BY JANET MANDELSTAM
If gazing at fish can ease stress and reduce anxiety—as many studies claim—then Ben Caswell must be one of the mellowest men in Bloomington. Now Caswell is aiming to share the good vibes with the rest of the community.
His recently opened business, Artistic Aquatics, is an aquarium design-and-maintenance company offering fish tanks— complete with decorations like sand and coral—and service to commercial and residential clients. The business may be new, but Caswell’s interest in fish began in childhood.
There were “always two or three fish tanks in the house when I was growing up,” he says. His mother began teaching him how to change the water and otherwise care for the fish when he was about five years old. “It’s been a really big hobby” ever since, he says. Today he has three large tanks (two freshwater and one saltwater) in his home.
Watching fish in a tank, Caswell says, “is very peaceful and would be good in places like nursing homes, or doctors’ and lawyers’ offices.” A testimonial from an Ellettsville woman notes that watching the fish brings a smile to the face of her terminally ill husband.
Artistic Aquatics will help clients select a tank, including specially designed ones, supply the fish once the client chooses freshwater or saltwater, and provide such services as cleaning the glass or acrylic sides of the tank, testing and changing the water, and maintaining the life- support system for the fish. While start-up costs vary, monthly service charges depend on the size of the tank: $1 a gallon for saltwater tanks; 85 cents for freshwater. There’s even a complete Rent-A-Tank plan available for commercial clients, beginning at $220 a month for a 55-gallon tank, and 24-hour emergency service.
Caswell shows clients pictures of various species of fish, and the client can choose, for example, puffers and lionfish for a saltwater tank or blue dolphin or peacock cichlids for freshwater. He purchases some of the fish locally while others are shipped overnight from California. As the company’s slogan proclaims: “We bring the ocean to you.”
For more information, visit artistic-aquatics.com or call 929-2729.