Weighing in at 40 tons and ~40,000 liters, or 13,000 gallons, Kamo Aquarium has built what is likely the largest jellyfish tank in the world. Kamo Aquarium recently opened their new building featuring the largest jellyfish collection in the world with 30-40 species always on display. They also hold the Guinness World Record for most jellyfish species displayed.
The director looks on as the big tank is filled for the first time.
Other aquariums have recently claimed the title of ‘largest kreisel tank’ such as Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto (16,500 liters) and Georgia Aquarium’s 25,000 liter tank but Kamo Aquarium stepped in and almost doubled the volume with their new flagship tank! The tank holds approximately 10,000 moon jellies! The window/viewing area is a whopping 5 meters by 5 meters, very impressive. The tank itself is much bigger, about 2 meters wide:
Filling the world’s largest kreisel.
The renovated Kamo Aquarium opened June 1st to the public so go visit! Or follow their progress at their Facebook page.
My apologies for the break in posts, hopefully this post will makeup for it! This is something cool I’ve been working on this summer… a 3D printed spray bar for pseudo-kreisels. As far I know this is the first of its kind…
3D Printed Spray Bar in Sketchup 8
Using the free version of Sketchup 8 I built this model of an 8″ wide spray bar. As you can see there is a barbed fitting on one end to connect some 1/4″ tubing for the supply and 16 evenly spaced outflows to drive the current in the tank. The spray bar is angled to match the angle of the screen for a snug fit in the tank. There is also a flange on the far side of the model to help prevent it from being pulled off the tank. After printing 5 different versions of this model, I finally found one that worked. We used a MakerBot Replicator 2X to print the models.
3D Printed Spray Bar in the Maker Bot
This was the final print that made it all the way through, there were various printing errors: clogged print heads, ran out of material once, the print fell over, warped too much and the print would not stay on the table. Notice how in the final print above there is a tear-away support piece that I had to design in order to support the print. When you build an angled object you are going to need something to build on. I also ended up using double-sided masking tape to keep the print on the tray because sometimes the MakerBot would pull it off and start spewing plastic spaghetti strands all over.
Each print took six hours! A good overnight print job. I could watch it for about 30 minutes before I had to leave.
Tear off supports
Here you can see me bending off the support and raft (the raft is the flat piece on the bottom and acts as an additional build platform, which can help prevent warping). The raft is from the Skeinforge slicing engine (the software that tells your bot how to print your model), I ended up choosing the Skeinforge engine because it gave a much better quality print. Since then, MakerBot has made some significant improvements to their own default slicing engine, but I still don’t like the complexity of their raft. The Skeinforge engine uses a nice simple grid type raft.
3D Printed Spray Bar in use on a small pseudo-kreisel
Here it is in use, pushing some little Mitrocoma medusae around in a 1′ pseudo-kreisel or “PK” for short. This print did leak a little bit at high pressure, I later found that I needed to properly face all of my polygons in the model before printing. Sketchup uses polygonal drawings that need to be converted to STL models, or triangle based models. If you don’t face your polygons properly then the printer will not print some faces and produce errors or rough surfaces. For example you can see the rough end of this print closest to the camera… that face should have been white in Sketchup, or an outer face… not a blue face which would be an inside face. This print was also slightly warped, something that could be avoided next time by using PLA plastic, a biodegradable plastic that is more rigid. When designing your own spray bar remember that you need the end of the spray bar to be below the water level, measure carefully when drawing your model in Sketchup. I hope this spray bar can serve as inspiration for more 3D printed applications for jellyfish tanks. If you come up with your own print, please send me some photos and I will post them here.
Your Summer Project: DIY Jellyfish Aquarium Using the Ecopico
I was lucky enough to receive an Ecopico from Ecoxotic recently to try and figure out a way to turn it into a jellyfish tank. I’m happy to report that I’ve had several moon jellyfish living in the tank now for over a month with minimal care. Read on to see how to build your own jellyfish aquarium…
First, the obvious, you need to get an Ecopico. There isn’t much to setup, just clamp the light on to the back of the tank. Some plastic clips support the glass lid. You can check out the basics on setting the tank as a normal fish tank here.
Ecopico DIY Jellyfish Aquarium
In addition to the tank, you will need a few supplies; an under gravel filter plate with air tube, a small air pump, a valve for airlines, some airline tubing and rigid airline tubing. All of these can be found at your local pet store.
