Fish tanks and aquariums are quite amazing.
If you’re into feng shui, you probably know that placing a fish tank somewhere in your home gives you wealth or money luck. In this article, I have compiled some of the most popular feng shui tips on using fish tanks and aquariums, as you will see later.
But most of all, science has found many health benefits of keeping a fish tank, which came as a total surprise to me.
So if you’re thinking of buying that fish tank, you might have more reasons to do so. Or if you’re thinking of discarding that fish tank, you might want to change your mind. You may even begin to look at fish tanks with an entirely new perspective.
Towards the end, I’ll reveal a “lazy man’s fish bowl” which I recently fell in love with. To begin, let me start with some scientific findings on the benefits of keeping a fish tank.
What Scientific Studies have Found about Keeping an Aquarium
I found four health benefits of keeping a fish tank that are backed by scientific research. I tried rationalizing them, and here’s what I came up with.
We humans have a natural attraction to water. We cannot survive without it, and we cannot grow plants or domesticate animals to feed ourselves if water is completely absent from us. So perhaps its beneficial effects on us have to do with our survival instincts, or perhaps its embedded deep in our mind with our DNA composition.
This rationale might help explain the scientific findings about the benefits of keeping an aquarium at home:
According to Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D, aquariums have the ability to reduce stress and anxiety by bringing the calming effects of nature right into the home.
Dr. Schwartz emphasized that the effects of the aquarium has similar soothing effects that we experience when we listen to the “sound of ocean waves, rain storms, and running streams that is mesmerizing as well as relaxing.”
This soothing effect is especially helpful in high-stress environments. It is even suggested that work environments and executive offices install aquariums because of its stress-reduction effects.
Lower Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
A study by the experts from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University, and the University of Exeter found that staring at swimming fish lowers blood pressure and reduce heart rate.
They found that heart rate is decreased by 3% when people simply stared at an empty tank with just rocks and seaweed. When fish were added into the mix, they found that heart rate decreased by more than 7%. The researchers concluded that exposure to this underwater setting can greatly improve people’s well-being.
This is especially helpful for senior citizens who have problems with high blood pressure.
A few months ago, I was visiting a dentist and was about to get three of my teeth drilled. Even the thought of it now makes me miserable.
Looking back, it could’ve been worse. There was a fish tank in the waiting area, and I couldn’t help but stare at a pack of gold fish swimming aimlessly around that tank. Thinking back, I was completely mesmerized by them.
According to marine biologist Deborah Cracknell, “fish tanks… are often associated with attempts at calming patients in doctors’ surgeries and dental waiting rooms.” They also found that patients require less pain medication after having watched those fish in the office. The full science report is called Marine Biota and Psychological Well-Being.
So even though I was hearing all those shrieking sound of teeth drilling or deep cleaning in the background (thinking of it still gives me the chills), I was completely taken away to another world when I was staring at those fishes.
A study by Purdue University found that displaying tanks of brightly colored fish may curtail disruptive behaviors and improve eating habits of those with Alzheimer’s disease.
The study found that patients exhibited more relaxing behavior and exhibited less physical aggressiveness, wandering, pacing, and yelling. They also found that patients ate up to 21% more food than they did before, with an average increase of 17% across all patients studied.
Further, they found that patients displayed better short-term memory, and they required fewer supplements and medications.
So if any of your family members are suffering from Alzheimer’s (hopefully not), a fish tank may work wonders for them. Sometimes, the positive effects are better than drugs and medication.
It’s amazing what scientific studies have uncovered about the health benefits of keeping a fish tank around. The soothing effects that they bring are natural remedies to some of the mental and physical problems we have, and are definitely something I prefer over any type of drugs.
Besides mental and physical benefits, fish tanks also bring about other benefits, according to feng shui.
The Feng Shui behind Fish Tanks
Keeping a fish tank or aquarium is very popular in feng shui practices. However, there are many considerations when keeping a fish tank, which you are about to find out.
To begin, let’s explore the feng shui benefits that a fish tank can potentially bring you.
Benefits of Fish Tank Feng Shui
Fish tanks are commonly used to activate and enhance your money and career luck. If used properly, it can bring wealth, money, and abundance to a person. This is why aquariums and fish tanks are commonly seen in Asian restaurants and banks, and they are usually located close to the entrance.
