The Jellyfish Aquarium

Published: 05th March 2012
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Jellyfish are 95% water, coated in a thin membrane. Because of this they are extremely delicate creatures and, to keep them in captivity requires specialised equipment. The jellyfish aquarium is a specific type of tank required to create a safe environment for your new pet.

A jellyfish aquarium must not be square or rectangular, like an ordinary fish tank. The ideal shape is cylindrical, capable of holding at least eight to ten gallons of water. Because of the soft make-up of a jellyfish there must not be any sharp edges or corners for them to get stuck in. Once the soft membrane coating the body is punctured the jellyfish will liquefy and die.

The idea of the jellyfish aquarium was first thought of back in 1969 by a German marine Biologist, Dr Greve. Since then the concept has come along in leaps and bounds and now we are faced with a multitude of shapes and sizes, stand-alone tanks or complete kits. You could even make your own aquarium if you so desired.

The cylindrical shape is ideal, not just for the safety of the creature but because it is the ideal shape within which to mimic the natural environment of a jellyfish. As well as shape and size, in order to create this environment the correct filtration and circulation system is also required. Almost all different types of aquarium are based upon this shape.

The environment within the aquarium needs to be as near as possible to the jelly fish’ natural environment. Bear in mind that these creatures are sea dwellers; plenty of space and moving water. To keep them in captivity requires a similar setup on a much smaller scale.
Some aquariums are sold as complete kits, including the filtration and circulation system. Water filtration is important; the ammonia in jellyfish waste will very quickly poison the water and your pet will die. Water circulation is as important. The water in an aquarium must swirl gently around the outside edge in order to keep the jellyfish suspended in the center of the tank.

The ideal type of aquarium, although not the cheapest is called a Kreisel. These have separate inlet and outlets for water, instead of just one performing both jobs. The water has to be pushed into the tank gently, producing a light surf-like motion. It also has to be pulled out of the tank gently so as not to pull the jellyfish against the filters. Think of a gentle wash-cycle in your washing machine. The water goes in gently and goes out gently without sucking the clothes against the drum. Conversely, the water in the tank should not be still as a jellyfish relies in the movement, or current, to get around and to feed.

Another type of aquarium is the jellyquarium. This a complete system setup and includes all the filtration, circulation, thermostats, water cleaning system and chilling system required for the correct care of jellyfish in captivity. Again, not the cheapest outfit but probably by far the most suitable. These are specifically designed only for jellyfish and will produce the most lifelike scenario and conditions for the survival of the creature.

As you can see, this is not an easy hobby and you will be faced with a monumental choice of designs and types of aquarium and systems. Choosing the right one will be a difficult decision and will require a great deal of research into the breed of jellyfish you will be keeping, their environment and the cost of running such a system as a hobby. Choosing the wrong type of jellyfish aquarium will result in almost certain death for the jellyfish.

To learn more about how to keep jellyfish, go to the Lifestyles100 web site where you will find more articles, or pick up the Kindle book, "Jellyfish As Pets" at or the Nook book at Barns and Noble.

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