Nearly everyone has seen an aquarium before. It could have been at a friend’s house, a restaurant, a party, a local business looking to stand out… many people love to keep aquariums, and you can find them nearly everywhere.
The word ‘aquarium’ actually comes from the Latin words ‘Aqua’ meaning water (Shocked? Yeah, neither are we) and ‘rium’ meaning place or building. You get the idea.
The History of the Aquarium The earliest known aquarists were the Sumerians, who kept fishes in artificial ponds at least 4,500 years ago; records of fish keeping also date from ancient Egypt and Assyria.
The Chinese were raising Carp from as far back as 2000BC, and are said to be the first to actually breed fish with any degree of success. Breeding practices that had been successful for the Chinese were later introduced to the Japanese, where the breeding of ornamental Carp was practiced and perfected.
The ancient Romans are known to be the first Marine (sea) aquarists, as they constructed Ponds which channeled water from the ocean. If you were unlucky enough to be a fish in one of these marine ponds, your fate was only one of two things: Entertainment or Food!
Egyptian art also shows us signs of aquarium keeping where fish were kept in rectangular temple pools, something unique and interesting which most people wouldn’t associate with aquarium history.
Keeping fish as a hobby really picked up in the United Kingdom during the mid 1800’s, in large part due to the heavily decorated aquarium on display at the Great Exhibition of 1851. In 1853, the first public aquarium was opened at London Zoo, aptly named “The Fish House”.
In 1854, Phillip Henry Gosse release a book titled “The Aquarium: An Unveiling of the Wonders of the Deep Sea”, and although centered around Saltwater aquaria, the aquarium soon became a fad in the United Kingdom.
Aquariums became increasingly popular as electricity was introduced to houses after World War I. There were many benefits to having an electricity supply as it allowed artificial lighting as well as aeration, filtration and heating of the water. At first, amateur aquarists only kept native fish, but with the availability of exotic species from all over the world, aquarium popularity increased dramatically and continues to do so, even to this day.
Key Benefits of an Aquarium Why are aquariums so popular? Have you ever wondered if there’s actually any benefit to having an aquarium?
Well, there are actually studies that are going as far back as the 1980’s that have shown that keeping an aquarium can not only keep you more relaxed, but improve your health.
For example, studies that have been conducted on seniors who were provided with an aquarium – fish included – had a surprising drop in blood pressure levels. Benefits have also seen in Alzheimer’s patients, who when exposed to watching a fish tank aquarium, not only showed greater appetites which reduced the dependency on supplements, but also displayed less physically aggressive behavior in their daily activities.
These results don’t just extend to the elderly, but also include children. Children that enjoy watching fish swimming displayed a calmer nature, even children who suffer from hyperactivity disorders.
Can you guess why you generally see an aquarium in most many dentists’ waiting rooms? Well, dentists generally need to give less pain medication when patients have been watching fish beforehand. This also extends to the waiting rooms of Doctors, Counselors, Children’s hospitals etc, where having a fish tank full of Colorful fish helps ease the anxiety many people experience before a specialist appointment such as the above.
The health benefits of aquariums are impossible to ignore, and it doesn’t matter the size or shape of the aquarium either. Even if you don’t have the space for a large or even medium size tank, then a small desktop or bookshelf aquarium will still do the trick.
If this is still out of the question, then don’t rule out watching an aquarium video or even setting you desktop computer screen saver to an aquarium theme.
The benefits to owning an aquarium really are amazing, and there are many different style, shapes, and types of tanks to choose from. The decorative options are endless, and the health and well being benefits for you, your family and friends are undeniable!