Feeding your Jellyfish
Recommended Foods for your Jellyfish
Live-enriched Artemia Nauplii and Live- enriched Marine Rotifers (for pick up at our shop)
Call us. We harvest our nauplii daily and we will set aside and enrich the naups before you want to pick them up. Our culture lab will enrich the nauplii with gut-loaded rotifers and Selco. We use Reed Mariculture Inc’s (RMI) Algae products for rotifer growth, enrichment and greenwater. Rotifers are also great for corals and juvenile fishes.
The nauplii and rotifers may be refrigerated for up to 3 days, keep them in an uncovered container.
Naupsicles- Frozen Jellyfish Food -250 grams $72.00
A 250 gram supply of Naupsicles, our enriched Artemia nauplii, will last approximately 3 months depending on the number and size of the jellyfish in your exhibit. Each 250 gram package contains 12 frozen sticks – (Naupsicles) of Jellyfish food. There are 4 individual packets containing 3 frozen enriched nauplii sticks in each packet. We hatch, enrich and process our frozen jellyfish food here in our lab. Each package is then dated to ensure freshness. The amount of frozen Jellyfish food to thaw out will depend on the number and size of the jellyfish you are feeding. This product can be held in the freezer for up to 7 months.
When feeding your jellies Naupsicles frozen nauplii, cut a 1/2″ piece of the jellyfish food to feed 8 to10 of the small jellies (1- 1.5 ” diameter) or 6 of the medium jellies (2″ diameter) or 3 of the large jellies (3″ diameter). Thaw the piece in a small cup with some water from the jellyfish system. Gently pour the thawed mixture into the water (a turkey baster works well). Feed once a day, every day.
PULSE AQUATICS: Dry Jellyfish Food
60g (2.1 oz) will feed 3 to 7 Moon Jellies twice a day for 2-3 months. $14.00
250g (8.8oz) will feed 3-7 Moon Jellies twice a day for 8-9 months $58.00
When feeding your jellies live or frozen nauplii just isn’t possible or you want to supplement your jellies’ diet, Pulse Aquatics Dry Jellyfish Food is a good choice, as it is rich in amino acids, pigments, vitamins and minerals. The Dry Jellyfish Food we use is formulated to maintain and grow planktivorous jellyfish. Simply rehydrate the Jellyfish Food for a few minutes in tank water and feed directly to your jellies. One scoop of jellyfish food will give you two feedings per day. Feed 1/2 of the hydrated food in the morning and the other half later in the day. Once hydrated, the food will have a slight green color due to some of the micro algae in the formula. Keep the hydrated jellyfish food in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it again that day.
This Dry Jellyfish Formula remains in the water column longer than most inert feeds and, in moving with the water current, mimics planktonic animals. Food staying in the water column longer allows your jellyfish more opportunity to get the nutrition they need.
The Pulse Aquatices Dry Jellyfish Food is packaged in airtight, re-closable metalized poly bags which protect food from moisture and light.
Keep Dry Jellyfish food in the Refrigerator.
Directions: In a small container, add aquarium water and one scoop of dry jellyfish food- gently stir to make sure there is even hydration. One level scoop holds .9 g of food.
Small nutritious “clusters” algae, brines shrimp and fish eggs, and are blended to created a highly palatable, neutrally buoyant dry jellyfish food. Ingredients: marine fish, krill (23%), fish roe, brine shrimp eggs, spirulina- Arthrospira platensis, soy lecithin, yeast autolysate, micro-algae, fish gelatin, squid meal, hydrogenated vegetable fat, vitamins and minerals, carotenoid and xanthophyll pigments, antioxidants. Proximate analysis: Protein, 60%; Lipids, 15%; Ash, 12%; Moisture, 8%; Vitamin C, 2550 ppm; Vitamin E, 425 ppm; EPA,10mg/g; DHA, 12 mg/g.
