Beyond Fish & Corals – The Real Benefits of a Saltwater Aquarium Setup For Your Family.
There’s something to be said about the calming effects of the ocean on the human brain. From the soft lull of waves to observing underwater sea life, water gives our brains a much-needed break from the chaos of our day-to-day environments.
The sound and sight of water provide a simple release for our brain, which can help relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and reduce our heart rates. When we surround ourselves with water, our brains get to take a break from working, so to speak, allowing us to change gears and relax.
Boosting Mental Health With A Home Saltwater Reef Tank
It makes sense that if the ocean produces a calming effect on your mind, allowing you to go into a meditative state, that an aquarium might be able to provide a similar experience.
Aquariums used to be thought of as a niche purchase, primarily of interest to fish hobbyists. However, the market has expanded and now offers a variety of options for getting started. From small to large, simple to complicated, the idea of incorporating a saltwater aquarium into a household is open to all.
More than just an aesthetically pleasing focal point, an aquarium in the home is therapeutic and educational. Tending to aquariums give us time to stop and relax in a world where we are constantly on the go.
While watching underwater scenes, your mind and body respond by lowering your heart rate and relaxing muscle tension.
A study completed by Plymouth University conducted research on the effects of aquariums related to physical and mental wellbeing. They discovered robust evidence that ‘doses’ of exposure to underwater settings could actually have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing. Aside from boosting people’s moods, an aquarium can reduce blood pressure, heart rates, and other conditions.
In this study, the National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth University also found that higher numbers of fish helped to hold people’s attention for longer and improve their moods.
A professor at the university, Dr. Sabine Pahl, explains that in times of high work stress and crowded urban living, the underwater sea world of aquariums can allow one to find ease in an oasis of calm and relaxation.
Reef Tanks Can Boost Mental Health
There has been a significant amount of research done on the positive effects of pet therapy. Animals give us a sense of responsibility and purpose. They also provide unconditional love, which in return makes us feel good and happy.
When we think of pets, our minds often go to dogs and cats. So, do fish also have a positive influence on our mental happiness? The answer is, yes. Holistic Online explains that simply watching a tank full of tropical fish lowers blood pressure, at least temporarily.
A study conducted at Purdue University found that displaying tanks of brightly colored fish may curtail disruptive behaviors and improve the eating habits of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
We all know that exercising is a natural and well-documented way to reduce stress and stay healthy. Both our bodies and our mood get a boost. Nichols says you may get even an extra boost from being near water (like your aquarium) when exercising, from the relaxed state (blue mind) that you’re experiencing.
Fish Make Us Happy and good for kids
Being around water can have a calming effect on our mental health but beyond that, watching the fish swim around and interact with each other can add another layer of therapy. The calming environment of watching fish swim and interact with each other is extremely peaceful.
This is especially true for children. Encouraging your children to take part in caring for your aquarium helps them to build skills in care, biology, and chemistry.
Having this hands-on experience is a fun way for them to learn what it means to take care of an animal, additionally, it provides a lot of great opportunities to teach them about marine life.
This physical contact with nature stimulates cognitive development. In other words, when your child observes and interacts with an aquarium, thought formation and problem-solving skills are strengthened.
Building Community Around An Saltwater Reef Tank
Saltwater and reef aquariums are truly spectacular. When shared with your family, they become the centerpiece for laughter, learning, and loving.
If you have children, aquarium maintenance can be the perfect opportunity to get them involved with cleaning the tank and feeding the fish. Together, you can teach them about the routine and responsibility around taking care of a pet — with a more low-maintenance situation than a dog or cat would require.
Beyond the cleaning and feeding, there are plenty of opportunities, as a family, to decorate the tank and pick out the fish together.
When friends come over, it is natural for people to gather around and watch the intricacies of marine life living within. The same way a roaring fire attracts people with its warmth, an aquarium has a similar effect with its calming movement.
Aquarium Maintenance is easy – Debunking Aquarium Myths
Just like bringing any other new pet into the family, it can feel intimidating to make the decision to buy an aquarium and fill it with fish.
But there is no need to feel anxious. If this is your first aquarium purchase, there are so many options for you to choose from — and you can always switch things up if you change your mind in the future!
As with any other pet, doing your research first is key. From tank size, to what to keep inside your tank, to where to keep your aquarium, Reef Builders is a great resource of information. Reef Builders, saltwater aquarium specialists, are passionate and well educated when it comes to helping others find a saltwater tank that fits their home. We have been recognized for our knowledge and efforts in the industry, featured by CNN and MSNBC.
This series is part of the Best Reef Tank Guide by Reef Builders®