If you’ve been to the dentist or doctor recently, then there’s a very good chance that you’ll have sat next to a bubbling tank with fish swimming around in it. It’s something that you’ll find in most surgeries and healthcare offices, and it’s certainly no coincidence; they’re not just there for show.
It has been suggested for many years ago that the presence of an aquarium can help people to stay calm and relaxed, which is why you’ll find them in the waiting areas of anywhere where people are likely to feel nervous. It’s easy to see why; fish are generally very calm animals when they’re cared for, and the sound of bubbling or running water can be very soothing.
This idea isn’t just anecdote either. Many studies have shown tangible evidence that it really works, with the main benefit being reduction in anxiety. In one recent study, the presence of an aquarium was even shown to help those who were suffering with the disease Alzheimer’s. On average, those who had the company of an aquarium ate better, and benefitted from much better nutrition to those who don’t.
Exactly why this happens is difficult to establish, but it is quite clear that having an aquarium is generally good for wellbeing. If you’ve got the space and the small amount of time it takes to care for the animals and their environment, then why not set on up yourself at home? It’s really quite easy.
Establishing Your Own Aquarium
The first thing to do is choose what type of aquarium you’d like. There are roughly three options; cold water, tropical and marine. The care for each of them becomes increasingly complex, but cold water or tropical is fine for beginners. Take a look here at what marine tanks require. The main difference between cold water and tropical is that you’ll need a heater in a tropical tank, and the fish that live in it may be more sensitive to water chemistry so you’ll need to monitor it.
Next, you’ll need to gather together all the equipment, which will include the tank (as large as possible), a filter, a light, gravel, rocks and plants. If it’s tropical, you will also need the heater. Set everything up, fill with water and then you’re almost ready to go. You just need to wait for the tank to cycle – that is wait until the chemical balance is correct. This takes a minimum of around two weeks, and you can find out more here.
Once all that’s done, you’re ready to choose your fish and enjoy your beautiful, relaxing aquarium!