The Benefits of Aquariums and Ponds for Kids (and Parents!)

Underwater ecosystems whether a pond or an aquarium offer a set of unique benefits for children and parents alike. From the expected educational opportunities such as science but also mindfulness – yes, mindfulness! – fish can teach a lot.

We’ll run through some of the more traditional benefits first. You’ll probably agree with us that aquariums and ponds are an open invitation for children of all ages to explore the unknowns of the underwater world. Here are the top 4 reasons kids and parents should have access to them:

  1. It encourages learning. It pushes kids to explore and discover the world under the sea they would otherwise hardly encounter.

“How does the starfish move from the rock to the glass?”

“Why is Nemo hiding in this coral?”

“What is the shrimp picking off the fish?”

From science and social interaction to problem-solving and critical thinking, even a small ecosystem with a couple of fish and corals can help understand a lot. From hard to explain concepts to much more, it allows for a child to come to his own conclusions. Same for adults!

  1. It stirs imagination and creativity. Children look at these aquariums and they see a whole new different world.

Two of the most vulnerable attributes children thrive on find a place to go wild in the underwater world of fish, crabs, shrimps, live sand, soft and hard corals, turtles and so much more.

The colors alone are so brilliant and inspiring in a saltwater aquarium. But add to that the beautiful movements only found in water, the multitude of textures and shapes never to be found on land and the unknown “animals”, and imagination and creativity will be on overload.

Keep those attributes alive in our children and help adults get back in touch with them!

  1. It creates a sense of responsibility and brings children and parents together. Taking care of pets can make an impact on how kids develop their social skills. It also opens a forum to interact with parents through learning and growing together.

As parents we are always longing for the “teachable moments,” those times where we can pass our knowledge along to our little ones while they are still interested and while they still think we know everything. It reinforces our parental sense of responsibility towards our children. On the same token, we can teach them to take care of pets.

  1. It fosters Mindfulness.

    Watching the sequences of moments that make up the lives of the fish and how independent they are from each other brings to life the concept of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is defined as living in the moment. Human’s signature ability to carry the past and wonder about the future are both a blessing and a curse. The concept of being mindful is often explained by turning to nature and how animals care only about the “right now’. Your pond or aquarium is a plethora of moments in which children and parents can focus on what’s happening right now.

Aquariums also offer an ideal physical focus point to disconnect from the hustle of every day activities and meditate. The soothing rhythm of the aquarium system – think pulsating xenia – eases the mind into a state of calmness by promoting the regulation of our breathing. This is a fantastic way to teach children the breathing techniques for meditation.

Whether you own an aquarium or pond or whether there is one at school, the pediatrician’s or at your office, the benefits of really taking in what they have to offer us is priceless. Let the fish teach kids and parents how to master life’s most important skills!

 

5 Tips to Hurricane Prep Your Aquarium

hurricane aquariums

5 Tips to Hurricane Prep Your Aquarium

Floridians know the drill for prepping your home and family for hurricane season: water, canned food, flashlights, etc…

But one big item most don’t prepare is your fishtank at home and at the office. Without electricity for only a few hours can mean complete devastation for your fish and corals, costing thousands of dollars.

Common mistakes can be easily avoided and these 5 tips will most likely save your fishtank:

1.  Buy extra batteries for your backup air pump.

In the frantic race to get your home and family ready for the incoming storm which was going to miss us and now is coming straight for us … IN 12 HOURS … you can’t find batteries anywhere!

Your fishtank’s lifeline, the battery backup air pump (which you should already have if you have been a client of Poseidon Aquariums since June 2017, if not, call us and we’ll bring you one), needs new batteries every 12 hours. They run on D batteries, same as other items you keep during a storm such as flashlights and a radio.

Last year most of South Florida lost power for 2 weeks or more. That means changing the batteries 28 times! If you have a fishtank, better buy D batteries in bulk (we found a 12-pack for $12 on Amazon), just in case.

Then: peace of mind! Well, not yet.

2.  Keep it cool.

Another deadly mistake is forgetting that your reef system needs to stay under 78 Fahrenheit degrees. If not it starts to get unbalanced, sick and ultimately everything starts to die.

Some fishtanks have chillers and others simply stay cool due to running AC. Either way, a loss of electricity would eliminate either cooling sources and your aquarium is in peril.

We suggest freezing one or two plastic 1-gallon bottles (depending on the size of the tank) and dropping them in once the tank starts heating up. Do not add uncontained ice as it will dilute the salinity and cause damage to the health of the system.

3.   Connect water pump and chiller to generator

This is probably the best case scenario: you live in a home where you have your own generator in case you lose power. If that is the case, just make sure to hook up both the chiller and the water pump. One to keep the tank cool, the other to circulate and oxygenate the water.

This set up will keep your system alive for up to 10 days and there is no need to add chemicals and feed the fish during that time if you don’t have them readily available.

4.  One Person in Charge.

Whether at home but imperatively at the office: one person MUST BE REPONSIBLE. One person must prep AND check on the aquarium within a couple of hours of the storm passing.

“The only aquarium which suffered the most after last year’s Irma storm was due to not having a person in charge of specifically checking the fishtank,” shares Joshua Gray, President of Poseidon Aquariums.

Poseidon’s team went on site before the storm and prepped the tank with the necessary tools. As it did to each of its clients’ aquariums. This included a battery air pump to oxygenate the water in case of loss of power.

But no one was in charge of changing the batteries of the air pump after the storm. So unfortunately, after days without power, the livestock perished.

“In addition to the cost of clean up and replacing the fish and corals, the smell was foul in that office and the clean up extremely messy. All could have easily been avoided.”

5.  Prep and Check.

It is critical to prepare your aquarium and your pond for a rainy, windy, potentially power-losing type of storm.

But it is just as important to go check on it after the storm has passed and your area has been cleared to be accessed.

Because damage and loss of power create unforeseeable situations, something might have happened that can be easily be addressed if identified sooner rather than later.

 

Poseidon’s team can provide you with a free assessment related to your fish tank and pond and its readiness in case of a hurricane. Don’t hesitate to call so we can help!

Also, Poseidon’s team will try its best to assist after a storm. But due to time-sensitivity and physical obstacles around the city, we highly recommend owners to check his/her aquarium and pond as soon as possible. We can provide assistance by phone while trying to get to your home or office.