General Aquaria Discussion • --can fish aquarium cause allergies??

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--can fish aquarium cause allergies??

Postby mralexx » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:26 am

i have asthma but for the most part it's not bad but i get sick 4-5 times a year with mostly a bad cough.....only things that bug me are dust but then i notice on my tank, theres a crusty white flaky substance that grows on the top and around the top....i have to wipe it off every few days, anyone know what that is? I wonder if it has to do with the filter and was thinking about switching to a different type of filter, maybe one of those bottom style ones other then the top ones i have.

But can tanks cause allergies?
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Postby heylady » Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:08 am

The white crusty stuff you see are hard water deposits.
As far as allergies, from the tank itself I rather doubt it but if you have a really large tank or several tanks I could see how the extra moisture in the air from evaporation could cause mold to grow which could trigger asthma/allergies. That's why it's a good idea to run a de-humidifier if you have large amounts of water evaporating in your home.

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Postby mralexx » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:02 pm

heylady wrote:The white crusty stuff you see are hard water deposits.
As far as allergies, from the tank itself I rather doubt it but if you have a really large tank or several tanks I could see how the extra moisture in the air from evaporation could cause mold to grow which could trigger asthma/allergies. That's why it's a good idea to run a de-humidifier if you have large amounts of water evaporating in your home.

:)


anything to do about the hard water deposits?
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Postby Marduk » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:52 pm

mralexx wrote:
heylady wrote:The white crusty stuff you see are hard water deposits.
As far as allergies, from the tank itself I rather doubt it but if you have a really large tank or several tanks I could see how the extra moisture in the air from evaporation could cause mold to grow which could trigger asthma/allergies. That's why it's a good idea to run a de-humidifier if you have large amounts of water evaporating in your home.

:)


anything to do about the hard water deposits?

I agree it could just be mildew/mold growing around the rooms where the tanks are from the higher humidity.

The hard water deposits is just salts and calcium and stuff. It gets there by water splashing or from water vapor from the tanks. Basically, it's like when you boil water with salt dissolved in it. After all the water is evaporated you are left with just the salt. The same thing happens over time with tank water but instead of just salt crystals it is calcium and small amounts of salt.

~Ed
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Postby bones06 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:20 am

The salt deposits will not do any harm to you. Remember alot of people with allergies use a saline soulution to flush out their sinuses. On the other hand if you have a large tank or multiples you should have a dehumidifier going as heylady suggested. Mold is one of the worst asthma/allergy triggers out there besides smoke.
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Postby xalow » Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:52 pm

Also people can be allergic to fish foods like blood worms or foods that have shell fish in them but this likely wont cause airborne allergies. As far as mold goes you can check under the hood of the tank or filters for any area that has decaying food that is accumulating mold spore.
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Postby Peach » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:19 am

I have asthma too and I asked my family doctor (who is a family member, so I trust his judgement) before I got my fish and he said it would be alright to get fish. Only not to have it in my room where I sleep because if you allow a lot of algae to grow in the tank then it might have similar effects as mold would. But if you have a covered top on the aquarium it should be ok. I'm a happy fish owner of a few fish IN THE LIVING ROOM, lol! :wink:
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Postby CoolCichlid » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:07 am

I didn't know that we can get allergies from tanks.... :x
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Postby DJRansome » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:29 am

As long as you keep the tank free of mold (I have never had mold) you should be good allergy-wise. It also depends what you are allergic to. The tank will not cause the allergy, but if you have mold and are allergic to mold already it could trigger a reaction.
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Re: --can fish aquarium cause allergies??

Postby crenicara » Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:52 pm

Your speculation is all wrong. There are extremely strong allergens in fish food and also in tiny critters that grow in the aquariums. The residue of these things is atomized by the bubbles and in dust from droplets of water that dry on the floor if you spill a little. I have personal severe experience that was tracked down over years. If you do not believe me, Google the topic and you will find scholarly research. Anyone with asthma should not have fish tanks in the house. The dust travels all around.
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Re: --can fish aquarium cause allergies??

Postby zimmy » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:17 am

crenicara wrote:Anyone with asthma should not have fish tanks in the house. The dust travels all around.

Maybe...maybe not. I have asthma and have had fish tanks for several years. Right now there are four tanks in the basement adding up to about 200 gallons. I spend a fair bit of time down there and have never had an issue. I used to have a 120 gallon in my dining room. Again never had an issue.

It is a good idea to run a dehumidifier if the tank is in the basement.
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Re: --can fish aquarium cause allergies??

Postby awanderingmoose » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:19 pm

As a long time fishkeeper and allergy sufferer, I thought I'd add a bit more detail that some of the previous posters have missed. The short answer is yes, an aquarium can cause allergic reactions in those that suffer from allergies, and potentially severe ones, but by taking some simple steps, most people with allergies can have one (or many) without problems.

Here are the specific concerns along with recommended mitigants. For completeness, I'll reiterate those that have already been mentioned.

1. Humidity. This can cause problems through three vectors: mold in/around tank, generalized mold (this is rare unless your humidity is oppressively high), and house dust. This last one might sound odd, but what most people are allergic to are dust mites, and not the dust itself. And dust mites thrive on high humidity. They, plus the generalized mold, can be controlled, to some extent, by a dehumidifier, but you'll also want to vacuum/dust more than you otherwise would. The mold around the tank can be controlled by a thorough wipedown on all moist surfaces every time you do a water change.

2. Food. Blood worms are a known allergen, even sometimes in people with no other history of allergies. Best bet is to avoid these entirely. Even other foods can potentially cause problems. What you worry about is airborne dust/particulates, so keep the containers closed when
not actively feeding (the jar type is better than the bag type in this regard), and if some spills out, vacuum up immediately. Pellets are probably preferable to flake.

3. Waste. While the fish themselves are unlikely to cause allergy issues directly, decomposing fish waste and (in my case) especially plant waste in a filter can. This is magnified in filter media that's exposed/partially exposed to air. Canister filters or other filters with fully submerged media are preferable. Sticking with fish-only tanks, avoiding live plants, can also help.

4. As a general thought, while not addressing any specific allergy type, running a HEPA filter in your fish room is probably a good idea. You want one with enough air flow to be able to cover the entire room, but one that's quiet enough that it doesn't disturb your enjoyment of the fish.

Hope that helps!
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Re: --can fish aquarium cause allergies??

Postby NicKarla » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:10 am

I would suggest be mindful of these potential allergies but don't let having allergies or asthma deter you from buy a tank. I have both and have 30g tank in the main room. Not had any issues whatsoever. Im pretty sure you can get tested for various allergies, so if there's a concern visit your GP. Better to know than give up a great hobby unnecessarily.
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