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Why Fish Can Make You Happier and Healthier




By Matt Leighton, 

​Fish owners will tell you that they derive a lot of pleasure and joy from their fish. The basic benefits are obvious if you've ever had an aquarium at home.

But recent studies have shown that fish are even more amazing for our health and wellness than the average hobbyist could have guessed.

Being around fish - even just observing them - can help with physical, emotional, and therapeutic health.

Fish can help you calm down by reducing stress and anxiety. There's just something about the way they flick about the aquarium that multiple studies have confirmed moves an observer's mood into the "calm and content" quadrant.

The physiological effects of this calmness have also been measured, with studies showing a decrease in heart rate by 5-6 beats per minute in people who observed fish in a large tank.

To learn more about the benefits of fishkeeping, including sources to the studies mentioned above, check out the infographic below or on

Fishkeeping Health Benefits

Fish are also useful in helping patients with a variety of ailments, from Alzheimer's to autism to ADHD. 

Alzheimer’s patients who spent time around pet fish were more relaxed and alert than those who did not. They also ate more (which is an important marker for health and longevity in these patients), and showed less aggressive/disruptive behavior. 

Did you know there was a fish tank designed specifically for children with autism? It’s called the biOrb. Watching the fish in the custom designed tank is supposed to help children maintain a calm, regulated state, allowing them to communicate better and have fewer dysregulated episodes.

Dr. Marina Gafanovich also suggests that children with ADHD can benefit from observing fish in an aquarium, due to the calming and stress relieving benefits we talked about above.

Fish are also a less expensive way of getting a pet...and they can even work for people with small spaces or apartments! 

Being accessible pets, they’re great for anyone who could use a little bit of calm in their lives, but can’t afford or fit a dog or cat into their lifestyle.

Fishtanks and fishkeeping have also been used in a variety of other ways to help calm people and make them happier, from being placed in dentists offices to calm people, to helping people sleep better, to simply being a rewarding hobby.

In fact, if you can get the supplies, keeping pet fish is a great way to calm your mind and body during this time of pandemic and quarantine. It will give you something to do, and simply observing them throughout the day will keep you mentally strong and resilient.

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