China's First Jellyfish Pet Shop Opens in Changsha

The outside of the shop.

Seth came home tonight and told me something amazing – he saw a jellyfish pet shop behind the Wal-mart on his way home tonight. This was certainly the most interesting thing I had heard in quite a while, so I had to go check it out.

Behind the Wal-mart a new shopping/snacking area has opened up. Between wal-mart and the ID Mall several coffee shops have opened and new benches line the street. People have started just hanging out there since the weather has suddenly gotten nice. Along this row of coffee shops, though, is China’s first jellyfish pet shop (according to their website). I don’t know if that’s totally true, but I have never seen a jellyfish pet shop before, in China or anywhere else. It had never occurred to me to keep jellys as a pet. I think they are awesome and could look at them for hours at an aquarium, but I had never seen them for sale at a pet shop and I imagined they would be hard to take care of as a saltwater critter. But after visiting the shop and talking to the manager (who speaks English), I’m really thinking of getting a tank.

According to the manager, jellys are very easy to care for. A medium sized tank (which is pretty stable, important to me since I have a cat) costs about 380¬† RMB.It has a filtration system, colored lighting, and comes with 15 jellyfish. For 2.50 RMB each, he will give you salt packets measured in proportion to your tank. You can also buy supplies online in their taobao shop. He said you can also buy jellys in the online shop, but I don’t think they have that setup yet.

I think that these would make a great pet for teachers. Some people miss having another living thing in the apartment, but getting a dog or cat or even a fish always leads to the year end question: what will I do with it when I leave? According to the manager, the jellys only live for about a year and won’t breed (not sure how they breed them at their facility, though). So about the time you are thinking about moving on, your jellys will probably die naturally. No muss, no fuss. You could then give your tank away as a gift to an incoming teacher and they can take a trip down to the shop to get their own jellys.

This tank is about 750 RMB

The jellys and tanks really are gorgeous. As the jellys float through the colored lights, they seem to absorb the color. They float so free and effortlessly through the water, it’s like watching a living lava lamp.

They also have seahorses and your typical tropical fish/anemone tanks as well. They are currently still setting up some larger tanks, but they are open for business. Even at 10:30 at night when we were there, several people were stopping in and one girl bought a small tank with one jelly. Hopefully they will do well. It is a very interesting and unique new business here in the ‘sha.

Disclaimer: I am by no way a jellyfish expert and you should not take my word for it when it comes to buying a pet. Be sure to do your own research before deciding if a pet is right for you.