you will need to level the tank both left to right AND front to back!
With the lids removed, the level should be placed across the middle of the tank as shown in the pictures.
The bubble in a level needs to be exactly in the MIDDLE of the hash marks.
If you would like to see a video of how the filter box is supposed to look when it’s leveled properly, check out the Videos page on moonjellyfish.com.