Dad & daughter checking out a reef tank

Beyond the mesmerizing aquatic display that everyone can enjoy, embracing the aquarium hobby as a family activity offers a plethora of benefits that extend far beyond the glass walls. From fostering a sense of responsibility and nurturing empathy to creating lasting memories and enhancing scientific knowledge, sharing what you love with the people you love will create lasting memories, enrich your lives, and maybe even create future hobbyists. 

Visit a Public Aquarium or Plan an Aquatic-Themed Vacation

Taking your family to a public aquarium is an exciting and educational outing that allows everyone to marvel at the wonders of the underwater world. It's a great opportunity to bond as a family while learning about different marine species and their habitats. You can impress your family members with your knowledge of corals and various marine fish and spark an interest in keeping similar animals at home. Many public aquaria offer special behind-the-scenes tours where you can see life support systems and talk to professional aquarists to learn more about how the animals are cared for which is the perfect opportunity to make connections with your tank and maintenance routine at home. 

Top 10 Public Aquariums in the USA

  • Georgia Aquarium - Georgia
  • Shedd Aquarium - Florida
  • The Florida Aquarium - Florida
  • Aquarium of the Pacific - Southern California
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium - Central California
  • Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Zoo & Aquarium - Missouri
  • National Aquarium Baltimore - Maryland
  • Tennessee Aquarium - Tennessee
  • New England Aquarium - Massachusetts
  • Audubon Aquarium - Lousianna

For those with a more adventurous spirit, planning an aquatic vacation to a beach, tidepools, or even exploring natural reefs can be a thrilling adventure that fosters an appreciation for marine life. It's a great way to send a message of conservation and show your family just how special these natural places can be. Hawaii and the Florida Keys are the only two destinations in the United States that offer access to tropical coral reefs and are both home to rare and unique marine species that can't be found anywhere else on Earth. 

Child feeding an aquarium

Help With Maintenance and Feeding

Feeding your aquarium is the only time you really get to interact with your fish and most of us look forward to daily feeding time. Involving your family in feeding your fish, corals, or other aquatic pets is a wonderful way to teach responsibility and instill a sense of care and compassion. It becomes a daily routine where everyone can contribute and observe the joy of their pets as they eagerly anticipate their meals. It also provides an opportunity to discuss the importance of proper nutrition and the unique dietary needs of different aquatic species.

This participation in feeding can lead to an interest in maintenance and other aquarium tasks. Teaching your family members how to clean the glass using an algae magnet or allowing the kids to help mix saltwater is safe, easy and gives them a sense of responsibility for the aquarium. 

Family at the fish store
Family at the fish store picking out coral

Take a Trip to the Fish Store

Share the excitement of choosing your next fish or coral from the local fish store. Allow your family members to participate and ask questions, interact with the store clerks, and learn about other types of aquariums.   Fish stores in general are fun to just visit and it becomes so much more when you get to choose a new pet. It provides an opportunity to explain the requirements of various species and why they may or may not be suitable for your tank.  

This new addition to your tank will spark interest in the aquarium and ideally a sense of responsibility that will lead to more involvement with the tank. 


Aquarium in the classroom

Volunteer to Share Your Aquarium Experience

Volunteering as a family to share your aquarium experience can be a fulfilling and rewarding way to give back to the community. Many local schools, libraries, or community centers may welcome aquarium enthusiasts to set up educational displays or give presentations about the hobby. By sharing your knowledge and passion, your family can inspire others to appreciate the beauty and importance of marine ecosystems, all while strengthening your own understanding and love for the hobby.

Child with aquarium kit

Get Them Their Own Aquarium

There are a wide variety of small, all-one-one aquariums that will easily fit atop a dresser or desk and allow family members to have an aquarium to call their own. This will be a fantastic way to promote individual creativity and responsibility among family members and aquariums have been shown to improve mental health, create water noise for peaceful slumber, and can double as a night light!  

Each family member can have a tank that reflects their personal style and interests, allowing them to choose their own fish, plants, and decor. This not only encourages a sense of ownership and pride, but it also offers a unique opportunity for each person to learn about the needs of their chosen aquatic pets and engage in hands-on care and maintenance.