Office Fish Tanks – Everything You Need to Know

Estimated Read Time: 9 minutes

Are you considering an office fish tank for your facility?

We’re here to show how an office fish tank can create a calming and inviting atmosphere for you, your staff, and the people you serve.

If you’re still on the fence about getting a fish tank, read further.

In this comprehensive post, we’ll explain the benefits of office fish tanks, some popular types of tanks, and additional factors to consider.

Benefits of Office Fish Tanks

serenity office fish tank in an office at a medical center

Enhanced Productivity and Creativity

Terrapin Bright Green is a company specializing in biophilic design, and they found that adding natural elements to an office space can improve work quality.

They added plants, more lighting, and natural colors and textiles.

After inclusion, employee well-being and creativity increased by 15%, and overall productivity increased by 6%, on average.

You may be thinking, ‘Why not set up a few plants around the office instead of buying a whole fish tank?’

Well, we think you should have nature-focused décor around the office.

But it’s the methodical movements of the fish, the deep blue of the habitat, and the sound of moving water that make an office fish tank so relaxing, yet stimulating.

Decrease Stress in the Workplace

According to APA’s October 2022 Stress in America Survey, 27% of adults are often so stressed that they can’t function.

To make matters worse, 83% of US workers recorded work as a prominent source of stress in their life.

This puts employees and their companies at a disadvantage because poor focus, low productivity, and increased absenteeism are all signs of a stressed workforce.

A fish tank can help with that.

A research team at Exeter University found that exposure to a fish tank can lead to noticeable reductions in blood pressure and heart rate, reducing stress and putting your employees in better moods.

Improve Quality of Work

Are aquariums good for business? Well, imagine what a less stressed workforce looks like.

Employees with a calm mindset feel happier, more confident, and have a sharper focus. This positive mental state is conducive to more productivity and higher quality of work.

Save Money on Health Costs

U.S. businesses spend billions each year on lost productivity due to stress-related illnesses.

While there is no evidence directly linking fish tank observation and reduced anxiety-related sickness, we do understand its healing effects elsewhere.

The idea is that reduced sickness and absenteeism will be a secondary effect of lowered blood pressure, decreased stress, and higher job satisfaction.

Office Aquariums Strengthen Pain Thresholds


A study by Pain Research & Management sought to discover the effects of fish tanks on patients’ pain thresholds.

They tested each patient’s pain tolerance after 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 minutes of exposure to a fish tank.

They found that those who watched the fish tank had a higher pain threshold than those with zero interaction.

Office Fish Tank Ideas

Now you know why office fish tanks are so popular, but what type of aquarium is best for you?

Let’s find out.

Planted Aquarium


A planted aquarium focuses on the natural underwater plants, which consume CO2 and other nutrients from fish waste, uneaten food, and organic debris.

A primary benefit of planted aquascapes is their biological filtering ability. These tanks still need regular upkeep, but with a large collection of underwater plants and few fish, it’s generally the easiest to maintain.

There are, however, some added setup costs.

You may save money on fish, but a heavily planted habitat needs extra lighting, fertilizers, and a CO2 system.

Do you want to set up a planted aquarium for yourself?

In this post by LiveAquaria, you can learn about the setup process and all the necessary equipment.

Freshwater Office Fish Tank


Freshwater setups are the most popular office fish tanks.

They can house colorful fish and detailed aquascapes of rocks, plants, and other decors.

In a general sense, freshwater tanks are easier to maintain and don’t cost as much as saltwater tanks of the same size.

Freshwater fish and plants are often less vibrant and colorful than saltwater ones. However, there are tons of ways to decorate a fish tank, so you can create an awe-inspiring freshwater display for a smaller price tag than saltwater.

Saltwater Office Fish Tank


PC: @coralsdaily Custom Aquariums Saltwater 550G (8’x4’x28”) Reef Aquarium with Steel Stand

Create a diverse habitat of vibrant fish, deep colors, unique corals, and more, with a saltwater fish tank.

However, special care may be needed for these saltwater habitats, so to prominently display one, ensure that someone on your team can maintain it.

Otherwise, you and your guests will see dirty water and struggling fish.

The size of the fish tank is also an important factor, as a saltwater tank should be no smaller than 20 gallons for water stability.

Is Freshwater or Saltwater the Best Option?

It’s a common debate whether a saltwater aquarium or a freshwater aquarium is the better choice.

In most cases, it comes down to personal preference and the ability to maintain it.

Saltwater is less hardy and more expensive than freshwater, but aquarists are more than capable of sustaining healthy saltwater tanks.

Office Fish Tank Styles and Sizes

Desk Fish Tanks & Nano Aquariums


Nano aquariums can be made of glass (safer and easier to clean) or acrylic (more affordable).

Cleaning, feeding, and observing your fish are generally simple due to the tank’s size and mobility, but your fish may not enjoy this setup.

For starters, the larger the tank, the better.

A nano fish tank limits the number of fish you can have. Plus, the limited amount of water leaves little room for error, and errors can be much more profound.

Another issue is vibrations in the water.

