Many people, in fact most, who have aquariums decide to go for the average fish and some plants too, but have you ever considered getting something else to put into your aquarium? Well, a new thing that has recently emerged as one of the most popular aquarium inhabitants to have in your home is the jellyfish, specifically the moon jellyfish. In this post we cover moon jellyfish tanks, care, feeding and more.
If you are interested in having one of these creatures in your home, you should definitely hear what we have to say. They are some really neat pets indeed, so let’s talk about how you can take care of them. If you are looking for a tank then this is our top pick.
What Is A Moon Jellyfish?
A moon jellyfish is a special type of jellyfish that is sometimes known as the pelagic jellyfish and they can be found all over planet earth. The moon jellyfish can have a bell, which is more or less their body, that is mostly translucent and can be up to 15 inches wide. These jellyfish move by propelling themselves by pumping water with slow rhythmic motions. They have fairly short and small tentacles as well as four gonads.
The moon jellyfish is a very versatile creature and can live in warm tropical waters, colder waters, and even very cold water systems. These things are not contained to reef settings and can drift for hundreds or even thousands of miles in the currents of the ocean.
There are 2 main types of moon jellyfish available to hobbyists, those being the Aurelia labiate, a jellyfish usually found off the coast of California, and the Aurelia aurita, which are usually found in even warmer waters. The jellyfish may technically not have a brain, but they are definitely cool creatures to consider having in an aquarium.
Moon Jellyfish Feeding
Before we talk about how to feed your jellyfish so that it is happy and well nourished, let’s talk about how exactly a jellyfish eats. Moon jellyfish, just like all other species of jellyfish, have tentacles and oral arms which contain thousands of little stingers which inject the prey with a substance that will either paralyze them or kill them.
These stingers are technically referred to as nematocysts and will be present on the oral arms as well as on the bottom of the bell. Once the prey is stung, the tentacles quickly move the incapacitated prey to the oral arms, which then move the prey into the center of the bell. At this point the oral arms will retract and the food will be moved into the mouth, where it then gets transferred into one of the four stomachs of the moon jellyfish. Yes, that is right, the jellyfish has four stomachs!
Now that we have cleared up how a jellyfish eats, let’s talk about what exactly a moon jellyfish needs to survive. Moon jellyfish, just like other jellyfish, generally only eat very small animals such as krill (baby shrimp), brine shrimp, and pelagic copepods, and phytoplankton. You can feed them a mix of any of these, but most people tend to go for very finely chopped seafood, often even mixed into somewhat of a paste that can be squirted into the water.
Your best bet is to mix any and all of these things into somewhat of a paste and use some kind of tubing or feeding needle to squirt the food mixture into the water. Remember, these things are strictly carnivores so you don’t want to be feeding them any veggies. A good starting point is to get half a teaspoon of food and squirt it into the water near the moon jellyfish. This will stimulate the tentacles to swim and catch the food.
Remember to not squirt the food directly at the jellyfish because this will not stimulate the jellyfish’s tentacles to move, thus causing lethargy and a deterioration of the functionality of the tentacles. As you feed your moon jellyfish, since they are translucent, you should actually be able to see the stomachs filling up.
If you like, you can divide the feedings and do it twice per day. Also these things can survive for a good many days without feeding, but for every day missed you will have to feed them twice per day to make up for it. Keep in mind that squirting liquid food into the tank may foul up the water, a good way to make sure that your jellyfish get the proper nutrition is to have live brine shrimp in the tank.
When you feed them, you should see the food moving up the tentacles and into the stomach. One thing that may stop the eating process from happening correctly is a high pH level, so if the food is not being appropriately moved from the tentacles to the stomach, it may be a problem with the pH level. Remember, these things don’t have brains, so things like feeding come down purely to a biological process.
How To Keep Moon Jellyfish Alive
Now that we have covered feeding your moon jellyfish, let’s move on to discuss what you need to do to take care of them, keep them alive, and what your tank needs to be like to keep the jellyfish healthy.
