Thursday, June 10, 2010

Safety First

Most of us do not bother to read safety instructions of  household gadgets and most of us operate them safely. Some of us get hurt or wind up with broke  equips and almost always, these 'some of us'  belong to the 'most of us' who threw the safety  pamphlet away while opening package. Aquaria does not come with safety tips, you  are presumed to know them. Worst outcome you can have  trying to keep aquaria is to get injured, fall sick or hurt others.  Well a few simple  rules  followed religiously should keep hazards out.

Prevention of  Injuries

  1.  Never ever try to move a filled  fish tank  If you need to move or transport a tank  move your fish to containers, empty tank, remove all decorations and preferably substrate and attempt to shift it.

  2. Most fish tanks are usually too heavy to be lifted by one person. Ask for help instead of  breaking your bones. When buying new tanks ask for home delivery and in Dubai, usually you get it free.

  3. Never dip your hands into water while power is on for any gadget. Easier way is to have a single switch on the main outlet that can cut off all equipments. If any live wire going in or near water is frayed, replace it.

  4. Place your fish tanks on firm and full support  furniture. Best way to do this is to buy tanks that come with strong wooden stands. It looks neater and is safer.

  5.  Buy branded  electrical equipment. If you do  not know how safe is a gadget you  found in a pet store, it is prudent to put it back in the shelf and do more research on it.

Prevention of  infections
Though rare, it is possible to contact diseases from your pet fish. I am no molysmophobiac, but people usually assume they are putting their hands into clean water when they work with aquaria. Fish tanks host several pathogens, good and harmless bacteria and fish themselves may have illnesses that can be passed on to you.  Listing out each of them would be tedious. Here is one good link if you would like to know about some of the diseases that fish  can pass on to humans. TB is the most common illness you can get from your fish.

Almost all these diseases are passed on to humans in one of the two ways:

  1. Ingestion of contaminated water- avoid this in two ways- never mouth siphon   fish tank and wash your hands   with soap after  each dip of your hands in  aquarium.

  2. Pathogens reaching your body through  wounds-  never dip your hand in water if you have a cut, wound, blister or  a sore that can get wet. And be careful not to get cuts and bruises from rocks, bog wood, sharp edges or plastic decoration material inside tanks.

Prevention of  poisoning
Chemicals used  for water testing,  plant fertilizers, snail and algae killers , water conditioners and several other substances may prove harmful and can sometimes be lethal.  Take care to read instructions, use gloves and if requires masks and ensure to wash hands  afterwards.

Some pet fish such as  lion fish and stinging cat fish  are poisonous and can  pass  toxins to you. Never dip bare hands in tanks that have these fish even if fish are not near your hand- they  can sting real fast like a bee.

Child safety
I have a toddler who would like to mimic whatever me or his father does. Most of them are that way. They want to fit equipment, arrange  decorations , do water testing and operate electrical gadgets. Amma does it, why not me? Instructions just doesn't work with children, they are far too curious and get tempted easily.

  1. Keep all electric wires and outside tank equipments  safely inside the cabinet or over the hood if these places are not  accessible for the child.

  2. Tanks should be topple proof. If you are not sure  whether the child can climb up and reach  fish tank, cordon it with furniture or deny access otherwise.

  3. Lock up all  chemicals, testing equipments, spare electric equipments and tools, fish feed  properly in a cabinet.  It is better to hide pipes and hoses too.

  4. When you are performing water changes,  involve children in whatever  possible and safe ways- without getting them wet with used water and exposing them to chemicals. In my experience,  kids learn and abide by rules and once it is clear to them these are to be done in adult company, they adhere to it. It works better than a complete no-no. It also helps them to build   interest in fish keeping.


  1. i just started my aquarium last Jan 7.
    it's great to know that you also have the passion for fish.

    i am currently living in dubai as well and have a 25gal tank.
    i still have alot of questions on how to take care of my goldfish.

  2. i just started my aquarium last Jan 7.
    it's great to know that you also have the passion for fish.

    i am currently living in dubai as well and have a 25gal tank.
    i still have alot of questions on how to take care of my goldfish.


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