Fish tanks are also used as a feng shui remedy to counter negative energy. Other times, a fish tank can be used to bring more love affairs to a person by placing it at the “peach blossom” location. This may be desirable for those that are single but could spell troubles for those that are married.
If not used properly, however, fish tanks can cause a great deal of misfortune.
To help you avoid them, here are some popular tips I found about how to use fish tanks to improve the feng shui of your home. But let me remind you that these tips are very general, and some may even seem contradicting because its application and practice is very fluid.
Where to Place the Aquarium
Using the concept of the Four Celestial Animals, fish tanks should be placed at the front of the house for enhanced money luck. The front of the house is symbolized as the Red Phoenix.
If the front of the house is a door, you can place the fish tank towards the frontal left (assuming you’re standing in the middle of the house). The left side is symbolized as the Green Dragon, and it is said that this placement also brings luck because dragons favor water.
Using the feng shui Bagua, southeast is the best location to place the fish tank, because it is the area for wealth and abundance. Next is north, which is career, followed by east, which is health and family.
As for stars, some experts say that it is suitable to place fish tanks where the Star #8 reside. The stars rotate every year, and in 2016, Star #8 will be residing in the southwest area.
As for constellations, it is said fish tanks are suitable in east and southwest area. These constellations rotate every twenty years. For 2004 to 2023, east and southwest are suitable locations for fish tanks that can help enhance money luck.
Finally, you can put an aquarium in the wealth area of your home. However, finding the wealth area may require some expert consulting because its location is usually different in each house.
Where NOT to place an Aquarium
If there are suitable places to put the aquarium, then there are also places that are NOT suitable. In fact, many feng shui experts agree that having a fish tank in the wrong place can cause problems and misfortunes.
First, it is said that fish tanks are not suitable at the center of the house, because this can cause sickness to the spouse and financial problems for the breadwinner.
According to the constellations, northeast is not suitable for fish tanks in the period of 2004 to 2023. This can cause poor health, monetary loss, and setbacks in career.
Other places to avoid include the bedroom and the kitchen.
The bedroom favors a static environment, which is one reason why the constant movements brought by fishes are not suitable. Further, the light and distractions brought by the fish tank are also feng shui distractions that can affect your sleep.
The kitchen is where the fire element is strong. Because water clashes with fire, your kitchen may feel a little “weird” when you place an aquarium in your kitchen. Some even say that this clash can cause health issues to people in the house. From personal experience, the grease smoke from all the cooking can easily pollute the water (especially if there is no lid), which makes your aquarium much more difficult to clean.
Does the Number of Fishes Matter?
It is commonly said that the fish tank should contain 9 goldfishes, where eight of them can be red or gold and one of them black.
Some say the purpose of the black fish is to absorb the negative energy. When they die, some believe that they have absorbed more negative energy than they can handle and have spared you bad luck.
Conversely, there others who say that when goldfishes die, you have NOT been spared bad luck. The goldfish are just being hit by the same type of bad feng shui energy as those in the same house, and essentially nothing has been “dissolved”. The bad feng shui energy that killed the goldfish is still around, hurting both you and the goldfish.
As for the number of fishes, I’ve seen so many different sayings. Here are some that you may be familiar with:
- Using the Lo Shu Square, 1, 4, 6, 8, and 9 are good number of fishes to have in your fish tank. To reiterate, avoid having 2, 3, 5, and 7 fishes.
- Number of fishes to depend on your Kua number and varies by individual.
- Using the five elements, where 2 and 5 are earth elements that restrains water which is unfavorable for good luck.
- Using symbolism, eight represents prosperity and nine represents culmination and completion.
Also, my trusted Feng Shui Master – Uncle Dixer – mentioned that the auspicious number of fish is based on you, your family members, your gender, and the size of the fish tank. For instance, if you’re in a household with one husband, one wife, and one son, an auspicious number would be one black and six goldfish.
As you can see, the number of fishes from different sources can get quite confusing. I personally don’t think the number of fishes is that important, as long as there’s a suitable number for the size of the aquarium.
Insights from a Feng Shui Master
Here’s what Laurent Langlais, a Feng Shui master and astrologer that was featured on BBC, has to say about fish tanks and feng shui:
“It might surprise you, but I consider normal sized aquariums to be nice visual water items, but not activating much (luck).
