The History Behind Aquariums

Aquariums are a beautiful and peaceful feature of many homes, businesses and museums, which is why it’s such a thrill to start your own. When you get an aquarium, you’re actually engaging in a long tradition of observing beautiful fish up close and personal.

As you research which kind of aquarium and pet fish might be right for your Iowa home, here is a brief history of how long aquariums have been capturing the human imagination.

Ancient aquariums

The ancient Sumerians were the first culture to bring aquatic life indoors, as early as 4,500 years ago. In fact, other ancient societies like the Egyptians and the Assyrians also took the opportunity to adopt fish and aquatic creatures as pets.

Meanwhile, as early as 1,000 BCE, the Chinese were raising and breeding carp for food. Historians think that this might have been the first time humans successfully bred fish. The Chinese passed their knowledge on to Japan, where they bred ornamental carp.

The ancient Romans got in on the game, too, taking seawater from the ocean to support their aquariums. They bred and raised fish for both food and decoration, and constructed ponds to keep their fish.

In the 1700s, the importation of goldfish from China to France sparked a craze in which fish lovers displayed these water creatures in their own homes. There are records of the interest spreading to England as well. It wasn’t until the 1800s, however, that modern aquarium-keeping really took off.

Modern aquariums

Being able to keep aquatic organisms alive in an artificial environment is no small task. It requires the knowledge of how animals, plants, water and oxygen all interact to create a livable environment.

The very first aquarium open to the public was founded in 1853, in Regent’s Park of London. By 1928 there were 45 public or commercial aquariums throughout the world. World War II slowed their growth, but by then the human passion for life under the sea had spread across the world.

Today, public aquariums are present in almost every major city, to say nothing of the smaller ones you might see in your home or workplace. Many major aquariums are also research institutes, which allows scientists and the public to observe a part of the ecosystem they might not normally be able to experience.

As you can see, loving fish and underwater life is a time-honored tradition, and one that has given us the opportunity for many scientific advancements.

Adopt your own pet fish in Iowa

Aquariums are a beautiful and historical way to bring nature indoors, so why not let Fish Store Pet Center help you find the perfect companions? For over 30 years, we have been supplying the Cass County area with exotic fish as well as everything you need to take care of your finned or feathered friends. Now that you know about aquarium history and are ready to adopt your own pet fish in Iowa, call or stop by and see us today. We look forward to meeting you!

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