How Aquariums Changed Our View of the Ocean

For millennia, not many people understood what went on beneath the surface of our lakes, rivers and oceans, until aquariums were invented. Rather than seeing the ocean as a body to cross or a source of food, humanity finally started to understand the complex ecosystems lurking underneath the waves. Here’s an overview of fish tank history in Cass County, IA and around the world, so you can fully appreciate just what your aquarium has to offer.

Early aquariums

In the early 1800s, diving suits were invented, and aquariums followed not long after. Scientists and enthusiasts realized that aquariums were a way to let more humans observe the natural wonders of the ocean.

By the 1850s, the use of pumps and aerators made it even easier for people to have aquariums, reproducing the conditions that naturally exist underwater. This allowed scientists to learn more about certain species—for example, the fact that argonauts grow their own shells was an early discovery enabled by aquariums.

In addition to their scientific purposes, aquariums offer a chance for humans to enjoy a diverse part of nature within even the most crowded urban areas. Some early aquarium proponents considered them to be a combination of science and art—there’s no doubt that learning about the wonders of the world is uplifting for many. For the first time in human history, people other than sailors were finally getting to “meet” sea creatures up close and personal.

Aquariums and parks in the 20th century

By 1938, the first Sea World parks were founded, offering yet another opportunity to explore the deep from the safety of solid ground. Visitors were especially intrigued by the dolphins, orcas, manta rays, sea turtles and other saltwater denizens. Today, we know that places like Sea World can mistreat their marine residents—and the process of harvesting sea life for aquariums isn’t much better. Certain practices in other countries (such as the use of numbing agents) contributes to massive fish death—and they still have to survive the journey to the stores or public aquariums. This is a problem that has plagued aquarium owners since their inception.

Exploring the oceans in an environmentally-conscious way

Sustainable fishing—for aquariums and food alike—is a major focus today. Many researchers are looking for viable ways to allow the public to interact with and observe the ocean without contributing to an ecosystem imbalance or worse.

One new trend is “nanoaquariums,” which focus on oft-neglected species like shrimp. Documentaries exploring the depths of the ocean have become increasingly popular—although it’s more interesting to observe sea creatures in person, video has given us the opportunity to explore places that would otherwise be inaccessible (or impossible to recreate) for humans.

Today, ocean aquariums are accessible to most people regardless of where they live. The history and progress we’ve made over the last two centuries has been incredible, and we’ve only just begun.

If you’re interested in tips on caring for an ocean fish in Cass County, IA, stop by Fish Store Pet Center today.

Leave a Reply