“I want an aquarium!” – Children are increasingly requesting fishes as pets. Aquariums and their underwater worlds hold a great fascination for young people. This desire raises many questions for parents, especially those who have never before ventured into the world of fishkeeping: Can children look after an aquarium on their own? Which fish are suitable for children? What is the right aquarium size for beginners? Can you put an aquarium in a child’s bedroom? Read on to discover why it’s a great idea for your child to have their own aquarium and what you should consider in this regard.
Aquariums for children: the benefits
Giving a child an aquarium can mark the beginning of an exciting new hobby and a lifelong passion. Looking after another living being can often benefit a child’s personal development. Fish and other aquatic creatures help children take on responsibility at an early age and develop a sense of duty. At the same time, they discover and learn to appreciate the beauty of nature. The colourful and exotic underwater world is fascinating to children and boosts their powers of concentration.
Most people – and that includes children – find aquariums calming and relaxing. It’s also great fun to get to know the animals and observe their habits and behaviour under water. Last but not least, an aquarium can be a great alternative for anyone who can’t have cuddly pets due to a family member with a pet hair allergy.
Aquariums for children: important initial considerations
You can’t just fulfil a child’s comparably simple wish for an aquarium without a few initial considerations. Whether or not children can look after an aquarium themselves largely depends on their age. Parents usually have to be willing to help maintain the hobby aquarium. When planning the aquarium, make sure to involve your child from the beginning. This will show them what having an aquarium involves and allow them to take responsibility.
Not particularly time consuming
But don’t worry! An aquarium for children doesn’t take up too much time and is a lot less work than looking after other pets such as dogs. For instance, a partial water change every two weeks is plenty for a well-established aquarium. It can be useful to create a care schedule with your child so that he/she (and you as well) can see what work is coming up. When you go on holiday, automatic feeders can take over the task of feeding your fish, although most people have a helpful neighbour who is more than happy to not only water your house plants but also feed your fish.
Location: in your child’s bedroom?
It’s generally fine to install an aquarium in a child’s bedroom. However, you and your child should carefully consider whether he/she is likely to be disturbed by noises like the burbling of water. But it’s not only children who can be bothered by noises; fishes are also sensitive to what is going on around them in the child’s bedroom. You should also consider the size and length of the aquarium to ensure there is plenty of space in your child’s bedroom. It’s also important to find a place for the aquarium away from direct sunlight to prevent increased algae growth and overheating. The tank must be placed on a stable (and flat) surface. This means that furniture units must be able to easily support the heavy weight of an aquarium. A special cabinet would be the ideal solution.