If true Water activation is needed in one specific area – for example, a business that needs water movement to increase the flow of customers – a water fountain of a decent size work better. This is because most aquariums have very little surface contact with the open air and therefore ends up being decorative rather than true activators.
Now, a large pond with Koi fish is another story, as those animals are big enough to move the water and have plenty of contact with the Chi of the air. Thinking that a closed aquarium does the same level of activation is like thinking some (negative) Sha Chi is created internally by the corners of pieces of furniture. It is not the case, as Sha Chi needs a bigger structure and is external. The principles must account for size and location, either external or internal. Remember, the direct/indirect spirit formulas exist only externally and are to be found in naturally occurring landforms.
To summarize, I would still place the (home) aquarium in either North, East or Southeast sector as the water Element remains compatible with those sectors, but wouldn’t count on it only if a constant activation is needed. It reinforces the Water symbolic but does not move the Chi around much.
For the species and number of fish, they all depend of the cultural preferences of the clients.”
Special thanks to Laurent for helping us clarify all the information above and to manage our expectations of having a fish tank at home. You can
Other Considerations for Feng Shui Aquarium
Some experts suggest that the placement of the aquarium should not conflict with the five elements of a given area.
Even though an aquarium contains a little bit of all five elements, it is predominantly water. Using the bagua, the only place that is not suitable is the south area of your home, which has the element of fire.
Windows and Sunlight
Also, placing a fish tank is not as simple as just placing it on the southeast or the front of the house. Other considerations, such as the amount of sunlight, can affect the water temperature and the growth of algae that diminishes the overall appeal of your aquarium.
And if you have a salt water aquarium, simply keeping the coral reefs alive can be quite a difficult task.
Keeping the water clean is very important as well. Not only does polluted water (from all the feces produced by the fishes) bring horrible feng shui, it has a direct impact on the health of the aquatic creatures living in your tank. Further, the sight of murky water can bring added mental stress just as how clutter can clog your mind.
Shape and Five Elements
Some feng shui experts also put the shape of the aquarium into consideration. Using the five elements, circular is metal, rectangular is wood, and irregular shapes are water, and all of them are suitable shapes for your aquarium.
However, triangular is fire and square is earth, and both are not suitable shapes for your aquarium.
The “Lazy Man’s Fish Bowl”
If you’ve never kept aquarium before, I’d suggest that you stay away unless you have genuine interest (and not just interested in having more money luck).
First, the cost of keeping an aquarium can be quite pricey. A good looking one (or something that you envision having) can cost at least $100 dollars and up.
Further, you need the equipment and machineries to keep the water clean and the temperature suitable for the types of fishes (salt water or fresh water) that you want.
I personally think it is much more work than having a dog. So that’s why I’ve recently fallen in love with what I call the “Lazy Man’s Fish Bowl.” It’s real name is actually the EcoSphere Closed Aquatic Ecosystem, where live fish and reef is inside a closed container and in a self-sustainable ecosystem where no maintenance is needed!
If you do decide to buy one, please note that the living creatures and plants need proper temperature and natural lighting. So please follow the instructions so you can keep them alive as long as possible!
If you’re looking for a stress-reliever in your work environment, keeping a fish tank can definitely help, as science have suggested. And if you feel that it’s too much work, you can definitely try out the Ecosphere as mentioned above.
On the other hand, if you are dying to enhance your money luck, and think that all the hassles of keeping an aquarium are bearable, then I suggest you start working harder and smarter first.
If that doesn’t work out, and you feel you need all the help you can get, you can then hire a feng shui consultant to help you. The expert that you hire can help you make sense of all the consideration and conflicting information that you saw earlier. Perhaps the expert may even suggest an alternative way to enhance your money luck without needing a fish tank!
What was your feng shui experience with aquariums and fish tanks? I’d love to hear about them in the comment section below!
Latest posts by Victor Cheung (see all)
- Feng Shui Home Directions & Kua: What They Mean in Eight Mansions - Wednesday,March 13, 2019
- How to Find Your Home’s Feng Shui Facing Direction - Wednesday,January 23, 2019
- Top 10 Reasons Why Feng Shui is NOT Working for You - Saturday,January 5, 2019