Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Age of Aquariums 12-19-2007 10:28 AM

Upside Down Jellyfish
I want to get an Upside down Jellyfish for my 125g reef, but I don't know what kind of lighting they need, the seller just said "upgraded lighting needed" I don't know what they mean by that. Here is the current light I have: 72" 1134W MH/PC/ML.

Metal Halides: 3 250W with 15K bulbs,
Compact Florescent: 4 96W with Actinic bulbs,
Moonlights: 8 Dual Bluemoon LEDs.

bettababy 12-19-2007 02:41 PM

Do you know what species it is exactly? The common upside down jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana,
cannot live in a typical reef tank. They need a bare tank with a sand bottom so they don't injure themselves. There isn't much more than a few types of snails that you can keep with them, and they need a fairly large tank so they are able to swim around without bumping into the sides. They also need extremely good water quality all the time. They are not an easy animal to keep, and tend to die shortly after going home to most aquariums. They also get fairly large...can be difficult to feed, and find the right lighting for.
I can find out what specific lighting would be needed, can you tell me the size of the tank you plan to use?
I'm thinking that after knowing they need a bare tank they maybe don't appeal to you the way they did before..? I've had them at the store long term, they were hard to sell because nobody could afford to accomidate them. What most people didn't realize... watching them every day for month after month, they were boring! They did little more than sit on the bottom of the tank, moving from time to time, but mostly hovering or laying on the bottom waiting for more food. Also, you have to be careful not to get stung. They still sting, and some people are allergic to the venom, which can cause some serious health risks.
This is just a good example of another species that shouldn't be in the aquarium trade.... they're cool, and for research I understand, but best left alone in the wild where they belong.

caferacermike 12-19-2007 05:49 PM

Shouldn't be sold.

I got one for $10 once at the shop for our 7g mini. It floated around for about 2 weeks and then disappeared. Not a good purchase.

Age of Aquariums 12-19-2007 06:45 PM


Originally Posted by caferacermike
Shouldn't be sold.

I got one for $10 once at the shop for our 7g mini. It floated around for about 2 weeks and then disappeared. Not a good purchase.

They are supposed to have 30 gallons, I have mad a section in the tank where everything is smooth, and there are no obstacles. I do not know which species it is, but it is 'reef compatible' and is not supposed to cause any ill affects, like pain, sickness, poisoning, ect. It can't kill fish or inverts. only supposed to catch microorganisms. I did do research on them, but I couldn't figure out what they meant by 'upgraded lighting,' I wasn't sure if I had a good enough light. I know they need MH, I didn't know what of spectrum of lighting is beneficial to them.

bettababy 12-19-2007 11:29 PM

MH would be plenty for them... they can even do well under power compact lighting, so long as 1/2 of their light is actinic and 1/2 is daylight you should be good. They shouldn't require any kind of special upgrade beyond metal halide...
As for the tank size... even 30 gallons wouldn't last them long if they thrive in the tank. The species of jelly we're talking about averages about 8 - 10 inches in diameter full grown. Best way to tell if the tank is big enough... lay a dinner plate on the bottom where the animal will spend most of its time. If it can fit comfortably and have room to move around, you're good. The tank doesn't have to be real deep, but area is extremely important.
The LFS was correct in that the upside down jellyfish is a filter feeder, but... that means you still have to feed it. Things like zooplankton, phyto plankton, newly hatched brine shrimp, and other micro foods are good.
One last comment about adding it to a reef tank... you'll want to be sure that the jelly's part of the tank is securley partitioned so it can't get out. If it floats under a rock, it's pretty much done for. If you have any other animals in the tank, you'll want to keep them also at a safe distance so they don't damage the jellyfish. All it takes is a shrimp or fish, crab, starfish, anything to get close enough to take a piece... and the jelly is pretty much done for.
I agree with caferacermike... not a good buy.

Age of Aquariums 12-20-2007 07:11 AM

Ok, thanx.

caferacermike 12-20-2007 05:28 PM

Nine was the size of a quarter, I put it in such a small tank so I could make an attempt to specialize it's feedings and make sure it was fed instead of just dropping it into my 75g tank.

Best of luck, but again these are not really an animal that should be sold as a regular hobbyist specimen. May fare better if it was in a special set up by itself or with like minded specimens. I'd avoid live rock, shrimp, fish, and most corals as almost anything could snag and kill it.

By your negative tone to my experience I can tell your mind is made up and nothing will sway you from proving us wrong so keep us up to date. Hey I trained blue ribbon eels to eat silver sides from my hands so maybe you can pull it off.

Age of Aquariums 12-20-2007 05:51 PM

I am setting up a new tank for it, I have a 55 gallon wide breeding tank that I haven't been using, since its about 18-20" wide, it should work. I will be sure to put in soft, smooth sand, and I already have a bottle of pytoplankton (I think thats how it's spelled. :D). Thanx for your help.

bettababy 12-20-2007 08:24 PM

Best of luck to you... but I still agree with caferacermike on this one. If you are able to keep it alive beyond the first few months it would be a good idea to plan a larger tank for soon after.

Also, in an effort to help you prove this successful... I'd be sure to run a really good skimmer, good filter with sponge over the intake (they dont' swim well and if the intake isn't covered they get stuck to it, which kills them, and lots of small water changes. Water params should be equivelant to a reef situation... spg/salinity should be 1.023 - 1.025 with stability being very important. Temp should run about 76 - 78 (be sure to use some kind of heater guard to keep the jellyfish from touching the heater). The phytoplankton won't be enough nutrition to keep your jellyfish alive by itself, so you will want to alternate your feedings with the phytoplankton, zooplankton, baby brine (newly hatched), cyclopeze, and any other minute foods that are protein based (such as coral plankton, etc).
You'll also want to keep track of your calcium levels very closely, as calcium that is too high or too low will also damage/kill the jellyfish.
If you're starting a new set up for the jellyfish, expect the tank to take at least 6 - 8 wks to cycle completely and be safe enough to put the jellyfish into it.
Keep us posted on your progress, I'll be interested to see if this works.[/list]

Age of Aquariums 12-20-2007 09:21 PM

I talked to the local aquarium, and they said that they would take it if it got to big (They have a special tank for these.) As for the filter, I have a high-grade sponge filter that was used instead of a power filter in that tank to keep the baby fish from getting sucked up, but since I no longer breed fish, I wanted to put something else in the tank. I got advise from the aquarium (They have 50 of them) they said I am set up, and I even rounded the corners of the tank off to protect it from damage. Depending on how fast it grows, I might put it in the SW pond when I re-build it. Thanx for the advise. I'll post pictures when I finish preparing everything.

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