Jellyfish are a fascinating species, with their graceful movements and unique shapes. They can be a source of delight for people of all ages. But can you keep a pet jellyfish? Many people are surprised to learn that, yes, you can! Keeping a pet jellyfish is not without its challenges, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can become a successful jellyfish keeper. In this in-depth guide, we will look at the steps you need to take to keep a pet jellyfish, from the initial purchasing decisions to the ongoing maintenance and care that is required. Whether you’re an experienced aquarist or a beginner, you’ll come away from this guide with the knowledge and confidence you need to become a successful jellyfish keeper.
Can You Have A Pet Jellyfish?
Yes, you can have a pet jellyfish! While jellyfish are undoubtedly one of the most unique and captivating creatures in the ocean, they can be a bit tricky to care for. To keep a jellyfish as a pet, you’ll need an aquarium with a lid, a protein skimmer, a submersible pump, and live sand or another substrate. You’ll also need to buy jellyfish specifically bred for aquariums, as wild-caught jellyfish can be difficult to keep alive.
What Do You Need To Know Before Buying A Pet Jellyfish?
- Before you start shopping for a jellyfish, it’s important to understand the challenges of keeping a jellyfish as a pet. These challenges include the cost of the initial purchase, the ongoing maintenance and care, and the space required to house your jellyfish.
- Jellyfish do not have short lifespans, so you need to be prepared to keep your jellyfish for many years. The Cost Before you even purchase your jellyfish, you’ll need to invest in the right equipment for your jellyfish.
- You need an aquarium that is at least 2 gallons per jellyfish or 10 gallons per jellyfish tank. Additionally, you’ll need a jellyfish feeder that can be plugged into a wall outlet. Typically, jellyfish feeders plug into a standard 110-volt outlet. You’ll also need to purchase a saltwater solution (SW) tank to house your jellyfish. SW is essential to jellyfish health and can be purchased online or at your local pet store.
- Before you buy a pet jellyfish, there are some important considerations to make. First, you need to determine what type of jellyfish you want to keep. Different species of jellyfish have different needs and requirements, so it’s important to do your research and make sure you can provide the right environment for your chosen species.
- You need to decide where you will source your pet jellyfish from. Your local fish store may not stock jellyfish, so it’s worth checking online or speaking with a knowledgeable aquarist who may be able to point you in the right direction.
- Finally, it’s important to consider the cost of keeping a pet jellyfish. Jellyfish require specialized tanks and equipment that can be costly, so make sure you factor this into your budget before making any purchases.
How To Maintenance and Care?
- Ensure the Tank is Clean: Before you introduce your jellyfish to its new home, make sure the tank is clean and free of debris. You can do this by using a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the inside of the tank with mild detergent.
- Monitor Water Quality: The water quality in your jellyfish tank should be monitored regularly, as even small changes in water parameters can affect your jellyfish’s health. Use a water testing kit to check for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in the tank.
- Feed Your Jellyfish: Jellyfish need to be fed at least once per day with food specifically designed for jellyfish, such as frozen krill or Mysis shrimp. Feeding should be done at night when jellyfish are most active and can easily find their food.
- Change the Water Regularly: It’s important to change out 25-50% of the water in the tank each week to keep the water quality optimal. This can be done by using a siphon hose to remove the old water, and then refilling it with fresh, dechlorinated salt water.
- Adjust Lighting: Jellyfish don’t need direct light, so make sure to provide indirect lighting that isn’t too bright. This will help them stay healthy and prevent them from becoming stressed out.
- Monitor Temperature: Jellyfish prefer temperatures between 68-76 degrees Fahrenheit, so use an aquarium thermometer to monitor the temperature of your tank. If necessary, you can adjust the temperature with a heater or chiller as needed.
- Check for Stings: Jellyfish have tentacles that can sting if they come into contact with skin or other objects in their tank, so always wear protective gloves when handling jellyfish or cleaning their tank. Additionally, it’s important to check for stings on your jellyfish regularly, as they can become infected if not treated.
- Keep Tank Free of Debris: Make sure to keep your tank free of debris by using a net to scoop out any uneaten food, dead jellyfish, or other debris that can accumulate in the tank. This will help maintain good water quality and prevent the spread of disease.
- Check for Algae: Algae buildup in tanks is common, but can be prevented by avoiding overfeeding and ensuring your jellyfish are getting enough light and oxygen. If algae do start to build up, use an algae magnet or a scrubber to remove it from the tank walls.
- Quarantine New Jellyfish: Before introducing new jellyfish into your existing tank, it’s important to quarantine them first to make sure they don’t bring any diseases or parasites into the tank with them. This can be done by setting up a separate tank for the new jellyfish and monitoring them for
- Jellyfish live in saltwater tanks and therefore require specific water chemistry. You’ll need to monitor your water quality regularly and replace the water in your aquarium as it becomes dirty.
- Your jellyfish can also grow quite large, which is why the amount of space required to house your jellyfish is so important. Jellyfish tank sizes range from 2 gallons to 25 gallons, with 10 gallons being the recommended minimum.
- More space is always better, but if you choose to house your jellyfish in a smaller aquarium, you’ll need to do water changes more frequently.
Potential Health Risks
- Poor Water Quality – Jellyfish are sensitive to water quality and poor water quality can cause stress and illness in your jellyfish.
- Inadequate Nutrition – Jellyfish require a balanced diet of live food, such as brine shrimp, krill, and copepods. If they don’t get the proper nutrition, they may become malnourished or even die.
- Parasites/Diseases – Jellyfish can be susceptible to parasites and diseases if not cared for properly. It’s important to monitor your jellyfish for signs of illness or disease and contact a professional if necessary.
- Overfeeding – Overfeeding your jellyfish can cause them to become sick or even die due to bloating or digestive issues.
- Aggression – Some species of jellyfish may become aggressive towards each other if housed together in an aquarium. It’s important to research the species of jellyfish you’re interested in and make sure they are compatible with each other before housing them together.
- Incompatible Tankmates – Jellyfish should never be housed with other fish or invertebrates as they can be injured or even killed by their tankmates.
- Incorrect Lighting – Jellyfish need specialized lighting to thrive, so it’s important to research the species of jellyfish you’re interested in and make sure you provide the correct type of light for that species.
Pet jellyfish are fascinating aquatic creatures that can provide hours of enjoyment to their keepers. However, before you purchase a jellyfish, it’s important to understand the challenges of keeping a jellyfish as a pet. Jellyfish require specialized care and can be challenging to keep for beginners. With proper preparation and the right equipment, however, keeping a pet jellyfish can be extremely enjoyable.