Fishkeeping for mental health and stress Fishkeeping for mental health and stress

Life can be stressful, for some more than others. Traffic, high profile careers, mortgages, parent-teacher conferences, client meetings, deadlines. These stress-inducing words don’t even touch on a tenth of the stressful situations humans can find themselves in every day.

While you may have heard petting your dog and/or cat is a wonderful way to relieve these feelings has anyone ever pointed out that keeping fish is also a wonderful way to maintain a healthy mental state and eliminate anxiety.

What Are The Effects of Stress?

If not handled correctly, too much stress in our lives can cause a world of problems. Heartburn, increased possibility of heart attack, high blood pressure, and a weakened immunity are just a few of the many bodily functions that can be affected by excessive stress.

As for the mental state of the person who doesn’t deal with their stress in a healthy way.  They might find that they experience headaches and are more susceptible to chronic depression.

Related: Best Species Of Fish For Your Backyard Pond

How Can Fishkeeping Help?

There are several ways keeping a tank with some swimming friends can help you maintain your mental health and release stress.

Can fishkeeping help

Water is Relaxing

Whether we are bathing, swimming, watching, or just near a body of water, the mere presence of it helps humans relax. This may have something to do with starting in the womb submerged. Whatever the reason, there is no denying watching and listening to water have helped lower the blood pressure of quite a few people.

When you have a tank it may not be the same as living near a lake or ocean, but you can still watch the fish swim, and the sound of the filter, like these at Tankarium, can give your room the soothing sound of water.

Taking Care of Living Things Is Good For You

We all have to take care of ourselves but, somehow, when we take care of those we love, our mental state benefits from it. This is especially true when it comes to our friends from the animal kingdom.

People who own pets have a better chance of avoiding depression and are less likely to have high blood pressure. When it comes to fish, watching them can even lessen your muscle tension.

Watching Fish Is Calming

It could be the colors, it could be the way they move through the water, or it could be that the world they live in is so serene. Whatever it is, watching fish is a wonderful way to calm down. It’s so effective it has been dubbed “aquarium therapy.”

When subjects watched fish they were found to have less stress and anxiety, their overall feeling of relaxation increased greatly, their heart rate was lowered, and the tension in their muscles was reduced.

Related: 7 Tips for Early Spring Fishing

The Science Behind It

These types of claims are not possible without something called the Scientific Method. This is the way all scientists evaluate hypotheses and come to conclusions that either support or rebuke their initial claim.

When it comes to fish, several studies have shown that including them in your home can be beneficial for the overall psychological and physiological well-being of people.

One study published in July of 2019 set out to discover whether or not there were benefits to the human/fish connection and they found that it lowered blood pressure, reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, which lowered mortality rates. Loneliness was reduced and the subjects found an increased sense of emotional support.

Types of Fishkeeping

Of all the fish in the world that you can keep as pets, they all should fall under one of four categories.

Types of fishkeeping


This is the type of aquarium that most people start with. They are easier to keep because you don’t have to deal with anything other than water, conditioners, and chlorine removers. Fish that fall under this category won’t cost as much as some of the other types. And freshwater fish are more durable.


Also a freshwater option, this type of aquarium requires the temperature to be under 70 degrees. A goldfish is a perfect example of the coldwater fish. Koi are also coldwater fish, but those are much more expensive.


This type of fishkeeping is what many people refer to as “saltwater” fish. It requires much more upkeep and you need to mix salt with the water and if you are interested in keeping coral then the maintenance level of your tank just increased dramatically. Reaching this level can raise your fishkeeping intelligence.


Here we have a mixture of salt and freshwater to create a unique environment that many people dare not venture through. A natural area where you would find brackish water is where a river empties into an ocean or gulf.

Related:  Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish That Are Perfect for Your Tank


There are several ways to relieve stress but few of them are as fulfilling as fishkeeping. It brings several benefits to the table and can bring an overwhelming sense of accomplishment along with the mental advantages and stress-relieving powers it contains. If you have tried fishkeeping and find that you are still struggling with mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and loneliness, it’s important to note that you are not alone. The mental health professionals at BetterHelp are available to support you whenever you need.

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