Studies have shown that aquariums provides relief from tension. The magic glass box lowers stress and boosts health.

Having a small watery oasis is only part why people keep these beautiful little critters. Here are some positive benefits of keeping shrimp:

■ Shrimp are interesting and fun.

■ The classic reason: it teaches responsibility. At any age.

■ A natural planted aquarium is beautiful and gives your space a new dimension.

■ Aquariums open another venue to see and be around nature.

■ Shrimp are a good conversation starter.

■ Aquariums with shrimp offer the experience of watching life create an ecosystem.

■ A shrimp tank allows deeper observation of these cute (primeval and alien) creatures. Shrimp represent a different set of solutions to life than those chosen by primates—which makes their behavior even more fascinating.

■ A shrimp tank teaches about the roles we can play in an ecosystem, and the limits of what we can do.

One of the few downsides is that the residents have short lifespans of about 18 months.

Whether it’s a benefit or not, shrimp-keepers grow to care greatly about their shrimp. These little heroes may not fit the traditional cuddly image, but they are most definitely “pets” to many dedicated owners.