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Is fishkeeping the ideal hobby for you?

Why keep tropical fish? A question which may be proposed by many not yet acquainted with the rewards and benefits of maintaining a thriving aquarium.

In the modern world, social media, long working hours and endless commutes are forcing people to seek small points of relaxation were they can retreat to the beauties of nature.

Some people are hiking into the many nature parks dotted across the country, others are choosing to spend their time tending gardens. Yet another growing group of people are choosing to follow a very different path, they are attempting to create their own permanent slice of nature, delving into a very wet world filled with captivating behaviours and breath-taking colours.

Those who aren’t familiar with the current state of fishkeeping are liable to fall into the trap of assuming that past memories of dull looking goldfish, endlessly circling around a small bowl are still the norm.

However new arrivals to the hobby will realise that fishkeeping has evolved; perhaps faster than all other pet industries, into a high-tech science, reliant on proven technology and acknowledged scientific processes, and with this the beauty of the home aquarium has flourished, allowing even beginners to keep beautiful, well-furnished aquariums that would been far out of reach for even the most experienced, not two decades ago.

Along with being fascinating subjects, they also act as stunning additions to home décor.

Due to the improvement of mass production, aquariums are now available in a variety of styles to suit any particular home. Oak, pine and almost any colour is available along with a surplus of filtration, lighting and decorative equipment to suit almost any budget.

For those who are eager to learn or for any fans of nature documentaries, aquariums can serve as an incredible educational tool for yourself and your children.

Furthermore fishkeeping offers many benefits for those who work full time or have hectic social lives, as they can be an interesting alternative to a pet that requires more maintenance.

Other than the fact that they need regular monthly maintenance, were the algae is wiped away from the glass, around 25% of the water is changed using an aquarium dechlorintor and the gravel or sand is cleaned; they require almost no daily attention other than a small feeding once or twice a day.

This keeps the cost of keeping them fairly low with the initial cost being around the same as the average dog, for a well finished tank, which suits your own personal preferences.

Are they going to replace dogs as man’s best friend?

These many advantages all compound to create a hugely convincing argument but the clincher for many health conscious people may be a joint study from Plymouth and Exeter universities that concluded that watching an aquarium can lower your blood pressure, decrease your heart rate and heighten your mood.

For many seasoned fishkeepers this was perhaps old news, but it could be a another reason for you to consider taking up the hobby.

Are they going to replace dogs as man’s best friend?

Not in a million years, but they can be an exciting alternative for those who don’t have the time or energy for a dog. They create a focal point for any room and are available in a variety of styles to match your home, maintenance is low and they never get separation anxiety if you leave them for several hours during the day.

To top it all off they also offer the additional benefit that keeping an aquarium can lower your heart rate, your blood pressure and de-stress you from a bad day.

Fishkeeping might just be the ideal hobby for you.

Alexander S. Howson

Alexander S. Howson is a naturalist and nature writer.

Along with a heavy interest in Aquatics, birds and ecology. Alexander now directs a large deal of energy attempting to re-educate the public about aquatics and promoting the conservation of a range of wildlife species.

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