A Comprehensive Guide to Aquarium Therapy – Concept, Mental and Physical Benefits,Workplace Wellbeing and as an alternative therapy

A Comprehensive Guide to Aquarium Therapy

Do you know Aquarium Therapy can be amazing for your mental well-being? As stated by the World Health Design (WHD), just having a fish tank in your surrounding can enhance your mood and provide calmness. Therapeutic benefits from touch and unconditional love from animals such as dogs, birds, cats, etc. are not unknown to the world. However, without any physical contact with fish, similar effects have been noticed.

Colorful visuals and the serene nature of the aquarium contribute to creating these calming effects. Whether the aquarium water is salty or fresh, both are found to provide therapeutic health benefits as per the researchers. It is an instant and natural way to stress reduction. No wonder, fish tanks are commonly seen in clinics, interview waiting rooms, and other public areas for decades now.

You Will know About the Following in This Guide:

A Comprehensive Guide to Aquarium Therapy – Concept, Mental and Physical Benefits, Workplace Wellbeing and as an alternative therapy

Benefits of Aquarium

Feeding aquarium fish with dry large foodIt may sound unbelievable, but an aquarium may help in enhancing your wellbeing as follows:

  • Reduction in Stress and Anxiety
  • Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
  • Reconnects with Nature
  • Improves Sleeping Patterns
  • Help Child’s Hyperactivity and Promotes their Growth
  • Aid Alzheimer’s Patients
  • Minimizes Pain Sensations
  • Promotes Creativity and Productivity
  • Brighten-ups Any Space

Insights and Findings on Aquarium Therapy

woman kept a fish as a companionThe results of aquarium therapy benefits can vary from person to person, depending on how a person reacts to it. In research conducted in 2019, which included individuals who are fish pet owners and others who kept a fish as a companion, was studied in detail. Both studies identified feelings of relaxation and stress reductions associated with fish movements and the gurgling sound of water bubbles.

Companionship was also identified in most cases; however, it was experienced much less compared to relaxation. Some of them mentioned the benefits in the form of entertainment, happiness, and education; whereas a few of them only viewed the fish tank as a great decoration for their rooms.

Another study was performed on adolescents to assess if the fish care duties could lead to an improvement in their glycaemic control with type-1 diabetes.  A fish bowl and other types of equipment were provided to the participants in this intervention group. They were instructed to feed the fish twice daily and clean water once a week.

Their glycaemic control was assessed for 3 months before the intervention, and 3 months during the follow-up via A1C. Significantly improved glycaemic control was found in the intervention group compared to the patients receiving usual care. Similar beneficial effects are also found for other physiological conditions such as high blood pressure.

Other than being a natural way to stress reduction and psychological benefits mentioned above, aquarium therapy has shown some remarkable results in improving Alzheimer’s patients. A study published in August 1999, stated that bright-colored fish with attractive backgrounds in the tank improved eating habits and curtailed disruptive behavior in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

This research was performed on 60 individuals residing in a nursing home, who were exposed to these fish tanks for several months. These patients appeared to have 17.2% increased food consumption with a sense of increased alertness and calmness by the end of the research study.

How Aquariums Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Handsome man catching fishes in the aquarium.Evidently, aquarium and mental health well-being go hand in hand. However, have you ever wondered, how aquariums relieve stress? Well, the answer resides in the overall visuals and sounds experienced through the aquarium. As per a recent study, watching an aquarium filled with different fishes in a bright lighted tank for a few minutes decreased blood pressure and heart rate, resulting in reducing anxiety and stress of those struggling with it.

Are Fish Tanks Good for Depression

Young woman victim suffering from depression or heartbreakIn today’s fast-running modern world, almost every person is stressed, pressurized with responsibilities, and dealing with their own struggles and downfalls. Unfortunately, that leads toincreasing cases of clinical depression and other mental conditions.

Apart from medical solutions, alternative therapies such as aquarium therapy can be a great and easy way to help you cope. Aquarium benefits of mental calmness, relaxed breathing, and consciousness reconnection with nature potentially resultin fighting depression.

As said by the authors “Contact with nature may provide an effective population-wide strategy in the prevention of mental health illness”. Watching the process of natural growth through plants, mesmerizing themes in a fish tank, various exotic fish swimming back and forth, bubbling sound of the watertakes your mind off everything else and brings you back to the ground in a neutral sense. This meditative state allows you to sort and re-evaluate your anxious thoughts much more peacefully.

