Last summer, I had the coolest experience SCUBA diving. At the end of the last dive of the day, my buddy and I decided to burn off some of air near an incline that starts at 15 feet and drops almost straight down to 40 feet.
At the edge of this incline was a wall of seaweed. As I ascended toward it, I saw a school of fish out of the corner of my eye. Carefully, I swam up to join them and joined their group. I’ve seen some pretty neat things in my time diving, but I’ve always enjoyed swimming with fish the most. There’s something really calming and relaxing about the whole experience.
Sounds nice, right? Well, the great news is you don’t have to get your SCUBA certification to enjoy the wonders of the underwater world. More than just the benefit of relaxation, fish tanks can be a great addition to your home.
Fish tanks offer several health benefits
Many psychological studies show that fish tanks reduce blood pressure, heart rate, stress and anxiety. Experts think the effortless movement of the fish and the white noise created by water filter make it easy to get lost in the tiny underwater world.
New studies also note that fish tanks can help calm Alzheimer patients. Purdue researchers noticed that Alzheimer patients exposed to aquariums not only were more relaxed but also more alert and ate more food: “They also ate up to 21 percent more food than they had before, for an average food consumption increase of 17.2 percent.”
They’re cheaper than a cat in most cases
For probably about $30, you can purchase a few fish and a small, simple aquarium. After that, you’ll spend a few bucks here and there for food and small items to maintain the tank.
Compare that with the price of purchasing a cat or dog. Mint estimates that the lifetime cost of having goldfish at just under $1,500. For an average size house cat, you could end up spending about $22,000 over a lifetime. If you want a pet but don’t want to spend a ton of money, starting an aquarium might be a better option.
Fish are easier to care for than a cat or dog
Sure, fish tanks require regular cleanings. However, fish don’t need to go outside every few hours to use the bathroom or whine outside your door at 6 a.m. when they’re hungry. Fish generally don’t require the constant maintenance and attention many other pets need.
Also, you don’t have to put fish up in a kennel or find a pet sitter if you go on vacation. When my family had a dog, we spent hundreds of dollars to have someone look after him while we were gone. Clean the aquarium and put an automatic feeder tablet in the tank and your fish are set for a few days to a couple of weeks.
Aquariums come in a variety of types and sizes
You don’t have to create a tank that’s the size of the Shedd Aquarium. Large tanks, small tanks or even simple bowls can work perfectly for your fish’s new home. I had a betta fish that I kept in an oversized decorative martini glass.
They’re a conversation piece for your home
As Bob Ross said, “You can do anything you want. This is your world.” Make your fish tank an extension of your personality. From live plants to an outer space theme, your local pet store or an online retailer will surely provide you with decorations to make your aquarium unique.
You don’t have to put on SCUBA gear to enjoy the underwater world. Home aquariums offer tons of great benefits and are actually pretty inexpensive and easy to get started.
Want to learn more about fish tanks? Look for our next post on tips to get stared on your home aquarium.
Do you have an aquarium at home? What do you like most about it? Share your thoughts with other Zing readers!