Jellyfish Are an Aesthetic Saltwater Delight

Aquarium jellyfishThe latest trend in ornamental saltwater aquariums, jellyfish provide an aesthetic delight for hobbyists with their mesmerizing forms and soothing movements. With the right setup, you can have these exotic creatures anywhere in your home.

It does require a lot more thought, however, than just setting up a standard aquarium, since jellyfish are such delicate organisms. If you follow these steps, you can successfully set up and enjoy your new jellyfish habitat for years to come.

Jellyfish have very specific requirements when it comes to establishing a compatible ecosystem. If you are setting up your own tank, pay particular attention to how the water moves in your tank. Jellyfish can easily be sucked into a filter and liquefied. If you’re not using a tank and filter setup that’s specifically designed for jellyfish, you’ll need to make several modifications.

Keep it simple

If you enjoy “aquascaping” then jellyfish are not for you. Decorations threaten the integrity of the jellyfish, literally. By necessity, their tanks must be plain.

Next, make sure you place your tank in a convenient location out of direct sunlight, away from heat sources and electrical equipment. Then, you can install the filter, following the instruction that came with it. You can use any aquarium filter designed for a tank of at least 8 gallons.

If using the kit filter, you need to remove the sponge filter from cellophane wrapping and rinse in fresh water. Then, lock the filter cartridge into the bubble tube by inserting the bubble tube into the cartridge and rotating. Lock the filter cartridge into the bottom of the tank by inserting it into the bottom of the tank and rotating. Plug the clear airline tube into the air pump.

Next, make sure you rinse the gravel in fresh water. Use aquarium gravel that is porous to keep helpful bacteria, which consume waste created by the jellyfish alive. Make sure you.

After you have covered the bottom of the aquarium evenly in gravel, add a layer of glass marbles to completely cover the gravel to protect the delicate jellyfish tissue from being torn on the gravel. Make sure the marbles cover all the gravel and the entire filtration cartridge.

Temperature is important for jellyfish

Now you can add the heater. Set it to 77 °F – the appropriate temperature for a tropical species, including the common Blue Jellyfish (Catostylus mosaicus) – and affix it to the inside of the tank so that it will be completely submerged.

Once that is done, you can fill the tank with salt water. In the kit tank, the water level needs to be 2 inches (5.1 cm) above the top of the bubble tube for proper water circulation, but below the light bulb housing, so the water does not get over-heated by the light. The safest bet is to buy salt water from your local aquarium store to ensure it has the right pH and salinity. at this point, you should plug the light, pump and heater into an electrical outlet and make sure those components power up correctly.

Now it is time to establish the bacterial colony. If you are using a kit, it should contain Stress Coat and Stress Zyme, which contain helpful bacteria that will colonize your filter. The bacteria digest the waste from the jellyfish. You will need to feed the bacteria before adding any live animals to the tank; otherwise, the tank will accumulate biological waste, which contains poisonous ammonia.

The kit also should contain a bottle of Cycle Starter, and you will need to add the entire bottle. Cycle Starter contains the ammonia excreted by animal as waste and digested by filtering bacteria as food. Run the tank for 7 days. During this time, the bacteria colony will grow in your tank.

Before you add your jellyfish, you will need to check that water for ammonia levels, salinity and temperature. If those elements are well within specifications, you can add jellyfish!

Reverse Osmosis Can Create the Perfect Aquatic Habitat

clean water filtered by reverse osmosis makes for a beautiful aquariumIt is a basic truth of life on Planet Earth that clean, pure water is a priority for most all living things. This is particularly true for almost all fish and plants. When it comes to providing them with a proper environment, it is very possible the water that comes from the faucet in your home doesn’t have the right stuff for the inhabitants of your aquarium. It might even be toxic. The good news is, there is a rather simple solution: a Reverse Osmosis (RO) unit.

An RO unit can filter out up to 99 percent of the chemicals normally found in the water that comes from the tap by forcing it through a semi-permeable membrane. The semi-permeable reverse osmosis membrane only allows very small molecules (such as the water molecule H2O) to pass through it, effectively removing most water impurities including agricultural chemicals, arsenic , pesticides, and heavy metals, like lead and iron.

If you are a freshwater hobbyist, using an RO unit will result in water without both general and carbonate hardness, creating an environment where trace elements and electrolytes can be added to match the natural water conditions of our fish. It also allows you to use buffers to set the water’s pH wherever you wish.

For the saltwater hobbyist, an RO unit will remove a variety of chemical that likely could cause problems. Unfortunately, the standard reverse osmosis membrane does not remove nuisance chemicals like phosphate, nitrate, or silicates, all deemed undesirable because they contribute to algae growth (a big headache on its own!). So a Hi-S membrane, which is less permeable than standard RO membranes, will take care of the silicates, and adding a final-stage deionization (DI) cartridge handles the phosphates, resulting in the best possible water for your environment.

Maintaining your Reverse Osmosis unit is important

Regular maintenance of the RO unit requires replacement of the sediment pre-filter and carbon block. The manufacturer suggests replacing these cartridges after producing 1000 gallons of RO water. This is gauged by watching the pre-filter and noticing any color deviation from its original color. The semi-permeable membrane needs replacing after approximately three years. You can increase the life of the membrane by utilizing the optional RO flush kit.

So, now the question is, which RO unit is right for me and my aquarium setup? There are five simple questions you should ask when choosing an RO unit starting with what do I want to remove from my tap water? Does my water contain chlorine? Knowing the answer to these first two questions will help you answer the other three: How many filtration stages do I actually require? How many gallons per day (GPD) of purified water do I need? and What type of membrane do I need?

How much filtration do you need?

Ok, so, now let’s look at filtration. Various RO units feature a different number of filtration stages. Generally speaking, they vary from two-stage filtration to four-stage filtration, and depending on your needs, each accomplishes different levels of water purification.

A two-stage RO unit is generally light and compact, which makes it much easier for storage and transport. They contain a small inline pre-filter and the RO membrane. This is an excellent choice if space is limited, and is a good value at an economical price.

Three-stage RO units are larger, and employ carbon or sediment pre-filters to protect the delicate RO membranes. These are higher in quality, more durable, and thus are an excellent choice for regular use.

By adding deionization to the equation, the four-stage RO unit will remove the small amount of contaminants that remain, resulting in a purity level in excess of 99.9 percent, the highest level of water filtration you can get!

Overall, RO units definitely benefit your fish and plants by removing impurities in your water. Knowing how many impurities your water contains, helps you determine the best RO unit for your aquarium.