Owning a freshwater aquarium in your home is one of the most rewarding hobbies in the world. Aquariums are an attention grabber. People pay to see large aquariums in the city. They are drawn to the pretty colors and the movements. Everyone loves to watch fish swimming around and playing in an ecosystem located inside a clear glass tank. It's an amazing thing. The word "aquarium" can be broken down into two parts. Aqua is a latin word that means water. Ruium is a word that means building. Together, aquarium means water building which is what an aquarium really is if you think about it.

Reasons for Owning an Aquarium

There are many reasons to own a freshwater aquarium. The main reason of owning an aquarium is for the entertainment and relaxation factor. Fish are a fun way to spend time with family. They are also a good way to bring a little bit of nature home. A freshwater aquarium can be the perfect way to teach children about the value of wildlife, ocean ecosystems and the amazing beauty in the fish. An aquarium is perfect families that have children who are home schooled. It is best to teach children the value of nature when they are young and can have this appreciation their entire life.

Anyone can have a freshwater aquarium. There are setups that are affordable at just about any income level. It is best to purchase an inexpensive aquarium set up at first and once you get the hang of it, you can upgrade to a more expensive set up. For those who are on a budget and cannot afford a large setup, a small fish bowl with a few small fish can be a great alternative to a freshwater aquarium.

A fish is a little easier to take care of than with other types of pets. They aren't as needy as say, a dog, a cat or a bird. You won't need to get up in the morning to take them for a walk. They won't chew up your favorite shoes and they don't need to get their belly rubbed every hour. A fish does not need a caretaker when you leave to go on vacation but you might need someone to come by and feed them. With a dog or a cat, you will need someone to come by and walk them, pet them, feed them and give them attention. Most friends won't want to bother with all that work unless you pay them a lot.

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Stress Relief

There are many health benefits related to a home aquarium setup. One of these benefits is low stress. Watching the fish swimming around will lower blood pressure and significantly reduce stress. It works better than medicine. This is one of the reasons why doctors and dentists put aquariums in their waiting rooms. The patients will watch the fish while they wait and by the time they are ready to see the doctor or dentist, they will be less stressed. What is strange is that watching a video tape of fish swimming will have the same effect. Another health benefit of a freshwater aquarium is the slowing of Alzheimer's symptoms. When an aquarium is placed in a nursing home living room or rec room, senior citizen's say an improvement in their Alzheimer's symptoms. The seniors also reported lower stress levels, lower aggression levels and generally a happier outlook on life.

History of Aquariums

Aquariums have been around for thousands of years. Thousands of years ago, the first aquariums were used in Egypt and China where fish were worshiped and kept in tiny bowls. The most popular fish back then were Goldfish. In the middle of the 1800's, large aquariums made of wrought-iron and glass were sold all over Europe and were filled with Goldfish. Aquariums first came to the United States in the early 1900's and started gaining popularity around World War One. Over time, aquariums got larger and more high tech. Now, there is no limit on how big of an aquarium you can own. You can own a tiny aquarium with a Beata fish or you can own an aquarium that takes up a wall and is filled with Piranhas.

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Commercial Aquariums

There are many benefits to having a freshwater aquarium in your home. You will see reduced stress, lower blood pressure and a healthier life just by watching fish. It is a lot of work to set up an aquarium but after a while, it will seem easy. You can have a great underwater ecosystem in a couple of months. When it comes to commercial aquariums, the largest in the world is the Georgia Aquarium located in Atlanta, GA. Anyone who wants to be surrounded by fish and nature should visit this aquarium. The aquarium is filled with eight million gallons of water - that is a lot of water! It also has the largest collection of fish in the world. There are six million gallons of fresh water in the shark tank alone. Those are some lucky whale sharks. It was an expensive project costing Atlanta residents two hundred and fifty million dollars to build, three hundred and twenty million dollars for the addition and thirteen million dollars for a renovation. Luckily, the Atlanta residents didn't actually have to pay for it as millionaires and co-founders of Home Depot chain stores Bernie and Billi Marcus decided to foot the entire bill. Over six million visitors walked through the Georgia Aquarium in the first two years. Anyone who would like to visit an aquarium without actually having to maintain one, should visit the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA. If you cannot get to Atlanta, a home freshwater aquarium setup is the perfect alternative. It will take a while to set up and get a maintenance schedule going but they are relatively easy to take care of once they are set up properly. Once it is set up, sit back, watch the fish and feel the stress melt away.