As far back as human history can see, the human race has shown a very deep and profound fascination with the natural world around them. That fascination has driven us to learn everything we can about the intricate inner-workings of the life that teems in even the smallest nooks and cracks. We want to be a part of it, to observe it unfolding before our eyes, and delve into that world and absorb all of its wonder. It is this very drive that living displays, like aquariums, were born from.
We have come a very long way from the simple porcelain goldfish bowls popular in ancient China. The aquariums of this modern age are astounding, intricate, and able to support an overwhelming amount of life; we now have the means to keep many plants and animals alive for years past their natural life expectancy in the wild. In fact, a huge portion of the plants and animals we keep are propagated or bred in captivity, and wild populations are now left untouched by man. Our beautiful hobby is becoming more and more eco-friendly and much easier to self-sustain. Advancements in filtration, LED lighting technology, feeding methods, practical research, etc. are all contributing to the stable growth and progression of this amazing hobby.
There are species that have quite literally been saved from extinction by average-joe aquarists who’s passion for aquatic life afforded them the know-how to propagate these at-risk species in privately owned home aquariums. That alone, in my humble opinion, is why we should continue to keep living displays. Not only because they bring us peace and tranquility, or spark our curiosity. Not only because they allow us to express ourselves artistically, or give us inspiration in our daily lives. Not only because they bring green space indoors where it can offset being surrounded by the piles of technology that seem to be overtaking our lives.
Living displays are so much more than just glass boxes we keep our beloved pets in. We don’t always think about it that way, but when we do, its obvious why we are passionate about keeping nature within arms reach.