Few things are more relaxing than watching fish swim around an aquarium. Many people report feeling calm and sleepy after doing so, suggesting that a bedroom is a perfect place for an aquarium. Unfortunately, certain hazards make this set-up less than ideal.
Fish tanks require lots of space and can develop faults, so sleeping next to them can be a safety hazard. Aquariums need lights and noisy water filters, while the algae found in a fish tank can create foul odors. Also, fish tanks increase humidity in a bedroom, leading to black mold.
There are ways around most of these concerns if you want to keep an aquarium in your bedroom. However, if you sleep alongside fish, you must be aware of the risks.
Can You Keep a Fish Tank in Your Bedroom?
Keeping a fish tank in the bedroom won’t suit everybody, but there are advantages to doing so.
Many people find watching fish swimming relaxing, and it’s undoubtedly a better pre-sleep habit than watching TV, using a computer, or other screen-based activities.
Environment and Behavior stated that a short time spent watching the occupants of an aquarium is good for our mental health, lowering anxiety and stress. This meditative, calming effect is welcome before bed.
Unfortunately, there are also reasons against keeping a fish tank in a room in which you sleep. Think carefully before setting up a large aquarium in your bedroom, especially if alternative locations exist.
Is it Bad to Sleep Next to a Fish Tank?
As intimated above, sleeping with a fish tank by your bed is fraught with issues. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make it work. However, let’s explore the risks of sleeping beside a fish tank:
You must assess whether you have enough room for your bed, wardrobes, and other furniture. Also, you need to be able to walk around everything comfortably.
Consider that a fish tank has a reflective surface. You wouldn’t want to sleep next to a mirror; the same rules apply to a fish tank.
You’ll also need to consider where to place a fish tank relative to windows. You may like to be woken by sunlight in the morning, but this will spike algae production in the tank.
If you’ve found sufficient space for your fish tank, you need to consider the safety implications of its positioning. Namely, is there any risk of the aquarium toppling over while you’re asleep?
The tank’s glass could fall onto your bed and shatter, leaving you at risk of injury. Also, if you have a cat, it may show an unhealthy interest in your fish, increasing the risk of an accident.
Think about the flow of electricity to your fish tank, as you’ll need to plug it into a wall socket. Can you safely move around a bedroom in the dark without falling over the power cable?
Lighting is essential for monitoring the occupants of the aquarium, ensuring that they remain healthy and are getting along. In addition, lights regulate the circadian rhythms of fish.
As per Frontiers in Endocrinology, the internal body clock of fish is essential to basic functioning. Lighting helps fish understand when to eat and rest, but bright lights may keep you awake at night.
You can switch off the lights in an aquarium at bedtime, but only if your fish have adjusted. Don’t expect fish to adjust their circadian rhythms to aid your sleep. Sudden, wholesale will cause stress and anxiety.
If your fish are used to light overnight, cover the tank with a blanket.
If your fish tank is plugged in, it’ll be consuming energy. This means that the temperature in your room will likely rise, which can be problematic, as sleeping in a cool bedroom is preferable.
You can’t resolve this by switching the air conditioning because fish need a consistent temperature outside their tank to flourish. If you must sleep with an aquarium in your room, learn to do so without AC.
Water pumps, filters, and other peripherals run overnight while you sleep.
Some people consider the white noise generated by a fish tank comforting. You may fall into this camp if you struggle to sleep in silence. If you’re not used to the sound of an aquarium, it’ll disturb your sleep.
Quiet filters can be purchased from exotic pet shops. Equally, you could try enclosing any apparatus in a cabinet to muffle noise. Overall, you’ll need to tolerate the noise or wear earplugs.
You’ll find pungent odors coming from your fish tank, usually algae. Other explanations include unclean water, rotting plants or food, and dead fish in the tank.
Keep changing the water in your aquarium; get a carbon filter, and you’ll avoid these odors. Eventually, they’ll catch up with you, and the smell of fish can be hard to eradicate from a bedroom.
Keeping an aquarium in a bedroom will increase the humidity level quite dramatically. The water from the tank will evaporate across the day, entering the atmosphere of your room.
The bigger the aquarium, the more humid a room becomes. This is less of a concern in a large room because the water molecules have room to circulate. However, small spaces with high humidity levels can quickly develop chronic problems with black mold.
Get a hygrometer if you sleep in a room with a fish tank, as this will measure the humidity level in your room, which should always be below 50%. Ventilate your room as much as possible without reducing ambient temperature, and consider using a dehumidifier.
Can a Fish Tank in Your Bedroom Make You Sick?
Fish tanks can cause breathing problems due to the increase in humidity. As the air around you becomes more humid, body temperature increases, making breathing more challenging.
Anybody can experience breathing issues in a humid room as humidity leads to the growth of black mold spores. Biology links breathing in fungal spores (Stachybotrys chartarum) with bleeding from the lungs.
Black mold can become a chronic problem that refuses to disappear once it sets in, so avoid letting things get this far. If you believe adding a fish tank to your bedroom will lead to unmanageable humidity levels, reconsider installing the aquarium.
If you find that watching fish go about their business in an aquarium helps you sleep, a fish tank could be an ideal addition to a bedroom. However, it’s preferable to house your aquarium in another room, enjoying the sight of your pets before retiring to a tankless bedroom.