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This is a list of some of the most common health benefits of keeping an aquarium in your home.
We’ll explain each benefit and link out to some very interesting studies to back up each benefit. Personally I love number seven.
If you’re sick of reading the old complicated beginner guides then check out our guide: Best Freshwater Aquarium Setup. Check it out!
Let’s get into it.
- 1. One Of The Best Benefits Of An Aquarium Is Reduce Stress Levels:
- 2. Watching An Aquarium Lowers Heart Rate And Blood Pressure
- 3. Benefits Of Having Pet Fish Include Decreased Pain and Anxiety
- 4. Researchers Have Shown Aquarium Fish Have Calming Effects:
- 5. Studies Show Health Benefits of Aquariums For Improving Alzheimer’s Patients
- 6. Most People Find They Improve Productivity With An Aquarium In Their Office
- 7. The Aquarium Benefits And Improve Your Quality of Sleep
- 8. They Are Educational And Encourage Children To Learn
- 9. The Fish Tank And Feng Shui
- Do Fish Tanks With Plants Have Health Benefits?
- Should I Get A Fish Tank?
1. One Of The Best Benefits Of An Aquarium Is Reduce Stress Levels:
Stress has, unfortunately, become a standard part of our everyday life. From high-schoolers to retirees, almost everyone feels the stress of some kind.
One of the best ways to reduce stress, as well as blood pressure, is working on and looking at an aquarium.
Keeping an aquarium has been clinically proven to be associated with relaxation.
The reason why keeping an aquarium can help keep stress levels low has to do with both water and fish.
The relaxing water movement and fish lazily swimming about (or darting here and there, if it’s an active species) provides us with a primal sense of peace, something that quieter waterfalls tend to do as well.
Focusing on the inhabitants of the fish tank can also help people mentally unwind and become less stressed.
Creating and managing an aquarium is also found to help reduce the stress level.
A thriving home aquarium gives you a sense of accomplishment, and maintaining your aquarium requires you to spend some time daily observing and working with your fish.
This doesn’t only distract you from whatever is stressing you, but staying close to a calm aquarium environment puts your mind at ease.
It’s one of the reasons you may find an aquarium in a doctor’s waiting room – It helps reduce the stress of waiting.
2. Watching An Aquarium Lowers Heart Rate And Blood Pressure
Advantages of aquaria tanks go beyond psychology, and you can actually experience physiological improvements, by watching an aquarium.
A study conducted by Plymouth researches revealed that watching an aquarium reduced blood pressure and heart rate.
The study was conducted in a controlled environment. It was found that the more biologically diverse the aquarium is, the more it impacts the blood pressure and heart rate of participants of the study.
While it hasn’t been replicated exactly for home settings, it can be inferred that the physiological benefits of a fish tank (like lower blood pressure), especially one that is rich in biodiversity, might be the same in a home as well.
Though a point of contention here is the element of responsibility, you feel responsible for the fish in your home aquarium.
And if you see fin-nippers in your tank attacking the beautiful Betta, you just put in, or some tank inhabitants are savaging your beautiful fish tanks plants, your heart rate might not stay down.
But that only happens when aquarists are not careful about stocking and tank maintenance.
Most aquarists relish seeing a thriving tank, and a healthy tank with happy fish is definitely good for your health as well.
3. Benefits Of Having Pet Fish Include Decreased Pain and Anxiety
It has been known for ages that many animals have an anxiety-reducing effect on humans (not wild lions or mosquitos maybe).
A study was conducted, and it was found that people in a controlled group that interacted and worked with pet fish, saw anxiety-reduction by 58.2% on average.
The same study highlighted the anxiety-reducing effect of plants as well, and that means you can compound the calming effects by keeping a fish tank with plants.
While pet fish can’t help you with your pain if you fell down the stairs or broke a nail, but it can help with pain caused by stress or anxiety.
High blood pressure usually causes headaches, and observing a fish tank can help alleviate that pain.
Similarly, anxiety and stress often manifest in headaches and body pains, and by reducing stress levels and anxiety, your pet fish can actually improve your health.
4. Researchers Have Shown Aquarium Fish Have Calming Effects:
While lowering blood pressure and heart rate directly relates to a person calming down, there are other ways that aquarium fish have calming effects as well.
A person might feel agitated or disturbed for a variety of reasons. One of the ways psychologists recommend for calming down in such a situation is finding internal and external triggers.
And watching aquarium fish is one of the best external triggers, due to its inherent calming effects.
The benefit is especially pronounced for individuals with pet allergies, that can’t interact with other pets.
