A fish tank in the right place can bring harmony, wealth and happiness
Walking into your home and seeing your beloved dog, cat, bird or turtle can bring wonderful feelings of happiness, love and companionship. However, some pets, such as fish, can increase your wealth, improve your health and help your career, according to the ancient art and science of fung shui.
Developed more than 3,000 years ago in China, fung shui helps to balance the energies (or chi) within a space, or apartment, and attract good health and fortune for the people living there. Fish in an aquarium can help harmonise and balance the five fung shui elements of water, wood, metal, earth and fire, which will in turn amplify a space's energy and attract more wealth chi.
'The major element with an aquarium is water [not fish],' says fung shui specialist Louis Wong, who has been practising the natural science for more than 20 years. 'But you can't just put a pot of water in a room. If you put fish in [the aquarium], they can also bring you peace and calm.'
So who should have an aquarium? According to Wong, this depends on the Chinese zodiac and year of birth. He says some people, such as those born in the Year of the Dragon and Year of the Monkey, will benefit from an aquarium, while those in the Year of the Horse and Year of the Snake will not.
He says horses and snakes belong to the Fire element, so if the Water element from an aquarium is too big, it will metaphorically extinguish their fire. However, if you love fish and want an aquarium, Wong says you still can, just don't have a huge tank. He recommends for a 1,000 sqft apartment fish tanks from about 90cm long and 60cm high to 120cm long and 75cm high.
Wong says the position of an aquarium decides the beneficial properties. Aquariums on the north side of a living room will help your career. Aquariums on the east side will increase activity, which will benefit businesses and sales people. And aquariums on the southeast side will enhance reputations and are good for studying.
The number of fish is also important. Wong says choose even numbers, such as eight, 10 or 12 because even numbers represent a balanced pair. 'Sometimes, we play around with the numbers though, and there are special pairs of numbers, like one and six, seven and two, eight and three. You might have six gold fish and one black fish; the more black you have, the more it takes away negative energy,' he says.
The aquarium can represent all five elements in fung shui. There is the water element; the plants are the wood element; the aquarium structure is the metal element; the stones and rocks are the earth element; and the gold and red colours of the fish are the fire element.
He says a big no-no is placing an aquarium in the bedroom or kitchen. Most fish tanks have a noisy water pump and this will affect a good night's sleep. And kitchens belong to the fire element so an aquarium will clash with the environment and possibly induce more arguments in the household.
Mak Ling-ling, who has been a fung shui specialist for 13 years, says, 'If you put fish in the wrong place you could develop [some kind] of sickness, have arguments and even litigation. I've seen it happen. But fish in your home can increase your wealth and your career will improve, if they are placed in the right direction.'
She recommends that a space should be accurately measured for health and money properties by a professional fung shui practitioner.
Another factor to consider is the water level. 'Don't put it too high, it won't be good for your health,' says Mak. 'You will always have a headache; it's like throwing water on your head. And if the water level is too low, there's no fung shui effect.'
Mak also says make sure the fish stay healthy. And, if they die, they should be replaced as soon as possible. She says colourful fish are the best fung shui-friendly fish, and in groups of eight or nine.
Wong says aquariums are popular in Hong Kong for attracting better fung shui. But, he says, 'If we work hard, we can change our preset path and fortune by 50 per cent. Fung shui affects our lives and it can help us, but we can't rely on it too much.'