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Blobs of Jelly In Freshwater

What are the blobs of jelly in freshwater?

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Blobs of Jelly In Freshwater
Jelly Blobs is a term often used for a type of single cell animals called Bryozoans. Several varieties live in freshwater and attach in colonies to twigs, limbs, ropes and dock posts in the water. They look like brown blobs of jelly. If you look at them closely they have small star-like structures that are different groups of the animals, called zooids. (picture)

  • Bryozoans Description - Round or oval shaped blobs of jelly like material attached to things in the water. Color is shades of clear to mottled browns, depending on how much silt is in the water. They feel solid but slimy to the touch.
  • Bryozoans Size - The balls can be as big as two feet across and contain 2,000,000 individual zooids. Most are smaller, with a one food across blob fairly big in most waters.

  • ]Bryozoans Distribution - Different kinds of jelly blobs are found in almost all freshwater worldwide.

  • What Bryozoans Eat- They capture and digest diatoms, green algae, bacteria, rotifers, protozoa, tiny crustaceans or nematodes with their tiny tentacles.
  • Bryozoan Reproduction - Asexual reproduction is the norm, through budding to form new animals, but sexual reproduction does take place.

  • Bryozoans Attraction to Light- none

  • Bryozoans Life Cycle - A single zooid can attach to something in the water and reproduce by budding, building a colony that looks like the blob you see. Some die off in the winter, with just a few individuals surviving to start a new colony in the spring.

  • Bryozoans Problems - These blobs may look and feel bad, but they actually indicate good water quality.

  • Forum Discussion - See my response to a forum post and add your own about bryozoans
  • Jelly Blobs or Bryozonans are common and do not cause problems. They indicate good water quality. These tiny animals that are similar to corals should not bother you, unless they are on your dock ladders and ropes.

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