Keeping aquariums is a common hobby, and it’s easy to see why! They offer a lot to the average home, and would-be aquarists should be aware of some of the benefits of keeping a fish aquarium at home.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in and I’ll show you some of the great things an aquarium offers!
1. Learning the Nitrogen Cycle
The nitrogen cycle is one of the basic tenets of biology, and running a fish tank means you’ll have to learn about it whether you like it or not.
The nitrogen cycle is based on the nutrients in a tank. Ammonia is the first waste product, which bacteria then convert to nitrite and eventually nitrate. These bacteria are responsible for keeping toxins out of the water and help to create the biome within the tank.
The nitrogen cycle you’ll learn is specific to water, but the broader ideas can be applied across the entire world. Where living things prosper, nitrogen has its place in the environment. It’s part of our soil and air, creating essential nutrients for plant life and keeping our oxygen intake at a reasonable level.
There is more to it than what happens in tanks, but it might just inspire you to take a wider look at the world.
It might seem simple, but it can have big implications for those who want to learn more about how plants and animals interact with the larger ecosystem.
2. Educational Opportunities for Children
If you have kids around, there are few finer opportunities for teaching about biology than an aquarium. They’re delicate bio-systems created artificially, inhabited by creatures with complex and sometimes inexplicable behavior.
The opportunities are endless. You can teach about plant interactions, how animals become secure in their environment and even show the interaction between larger fauna like fish and smaller invertebrates.
The opportunities to teach are only limited by what you know and the animals you keep. Your kids can learn about the importance of biofilm in an aquatic environment with Oto Catfish or just about how schooling fish react to larger possible threats.
The beauty of keeping fish is that there’s so much to learn. Experienced aquarists begin to realize the vast differences between species, and teaching children there’s more to fish than first meets the eye is a great way to indulge their curiosity.
After all, a cichlid and a tetra have little in common other than being fish. Those who don’t keep and interact with them regularly don’t realize that fish are more than “just fish.” There’s a vast range of habits, diets, and even intelligence levels between them.
It’s a hidden wonder that few are privy too, and an excellent learning opportunity for curious kids.
3. Lowered Stress and Anxiety
Watching a fish tank is calming for most people. It’s an isolated world with its own rules, and the vast majority of us strive to build tanks where the fauna are relaxed and secure. A little bit of action is always happening, but a lot of times you’re just watching fish go about their business.
The calming effects aren’t strictly subjective either. A study shows a link between improved mental well-being and watching fish tanks. It’s a bit of a small study, but every aquarium owner already knows that there’s nothing better than kicking back and washing your fish interact after a long day.
A lot of keepers, myself included, do this already. After a long, hard day there’s nothing better than watching your happy little world keep moving. No matter what’s happening out here, in there we’ve got an ecosystem of happy, secure creatures.
Science just confirms what we already knew, and further studies are sure to show an even more positive link.
4. Improved Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
In addition to improved mental well-being, aquariums appear to have an effect on your physical health. Studies have shown improved blood pressure and resting heart rate while viewing aquariums. Granted, that was in a commercial context but our at-home aquariums should do the same thing.
While the idea that just keeping an aquarium will make you healthier is kind of laughable, the truth is that viewing tanks just makes your body relax. If there are no problems to handle, you just stare through the window into a small and peaceful world that you created.
It’s easy to get lost in a tank, and it’s pretty rare that it’s because of something exciting. The calm feeling is hard to beat, just set up a chair and watch your fish do their thing. The end result is impossible to deny.
It seems kind of obvious that it would physically relax you, given that context!
5. Improved Focus for ADHD Kids and Adults
One of the common factors that provide an improved focus for those suffering from ADHD is that pets help. While fish may not be the perfect solution for you or your child, I can attest to them being a calming factor that provides some relief from the difficulty focusing brought on by ADHD.
Similarly, some pets have proven to help with autism-related symptoms as well.
This is all very dependent on the pet, but fish may be the right answer. Establishing a care routine, handling the problems that arise in the system, and then being able to sit back and watch your fauna enjoy their little world?
It’s hard to say if they will work for you or your kids, but it may be worth a shot if either of you is fascinated by tanks. It can give you a brief, calm point in the middle of the world’s mess that helps you get back to reality.
It’s not a cure-all by any means. But for many people, it can be a win in helping them to function better in daily life.
6. More Rentals Accept Them
If you’ve ever rented, then you know how hard things get with pets. Cats, dogs, and other mammals are often hard to move into a home. Fish, on the other hand, tend to be universally accepted.