One of the most important things when it comes to keeping your jellyfish alive and healthy is the salinity of the water. Jellyfish are strictly salt water creatures, so the first thing you want to do is to get yourself a salt water testing kit so you can measure the salinity of the water.
The salinity in your jellyfish tank needs to be between 32 and 35 ppt. This level of salinity should fluctuate as little as possible because jellyfish are fairly susceptible to changes in the conditions of the water.
To get your water to the right salinity, you can buy things like instant ocean salt to mix in with fresh water. Keep in mind that you need to add the salt to the total volume of water in order to let it dissolve properly. Also, you need to let the water sit for at least a day after mixing before adding it to the tank, and also never add the salt directly to the tank.
Salt that is not properly dissolved can kill your jellyfish in more ways than one. Also, never change more than half of the tank water at once because the jellyfish are susceptible to changes in the water parameters.
The pH Level
This is another very important thing that you need to keep in control to keep your jellyfish alive. Your moon jellyfish requires a pH level between 8 and 8.4, which is very basic. In other words, they do not like acidic water, nor can they really survive in it. You absolutely need to get a pH testing kit and the proper chemicals to ensure that you keep the pH within the previously defined parameters. More on pH levels here.
Once again, never change more than half of the tank water at once as this may negatively affect the pH levels, which is also true for mixing the salt crystals with fresh water. Always let the freshly mixed salt water rest for a day to let the pH levels adjust.
Ammonia, Nitrite, & Nitrate
All of these compounds are things that your jellyfish is going to be very sensitive towards, and ideally speaking, all of these should have a level of 0.0 parts per million in the water. There is a slight exception when it comes to nitrate, in which case there can be up to 20 parts per million in the water. Jellyfish can survive when there are elevated levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate, but they don’t do too well.
The moon jellyfish can survive for several months in waters with increased ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate levels, but it will result in shortening tentacles, weaker pulsing, and a flatter bell, with the ultimate result being the death of your jellyfish.
One good rule to control ammonia and other unwanted compounds is to do small frequent water changes in order to let the bacteria in the water catch up with the ammonia levels. Just make sure never to change too much water at once as this will adversy affect temperature, pH levels, and other water parameters. Small water changes done often are a much better solution than less frequent mass water changes.
Other Care Tips
Let’s just go over a few other tips which might come in useful when trying to keep your moon jellyfish alive and healthy.
Jellyfish can sometimes get stuck in the substrate, which means that they will most likely need rescuing. First of all, turn off the air pump to make sure they don’t get sucked into it, and yes, that can definitely happen.
Use the feeding pipette or some other stick type thing to swirl above the jellyfish in order to create vortex that will lift it out of the substrate. If that does not do the trick, try injecting water into the substrate beside the jellyfish to try and get it to lift up.
Remember to be gentle when doing this as the tentacles may be stuck, tentacles which are prone to ripping off. If that does not work you may have to go the old fashion way and gently pry it away, but this is only a last resort because obviously you can get stung.
Jellyfish need a slight current in order to move. A still water tank will have them sink to the bottom, in which case you will run into the problem discussed above. That being said, a current that is too high will push the moon jellyfish around and have them bumping into things which can damage and even kill them.
Also, make sure that the air pump, water pump, and filter are not too powerful. These things don’t have bones nor are they very strong swimmers, with the result being your jellyfish getting sucked into a tube.
Without question, the biggest danger to the health of your moon jellyfish is the water quality, so always test it and keep the parameters stable. While a jellyfish is extremely hard to kill, and can actually regenerate itself, even whole body parts, living in poor water for a long period of time will ultimately be fatal to it.
Finding The Best Moon Jellyfish Tank
Orbit 20 Desktop Jellyfish Aquarium/Tank
This is a really cool jellyfish tank option to go with. First off, it is simply stunning and that is thanks to its round shape that is ever so elegant. Moreover, it comes with built in LED lights and a remote control that lets you choose between various light colors, lets you automatically change the colors, and even set the lights to a self-changing timer. Jellyfish are translucent so having colorful bulbs will make the really pop out.
