Living Art: The Jellyfish Tank


Have you ever seen anything more soothing than the beautiful display of jellyfish, floating in a medley of light, colour, and ethereal shapes? These fascinating creatures, older than the dinosaurs, pulse and push their way as if in a fairytale world of their own making. Beguiling to watch, the different shapes and sizes, rhythms and patterns of these sea creatures combine to make an ever-changing picture of serenity and peace. Which is probably why they have overtaken aquariums as the latest trend in ‘living art’. You do need specialist equipment to house jellyfish however, as they cannot survive for long in an ordinary fish tank. This is because fish tanks are typically rectangular, whereas a jellyfish tank is circular, and the way its filtration works allows the jellyfish to be continuously suspended, as opposed to the one direction flow of a fish tank’s filtration. You will find that most jellyfish tanks are of a kreisel design, meaning that it is circular in shape. This is what helps the water constantly flow in a cycle. The bottom of the tank is also curved so that there are no obstacles or changes in the flow of the current.

Kreisel tanks also use a special filtration system uses a special screen that prevent the jellyfish from getting sucked in and liquefied with its unique inlet and drain. It has separate inlet and outlet chambers which help in keeping the jellyfish away from the sides of the tank, and these combined, create an ideal equilibrium in water pressure for the jellyfish to swim freely and not get stuck in one place. It is no good simply placing jellyfish into a regular fish tank as they are too delicate an organism to survive in them. There is the rectangular design which the jellyfish would get stuck in the corners of, and most likely tear their delicate skin. They would also probably get sucked into the inlet of the filter, causing it more harm and damage. You can convert a regular fish tank to a kreisel one but it is always easier simply to buy one in the first place. Once you have your tank you’ll want to introduce your jellyfish into it but you need to be patient and do this slowly, so as not to shock them.

To do this, you should first open several bags of gravel and bury them under the glass pebbles of your tank. Now you have to acclimatize your jellyfish to the same water that is in your tank but you have to do this slowly. Start by adding ‘cycle’ to the tank, then get a cup and add this to the bag of jellyfish. Continue to do this until most of the bag is tank water. Then gently, although do not be afraid of the jellies stinging, they do not, tip them into the tank. Watch carefully for any that sink straight to the bottom and if they do, swirl the water softly to create a whirlpool effect to get them moving. Leave them for 12 or so hours before feeding regularly. Jellyfish eats a specialised food available online and will live for a couple of years, if cared for correctly. Some have even been known to live for longer, up to 8 years.

If you are interested in a Desk Top Jellyfish Tank please visit the Kickstarter site.

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