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As some of you undoubtedly know, my many and varied marine aquariums are on public display in my office on the Pratt Institute Brooklyn campus.  As such, I am regularly questioned by students and staff about the animals we keep, and about those we don’t.  Second to only Seahorses, Jellyfish are without question the most inquired about marine animal we don’t display.  I’ve gotten quite good at quickly describing the special husbandry requirements and kreisel tank design and explaining that unfortunately, most hobbyists are not capable of providing for their needs.

About a year ago, I started seeing advertisements and articles about a simplified, hobbyist level, plug and play system designed specifically for Jellyfish.  From afar, it seemed UK based Cubic Aquarium Systems had hit upon a game changing product that could put Jellyfish on the map for moderately experienced aquarists.   The problem was that the Cubic Jellyfish Aquarium was not available in North America.

Thankfully, this situation has changed. At MACNA this past September I was thrilled to see the Cubic Jelly Aquarium on full display and even more thrilled to find out that by partnering with Canadian-based Polyp Lab, the systems were in fact available in the US.   I knew we needed one back in Brooklyn, and so, the arrangements were made.

A few weeks later, a very well packed crate arrived and our Jellyfish adventure began.

cubic-crateAfter unboxing, I sat down with the instruction manual and was impressed with how well designed and thought out the Jelly Aquarium was. The Aquarium itself is stylishly rendered out of well-tooled acrylic that is available in a variety of colors. Ours was white and recalls the feel of older generation Apple computers.  The system includes an electrical box that houses the LED ballast and power supply for the provided circulation pump, A media tower for filtration, filter sponges and a remotely controlled multi-color LED light strip that affords numerous color combinations and automated functions such as auto color change and auto color change speed.  While the unit is designed as stand alone, there are also integrated valves and hose barbs for easy integration with a sump or chiller.



Setup was very straightforward and easily accomplished in about a half hour without complication.  The aquarium itself is designed as a vertically oriented kreisel with water gently circulating in a circular motion from bottom to top.  The rear of the aquarium is sectioned off from the display area and contains a wet compartment for the media tower, pump assembly and filter pads. A second dry compartment houses the ballast and optional plumbing assembly.



The LED light strip slides directly into a waterproof cutout facing into the aquarium.


One of my favorite features is the waterproof electrical box that allows for safe and easy connection of both the LED light and the circulation pump and enables the use of a single electrical cord exiting the system.

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The media tower can be filled with the filtration media of your choice—we chose live rock rubble and a filter bag of carbon—and the flow adjustable pump is designed to fit directly into the lid of the tower.



Route the power cord, slid the lids into place, site the aquarium, fill with water, and literally plug and play.



It really was that simple. And now we wait patiently for the system to mature and our Moon Jellies from PB ‘n’ Jellies to arrive.  We’ll chronicle that part of the adventure next time.  For now we are content to play with the mesmerizing remote control LED functions that serve as another example of the great attention to detail that Cubic has put into this system.


To find out more you can visit the Cubic website at:

or Polyplab at:

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