Frozen Baby Brine Shrimp… What’s the Difference?

Last week, we received an email from a long-time customer asking what we thought about a brand of frozen baby brine shrimp she came across and how it’s different than our Frozen Jellyfish Food. So, we thought we’d write a blog post about it!

Screen Shot 2019-03-15 at 10.02.06 AM.png

San Francisco Bay Brand makes great frozen food for fish! However, typical frozen brine shrimp is not the perfect meal for jellyfish. Here’s why:

The two foods on the right, “Frozen Brine Shrimp” and “Omega Brine Shrimp,” are adult brine shrimp—not baby. They will be way too big for jellies to ingest and can ultimately cause water quality issues since the jellies won’t be able to fully consume them. Adult brine shrimp are on average 8 mm in total body length, whereas baby brine shrimp (a.k.a. “nauplii”) are less than 0.4 mm — that’s 20x larger! Way too big for the moon jellies in your aquarium.

The food on the left, “Baby Brine Shrimp,” is the most optimal of the three since it’s actually BABY brine shrimp, but here’s why it shouldn’t be the only food you feed your jellies. It is straight baby brine shrimp. It’s not enriched, so there are no additional vitamins or nutrients that jellyfish need to be happy and healthy. They only have the nutritional value of 24 hour hatched nauplii, in which most of the nutrition comes from the egg sac. Moon jellyfish need more than the nauplii to grow and keep a strong, healthy bell shape. Therefore, we don’t recommend using this brand of frozen baby brine shrimp as a sole alternative to our Frozen Jellyfish Food, but it would be fine to use in a pinch!

How is our food different?

retailfood_close2_1024x1024 copy.JPGretailpkg_1024x1024.JPG







We use a specific enrichment formula that provides all of the necessary vitamins and nutrients for jellyfish. We’ve spent many years perfecting this formula and figuring out what jellies absolutely cannot live without in order to grow larger and stronger. We’re confident our Frozen Jellyfish Food is the best jellyfish food available today because it’s the same food we feed our generations of lab-raised jellyfish and it’s still used by many public zoos and aquariums across the country. It’s also one of the cleanest jellyfish foods. By “clean” we mean it does not turn your water cloudy or opaque when fed out. This is essential for jellyfish aquariums because since jellyfish are 96% water, you don’t want to feed anything that will foul your water quality.

Another key aspect to all jellyfish food is buoyancy. Jellyfish food should be neutrally buoyant, allowing it to stay in the water column as long as possible. Our Frozen Jellyfish Food is neutrally buoyant. This allows the jellyfish more time to grab the food and eat more of it before it either sinks to the bottom (negatively buoyant) or floats to the top and out the drain (positively buoyant).

If interested, you can find our Frozen Jellyfish Food on our retail website here.

Have any questions about feeding your jellyfish? Ask us via email at

What Do I Feed My Pet Jellyfish?

If you’re thinking about bringing home a new pet, the first question that probably comes to mind is

“What does it eat?”

3jz copy

Since most grocery stores don’t carry big bags of dry jellyfish food in the pet section, and pet store selections are usually limited to dry fish flakes and pellets, you might be scratching your head trying to figure out just what the heck a jellyfish might eat.

Well, put down that jar of peanut butter… You’re gonna need something a little less chewy — baby brine shrimp!

artemia nauplii

In the wild, most jellies eat all sorts of small planktonic larvae (free-floating baby sea critters), but baby brine shrimp are their all-time favorite dish. If you have the ability to cultivate your own live brine shrimp, that would be the best option. But for the casual jellyfish owner, there are simpler options available that will make your little jellyfriends very happy.


Pet jellyfish love to eat our specially enriched frozen brine shrimp we prepare each and every day. We’ve spent over 20 years perfecting our formula, and the jellies really seem to appreciate it! They only need a small amount of it (about ¼ inch of a stick per 3 small jellies) floating freely in the water with them, and they’ll swim around plucking it out of the water on their own.

Sunset Marine Labs Frozen Jellyfish Food is available for purchase on our website,

Acclimating Your Jellyfish in 4 Easy Steps


fivenicejellies copy_2

Temperature Acclimation

Step 1.

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.

Step 2.

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.

Step 3.

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).


Step 4.

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.

• Leave the bag sitting in the water.

• Gently open the bag.

• Allow the jellies to exit the bag.

• Do not spill the jellies into the tank.


Tip: Knowing How Much to Feed your Jellyfish

tripleblue_med2small copy

Hungry Jellyfish with Empty Stomachs

It’s hard to regulate just how much food to feed your fish sometimes.  You don’t want to over feed them or under feed them.  But, how do you know if your jellyfish are getting enough to eat each day????? If only you could see just how full they were.  Hard to do with fish, BUT….you have jellyfish!!! They’re transparent!

You can see right through them & see their stomachs!  This is the best way to know if you’re feeding enough each day to keep them healthy and growing.

One of the most common problems when keeping jellyfish as pets is keeping them nutritionally fulfilled. Most folks are not sure just how much to feed to keep their jellyfish healthy.  Jellies are passive feeders and need more food than you think. They quickly become lethargic and thin if they aren’t getting enough good food to eat. So, if you start out not feeding enough nutritional food, your jellyfish will start to wither and shrink.

The picture below represents moon jellyfish that are waiting for a meal. Empty stomachs!


The picture below demonstrates what your jellyfish should look like about 45 minutes after feeding them.

3jz copy

Full Stomachs! Happy Jellyfish!

Their stomachs should be nice and full like this at least once a day, with nutritionally sound food for jellyfish.

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