This is a medium sized 23 liter tank built with absolutely phenomenal acrylic. This thing is perfect for your desk or shelf, it has a fairly small size, and it is definitely as rugged as it gets. This tank does feature a small DC pump which provides you with a nearly silent tank, something which you can definitely appreciate.
This tank does come with a small filtration unit that is smartly hidden in the outer ring, the filter keeps the water clean, and the shape and water flow in this tank are designed so that your jellyfish don’t get sucked up into the filter or pump. The filter itself is quite effective at removing uneaten food, waste, unwanted bacteria, and chemicals too.
- Awesome multi-colored LED lights.
- Set the lights to change automatically.
- Small DC pump with a built in filter.
- Very quiet.
- Ideal for smaller spaces.
- Very beautiful.
- Built with strong materials.
- Comes with a syphon and food baster.
- May need to add a small air stone.
Jellyfish Art Jelly Cylinder Nano
This is another cool jellyfish tank to consider. This is a beautiful looking cylinder with a black backing to make your moon jellyfish stand out. Moreover, it also comes with red, green, and blue lights which you can easily change, all of which make your jellyfish pop out with color. There is a remote control included so you can manually change the color or even set the bulbs to change automatically.
This tank comes with all of the necessary testing kits, salt, and chemicals you need to keep your jellyfish alive for the first few months. Even better is that this thing is built with only the strongest materials around to ensure its longevity.
This particular jellyfish tank also comes with a hydrometer and pipette. Also, this thing also has a built in sponge filter as well as an activated charcoal filter to keep the eater nice and clean, plus it comes with an air pump for aeration too.
Best of all, everything is strategically placed to create optimal water flow and to prevent the jellyfish from being sucked up into any tubing or mechanisms. What we also really like is that the air pump is extremely quiet and does not heat up the water either.
- Good filter and air pump.
- Includes everything you need to get started.
- High quality construction.
- Very aesthetically pleasing.
- Won the award for “best new aquatics product”.
- Some people have reported a problem of strong intake vents.
Don’t Have Time To Care For Real Jellyfish? Here Are 2 Cool Fantasy/Faux Tanks
If you don’t really have the time or energy to care for real jellyfish, just like faux fur coats, you can get faux jellyfish tanks too.
Lightahead LED Fantasy Jellyfish Lamp
If you want it to look like you have jellyfish, but don’t actually want to take care of them, then this is a fine choice indeed. This is a cool little jellyfish lamp, kind of like a lava lamp, but instead of goop flowing around inside there are model jellyfish.
This tank comes with 2 lifelike jelly fish, plus a wide array of different colored LED lights which change color by themselves, or you can set a specific color if you so choose. This is a really neat thing to have on your desk, either at work or at home.
- Perfect for kids.
- Great for small spaces.
- Looks really nice.
- Water flow pump may break after prolonged use.
Giant Jellyfish Aquarium with Color-Changing LED Lights
This is a great faux jellyfish aquarium with changing color Led lights, something that makes it stand out without a doubt. It makes for a really nice desk accessory or nightlight for you or your child’s room. It comes with close to a dozen different faux jellyfish which glide around the tank thanks to the soft water flow provided by the pump.
A little trick is to add some dish detergent to the water to help them glide along. This thing also comes with removable plastic plants to make for a nice ocean scene. Even better is that it can be automatically turned on or off at will.
- Makes for a good night light.
- Comes with everything you need.
- Very beautiful.
- Very realistic.
- Requires 2 AA batteries.
- Needs some dish detergent.
Moon jellyfish are really cool creatures and there is no arguing that fact. These things are fairly simple to take care of and you pretty much can’t kill them. Just make sure to keep the water at the optimal parameters and feed them well. As long as you keep our tips and recommendations in mind, you should have no trouble keeping your moon jellyfish alive.