JellyFish Facts

Tank Setup, Location and Lighting Part 2

Tank Setup, Location and Lighting Part 2 picture

Tank Setup, Location and Lighting Part 2

The next step in aquarium setup will be to add saltwater to the tank. Because of the number of chemicals and minerals in tap water, it is advised to purchase saltwater from your local fish supply store. If this is not possible, however, you can make your own. In order to create ten gallons of saltwater, you will add one teaspoon of dechlorinator and three and one half cups of aquarium salt.

Once you have water in the aquarium, you should power it on and ensure that everything is working properly. You need to carefully check water flow as well as the temperature of the water. Ensuring that all components are working exactly as they should is a very important part of caring for your jellies.

If your tank is running properly, you are ready to introduce bacteria to your tank. Helpful bacteria will digest the waste that your jellyfish give off. Without them, the jellyfish waste will secrete ammonia into the water and will poison your jellies. While it is possible to start the bacteria by introducing and later removing a fish, you can also purchase a cycle starter kit or even run what is known as a fishless cycle. This allows you to prepare your tank for fish in roughly the same amount of time as using a starter fish but without the need to use any live creatures during the period.

A very inexpensive way to get your fish tank ready for jellies without using a starter fish is simply to add household ammonia to the tank after putting the bacteria inside. You will add small amounts of ammonia until your water test kit shows a reading of five parts per million. You will then test the water daily until it reads one part per million. You will then add the same amount of ammonia again and begin measuring nitrite levels in the water. When the reading of nitrite and the reading of ammonia are both at zero, you are ready to add jellyfish. It is important to add your fish very quickly after reaching this point so that the bacteria in the tank stay alive.

EXPERT TIP: Alex Andon from Jellyfish Art provides another method: I was encouraging customers to do fishless cycling for a while with household ammonia, but it doesn't work well. Also, people often get confused and add ammonia with the jellyfish in the tank, which kills them instantly. Our new method is to include a small amount of live rock with our live jellyfish shipments. The live rock is from our holding tanks and has the helpful bacteria growing on it already. When the box arrives, customers put the live rock amongst the rock already in their tank. This essentially plants a seed of bacteria so a colony can rapidly grow in their tank. It has been working great, so I'm making it officially part of the setup instructions!

Be sure to stop by Jellyfish Art and check out Alex's Jellyfish Aquarium solutions!


When choosing lighting for your home aquarium, you are likely looking for something that will help your fish to glow. It is important to find lighting that does not give off excessive heat. Jellyfish often glow the best in a dark setting, and many tanks make use of this by using only fluorescent lights designed for marine tanks. These lights are heat efficient and use little energy. For larger or more decorative tanks, however, special spotlights that go beneath the tank are also available.

Because jellyfish are translucent, they are best seen when in a dark setting. Many tanks are installed within a wall or enclosed on three sides to help keep the inside of the tank darker. When the light shines on the fish in a dark background, they give off a remarkable glow. This effect is what makes the fish so desirable for many hobby owners.

Chapter Summary

In all, setup is perhaps one of the most important parts of owning jellyfish. Preparing the water to hold and safely maintain your fish can take many days, but is very crucial. When you ensure that you have purchased the best tank possible and that you have properly set up the water and the aquarium, you can know that you have taken a great first step towards responsible jellyfish ownership.

Next: Obtaining Your Jellies

Jellyfish Art is the leader in supplying live jellyfish and their specialized aquariums and products, click here to learn more about Jellyfish Art.

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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