While fish have been kept in ponds and other manmade structures for food and entertainment for thousands of years, the aquarium hobby didn’t really take off until the 1850’s when more was understood about what fish and plants need to live. Many early aquarists kept ‘balanced aquariums,’ which contained fish, plants, and scavengers. This allowed nutrients to cycle and oxygen to remain high enough for the animals to live without aeration. Philip Gosse, a British naturalist, first used the word “aquarium” in 1954 instead of “aquatic vivarium" or "aqua-vivarium," as they were called previously (and in the pretentious title of this blog entry).
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