Particle size: 100 – 200 microns
Reef Nutrition: R.O.E. – Real Oceanic Eggs 6oz bottle $28.00 16 oz bottle $54.75
R.O.E. Real Oceanic Eggs are super-concentrated marine fish eggs harvested from Northern Seas. They contain high levels of omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids. With an egg size range of 0.7 mm to 1.5 mm, R.O.E. makes a great nutritional supplement for your jellies. This product is a good source of protein and will help keep your jellies pulsing strong. R.O.E is very concentrated so be sure to start feeding with a small amount. Remember R.O.E. is only meant to be fed out 2 to 3 times per week and is not intended to take the place of the frozen Jellyfish food.
Keep refrigerated at all times. DO NOT FREEZE.
To feed- gently invert the bottle to mix, then, in a small cup, add 1 teaspoon ROE (more if you are feeding several jellies) to 5 teaspoons jelly aquarium water and feed to your jellyfish. If you are going to broadcast the eggs into the tank for many jellies be sure to siphon up the fallen eggs on the bottom or gravel wash if you have substrate in with your Cassiopeia jellies.
Jellyfish Supplement– weekly additive to jelly system – 450ml $28.00
Unlike terrestrial animals, Jellyfish obtain nutrients from both their food and environment. Trace elements are normally depleted by utilization, oxidation and precipitation, thus it is important to restore them on a regular basis. Jellies are very efficient at utilizing vitamins and trace elements from the water. Our Supplement contains only those elements actually demonstrated to be required by filter feeding marine invertebrates.
- Unique vitamin and trace element complex for establishing and replacing substances important to marine invertebrates, including jellies, corals, clams, and their allies; these substances are particularly important to biological reactions.
- Does not contain minor or trace elements not expressly known to be utilized by marine organisms or take place in chemical interactions.
- Vitamins are present in ratios found in the tissues of filter-feeding marine invertebrates.
- Minor and trace elements are present in natural seawater ratios.
- Composed of purified water and ultra-high purity materials.
- Formulated by marine scientists.
How Much to Feed / Feeding Guide:
One of the most common problems when keeping jellyfish is knowing how much and how often to feed them. Your Jellyfish should have a full stomach at least once a day, every day. It is easy to determine if they are getting enough food because you can see the contents of their stomachs. If you are feeding a 1/2 inch piece of Naupsicles frozen nauplii and every jelly in your aquarium does not have a full stomach, adjust the amount you are feeding accordingly. Try cutting a 3/4 inch piece instead of a 1/2 inch piece. If your jellyies are full and there is uneaten food left in your aquarium, try using less than a 1/2 inch piece so you do not overfeed and foul the water.
The picture below shows a moon jellyfish with an empty stomach.
This picture shows jellyfish with full stomachs. The orangy-pink color you see are the nauplii they just ingested. They should look like this after every feeding. If you feed R.O.E. (Real Ocean Eggs) their stomachs will look white in color and if you are supplementing their diet with dry jellyfish food, their stomachs will look orange in color. You will also see a green tint in the canals in the bell from the algae in the dry jellyfish food.
Things that can cause your Jellyfish to Shrink
Do you think, “My jellies don’t look right”? Are your jellyfish shrinking? Do they look like lollipops or have they turned inside out? Are they flat? Did they stop pulsing?
Here are some of the main reasons why:
1. Your Jellyfish Aquarium is Not Cycled/ Poor Water Quality
If your aquarium is not biologically cycled then your water quality may be toxic (you have ammonia and/or nitrite levels above zero) Bacteria in the aquarium’s biological filter convert ammonia to nitrite (NO2). While nitrite is less harmful than ammonia at the same concentrations, it is still deadly . Concentrations of 0.1 ppm of nitrite will wipe out corals and invertebrates, while concentrations of 0.3 ppm will result in death for all but the hardiest of fish. Concentrations of ammonia at 0.01 ppm is deadly for invertebrates.
Ammonia in aquariums is the by-product of waste produced by our aquarium inhabitants. Overfeeding, decaying food, waste products all contribute to aquarium ammonia levels, otherwise known as Total Dissolved Ammonia.
