We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Aquarium?

Dana Hinders
By
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
AllThingsNature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AllThingsNature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An aquarium is a specially designed device that acts as an artificial habitat for water-dwelling animals. Although most people associate an aquarium with tropical fish, aquaria can also be used to house amphibians or large marine mammals. In addition, many aquaria contain a variety of plant species.

Public aquaria are popular tourist attractions throughout the world and frequently found in zoos or marine parks. They are made from reinforced concrete and plastics to create a tank that is large enough to hold an entire underwater ecosystem. For example, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois has a capacity of approximately two million gallons (7,570,823.6 liters). The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia is the world's largest aquarium with more than eight million gallons (30,283,294.4 liters) of marine and fresh water.

Most public aquaria can be considered biotopes, ecotypes, or ecotopes since they house plants, fish, and invertebrates that would only live together in a natural habitat. Sharks and whales are some of the most common species found in public aquaria, although otters, penguins, and other semi-aquatic animals are often quite popular. An aquarium that is designed to hold dolphins is called a dolphinarium.

If you want to enjoy observing fish and other marine life on a daily basis, you may wish to purchase a small home aquarium. Over 60 million people around the world own home aquaria, with almost 40 percent of hobbyists maintaining more than one aquarium. The smallest aquarium that is practical for home use is three gallons (11.36 liters), although you may choose to purchase a larger aquarium if you have the necessary space. Novelty aquaria designed to look like coffee tables, sinks, or other household items are another option to consider. If you wish, you can even make your own “MacQuarium” out of an old Apple Macintosh computer.

A home aquarium typically contains a water filtration system, a climate control device, and an artificial light. Most also have a hood available to reduce water evaporation and prevent debris from entering the tank. A home aquarium is typically made from glass panels joined with silicone, although acrylic and laminated glass aquaria are becoming increasingly popular since these materials are both durable and lightweight.

Home aquaria in a variety of styles can be purchased from any pet store. Prices will vary according to the size of the aquarium, the quality of materials used, and whether or not a stand is included. The store employees are typically trained to provide any assistance you need in selecting compatible fish for your aquarium.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of an aquarium?

An aquarium serves multiple purposes, including being a hobby for enthusiasts who enjoy keeping and observing aquatic life, a tool for scientific research and education, and a means of conservation for various species. Public aquariums also provide educational opportunities for visitors to learn about marine ecosystems and the importance of preserving them.

What are the different types of aquariums?

There are several types of aquariums, including freshwater, saltwater, and brackish aquariums. Freshwater aquariums are the most common and are easier to maintain, while saltwater aquariums house marine species and require more complex care. Brackish aquariums contain a mix of fresh and saltwater and are home to species that thrive in this unique environment.

How do you properly maintain an aquarium?

Maintaining an aquarium involves regular water changes, monitoring water quality parameters like pH and nitrogen levels, and ensuring the tank is clean. It's also crucial to provide proper filtration, maintain a consistent temperature suited to the species kept, and ensure that the aquatic life has adequate food and space to thrive.

What are the benefits of having an aquarium?

Having an aquarium can offer therapeutic benefits, such as stress reduction and relaxation. It's also educational, providing insights into aquatic life and ecosystems. For children and adults alike, it fosters a sense of responsibility and care for living creatures, and it can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a home or public space.

Can aquariums support any type of aquatic life?

Aquariums cannot support all types of aquatic life due to the varying needs of different species. Each species requires specific water conditions, temperatures, and companions to thrive. It's essential to research and understand the needs of the aquatic life you wish to keep to ensure a healthy and sustainable aquarium environment.

What is the largest aquarium in the world, and what can you find there?

The largest aquarium in the world, according to the Guinness World Records, is the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China. It features a tank with a volume of 48.75 million liters of water. Visitors can find a vast array of marine life, including whale sharks, manta rays, and a plethora of fish species, offering a spectacular window into the underwater world.

AllThingsNature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dana Hinders
By Dana Hinders , Writer
With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to her work as a freelance writer. After discovering her passion for freelance writing following the birth of her son, Dana has been a vital part of the AllThingsNature team. She also showcases her versatility by creating sales copy and content for e-courses and blogs.

Discussion Comments

By indigomoth — On May 16, 2011

The Georgia marine aquarium is absolutely amazing. It even had beluga whales the last time I was there, although that was a few years ago. They were trying to breed them, but not having much success. It was still incredible to be able to see them so close through the glass.

They also had manatees, which were also a conservation effort.

I have to say though that the Monterey Bay aquarium is my favorite, simply because they have the best selection of jellyfish. Blue lit jellyfish are one of the most beautiful things in the world to see, and I fully recommend this aquarium (considered one of the best in the world) to everyone.

By umbra21 — On May 14, 2011

Be cautious in accepting advice from pet store employees about aquariums. Some of them are excellent, but others don't know what they are talking about. Keeping an aquarium, particularly one with plants, or a reef, is really complicated. It takes a huge amount of knowledge to properly advise someone on how to set up such a potentially complex ecosystem.

Pet store employees are simply not given enough training for this. They might even be told to push a particular species, simply because it is more expensive, or the store needs to get in new stock. Approach with caution.

By anon48878 — On Oct 15, 2009

And a terrarium, or vivarium, is basically just like an aquarium just without the water.

Dana Hinders

Dana Hinders

Writer

With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to...
Learn more
AllThingsNature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AllThingsNature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.