Have you seen those incredible Jellyfish tanks that are like a mesmerizing, moving work of art? I could stand there for hours just watching that magical movement, like a fast forward of the stars in the sky.
One Jelly that is very popular for the desktop sized tanks is the Moon Jellyfish. Moon Jellyfish are not toxic, and are relatively easy to keep. As with any aquarium, you’ll have to make partial water changes, but with Jelly tanks this must be done two or three times a week to keep the water quality high.
Moon Jellies (and all Jellyfish) need a special kind of aquarium, and one of the features of this is a gentle, circular water flow. The flow helps them keep moving and find their food, without hitting obstacles like filters, pumps or screens.
Another thing to know about Jelly aquariums is that you have to set them up at least several weeks before you can put your Jellies in, with something called “live rock”. Live rock is home to nitrifying bacteria, which break down the jellyfish waste and prevent ammonia and other waste products from building up in the water.
Alex Andon pioneered Jellyfish aquariums for non-professional aquarists. He runs Jellyfish Art, and he’s the guy who put Jellies in a tank that can sit on your desk. He started out re-purposing regular fish tanks, but quickly realized that a different design was needed. He came up with a cylindrical design that helps the water flow properly to keep your Jellies healthy and happy.
A Seven gallon Jelly tank should be enough space for up to five Moon Jellies, and you can feed them with frozen plankton in addition to brine shrimp.
One of the interesting things about Jellyfish is that they have a network of nerve cells that isn’t a “brain” as we humans define one. In spite of this lack of a brain, they can sense changes in water chemistry, they can “feel” a touch, and some have an actual eye and respond to visual stimuli.
Here’s another fun fact: Jellyfish can regenerate! They can re-create two jellies from the remains if they’re cut in half, and if they’re injured, they may clone themselves.
The Immortal Jellyfish are bell-shaped and only reach 0.18 inches tall, so they’re really hard to observe in the ocean. “Turritopsis dohrnii” young have eight tentacles, but the adults can have as many as 90!
They’ve been named immortal because they can actually transform themselves from a starving or injured adult Jelly to a plain “blob”. Attaching itself to a surface first, it can go back to the blobby (juvenile) state, and re-form all the different types of cells that it needs to survive, from whatever is left.
Flower Hat Jellies act different than most Jellyfish. They hang out on a pebbles or plants all day, then go looking for snacks around sundown. They
look as though they were painted by a child! They come in purple, pink, orange, green and blue, and if that wasn’t enough, they glow, too.
Flower Hats have tentacles all over its body, not just underneath. They’re only found near southern Japan, and they’re very expensive to get for your aquarium!
If you dream of having your own Jellyfish Aquarium someday, I encourage you to do some research and think of it as a goal to reach. There are people all over the world now who have Jelly tanks in their home or office, and you could be one, too.
I have to admit that a Jelly tank would be too distracting for me, but I will keep dreaming of having one anyway! I created “My Jellyfish Journal” just for people like you and I who are entranced by the hypnotic swaying of Jellies in a natural environment, and I encourage you to buy it if you want to learn more. It’s available on Amazon now at Bit.ly/Jelly45
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