Jellyfish As Pets

Published: 31st January 2012
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A Jellyfish is a soft-shelled marine creature with a body like an umbrella and trailing tentacles. Not a creature you would consider keeping as a pet. Almost certainly, that was once the case. There were not many people or institutions that had the knowledge or the know-how to even consider keeping jellyfish as pets, not to mention the finances.

Nowadays, you can purchase the necessary equipment to keep jellyfish at almost any pet care store or on-line. However, these are not the easiest of creatures to keep as a pet. Specialised equipment, care, and attention, are required along with the correct food for the species you are keeping.

The first requirement is research. Check out the type of jellyfish you want to keep. Find out where to safely buy it from. Look at its dietary requirements, water temperature required for the species, any special habitat requirements. Jellyfish are extremely delicate creatures and cannot be treated with anything less than the most careful of handling; attention to detail is crucial.

Once you have done your research, the next step is to purchase the correct equipment to provide your new pet with a satisfactory and safe environment. Try to use specialised stores for this as they will have everything you need. It is essential that you have the correct type of aquarium and filtration system; anything less will be detrimental to the health of the jellyfish and may even cause premature death.

The most important part of keeping a jellyfish as a pet is the tank set-up. If this is not correct, or you introduce the fish to the water too quickly it will almost certainly mean instant death. Being delicate creatures and easily damaged, their new environment must mimic exactly the conditions they thrive in the wild. Again, research is vital to this part of your project. The type of aquarium and filtration system is essential, along with following the instructions for setting up this equipment properly. Water condition is of utmost importance. The temperature must be correct, along with the water itself. Donít forget that jellyfish are marine creatures and must have salt water. You can make your own, but it is best to purchase the water from your supplier as it will already contain the correct salinity levels.

Your aquarium will need to be running for at least a week before you introduce your jellyfish. This is to ensure that all the components of the aquarium are working properly. Now is the time to start adding what is known as helpful bacteria to your tank. Jellyfish waste is full of ammonia and, without the bacteria to break it down will quickly poison and kill the fish. There are a couple ways to do this. One is to have a live fish in the tank. This kick-starts the bacteria growing in the tank but must be removed before your jelly is added. Some shops supply starter kits to enable this process without using a live fish, and some jellyfish suppliers will now supply live rock with the fish which contains the helpful bacteria.

Now is the time to be looking at lighting for the aquarium. A light set-up for a marine tank is ideal as they do not give out much heat and the light is florescent. Jellyfish are at their best in the dark Ė remember, they live in the sea, normally in the deeper parts where it is dark. A good fluorescent light will enable your jellyfish to glow spectacularly, especially if the tank is located in a dark area of the room.

Congratulations. You are now ready to introduce your jellyfish to its new home. If the setup of the aquarium has been done correctly and the right diet for your fish obtained, you will find keeping jellyfish as pets a very rewarding hobby.

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