JellyFish Facts

Lifespan & Life Cycle

Lifespan & Life Cycle picture

Lifespan & Life Cycle

Another important thing to consider when raising jellyfish is their lifespan. This can vary greatly between breeds, with some jellyfish living only a few months and others living a few years. The moon jellyfish, for example can live for years while the blue blubber jelly has an average lifespan of 60 days. This should be considered when buying jellies of any type, as they can be notoriously expensive.

If you intend to breed jellyfish or to keep a fair number of them, it is important to understand how they reproduce and how to recognize the process. The jellyfish life cycle has a total of five phases, which are easily recognizable once you understand them. This is especially true of larger breeds of jelly.

The first stage of the jelly life cycle begins when the adult jellyfish produces sperm and eggs to make a larvae which will remain in the fish or will become a polyp and settle in the tank. The polyp will then release what is known as a Medusa or an Ephyra, which resembles a very small feather duster. These small Medusas can attach to anything in the tank, including the surface of the water itself.

As the Medusas or Ephyras age, they will grow to resemble snowflakes. Their eight arms will become more distinct. After only a couple of weeks, the bell will begin to form. It is recommended to separate them from other jellies in the tank so that they are not eaten. This typically takes about four to six months in total. By the end of the first month, the Medusa will look like a typical jellyfish, only much smaller. It is important to ensure that the jelly stays suspended in the water and is unable to settle on the bottom of the tank.

Within four to six months, the jelly will grow to be two to three inches in size, which is when it is safe to sell or to place into a tank with other jellies. Once you understand how this process works and how to nurture jellies into adulthood, you will be able to keep your aquarium populated without the need to constantly buy new jellies. Caring for these fragile creatures is very important during this cycle, but it can be done with a bit of patience and skill.

Chapter Summary


In short, buying jellies requires a number of things. Not only must you have a strong understanding of what jellyfish species you are looking for, but you must find a reputable breeder. Jellyfish can easily be damaged during shipping, and it is important to find a dealer who uses shipping bags specifically designed for fragile jellies. With the right breeder and the right knowledge, you can easily purchase high quality jellyfish.

Once you have obtained your jellies, you will be able to breed them as needed. Caring for these baby jellies means understanding how to identify the earliest life cycles and preparing a tank to care for them as quickly as possible. These tiny creatures will depend on you to help them survive into adulthood, and you will have to take all of the necessary steps to do so. Jellyfish are not born to be raised in captivity, which means that it will fall to you to ensure that they thrive.

Next: Caring For and Feeding Your Jellies

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Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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