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Jellyfish Aquarium Maintenance

Portland Jellyfish Aquarium Maintenance, Advice and Service

Over the last several years, a number of jellyfish tanks have begun appearing in homes and businesses around the PDX area, making what was once thought impossible for anyone but a professional aquarist seemingly very possible. However, what the websites and magazine ads don’t tell their customers is that caring for jellyfish is nothing like caring for other types of aquatic animals. There are layers of consideration that are critically important for healthy jellies that most owners of these small jelly systems do not know and the literature provided with the tanks may or may not mention. Companies such as Jellyfish Art, Cubic, Jellytank and others make really cool-looking tabletop and desktop jelly aquariums but the build quality is usually not good and the lives of the jellies in them are often measures in days or weeks, at best.

Professional Jellyfish Aquarium Care in the PDX Area

It’s easy to understand why owners of these systems want to have live jellyfish on their desks and coffee tables and in their office lobbies: getting lost in the hypnotic movement of these animals as they pulse and drift in the current is a welcome and effortless respite. There is also an undeniable beauty to the way the Moon Jellies (usually Aurelia aurita) catch the light, with their filamentous tentacles following the pulses of the bell and capturing food. However, there are a number of considerations to weigh before spending $300 or more on a system:

The delicate nature of these animals – Jellies are around 98% water, which is easy to believe when you look closely at their diaphanous tissues. This tissue is incredibly thin and prone to injury and when that happens, it is very difficult (even for professional aquarists who specialize in these animals) to get them to heal.

Water quality – Like other aquatic animals, jellies release ammonia (NH3) as waste. Uneaten food can also quickly decompose into ammonia, quickly fouling the water and harming the health of these animals. Temperature spikes in either direction can cause the bells to invert, which is very difficult to correct, even if noticed right away.

Flow control – Tuning the flow in a jelly tank correctly requires patience, careful observation and time. Too much current and the jellies get stuck to the outflow and torn apart. Too little and they fall to the bottom and injure the tissue on their bells.

Feeding – If you like culturing brine shrimp, that’s good, because you’ll be doing quite a bit of it or making frequent trips to your local fish store to buy it. There are dry flake-type foods that are good for jellies but this will require a lot more daily cleaning to prevent fouling water and NH3 spikes.

Jellyfish Tank Service in Portland

If you’d like to add this kind of meditative respite to your home or business, we’d love to help you but as you can see, we always admonish prospective buyers to weigh all the pros and cons before making this decision. For our clients who really want jellies, we recommend that they spend a bit more on a proper jellyfish tank called a kreisel. Kreisels are built specifically for jellyfish and are designed to direct water in a circular flow pattern, which helps keep these delicate animals suspended in the current. We work with a local craftsman who designs and builds large kreisels for public aquaria. They’re not inexpensive but they are proper jelly tanks that are much better for these animals and make for a very striking and impressive display.

If you want a jellyfish aquarium for your home or business, give us a call at 503.784.4403 and let’s talk! We love them, too. But as you can see, achieving success with jellies is not easy. We prefer to make sure our clients understand what they’re getting into before they spend their money. For more information about jellies, jellyfish displays and how we can keep them looking great, give us a call or fill out a contact form and let’s talk jellyfish aquariums.

Contact Us

If you are interested in discussing a professional aquarium maintenance program for your system(s) with Mr. Fry, contact Aquarium Services of Oregon LLC to schedule a consultation.