Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jelly Exhibit update - Sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) video


video
This is a video of our jelly exhibit after I installed new lighting. 

These are Chrysaora quinquecirrha collected locally. Although swimmers may not appreciate them, as they do have an irritating sting, they are beautiful to watch. We hand feed them cut shrimp, fish, squid etc, as well as Artemia daily. Throughout the year we display a variety of local species according to what is present at that time. During the summer, sea nettles - as they are commonly called - move inshore along the beaches, following ideal salinity and temperature conditions (for them). NOAA uses this information to formulate a predictive model for people to refer to in case they are worried that jellies may ruin their day at the beach.This species of jelly is very common to the Chesapeake Bay where they find an abundance of prey and relatively calm, protected waters. They are predatory and use their stinging tentacles to capture a variety of prey from zooplankton to small fishes, and even other jellies, such as Ctenophores or "comb jellies".

This exhibit has undergone many changes, from flow patterns to outflow strength/configurations, to lighting in attempts to maximize their longevity and visual effectiveness. I have been attempting to switch over several of the exhibits to LED lights wherever possible for several reasons: much less heat, much less energy consumed, much longer life compared to metal halide bulbs, and most importantly LED's improve optical clarity. However, despite their advantages, I would not use them if they did not improve the look of the exhibit. This particular light is called a UFO. Staff Aquarist Patrycja Lawryniuk currently is in charge of this exhibit. 

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