I Finally Have My New EON Jellyfish Aquarium… Now What?

Here’s a quick list of things to do or check for once you have your new EON in your hands to ensure your jellies live a happy and healthy life!

Before Adding Jellyfish


Cycle Your Aquarium

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We can’t say this enough: cycling is the most important step in setting up a new aquarium and keeping animals healthy. This isn’t a jellyfish-specific task and is required for all new saltwater aquariums. New aquariums need to be “seasoned” with beneficial bacteria that handle the organic waste created from daily feedings. An aquarium can quickly become toxic once animals and food are introduced without cycling it.

Everything you need to know about cycling can be found in this previous blog post.

Position The Drip Tray Correctly

The drip tray is the top layer of the filter box that collects drain water and evenly disperses it across the filters. This even dispersment of water is essential to achieve optimal filtration and to keep your EON in a biologically stable state (i.e. properly cycled). If the drip tray is unevenly collecting water and moving it through only a small area of the filters, the rest of the filter box will be dry and beneficial bacteria won’t grow there during cycling. This has now created a weak biological filter because there aren’t as many beneficial bacteria established as possible—meaning, there’s a higher chance of an ammonia spike and the entire aquarium cycling all over again.

 To prevent this from happening, make sure your drip tray is pushed all the way towards the drain, flush underneath it. Then watch to see how more evenly it collects water.

Bleed Air From The Spray Bar Lines

When first filling your EON with water, air is going to be stuck throughout the plumbing lines (the clear tubing) and spray bars. After it’s filled and the pump is turned on, you will see some air being pushed out, creating bubbles, but it won’t all exit the lines. So, you have to manually do it using the two green spray bar valves in the sump. “Bleeding the air” refers to repeatedly opening and closing these valves to force the air outward. 

ezgif-5-c9881b1eaa58When looking into the sump, the furthest valve moves water to the bottom spray bar and the valve closest to you moves it to the top spray bar. Close one valve 100% and open the other 100%. You will see more air coming out of the open spray bar. Then do the opposite to get air moving out of the other valve. Do this repeatedly, back and forth, until there are no more bubbles flying out of the spray bars. This helps ensure that air bubbles won’t exit into the main exhibit area while you have jellyfish in there — PSA: jellyfish + bubbles = no fun! 

Double Checking Your Water Quality

Before introducing your first jellyfish, you should double check that the water quality is optimal after cycling has finished. Here’s what we recommend your water quality be for moon jellyfish: 

  • Temperature = 62-78°F 
  • Salinity = 31-33 ppt (1.022-1.024 Specific Gravity)
  • Ammonia = 0 ppm
  • Nitrite = 0 ppm
  • Nitrate = <40 ppm

After Adding Jellyfish


Watch Your Jellyfish

After you’ve acclimated your new jellyfish, watch and observe them for a bit as they move about their new home. They should be belling evenly with their tentacles out and untangled. Check out the video below to see how open and active your jellies should be after proper acclimation. 

Fine Tune The Flow

Now that your jellies are in their new home, you need to fine tune the flow rate to accommodate their needs. Your EON will most likely be at 100% open when it’s done cycling, but depending on the quantity and size of your jellies, you may need to turn it slightly up or down to keep them happy. 

Your jellies shouldn’t be moving around like a washing machine, but they also shouldn’t be floating in the same spot for too long. You want the flow to gently sweep them from spray bar to spray bar, as you can see in the video above.

If the flow is too low, the jellies won’t be motivated to bell causing irregularities in their body shape and how they eat, ultimately leading to weak and shrinking jellies. This can also lead to other issues like tentacle balls on the jellies and slow filtration, affecting water quality. If the flow is too high, they won’t be able to properly capture food and will also lead to weak and thin jellies. 

Keep An Eye On Water Quality

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It’s always good practice to keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite for a few days after adding the first jellyfish. Your biological filters are still fresh from cycling, so the newly established beneficial bacteria in those filters can be sensitive — meaning if the introductory bio load (the combination of anything that creates waste: food + animals) is too much from the get-go, the beneficial bacteria can go into shock. The bacteria can no longer handle the ammonia produced from the excess bio load and this causes an ammonia spike

Feeding your new jellyfish on the lighter side for 1-2 days after cycling can help prevent an ammonia spike. This allows your beneficial bacteria to slowly ease into the new bio load. Once comfortable (when there hasn’t been an ammonia spike for 2-3 days after), then you can bump the feeding up to regular doses. 

DOs & DON’Ts of Setting Up and Cycling A New Jellyfish Aquarium

Here’s some quick tips about how to properly set up a new aquarium specifically for jellyfish and things to look out for when your tank is cycling.

dos&amp;donts

  • DO use new saltwater with the following baseline water quality parameters:
    • Temperature = 65-78°F
    • Salinity = 31-33 ppt or 1.023-24 SG
    • pH = 8.0-8.1
    • These are the optimal water quality parameters for keeping moon jellyfish happy and healthy
  • DON’T add any buffers, conditioners, or additives to your aquarium water before, during, or after the cycle
    • These can throw off the water quality and disrupt or inhibit the cycle from starting
  • DO use Instant Ocean Sea Salt mix for your saltwater as it has no buffers, conditioners, or additives [Purchase from Amazon here]
  • DON’T use any salt mix labeled as “reef salt,” “pH balanced,” “probiotic,” or “enriched”
    • These tends to have extra minerals, vitamins, and higher levels of pH specific for corals, anemones, etc. in reef tanks, that jellyfish do not need
  • DO make sure your pump is plugged in, turned on, and working properly before starting the cycling process
  • DON’T keep your tank near windows and/or in direct sunlight to keep algal growth at a minimum
  • DO add distilled/RO water to compensate for evaporation (evaporation causes salinity to rise; adding freshwater helps to bring it back down)
    • Evaporation is noticeable when the water level is lower than where it started
  • DON’T add distilled/RO water near the filters – this can completely wipe out your growing bacteria colonies
    • Only add freshwater to the main viewing area and away from any direct contact with jellyfish
  • DO keep a record of weekly water quality readings, especially when cycling
  • DON’T use test strips as they often give unreliable readings
  • DO start the cycling process with a newly setup aquarium.
    • If your aquarium has been running with saltwater & the bio starter bacteria for longer than a week, you will need to dump the water and start over with all new saltwater & new bacteria.
  • DON’T perform any water or filter changes during cycling
    • This can disturb the growing beneficial bacteria and disrupt the cycle
  • DO keep an eye on the piece of shrimp in your tank when cycling (when using the “fish-less” cycling method)
    • Sometimes it can completely disintegrate before the cycle is over and will need to be replaced to keep the ammonia production up
  • DON’T freak out if your cycle isn’t exactly on track 
    • Every cycle is different and sometimes an aquarium needs an extra week to catch up
  • DON’T add a bubbler if you own a Cubic Orbit 20 jellyfish aquarium until after your tank has completely cycled
    • Since the pH naturally lowers during the cycling process, aeration can inhibit the cycle from starting