Ever since my very first visit to The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay I have loved jelly fish. That and the Will Smith Seven Pounds movie gave me a whole new outlook on my jelly friends. Now I can even own one as a pet.
Jellyfish are the most simplistic of creatures yet they are beautiful and elegant. They come in dazzling colors and move in a way that no other creature on this planet does. They truly are hypnotizing to watch. The only thing I can think of in comparison is a lava lamp. It has similar colors and similar fluid movement.
Up until now jellyfish have not been able to be kept in regular aquariums because they would get sucked into the water filtration intake. Recently, biology and environmental science alumnus from Duke University, Alex Andon, began experimenting with regular aquariums to make them jellyfish-friendly. He saw some success from converting the tanks himself and selling them online. But Alex decided to take it even a step further and started creating the tanks from scratch. His San Francisco based company called Jellyfish Art is being marketed as the Desktop Jellyfish Tank.
The Desktop Jellyfish Tank is made jellyfish-friendly by pulling water through a layer of rock on the bottom. It is then channeled up one side of the acrylic cylinder-shaped aquarium and dispensed to the surface. The water is then sucked back down the other side and through the rocks. This creates a nice circular flow that keeps the jellyfish centered in the middle of the aquarium.
Weekly partial water changes are still necessary with the jellyfish aquarium but the rock that sits on the bottom is special. It is also known as living rock. It has been scattered with living nitrifying bacteria. The rock serves the purpose of breaking down the jellyfish waste.
The moon jellyfish provided by Jellyfish Art are non-harmful to humans. They can be purchased for a mere $39. Each aquarium is 7-gallons and able to support up to five jellyfish. The jellyfish feed on frozen plankton that can also be purchased from Jellyfish Art. Each aquarium has a built in LED lamp that changes color with a remote control.
Currently Alex is raising funds to begin commercial production of the jellyfish aquarium. He expects the first few tanks to be ready within a few months. The starter kit, food and three jellyfish can be reserved from just $350.