With all the crazy things happening in the world, it’s probably no surprise that many families are looking for new distractions and hobbies. What could be more soothing than designing an aquarium? Modern trends and technology make it clear that there’s never been a better time to take the plunge and start a fish tank!
Top 5 Most Exciting Aquarium Trends of the Decade
If you haven’t been actively keeping an aquarium for the last decade or so, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that not much has changed when it comes to home aquatics. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, trends popularized by public aquariums have trickled down and led to many improvements in the hobby market as well!
Ditching Fish Bowls for Nano Tanks
One of the hottest trends right now is the rage for the small aquariums called Nano tanks. These are not just tiny tanks for children or fancy-looking fish bowls. Nano habitats range from 5 to 30 gallons and typically have fully functioning filtration and lighting systems to maximize the health of your tank’s occupants.
Nano tanks are especially popular because their compact size and modest price means they’re accessible to most hobbyists. You won’t have to drain your bank account to start one, and most fit on a desk or table. You’ll also have a ton of options when buying equipment, decorations and suitable Nano fish!
Automation at a Budget Price
My favorite trend is how advancements in technology and an increase in automation makes caring for an aquarium easier and less labor intensive than ever before. You can find a range of budget-priced HOB and canister filters for your aquarium, so you can keep your tank clean and fish happy with less effort!
Affordable LED aquarium lights make natural and special effects easy to program through the use of WiFi-enabled apps and remote controls. Forget using an old-fashion timer, too. Most lights these days come with built-in programs and timers, so you’ll always be able to enjoy the view inside your tank.
Fewer Fish, More Aquascaping
Another trend that’s really picking up are aquascaped aquariums. Instead of keeping a big collection of fish, snails and invertebrates, aquascapers focus on growing a garden of live plants. Hardscapes such as rocks, sticks and sand augment the living greenery and create beautiful underwater vistas where fish may be used as accents.
Caring for your aquascape feels similar to raising a Bonsai tree, and it’s very relaxing to watch your thriving little forest grow as you prune and shape your underwater plants. Even in other types of aquariums, there’s a definite trend for raising fewer fish instead of stocking your tank to the brim.
Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Practices
I doubt you’re surprised to learn that the trend towards developing a more eco-friendly and sustainable aquarium trade is taking over the industry. I certainly never knew whether the fish I was buying as a child had been captured from the wild or bred in captivity. This is no longer the case, I’m happy to report.
With online sales rapidly becoming the standard over buying from traditional pet stores, hobbyists are demanding more accountability from retailers and breeders. Online aquatic stores are quick to advertise their fish as captive bred or at least collected sustainably as part of a conservation program.
Teachers have long used classroom aquariums for lessons about ecosystems and other scientific concepts. Parents are jumping on this trend as well, and it’s become very popular to incorporate small aquariums and mini-aquaponic gardens into kid’s extracurricular and homeschooling activities.
You can easily find an inexpensive kit and set-up a combo aquarium and garden in your home. The waste from the fish feeds your plants, which clean the water before it flows back into your tank. You could even take this idea up a level and start a small pond as part of your educational efforts!
Should You Dive In and Start an Aquarium?
As you can see from these top trends, hobby aquariums have come a long way since the era of the fish bowl. New aquarists are being drawn in by the desire to recreate miniature habitats or combine gardening and fish keeping into a single hobby. Modern and inexpensive equipment takes the sting out of maintenance routines, too.
Sustainable practices and captive breeding programs have helped limit the damage caused by collecting wild fish for resale. If you’ve been holding back due to a lack of time, space or money, then I hope I’ve convinced you that now could actually be the perfect time to start an aquarium for yourself or your family!