Total Dissolved Ammonia can occur as highly toxic ammonia (NH3) or as less toxic ammonium (NH4+), depending on the pH of the aquarium water. At lower pH levels, total dissolved ammonia occurs as ammonium. Ammonium changes to poisonous ammonia as pH increases.
Your system must be cycled before adding your jellies. This is when the biological filter has been established . Jellyfish are 96% water. What is in your water is also in your jelly, so if your water quality is poor, your jellyfish are feeling poor too. If ammonia and nitrites are high in your system, they will not eat much, if at all, and they will visibly look stressed. They may look like a “lollipop”, ( pulling their oral arms into their bell) where the jellies will look like a tight, round ball. Likely, your jellies will stop pulsing. High ammonia and nitrite levels will cause jellyfish death. Jellies that have been exposed to high levels of ammonia and nitrite do not usually recover. See the Nitrogen Cycle overview on our Education Page for information on aquarium cycling. Nitrogen cycle Be sure to keep up on your chemistry and regular water changes. Remove any un-eaten food from your system.
2. You May Not Be Feeding Enough 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, flatten out or invert and pulse infrequently or not pulse at all. We call this Lazy Jelly Syndrome. To prevent Lazy unhealthy jellies, feed them the foods that are rich in the nutrients required such as enriched brine shrimp nauplii, both live and frozen, enriched rotifers and supplemental foods such as R.O.E. Feed them the proper amount. (See the above Knowing How Much to Feed Your Jellyfish for guidelines & picture of what a well fed jellyfish looks like) We encourage the use of our jellyfish supplement which is added directly into the aquarium water. This supplement has nutrients which are absorbed by the jellyfish through osmosis. I also boost the protein in our jellies diet by feeding Reef Nutrition Real Ocean Eggs (R.O.E.) and Pulse Aquatic’s Dry Jellyfish food a few times per week. I also like to feed our jellies live rotifers. We do have rotifers available upon request. Remember Jellyfish are a pelagic organism – moon jellies do not live on reefs and most reef feeds on the market don’t have the nutrition jellyfish require to stay healthy.
3. Your Water Flow is Too High—or Too Low.
If your jellyfish aquarium has adjustable flow, you may need to fine tune it. If your jellyfish aquarium was set up by us, it does have an adjustable flow. The jellies should not be moving as though they are in a washing machine. If the current is too high, the jellyfish may not be able to keep the food on their tentacles or on the mucus net on their bells because they are moving too fast around the tank. This will prevent them from ingesting their food which leads to underfed jellyfish, causing “lazy jelly syndrome” and shrinking jellyfish. Water flow that is too high may also adversely affect the muscle strength of your jellies. Too low a water flow is also problematic. If the Jellies are bunching up in a pile on the bottom or dragging against the bottom of the aquarium not only can this cause damage to your jellies, they cannot properly pulse and keep themselves suspended in the water column; they will not feed properly and again, this leads to shrinking unhealthy jellyfish.
4. Your Salinity is Too High
We keep our jellies at a salinity of 34 ppt or 1.0257 specific gravity. The salinity you keep your moon jellies in should not be lower than 34 ppt. When your salinity is too high, above 1.029 sp, the jellyfish will stop eating. Use a handheld refractometer to measure the salinity. Jellies are very sensitive to salinity changes and high salinity levels can impede pulsing, eating (you may see the oral arms tucked up in the bell) and overall cellular activity. It is important to know what your salinity is and how it changes over time. Remember that evaporation occurs in your system. Every home will have unique conditions (hardwood floors for example) that create evaporation in your aquarium and the amount of evaporation can change with the seasons. Replace the water that has been removed by evaporation with R/O water not more salt water. Never use tap water to make up your saltwater–not even if you water conditioner that removes chlorine. Do not use “spring water”, “mineral water” or “filtered drinking water”. —“Distilled” or R/O or RO/DI is what is acceptable for your jelly aquarium. Distilled water may be found at grocery stores.
For More Information on Nutritional Feeds and Moon Jellyfish visit:
Reed Mariculture- Reed Mariculture
Sunset Marine Labs- Sunset Marine Labs:
Monterey Bay Aquarium – montereybayaquarium.org