Aquariums: The New Medicine
You enter the waiting room of your doctor’s office and you know she’s not going to be happy about your blood pressure and weight gain. Your palms start to sweat as you try to think of excuses for your bad habits and lack of exercise. As your pulse quickens, you look over to the corner and you see a lovely aquarium filled with beautiful fish swimming carelessly between live corals and clams… Eating and swimming in a slow, hypnotic underwater shimmy… You feel your pulse slow and your nerves calm… You barely notice when your name is called. You’re going to see your doctor and it’s going to be alright.
It’s almost a cliché; aquariums are a staple in doctor and dentist offices because of their calming effect. Simply watching fish swim and move through the water column can help you unwind. In fact, researchers found that staring at an aquarium full of fish, whether in real life or on TV, significantly lowered blood pressure and stress. Further research showed how a simple fish tank helped Alzheimer’s Disease patients. Once an aquarium was set up in a dining room, patients who suffered from Alzheimer’s ate more, needed fewer supplements and exhibited less physical aggression. Aquariums have even been shown to help calm down hyperactive children (as you may well know, that really says something!).
You can have this same calming influence in your own home. In fact, thanks to many technological and methodological advancements, keeping a home aquarium teeming with vibrant and healthy reef animals has never been easier. And a modern, well-maintained, naturalistic reef aquarium really is a marvel to behold! Lightyears beyond the “fish tank” of yesteryear, one can now convincingly recreate a slice of coral reef–right down to lights that simulate the lunar cycle, pumps that simulate tidal action, and so on.
When one owns a marine aquarium, he or she is responsible for regularly carrying out a number of daily, weekly and/or monthly tasks (this is, after all, generally delicate and highly specialized marinelife we’re talking about here!). Despite all those smart technologies and methodologies, some people do find the pace and intensity of reef tank husbandry to be more daunting than they had anticipated.
To be sure, many hobbyists welcome these challenges with open arms (this is, after all, a pastime). There are the hardened technophiles who love to play with gadgets and chemicals. Then there are the admittedly nerdy biologist/naturalist types who love nothing more than messing around with stuff like microbes, seaweeds and tiny crustaceans.
For many aquarium hobbyists, however, the goal is to construct a home aquarium system–and biological community therein–that is as unchallenging to maintain as possible. For example, maybe you wouldn’t be very interested in converting half of the basement into an algaculture facility in order to provide your favorite coral with a reliable source of live phytoplankton. If your primary interest in building an aquarium is simple, stress-free viewing pleasure, be assured that you are not at all alone. For those who aim to create an easy-to-care-for and naturally functiong aquarium, with minimal difficulties and complications, there is AlgaeBarn LLC.
From the Bottom Up
AlgaeBarn is a team of biologists, technicians and longtime aquarium professionals (i.e. hardened fish nerds) whose sole mission is to make aquarium keeping as fun, relaxing and overall rewarding for you as possible. Period.
We can certainly say that we have tried a few things, we’ve experienced some mistakes and some triumphs, and we’ve ultimately reached the same conclusion: Naturalistic aquarium systems are (when properly built) not only quite beautiful and interesting, but they are also rather easy to care for. To that end, we promote an approach that:
- Relies on minimal, albeit high-quality, filtration/lighting equipment.
- Makes for a clean start, using contaminant- and pest-free aquascaping materials.
- Emphasizes the importance of a thriving and dynamic microbial community.
- Practices mainly biological methods of tank cleaning and pest control.
- Focuses on the center of the aquarium food web, using a variety of nutritious live foods.
Our products are all designed, or selected, for ease of use. For example, our package deals can significantly simplify your supply list. Many of our live foods, which you might use/replace regularly, are available through a convenient subscription service. And, you can always take assurance in the great customer satisfaction guarantee on everything we offer. This gives you more peace of mind and more time to Zen out on your reef.
Additionally, our company enthusiastically supports all aquaculture in the industry. As such, we exclusively sell aquacultured livestock. This is not only because we believe captive bred specimens are more sustainably produced, but also because they are categorically (1) hardier, (2) easier to feed, (3) more sociable and (4) less likely to harbor disease. For you, that means less fuss and, again, more opportunity for blissful fishwatching.
Best of all, AlgaeBarn boasts of the highest level of customer service in the industry. Our professionals aren’t just hunched over microscopes and test vials all day; we are at the telephone, providing friendly, old-fashioned advice to all who ask for it. You can even make an appointment to speak with us at exactly the time of your choosing. We don’t merely “make time” for answering customer inquiries or providing customer education; we’ve made these services the core of our being. It’s as simple as that.
Between calls, you can always take advantage of our vast and comprehensive collection of in-depth articles. Answers to many, many commonly asked questions are just waiting to be discovered in The Algae Lab blog! Our team of professional writers (seriously, we have a whole team of writers) is ever at the pen, keeping you abreast of pertinent developments in the industry and providing knowledgeable, first-hand information about every AlgaeBarn product and service. Well, and it’s also the best place to get ideas for your second aquarium (!).
A Happy Place
Aquariums undeniably are little oases of therapeutic tranquility. To be sure, it takes much more than the sound of trickling water to elicit these calming effects. Aquariums provide a pleasant diversion from the rigors of everyday life. They have been shown to lower blood pressure. They even (at least when interacting with our beloved fishes) trigger the release of that love neurotransmitter oxytocin. The health benefits of aquariums are many and should not be overlooked. We firmly believe that aquarium keeping presents an alternative to traditional treatment (including medication) for the symptoms of acute stress (anxiety, depression, etc.).
We also happen to know that set-up is frequently the most stressful part of operating an aquarium, as we work predominantly with beginning hobbyists. Thus, our real specialty is in addressing the most common problems encountered in saltwater tanks (particularly new tanks) through (1) our line of all-natural products, (2) our well-trained customer support staff and (3) an ever-growing body of original web-based marine aquarium-related content.
The global community of marine aquarists is overwhelmingly welcoming, supportive and full of people who are eager to help others succeed. There are indeed more than plenty of reefkeeping approaches (and opinions!) to explore. But we would love an opportunity to chat with you about how we–AlgaeBarn and you–can together make the aquarium exhibit of your dreams a reality in your office, your living room or anywhere.
We are experts at helping you create a soothing, sustainable and naturally low-maintenance saltwater aquarium. Step by steady step.
Reach out to get started–no prescription required!