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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.