Are Jellyfish Aquariums Worth Their Salt?

Alexolotl

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So I’ve always wanted a saltwater aquarium but my parents are against it (and honestly looking at the price tags on equipment I tend to agree with them) but I still want one, and while pondering my dilemma I recalled jellyfish aquariums, which fit all my needs; they’re small, within my price range, don’t need crazy pricey equipment, jellyfish only live a year (which is good for me, as I travel/move often) and still seem like fun. But I’d like to get the opinion of more experienced saltwater aquarists, and I have a few questions:
Do they need to age for a whole year/really long time, or do I just cycle them as normal?

If I keep just one jellyfish, do I need to worry about the water quality more than I would for any other aquarium inhabitant? I’m guessing they have a low bioload and thus don’t dirty their tanks very fast so long as I don’t overfeed.

Can they handle a water change a day or two late? (Happens to me occasionally but I never forget them entirely)

Are moon jellies my only option or is there any other species I can keep?

Is the food worth it or can I feed them something else that’s cheaper and better for them? Ordering that specific food seems like a hassle, and I’m somewhat wary of pellets/powder for an animal that can’t see the prey (seems like most of the food goes into the filter)

If anyone has any experience with these aquariums, please tell me your opinions. I wouldn’t want to spend 500 dollars on a mostly worthless tank!

EDIT: For clarification, this is mostly just an idea at the moment. I probably won’t get another aquarium, whatever it may be, for quite some time (but it still doesn’t hurt to research)
 

Lorekeeper

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Well, I don't know much about jellyfish, but I can tell you one thing...

You probably don't want to start with something like a jellyfish. You'd be much better off keeping a 10 gallon nano, or something like that. Jellyfish require a specialized diet, a specialized tank, and information is probably scarce.

You can set up a 10 gallon FOWLR (fish-only-with-live-rock) for much less than $500.

Tank - $14.99
HOB filter - $30
Heater - $20
Rock - $20
Sand - $20
Salt - $80
Basic light, no corals - $10-40
Livestock - $100

That's around $330, and I just did some price estimation for some nice equipment. You wouldn't spend much less on a good 10 gallon freshwater tank, honestly.
 

scarface

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Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine did a nice, informative article on jellyfish and jellyfish kreisal tank kits a while back (2016). I’ve been thinking of getting one on and off since then. If you decide to get a kit, I’d love to hear a review. From what I’ve read, they seem pretty good.
 

Jesterrace

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I wouldn't for one reason. At some point like it or not you are going to have to reach into your tank to adjust or clean something and quite frankly I have no desire to have any stinging critters in my tank. @Lorekeeper that is a pretty good setup with the cost of the livestock included. I actually did a video on the cost of setting up a 20 Long and although it doesn't include fish in the cost, it came out to $362-$415. I did forget the $10-$20 for sand and $7 for a Digital Thermometer though:

 

scarface

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Moon jellies are harmless. I used to come across them often enough on beaches. I'm not sure if there are other species like them, though.
 
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Alexolotl

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All very interesting points. I’ll definitely read that article if I can find it, and I’ll show both pricing estimates to my parents so they can see what they think. Just out of curiosity, how much would lighting for corals cost?

(BTW I thought I might clarify that both these tanks are purely hypothetical at the moment, nothing is set in stone just yet, and probably won’t be for quite some time)
 

Lorekeeper

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Well, it depends. For a 10 gallon tank, I've spent about $40 and should be able to get some high-light corals. Depends on how you want to do it
 

OneLittleBubble

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I would start of with a bio cube if you are looking to get into the SW hobby smaller nano tanks like the 10 gallon tank mentioned above are harder to take care of with the swings and stuff from water changes
 

Lorekeeper

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The care level of a nano tank is overblown by most people. If you do it correctly, a nano is no more difficult than a biocube.
 

Jayd976

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MrBrackishGuy said:
All very interesting points. I’ll definitely read that article if I can find it, and I’ll show both pricing estimates to my parents so they can see what they think. Just out of curiosity, how much would lighting for corals cost?

(BTW I thought I might clarify that both these tanks are purely hypothetical at the moment, nothing is set in stone just yet, and probably won’t be for quite some time)
Decent lighting for corals can range from a few hundred dollars to a thousand or so. All depends on size and depth of tank as well as coral species to be kept. If you're on a budget and already not willing to spend $500 on a basic setup then I wouldn't suggest corals. They are semi-demanding and require some knowledge and skill to keep.
 
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Alexolotl

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Yeah, while I don’t mind spending 500 dollars, that’d really be my upper limit, so while I WANT to spend more I probably couldn’t. I think for now I’ll stick to the aquariums I’ve got until I can afford to get all the necessary equipment and not skimp on anything. Thanks for your advice!
 

Aqua Hands

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OneLittleBubble said:
I would start of with a bio cube if you are looking to get into the SW hobby smaller nano tanks like the 10 gallon tank mentioned above are harder to take care of with the swings and stuff from water changes
I wouldn't recommend a biocube. I have one and its very user unfriendly. I have to unplug it everytime o want to do a water change, the lighting is difficulut to get use to, the hood is lets just say bad. I've took a bath in the tank because the lid fell on my head.
 

Jesterrace

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Realistically I would say if a person wants to get their feet wet in saltwater without spending a ton of money, but still having some decent options than the 20 Long FOWLR setup would be a good balance. With fish (assuming you were sticking with a pair of standard occ or percula variety clowns, a royal gramma and a goby) it would run right around or just under $500 with all equipment and accessories included.
 
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Alexolotl

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Yeah, if I do end up doing a saltwater aquarium someday I’ll probably start with the aforementioned 20 gallon long FOWLR.
 

Culprit

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Those kits always look pretty simple, airstone, light and circular tank.

I'd say you could set one up for under $100

$5 for the bowl
$20 air pump and airstone
$3 pebbles
$20 food - frozen bbs, copepods, ect
$10 light
$15 salt mix
$10 RO/DI water from LFS.
 

Nart

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Hey - I've been pondering the idea of jellyfish for the longest time as well.
They are actually relatively easy to take care of so do not be deterred. The ones readily available, the moon jellyfish do not sting at all and can actually be handled bare hands when needed.
The only thing is that you'll have to stay on top of water changes anywhere from 1-3 times a week depending on the size of the jellyfish tank and how many jellyfish you keep.

if you go to JellyfishArt.com you should find plenty of info that will point you to the right direction.
I met them in person and they are a very passionate group.

Good luck.
MightyNanoTank
 
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Alexolotl

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Oh, well that’s good to know! Doing several WCs per week isn’t really that much of a problem for me, because with my existing brackish aquarium I already formulate several week’s worth of water changes and put it in several gallon jugs that are stored beneath the aquarium, so it’s usually only a matter of draining the water and replacing it. I could do the exact same for my jellyfish.
And I’d almost certainly get only one jelly, because of their surprisingly large bioload (plus this way I only have to account for one during a water change)

Unfortunately, Jellyfish Art doesn’t have their regular kreisel on their website anymore so I’d have to get one of the cylinders (which isn’t bad per se, just a tad pricier) unless anyone knows if they still sell them elsewhere.

Either way, I THINK I might go with the jellyfish aquarium if they’re not as hard as they look. Definitely gonna think it over for a while, but jellyfish aquariums do look like they’d fit all my needs rather well. (Still only an idea but I shall discuss it with my parents and see what they think)
 
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