And since fish are relatively “social distancing” pets, observing them can calm people down.
5. Studies Show Health Benefits of Aquariums For Improving Alzheimer’s Patients
Multiple studies have been conducted on people with Alzheimer’s and one of the advantages of aquarium.
It has been observed that Alzheimer’s patients, who were exposed to fish tanks, showed less disruptive behavior and consumed more food.
The benefit is attributed to the calming effect that an aquarium and fish have on people, and made Alzheimer’s patients who are either too distracted or agitated to eat their food normally (and have to be provided with nutritional supplements) consumed 20% to 25% more food when in close proximity of an aquarium.
6. Most People Find They Improve Productivity With An Aquarium In Their Office
Work is one of the most significant causes of stress in most people’s lives, and some workplaces are inherently too fast-paced and competitive that they keep workers on edge and prone to panic attacks.
One of the things that have been proven to help with the situation is the integration of “nature” in the workplace.
And since most other pets would either be too distracting, or harder to manage, fish tanks offer a great way to reduce stress, improve morale and productivity in an office environment.
Watching fish has already been proven to be a stress reducer and activity that lowers anxiety levels, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Similarly, the presence of an aquarium is associated with higher positive moods than any other “nature integration” setup.
Over half the people in a survey felt more motivated with a pet in the workplace. And an aquarium is associated with raising the morale all around the office, which is directly correlated to better productivity.
7. The Aquarium Benefits And Improve Your Quality of Sleep
A calm mind isn’t just imperative for our health, but also our quality of sleep.
A mind weighed down by too many thoughts rarely allows for a good night’s sleep, and that’s where a fish tank comes in.
Another one of the fish tank benefits is that it can help you relax and calm down.
Instead of counting sheep, observing fish in your fish tank has a significantly better chance of assisting you with peaceful and deep sleep.
8. They Are Educational And Encourage Children To Learn
This is one of my most favorite benefits of aquarium. Whether it’s in your home or at your dentist’s waiting room, a fish tank presents ample learning opportunities for children (without boring them to sleep).
The colorful fish moving around in the tank can hold children’s attention.
At the same time, you can convey simple yet profound ideas about ecosystems, environment, the importance of cleanliness, marine life, evolution, biology, photosynthesis, and a hundred different things.
The effect can be compounded if you are creating a fish tank with your children.
You can encourage them to pick out their favorite fish, see where it comes from, what it likes to eat, whether its an omnivore or a carnivore, who it can live alongside, etc. Plant fish tank present an even richer learning opportunity.
9. The Fish Tank And Feng Shui
Whether or not you are a spiritual person and believe in the energy flow and dynamics typically associated with Feng Shui, you cannot negate the psychological aspect of trying different settings, colors, and contrasts in your house.
The ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui focuses on keeping individuals in harmony with their surroundings, especially their dwellings.
In Feng Shui, everything has its place, and the fish tank (as per the Bagua diagram), goes into the southeast corner.
It’s the area the activates wealth and prosperity luck.
North or east sections are also viable options since they are associated with career and health improvements.
Since water has an essential place in Feng Shui, the placement alone isn’t the full answer. The shape of the fish tank also matters.
Do Fish Tanks With Plants Have Health Benefits?
Fish tanks with live plants have all the above-mentioned health benefits.
There are numerous perks for your fish if you are keeping live plants in your tank.
It adds to the biodiversity of the plant, helps with nutrient control, and, most importantly, your fish feels at home with all the plants to hide and play around (they have health benefits for the fish, that’s for sure).
As for your health, while a thriving tank is blessing enough, some aquatic may even affect your indoor air quality, but the difference is usually imperceptible.
So the health-related contributions of planted tanks are not very different from a fish-only tank.
Should I Get A Fish Tank?
Yes. Even if it weren’t for some of the fantastic benefits of keeping fish stated above, my answer would’ve still been yes.
Keeping fish teaches you a lot about life, it’s one of the least demanding pets, and you don’t get as emotionally involved with fish as you get with other pets.
Still, it teaches you to be responsible, regular, and about the importance of the environment.
There are several other reasons you should get a fish tank, and when you combine the mental and physical health benefits, it makes fish-keeping one of the richest and constructive hobbies there are.
Thanks for reading!
This article is part of a large series of articles to help you understand the benefits, myths, cost, and steps you need to take to set up a successful aquarium.
Below are links to the next and previous chapters in this series.
- Chapter #2: Aquarium Myths
Now let’s get started on setting up your new aquarium.