Supposedly, watching aquarium fish reduces stress — at least that’s what some studies suggest.
In my experience, it depends on the fish. Currently my household has two aquariums, down from our maximum capacity of five. Believe me, it’s not my doing.
It all started when my daughter wanted a goldfish at the age of 3. One little goldfish in a bowl has evolved into a daddy/daughter freshwater aquarium hobby that has spanned the last seven years. Personally, I don’t really find them to be that relaxing to watch.
We have one guppy that was born not only albino but also with a badly curved spine. My daughter was immediately charmed and insisted on moving her to a tank where there were no large fish that might eat her. I thought the point was to breed the prettiest, healthiest fish. Apparently not.
Over time, her oddly curved spine has gotten more and more pronounced to where it’s hard for me to watch as she “swims” around the tank in a manner that is less like a fish and more like an inchworm.
The thing is, she has outlived all of the other guppies of her generation. She is the biggest, strongest, oldest guppy in our tank. She is the Queen Guppy and has produced generation upon generation (they are guppies, after all) of hunchback, albino guppies.
I must admit that what appeared to me to be a disability seems to have turned out to be a strength. Leave it to a child to call that one. Still, I don’t think watching them has done a thing to bring my blood pressure down.