Owning an Aquarium Benefits Wellbeing

Owning an aquarium benefits wellbeing in living and working spaces according to many of our clients.

We also believe that owning an aquarium benefits wellbeing. We have had conversations about this with a lot of our fishkeeper friends, coming to the same conclusion. An aquarium can help you to relax and take you into another mind space whilst you are watching your aquatic animals. Some people find watching their aquarium helpful for mindfulness.

The Aquarium in our Local Care Home

The aquarium is calming for the residents at our local care home and shows a positive effect on the wellbeing of the residents

Watching tropical fish can be very calming.

Cornwall Aquarium Services maintain a tropical aquarium in our local care home. They specialise in care for:

  • Dementia
  • Mental health conditions
  • Old age
  • Physical disability

The staff and residents find their aquarium both entertaining and relaxing.

We believe that this aquarium is very helpful for the residents, read on to find out more!

It’s great to work with such a large aquarium in our local care home. It is over 2 metres long. This is ideal for a care home because it means that the tank can house big, colourful fish that are easy to see, even for people with impaired vision.

The two fish shown here are Red Severums. They are fairly peaceful but are not suitable to mix with small tropical fish. Severums need a large aquarium as they can easily grow to 20cm in length. These fish have a lifespan of around 10 years.

Two large colourful fish in the aquarium owned by our local care home

Are Aquariums Good for Mental Health?

Fish tanks can be very good for mental health conditions. This may be because watching fish and other aquatic animals has a hypnotic effect and is innately calming.

Research over the years has discovered associations between having pet fish in aquariums and reduced levels of stress and anxiety. ‘Aquarium therapy’, a coined term for this connection, has been reported to have a positive impact on people with certain mental/emotional conditions, as well as developmental disorders like autism. People of all ages experience the positive benefits of a fish tank in their home or working space. There are also connections between aquariums and neurological illness like dementia.

A Case Study:

In a study by researchers at Purdue University (1999). It was found that placing fish tanks in dementia units of nursing homes has links to aiding in reducing disruptive behaviour and even improving the eating habits of those suffering with the disease. Over 16 weeks, 62 individuals were observed and results revealed an overall 21% increase in food intake and attentiveness up to 30 minutes – which can be considered quite a long while for certain patients diagnosed with Dementia.

Researchers believe that the bright colours and movement of the fish, plus the rhythmic hum of the aquarium, provide sensory stimulation to patients. It is also theorised that being around water leads people’s mind to being in a calmer, almost meditative, state.

The aquarium in our local care home is so large that we had to find a better way of changing the water than our traditional way of using buckets.

For this job we use a large water butt on a sturdy trolley to siphon the fish waste into. Once we have finished removing the waste from the tank, we clean the water butt and refill with fresh dechlorinated water to pump back into the display tank.

In order to keep the fish healthy we change around 40% of the water every two weeks.

We arrive early in the morning so that we can clean the tank before the living room gets too busy. Our aim is to have the tank looking beautiful by the time the residents have finished their breakfast.

a photo showing how we do a water change on a very large aquarium without causing too much mess! Towels also have many benefits in our line of work!

Can Aquariums Improve Physical Health?

There have been studies by scientists that suggest aquariums can have a calming effect on us. Watching a fish tank can have a very physical effect on us by easing muscle tension.

One experiment showed improvement in physical health. This is because participants’ heart rates and blood pressure were significantly reduced after spending a little time gazing into an aquarium.

Your Feedback:

Owning an Aquarium Benefits Wellbeing – Client Study

A lot of our clients find that watching their fish benefits their Wellbeing. Here are a few quotes from our fishkeeper friends:

“I have a marine tank in my office. When work gets a bit stressful, I glance over to my fish and I notice that my mind becomes clearer” – Jane

Tell Us What Wellbeing Benefits You Have Noticed Since Owning an Aquarium!

If you would like to tell us why you think owning an aquarium has improved your quality of life, we’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.

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