In some cases, you may have to deal with a tank size limitation but for the most part? A small fish tank can be had in almost every apartment or home rental. It’s a great way to keep pets and not have to increase the deposit.
Having pets while dealing with rental guidelines is a pain, but keeping an aquarium often makes the whole process much easier to handle. Even moving with fish is often easier than crating dogs and cats for the ride.
The truth is that the only concern for a landlord is water damage from a tank since fish don’t have the ability to chew on things or urinate on the walls. That’s a win for both of you.
7. They’re Great for People With Limited Room
If you have a small home, then a fish tank may be the answer when it comes to keeping pets. A tiny apartment can often become suffocating with animals roaming around, but fish can be kept in an appropriately sized tank.
The good news is that you won’t be tripping on them. Fish tend to stay put, at least if they’re not jumpers. You can run tiny tanks in tiny spaces, a 1-gallon aqua garden can handle a few shrimp for instance. Or you can step it up to a 5-gallon planted Betta enclosure without taking up too much of your valuable space.
Small tanks can fit in a surprising amount of space. You just need to be aware of weight limitations if you’re trying to place them on a shelf or other storage used to keep your cozy space livable.
Water is about 7 pounds per gallon, so plan accordingly.
Tanks in the 5-10 gallon range are quite small, able to be placed on desks or tables most of the time. Give them a shot if you’ve got a tiny living space but want to bring some animals into your life!
8. They’re Low Maintenance Compared to Most Pets
Once a tank is cycled and stocked, fish tanks become very low maintenance. Some tanks are even lower maintenance by design. Heavy planting and understocking fish can lead to an aqua garden that doesn’t need much more than top-offs of water and food added daily.
Even the routine maintenance you’ll need to perform once a week or so is easy. Water changes only take a few minutes for moderately sized tanks and cleaning a filter usually just involves dipping media in a bucket and squeezing off the detritus.
Dogs and cats require daily care, and some of it is a pain. Cleaning litter boxes, taking dogs out to potty, and all of that is required. They keep your home clean and your animals healthy.
Meanwhile, your fish just need a bit of food and the knowledge to balance their system in order to be enjoyed with minimal work. Starting a tank can be time-intensive, with testing the water and regular water changes.
Once it’s been cycled? Your input will be minimal, while you still get to enjoy the rest of the aquarium experience.
That said: reef tanks need not apply in this case, since they require much more delicate chemical manipulation.
9. They Can Be an Essential Element of Interior Decorating
Aquariums aren’t just brilliant little ecosystems… they’re also pretty. Tanks can be an essential part of the decor in your home, and some can even end up being the focus of the room!
Planted tanks and reef tanks are common features in high-end homes. Some people will even pay others to manage their tanks, creating beautiful displays that they don’t have to maintain themselves.
You only have to look to the likes of Takashi Amano to see the true potential of aquariums. Dense vegetation with small creatures swimming in and out, creating enormous aquatic gardens… a truly well-done tank is a breathtaking sight.
It’s a glimpse into a little aquatic world, and an attractive stand plus a well-maintained tank? They can be an absolutely jaw-dropping feature when put in the correct area.
10. It’s the Best Way to Get Into the Hobby!
Aquaria are a huge subject, and it can be an immensely rewarding hobby. Many people just keep rolling with aquariums due to the sheer inertia of fun that comes from keeping a well-done aquarium.
Most of us start with something simple, but it never stays there. Instead, we move on to more specialized tanks that are harder to manage, creating ecosystems instead of keeping fish.
There’s just so much to learn!
You need to learn about each individual creature and plant that goes into your tank. There are more delicate tasks that some undertake as well. Managing aggression in cichlid tanks, for instance, is more of an art than a science.
If you find satisfaction in learning and doing, then aquariums are great. So much to learn and do, and much of it will have to come from experience and hard work. Even better, there’s a visible end reward!
Keeping a tank often leads to keeping other tanks. Beginners who get that first tank going often find themselves on forums and websites, researching for their next tank or just taking care of the current one.
It’s just the nature of the beast and it’s a hobby where you can learn for as long as you keep an open mind!
Wonderful Aquariums Offer Benefits
Whether it’s the physical benefits of watching your aquarium or just the fact that you need a pet in a tight space… there are a lot of benefits to keeping a fish aquarium at home. You can buy in as much or as little as you like, but one thing is certain.
Most of us are going to get hooked.