Office Fish Tanks – Everything You Need to Know

Are you considering an office fish tank for your facility?

There are hundreds of ways to make an office feel more calming and inviting. But, we’re here to show how an office fish tank can elicit these feelings 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

The Benefits of Biophilic Design

Terrapin Bright Green is a company specializing in biophilic design. They found that adding natural elements to an office space can improve work quality. They added plants, lighting, and more 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 the methodical movements of the fish, the deep blue of the aquatic habitat, and the sound of moving water are what 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 the companies they work for at a disadvantage. Poor focus, low productivity, and increased absenteeism are all signs of a stressed workforce.

So, how can an aquarium lower this percentage for your business?

As a research team at Exeter University found out, exposure to a fish tank can lead to noticeable reductions in blood pressure and heart rate. So, placing an aquarium in a prominent space can help reduce stress and put your employees in better moods.

Improve Quality of Work

A fish tank may lower your employees’ stress levels, but how does it translate to performance?

In a general sense, the better employees feel, the higher their quality of work will be.

Save Money on Health Costs

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

Will a fish tank stop employees from getting sick? Probably not, but enhancing your office space, break room, lobby, etc. can do wonders for your staff’s mental well-being.

There is no evidence directly linking fish tank observation and reduced anxiety-related sickness. But 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.

Calming Stimuli for Doctor’s Offices and Dentist Offices


Nursing homes are our most frequent clients, but doctor’s offices and dentist’s offices are not far behind.

Why are dentist’s and doctor’s office fish tanks so popular? Because of proven benefits.

Office Aquariums Improve Pain Thresholds

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

They tested the pain tolerance of each patient after 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 minutes of being exposed to a fish tank. The research group found that those watching the fish tank had a higher pain threshold than those with zero fish tank exposure.

With an office aquarium, patients get a pleasant distraction and unknowingly prepare their bodies for the procedure.

Office Fish Tank Types

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

Is a freshwater tank the best choice? What about a planted aquarium? Here are some ideas for office fish tank types.

Planted Aquarium


A planted aquarium focuses on the underwater plants found in nature. By using a lot of vegetation, the goal is to replicate an aquatic environment as closely as possible.

Living plants consume CO2 and other nutrients from fish waste, uneaten food, and organic debris. Planted aquariums are one of the healthiest tanks because plants provide biological filtration and oxygen to the water. They still need regular upkeep, but it’s generally the easiest fish tank to maintain.

There are some added setup costs, as well. You may save money on fish, but the heavily planted habitat requires more equipment like 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, along with all the equipment you need.

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 also easier to maintain and don’t cost as much as saltwater tanks.

Freshwater fish are often less colorful than saltwater fish, but you can still find many vibrant fish species. Also, there are plenty of ways to decorate a tank, so you can still create an elaborate freshwater habitat.

Learn how our cleaning services make freshwater office aquariums hassle-free!

Saltwater Office Fish Tank


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

With a saltwater fish tank, you can create a diverse habitat with vibrant fish, colors, decorative or living plants, and more. However, special care may be needed for saltwater tanks. If you want to prominently display a saltwater aquarium, 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 in saltwater environments. A saltwater tank should be no smaller than 20 gallons for the sake of water stability. So, if lack of space is a factor, saltwater may not be the optimal choice.

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 desire to regularly clean it. Saltwater is less hardy than freshwater, but aquarists are more than capable of sustaining healthy saltwater tanks.

Office Fish Tank Styles and Sizes

Office Desk Fish Tank & Nano Aquariums


Having a fish tank on your desk is a great way to spruce up your workspace. Also called nano aquariums, these can be made of glass or acrylic. Glass tanks are safer and easier to clean, while acrylic desktop aquariums are 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 small 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 vibrations on the desk. Those vibrations cause 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. So, 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 larger aquarium, and it makes for 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 by grounded outlets to plug in all the equipment.
  • Out of direct sunlight (direct sunlight 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


A fish tank with an accompanying stand and canopy makes for an awesome decoration. 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. Because they’re made for the tank, 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. Their handcrafted stands and canopies offer the stability your fish tank needs, while also being meticulously 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


Regardless of the size or style of your tank, algae will grow. It will appear on the inner walls of the tank first, and 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.

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.

For example, it takes our service techs 1 to 2 hours to deep-clean a fish tank. Does your team have time for that?

Feeding the Fish

The amount and frequency in which you feed fish depend on their age, size, and species.

You’ll also need somewhere to store the food and resupply when you run out. Serenity Aquarium & Aviary Service’s aquariums come with an automatic feeder that dispenses a specific amount of food at certain times.

Serenity Aquarium and Aviary Services Unstoppable Hopper

This is very useful for office fish tanks when you’re not at work. Our auto feeder takes care of the feeding for you, dropping in the correct amount of food at the times you specify. With a Serenity service package, we will set the timers and provide and replenish food on each of our visits.

Removing Deceased Fish

If any fish die in a fish tank, it’s important to remove them promptly.

Leaving a deceased fish in a tank accelerates bacteria build-up, which quickly makes other fish sick. For this task, 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, whether you’re experienced or a new hobbyist. 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 the initial cycle of your tank. Some levels to check are:

  • Ammonia
  • Water hardness
  • Temperature
  • pH Level

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

Monitor Electrical Equipment

Monitoring and repairing certain equipment may be necessary for an office fish tank.

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.

Serenity Fish Tank Cleaning and Maintenance 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. We’ll even deliver and install your office fish tank!

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

In fact, we service office aquariums across the country in businesses like:

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


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

A larger decorative fish tank is also an excellent choice. But, make sure the base you set it on is sturdy and able to withstand potentially hundreds of pounds. To avoid stability concerns, we recommend finding a fish tank stand.

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

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?