How Fish Tanks Provide Companionship & Well-being

Having a fish, in a form of your companionHuman beings are built with the want to have other living creatures around. Through different studies performed, the Environment and Behavior Study concluded that humans find it more restorative and respond in a progressively positive way to natural environments rather than artificial or urban settings. We tend to want something to look after and take care of, that in return fulfills our survival and success. Having a fish, in a form of your companion can fulfill this need as well.

It can be a terrific idea for those who live alone in apartments. While most residential areas may not allow home petting dogs or cats, generally do allow fish. Similar benefits of aquarium therapy for autism treatment are noticed. People find fish as a great company to be with, talk and express to them; this also helps them to practice open communication and self-confidence.

Aquarium Promotes Good Sleep Patterns

Handsome man sleeping in bedA consistent good night’s sleep is a crucial key to your long-term health. It is not just important to rest and restore your body but also to retain brain memories promoting the development of new associations. Due to the major aquarium advantage of reducing stress and anxiety, most adults find it easier to fall asleep without tossing and turning.

Another benefit of an aquarium that promotes sleep is the sound of its filter system, which can also be described as ‘white noise.’ This sound provides blissful peace to your ears just like raindrops do and helps you sleep faster and better. Try to observe and wander the aquatic environmentof your fish tank a few minutes before bed to enjoy this advantage.

Aquarium Therapy at Home

family-fascinated-by-fishAquariums or fish tanks are known for creating positive vibes and a calm atmosphere. It improves the overall health of people who spend a while watching them. An aquarium at home enables creating a fun time with your family or particularly your kids by feeding your fish, cleaning the tank, or playing with them.

If any of your family members have high blood pressure or heart problems then aquarium therapy at home is a great idea to prevent high heartbeat rates and the risk of heart attacks. A bright fresh and colorful aquarium not just enhances your home decor but also enhancesthe mood of any guests visiting your house.

Aquarium Benefits at the Workplace

Workplace in the office over background of the aquariumWith the help of the above-mentioned benefits of an aquarium and mental health progression, a calm and fresh mind will lead to an increase in productivity at the workplace. Natural elements such as water, different types of moving fish, and beautiful greenery can provide a breather to your mind and accelerate creativity as well. Aquariums can be a part of the biophilic design which is highly recommended as a part of workplace wellness design nowadays.

It could be a source to reconnect with nature and to create a vibrant ambiance best suitable for employees. Nevertheless, watching all those fish co-existing in perfect harmony could be a valuable example for all the workers. Assigning them different duties daily related to taking care of the aquarium may boost their connections and engagement at the workplace.

Contribution of Aquarium to Child’s Growth

Dad is having a headache while his little daughter is jumping on the couch at homeAquariums are found to be effective in managing a chronic condition called hyperactivity disorder in children. Symptoms such as being unfocused, inattentive, anxious while waiting for something, excessive physical movement, and excessive talking are seen. Having an aquarium produces a calming effect on children by making them engaged and mesmerized in the vibrant aquarium environment helping them to naturally relax.

Just like adults, kids too can experience a good sleep with aquarium therapy which plays a great role in how they react to the day. Importantly, a fish tank promotes a child’s growth by learning responsibility throughfeeding and caring for an aquarium which leads to putting their energy in the right educational direction. With the curiosity in children, they might get interested in knowing all about fish, nature, and other related aspects.

Alternative Methods to Experience Aquarium Therapy

man taking care of his aquariumPeople who may not be able to set up a fish tank or do the daily duties required to take care of it can get the benefits of aquarium therapy with alternative methods. Certain methods such as watching the movements of fish and listening to water bubbles or filter systems through videos and music can also avail similar benefits.

Researchers that recorded the sounds of fish with the help of ‘Hydrophone’ underwater, stated that fish can produce 100 different types of sounds including purrs, hums, grunts, and hoots. As per the Shedd research, any type of nature sound can equally provide relaxation to us just by watching or listening to them. With the emerging growth in mental health awareness, people are turning to more and more natural methods.

Other than the use of medications, alternative therapies such as aquarium therapy have also gained importance. Many wellness tourism places have well-designed aquatic decors to boost progressive wellness. You can visit various public places that have these aquariums as another method to receive these benefits.


The benefits of aquarium therapy that promote overall health, productivity, and relaxation make them a great deal to be installed in hospitals, offices, homes, and public places. Those interested in gaining these benefits should find experts who would recommend exactly what type of aquariums are best for you as per the suitability of space. Well, the good news is that it does not matter whether your fish tank is huge or small in structure, expensive or affordable, it will still provide you with the same benefits. Remember, the more colorful types of fish in the tank, the more is the soothing effects. It is surely a worthful and simplest investment you could do, especially for your mental and physical well-being!

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