There are so many reasons why people decide to take up the hobby of keeping a freshwater aquarium. In our extremely busy lives, aquariums bring peace and tranquility. Fish tanks have been proven to lower blood pressure and calm us, especially after a busy day at work, dealing with the pressures of stress in our lives.
Let’s break down the word ‘aquarium’. It’s based on the Latin words of ‘aqua’ and ‘rium’. ‘Aqua means water (of course!), and ‘rium’ means a building. So an aquarium is a “water building”. What better name for a fish tank.
Aquariums are everywhere. They’re at the dentist office, at friends’ houses, at restaurants, at businesses. In Japan, Germany, the U.S., everywhere! And aquariums have been around forever, too. In Japan and China, especially, you’ll find koi ponds in the gardens where people go to relax and meditate.
In fact, keeping fish as a hobby can be found as long ago as 2,000 years ago in China, where they kept goldfish and koi in ceramic bowls. But fish were kept in ponds way before that, close to homes, where they were kept for dinner!
The types of freshwater aquariums available are endless. The choices can go from round bowls for your goldfish, to square and rectangular tanks. There are bubble tanks that mount on the wall, and wall-mounted aquariums that look like a picture with a frame that hangs right on your wall.
It’s possible to have a custom aquarium made in any shape. And aquariums aren’t just made out of glass anymore. The current trend is toward acrylic tanks. They’re lightweight, and they don’t break!
And the art of freshwater aquarium keeping doesn’t just involve buying the aquarium, filling it with water and throwing in some shells.
It really is an art form that requires some research to keep your water ecosystem healthy and happy. You’ll need to know about:
* How to choose fish that live well together
* Fish diseases
* Aquarium lighting
* What water filters to use
* Whether to use live plants or not
* Substrate – what materials to use on the bottom
* What type of tank to purchase
This is a few of the things that you’ll need to learn about and consider. But it’s fun to learn new things and an accomplishment when your fish tell you that they’re happy in their new environment.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of freshwater aquarium keeping, you might want to specialize in other areas, too. Consider whether you want to breed your fish. Or maybe you want to keep more exotic varieties, such as the betta.
And one little piece of trivia in case you wanted to know. The biggest aquarium in the world is in Osaka, Japan. It has 5,400 cubic meters of water in it, and over 580 different types of fish!