Typing on a keyboard, for example, causes small vibrations on the desk. This creates ripples in the water which are very uncomfortable for a fish.

Also, small fish tanks often have poor filtration, or none at all, which can cause physical damage to the fish.

Nano aquariums are great decorations, but they’re best used for planted environments or housing small invertebrates.

Large Office Aquarium


Fish will be more comfortable in a large aquarium, and it’s a more viewable decoration in the office.

Also, the more visible fish, the more benefits for staff, guests, patients, and residents.

In the University of Exeter’s study referenced earlier, they also found that more visible fish held people’s attention longer, and proportionately improved their moods, compared to smaller tanks with fewer fish.

Not sure where to place your fish tank?

Here are a few factors to consider when setting one up:

  • Find a stable base that can withstand a tank, water, and a full suite of equipment.
  • Must be near grounded outlets to plug in all the equipment.
  • Avoid direct sunlight (This speeds up algae production).
  • Avoid doorways, speakers, TVs, or very highly trafficked areas.

NOTE: It’s important to know how heavy your aquarium can get with the tank, water, fish, and equipment. For example, a relatively small, 10-gallon fish tank can weigh over 100 lbs!

Office Fish Tank with Stand and Canopy


Whether this is in a workspace or lobby, this setup gives all your employees and guests the calming stimuli we touched on earlier.

A stand and canopy are great for aesthetics, but they also offer stability.

They’re designed for the tank, so you know the stand can hold the weight of it and all its equipment.

All our aquariums are built by our sister company, Custom Aquariums.

The handcrafted stands and canopies offer stability for your fish tank, while also being designed to match your interior.

For more, browse our gallery to see our fish tanks in offices, healthcare facilities, and more.

Office Aquarium Maintenance to Consider

Cleaning Algae


There’s no way to prevent algae from growing.

It will appear on the tank’s inner walls first, but you can use a magnetic scraper to remove it.

Algae will continue to populate the aquarium, and once it gets very cloudy, you’ll have to clean the gravel, décor, and conduct a water change.

Want to learn more? Here are some algae-control tips for your tank!

Water Changes


Water changes reset the nitrogen cycle in a fish tank, which makes water liveable for fish.

Your livestock depend on you to test the water, remove algae, and make water changes.

So you have two options:

  1. Deploy someone on your staff for constant cleaning and maintenance.
  2. Let an aquarium service company do it for you.

Our service pros take 1 to 2 hours to deep-clean a fish tank.

If your staff doesn’t have the time or expertise…

Reach out to Serenity USA today.

Feeding the Fish

The amount and frequency of feeding depend on age, size, and fish species.

You’ll also need somewhere to store the food and resupply when you run out.

Serenity Aquariums come with an automatic feeder that dispenses a specific amount of food at predetermined times.

Serenity Aquarium and Aviary Services Unstoppable Hopper

This is very useful for office fish tanks, especially when you’re away from work.

With a Serenity service package, we will set the timers, provide the food, and replenish it on each service visit!

Removing Deceased Fish

If any fish die in a fish tank, you must remove them promptly.

Leaving a deceased fish in a tank accelerates bacteria build-up, quickly making other fish sick.

All you need is an appropriately sized fish net to remove and dispose of them.

It’s common for some fish to die during the first cycle of an aquarium (New Tank Syndrome), so keep a close eye on your fish during this period.

Testing the water

Throughout the life of any fish tank, you should test the water regularly, especially during its initial cycle.

Some levels to maintain are:

  • Ammonia
  • Water hardness
  • Temperature
  • pH Level

There are many products for testing the water. API, for example, offers cost-effective water test strips, which you can order online or at most pet stores.

Monitor Electrical Equipment

Keep in mind, gallons of water near mechanical equipment may pose a safety threat, so make sure to check the rules and regulations of your office.

However, we’ve been safely adding Serenity Aquariums to offices for over a decade, and we take care of any equipment repairs and replacements if need be.

Professional Fish Tank Cleaning Services

serenity service rep cleaning dirty existing aquarium

Unfortunately, no filtration system keeps water clean forever.

That’s why we offer comprehensive, routine cleaning services.

You and your team will never have to worry about feeding the fish, maintaining the equipment, or deep cleaning the tank.

You want an office fish tank. We make having one hassle-free.

We currently service commercial aquariums across the country in businesses like:

  • Nursing homes
  • Commercial businesses
  • Doctors offices
  • Dentist offices
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • And many more…


An office desk fish tank is an excellent decoration, but consider your office’s regulations and the space needed to provide care.

A large fish tank is also an excellent choice, just make sure the base is sturdy and able to withstand potentially hundreds of pounds. To avoid stability concerns, we recommend finding a fish tank stand.

Serenity Aquariums, on the other hand, are designed for businesses with busy staff. You and your team get a low-maintenance office aquarium, plus the amazing stimuli it brings your people.

Whatever your situation, a fish tank can enhance your décor and improve the well-being of your employees and guests.

Look over your space and workplace regulations. Can an office fish tank bring a little more life to your workday?