-Courtesy of Pixabay.com

I have a suggestion for a pet that may suit a college student’s lifestyle. How about a fish? I have personally found that owning a fish can be quite relaxing in an everyday environment of work, study, work, study. I never gave it much thought, but did you know there are benefits to owning a fish?

1. Fish tanks are noise free

Having fish is relaxing. They don’t make a lot of noise and you may hear the soft rushing of the water from the filter. It often sounds like water running from a stream. Another benefit for the fish tank being noise free is that Rowan has quiet hours.

“The right of residents to sleep and to study without interference from other individuals is a primary right. All residence hall and apartments residents are responsible for noise they and/or their guests create while in the residential facility,” the Student Housing Policies handbook states.

Fish certainly adhere to this policy.

2. Dorms often allow a small fish tank

I was curious if Rowan allowed fish because at most universities, pets are not permitted in the dorms. In the Residential Learning & University Housing Orientation 2017 PowerPoint for Rowan University, it is stated that “students may have fish in a 10 gallon or smaller aquarium.”

3. Tanks add to the atmosphere of the dorm

This is the fun part. It is a moment that you can be a kid again, picking out the gravel, plants, different ornaments and a background for your tank. You can build your own world underwater for the fish that you choose. It can be as vivid or as simple as you want it to be. I personally like it to be as realistic as possible for the fish. Plus, the decoration of the tank is a great eye-catcher for the room.

4. Studies show that having fish tanks can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower heart rate

Students are often busy working on projects and preparing for exams. During the academic years, one can feel overwhelmed and stressed. What if I told you that owning an aquarium may help reduce that stress?

Dr. Allan Schwartz noted the benefits of aquariums and stress reduction.

“Owning and caring for an aquarium offers us the chance to bring the calming effects of nature right into the home,” he wrote in the article. “Once an aquarium is established and decorated with rocks and plants, watching fish swim back is stress and anxiety reducing. The gurgling sound of the bubbles add to the therapeutic effect of looking at the tank. Also relaxing are the colors of both the fish and background inside the tank.”

5. It’s cheap

I understand that money is tight for college students. We are focused on school and work. Most money goes toward food and the rest goes to gas, but you might still find yourself longing for a pet without the related expenses. Getting a fish is really economically friendly to your wallet. At PetSmart, you can get fish ranging between $2.49 and $6.49. Plants, gravel and ornaments for the tank are about $2.99 each. Fish flakes are $3.00. Top Fin Silenstream Power Filter goes for $29.99. Finally, the most expensive item is the Marineland 10-gallon Biowheel LED aquarium kit for $59.99. This may sound like a lot of money upfront, but going forward you will only have to buy the fish food and the occasional filter replacement.

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