Aquarium Benefits

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Benefits of owning Aquariums:

Experience and research alike have proven beyond any doubt that aquariums are beneficial to the emotional, mental, and physical well being of people.  This article focuses on a few relevant facts that should reinforce what you already know about how great it will be to have an aquarium.


To quote the article THE SERVICE ENCOUNTER (see references), “Waiting is frustrating, demoralizing, agonizing, aggravating, annoying, time consuming and incredibly expensive.”

Here is the basic equation presented in the article:   S = P – E.  In this formulation, ‘S’ stands for satisfaction, ‘P’ for perception and ‘E’ for expectation.

Two facts worth noting are:

  1. Occupied Time Feels Shorter Than Unoccupied Time.  As William James, the noted philosopher observed: “Boredom results from being attentive to the passage of time itself.”
  2. Anxiety Makes Waits Seem Longer.

Relative to an aquarium, the way to reduce frustration, aggravation, anxiety, and irritation is create the perception (P) that time passed quickly even though expectation of a long wait might inherent to the circumstance.

Given the information you know now, here is the reason why you should add a Saltwater Reef Aquarium to your office environment:

Marine Aquariums, and in particular, Saltwater Reef Aquariums have so much happening within them that it takes time to see it all!

By observing the activity within a saltwater aquarium, the patient looses track of time.

When their mind is shifted away from the “passage of time itself”, the occupied time feels shorter!  

Reading is such a personal activity that unless the patient brought a book of their own, they are unlikely to be entertained for long by magazines!  Pictures are fully processed by human beings at a glance, so there is little there to truly captivate their attention.  While television helps people pass time, they too are very personal.  If the program being played isn’t what you want or like, then it won’t keep you attention.  In fact, it will only remind you that your doing something you don’t want to do!

However, Aquariums are for everyone! In the world of saltwater reefs, no two Aquariums are the same.  You can spend hours, happily observing the wildlife within a saltwater reef aquarium.   Much like a good puzzle, finding everything alive in a saltwater reef aquarium is a challenge!  And while you are observing, you are being calmed on emotional levels, unconscious levels, and subtle energy levels without even knowing it!


Here are some facts that anyone can easily research:

  1. Numerous studies show beyond any doubt that Seniors who were given an aquarium filled with fish had a significant reduction in blood pressure.  They also sleep better, think clearer, express joy more frequently, and are more patient.  When observing an aquarium, the time passes more freely thus reducing the buildup of anxiety and irritation.
  2. Studies show that while observing fish, children who suffer from hyperactivity disorder quickly calm down.  The simple fact is that aquariums calm humans.  What is also unique and worth mentioning is that they calm people on all levels: emotional, physical, and mental.  In this way, the effects last and produce a reproducible, habitual response that is healthy.
  3. When compared with hypnosis, patients that were given an aquarium experience had the same or greater benefit from the aquarium than they did from the hypnosis.  The results seem to indicate that while the mental exercise of hypnosis calms peoples anxieties, aquariums do a better job because they act on physical and emotional levels directly and simultaneously.    Since we are products of nature, there really is no replacement for the tranquil effects of nature on the human psyche.  Aquariums are simply an effective way to bring nature into office environments without disturbing the natural order of things.  Reef environments are closely grouped in nature, so the fish are very noticeably happy in their aquarium environments.  Their happiness is contagious!
  4. Studies done in dental offices show that when patients watch fish, they required less pain medication.

It’s little wonder why dental clinics, physician office, counseling offices, and waiting rooms around the world have traditionally kept an aquarium.

Aquarium Effect on Alzheimer’s Patients:

Studies have shown that seniors with Alzheimer’s  receive a range of health benefits from watching and being in the presence of an aquarium.  These studies show conclusively that given an aquarium to experience daily, Alzheimer patients will (1) eat more, (2) nutritionally required fewer supplements, (3) become more tolerant of their caretaker, (4) sleep better, and (5) have fewer fits of violence. The eating benefits come from independent studies when an aquarium was placed in the dining room. Patients also exhibited less physically aggressive behaviors when an aquarium was placed in a commons area such as the dining room.


Doob, L.W. (1960), Patterning of Time. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.

Sasser, W.E., J. Olsen, and D.D. Wyckoff (1979), Management of Service Operations: Text, Cases and Readings. New York: Allyn and Bacon.

THE SERVICE ENCOUNTER edited by John a Czepiel, Michael R. Solomon and Carol Suprenant, © 1985 by D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington Books.

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