Small air pump
Rigid airline tubing
You will want an under gravel filter that has a modular air tube so you can place it wherever you want. Some of them are fixed in place, you don’t want those. This one at PetSmart is what I used. Connect all the filter plates together and place the air tube in the middle as shown below. You may need to cut a side off one of the plates to make it fit in with the rest.
Under gravel filter plate with centered updraft tube
Center your gravel plate in the EcoPico, you will want the substrate to hide the plates around the edge of the tank…
Center the under gravel plate in the EcoPico tank
Next you need to choose a substrate. I prefer these small, jellybean #1 size, glass beads from American Specialty Glass. You’ll need at least 2″ of these beads, which works out to about 7 pounds worth of glass, I ordered a 10# bag so there would be plenty just in case I needed to add more. You can of course use any other glass bead you can find, sometimes dollar stores carry these beads. You just need to use the right size bead, read here to find out why! You don’t want your jellies getting sucked down into the substrate. Go ahead and add your beads by hand, don’t just dump them in carelessly.
Add the glass beads by hand
Adding the glass bead substrate
Now connect the rigid airline tubing to the airline and pump. Feed the line through the Ecopico LED bracket, it helps to hold it in place. I used some nice black silicone airline, as it blends in well with the LED bracket.
Place the airline tubing in the updraft tube
You should be ready to add water! For salt mixes, I use E.S.V. B-Ionic. This salt comes in 3 parts, the sodium chloride crystals, magnesium crystals and liquid trace elements. Because it comes in 3 parts like this it mixes much faster and clearer than other salt brands. Having large undissolved salt crystals in your water is not optimal for your jellyfish aquarium! You will want to mix your salt in RO/DI filtered water or distilled water, do not use tap water.
Ecopico Jellyfish Aquarium
After you fill the tank be sure to smooth out the beads. You will want to allow some time to seed your tank with bacteria to drive your nitrogen cycle but it is possible to add jellyfish immediately. I added 3 small and 1 medium moon jellyfish immediately and performed water changes everyday for a week to keep ammonia levels down. Keep this in mind when setting up a small tank like this, ammonia will build up quickly and it is best to stay ahead of the game before it can become a problem for your jellyfish. A typical sign of ammonia being too high is that the oral arms will look ‘burned’ off or severely shortened, the tentacles may also be shortened or not extending. If you see this you need to start changing water. An easy way to manage your water changes is to buy a sturdy Brute trashcan and mix your salt all at once, effectively creating a saltwater reservoir, this way you aren’t mixing salt every time you want to do a water change. You can easily cup out water and then go get clean water all ready to go. If you do keep a reservoir you will need to stir it because it is possible for the water to stratify with different layers of salinity over time, if you’re using the reservoir regularly though this usually isn’t an issue.
Once the jellyfish are in the tank you are probably wondering; how much air should I bubble? It is difficult to count bubbles when they’re moving so fast, so here is a video of what your bubble rate should look like…
We are going to follow the same “rule of flow” for jellyfish with this tank as with any other; we want just enough flow to keep the jellies off the bottom and suspended, no more than that.
As for feeding, I feed live brine shrimp several times per week for this setup. I like to alternate feedings with water changes, so for example… on Monday I’ll feed some brine shrimp, Tuesday I’ll do a water change, feed again on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with a total of 3 water changes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. You can feed other products such as R.O.E. or Rotifeast by Reed Mariculture but live brine shrimp, or even live copepods are now available from AlgaGen, are the preferred foods for moon jellyfish.
The jellies have been flowin’ and growin’ in this Ecopico for over a month now, I am confident that you can emulate this success. I tried to leave the tank alone as much as possible, even missed a few feedings and water changes to really ‘stress test’ this DIY jellyfish aquarium. It works great! That being said, let’s talk about expectations for this setup… if you are looking to keep jellies for say around 6 months then this is a great tank for that, but if you want to attempt to keep jellyfish for over a year then you will need a more robust setup, such as the Cubic jellyfish aquarium. Keep in mind that moon jellyfish are seasonal animals with what is most likely a natural life span of about 6-12 months. Now that I’ve set this expectation, if you can get your moon jellyfish to live longer than 6 months in the Ecopico, then I want to hear from you! I’ll gladly post your tank photos here on jellyfishaquarist.com.