How would it feel to own a pet that is gelatinous and invisible? Well, jellyfish happen to be the latest fad among those who hanker for exotic pets. So, if you are one of them, read this PetPonder post to find out all about keeping jellyfish as pets.
Here’s an interesting tidbit…
Jellyfish are not vertebrates. So, technically speaking, they aren’t even fish!
Let’s just call them jellies instead, shall we?
Jellies have been inhabiting our seas and oceans for close to 500 million years. Until now, their only claim to fame was a deadly sting that could effortlessly kill a human. But, of course, as we’re mostly aware now, that not all species of jellies are harmful to humans. In fact, as they began to be kept in aquariums worldwide, curiosity regarding these creatures has constantly been on the rise.
They certainly aren’t infectiously energetic as dogs, or playfully dominant like cats. They also aren’t as creepy as iguanas or freakish as tarantulas. Jellyfish as pets are, well, simply indescribable. Here’s what you need to know before you bring them home.
Why Keep Jellyfish as Pets?
One look at these gorgeous creatures floating dreamily in the confines of their sleek tank leaves you awestruck. They may not fulfill the role of a pet in a conventional sense, so steer clear if you’re looking for affectionate hugs or a mate to go jogging with. With jellies, what you get is strictly exotic. They add that unique touch of luminosity to your room, reminiscent of lava lamps, that must-have decor item from the sixties.
How are Jellies Housed?
Jellies are housed in a special display tank that is nothing like your average fish tank. These aquariums are specifically designed to have rounded corners, so that the creatures don’t get trapped or stuck. The water in the tank has to maintain a constant flow to mimic ocean currents, in order to keep the jellies afloat. In the absence of this, the creatures would find it impossible to swim, and would simply flop to the bottom of the tank. These aquariums are lined with LED lights on the inside, which lend a colored hue to the transparent creatures.
Is it Expensive to Keep Them?
Exotic usually translates to expensive, so don’t expect to go to your local pet store and bring a handful of jellies home in a plastic bag. As mentioned before, these creatures have to be housed in an aquarium created specifically for them, and there are dedicated stores that sell them. You can also look online for firms that are into selling jellies as pets. The cost of the tank will vary, depending upon its size, but the overall expenditure will be somewhere in the region of USD 300 for a small-sized tank. The cost of the jellies, on an average, can set you back by a cool USD 45 apiece. Jellies perish in freshwater, so you need to educate yourself about the correct way to store them by maintaining the pH level of the water.
What do Jellies Eat?
In their natural habitat, most jellies feed on plankton, crustaceans, fish eggs, small fish, and other jellyfish. Once you bring them home as pets, you cannot feed them regular fish food. It is recommended that you feed them brine shrimp. The quantity, again, will be determined by the jellyfish population in your tank. Your pet supplier will advise you in this regard.
Are Jellyfish Cumbersome to Keep?
Yes and no. For an invertebrate pet that weighs merely nothing, jellies require a certain amount of effort to keep. You need to be careful about what you feed them, and precisely how much you feed them. The water in the aquarium needs to be changed on a regular basis, and it needs to be salt water. You must keep track of the ammonia presence and the nitrogen cycle in your tank, which is crucial to their existence. Now that you’re aware of what you will be signing up for, make sure that you are committed enough to care for your beautiful and unconventional pet.
How Long do They Live?
Among all the species, moon jellyfish are typically the ones kept as pets. Their lifespan ranges from a few months to a couple of years at best, provided they are properly tended to and cared for. Having said that, jellyfish are extremely delicate creatures, and given their size and anatomy, they remain extremely susceptible to damage and even death.
Jellies are perfect for those who are looking for an outlandish pet that need not be taken on walks, does not poop on the carpets, or does not screech in the middle of the night. They are breathtakingly beautiful without a doubt, and add a touch of class to any humble abode. So, our only piece of advice will be to give it ample thought before you bring them home.