Allergic Reaction ( PLEASE HELP) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Allergic Reaction ( PLEASE HELP)

So ive had plants in my tank for about 19 days. Just got the algae bloom a little while ago. Bought a plant at petsmart last week and added, added another one from there yesterday. I was adding more sand to my tank and did a small water change. I have a lot of copepods, like a lot. Well I was told they were, Little white bugs swimming around, but some sat near the top and it seemed like they bounced out of the water then back in sometimes when I disturped the water.
Anyways! I have had my hand in my tank before, I've touched this sand before, only thing that has changed is more algae including small amount of yellow that I dont see anymore, hair, green, and brown algae, and the copepods.
I stuck both arms in, one longer than the other, moving sround sand and stuff, pulled it out, it burned, looked shriveled, and had hives up to the point where the water hit it. Nothing happened to my other arm.
Will my fish be okay if I put them in in about a week or so? What could have caused the reaction? I've never had it before.
Will I still have a reaction later maybe when the algae is decreased?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 12:27 AM
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more then likely its an ammonia burn. what are the levels in your tank? you want to wait until the ammonia levels start to drop before adding any fish. if you don't have a test kit, get one. the only way to tell whats going on in the tank is to test it on a regular basis. I seriously doubt that your having an allergic reaction to anything in the tank. if that was the case it would have happened the last time you were in there too.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jmsaltfish797 View Post
more then likely its an ammonia burn. what are the levels in your tank? you want to wait until the ammonia levels start to drop before adding any fish. if you don't have a test kit, get one. the only way to tell whats going on in the tank is to test it on a regular basis. I seriously doubt that your having an allergic reaction to anything in the tank. if that was the case it would have happened the last time you were in there too.
An ammonia burn from a cycling tank?
I've splashed ammonia from a bottle on me and never experienced anything like that. My nose burned that's about it.


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Yea, the tank is fully cycled, I don't see it being ammonia, or else tap would would set me off
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 01:13 AM
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I work at a large chain pet store. Over the years, there's been one or two people who are sensitive to something in the water and have had to wear big coral frag gloves when they do tank scrubbing. Dunno what exactly in the water they were sensitive too, but I have also heard of ammonia burn. As far as the petsmart plants, the only thing in those packets is the goo they use for tissue culture, which is usually purified agar. (if it was on of the ones in the bags). The only thing in the tubes they have there are a water-retaining polymer mixed w/ perlite.

You may check to see if you have reactions to any of those things individually; agar, perlite, water-retaining polymer. Other than that, I have no idea what could have caused your reaction. Unless perhaps you're actually allergic to one of the new plants. No idea, good luck,


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 01:27 AM
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Sometimes when I have my arms in my tanks for a while I'll get little red bumps, it may be because of pH difference, I'm guessing. Most of my tanks are acidic.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 01:39 AM
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I don't know if I'd want to keep fish in an aquarium I couldn't stick my hands in. I would maybe give your arm a couple of days to recover then change most of the water and see if it bugs you.

Maybe it was something on your skin that reacted to the water, like a lotion or something.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I have lyme disease and im thinking I might have had a reaction (from my lyme or not) to blue green algae in the tan. Does that seem reasonable? Googling Algae reaction in aquarium it all said blue green algae and googling what that looks like I think that might be the brown algae growing on the bottom of my tank. (They say it come sin lots of colors) and messing up the sand might have been why I reacted now and not before.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 01:59 AM
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Check with a physician and see if you might possibly be allergic to nitrates. Other than that, I know that Mycobacterium Marinum can cause skin rashes but I'm not sure how common it is.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 01:59 AM
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I have an allergy to cold. Weird right? It's actually the most common of the 'physical allergies', the others being things like heat and exercise.

Cold *water* especially causes me to get hives. Something about rapid heat loss through the skin. If I have my arms in a tank long enough, even at 74-76 degrees, I'll react. So maybe you could try to isolate the cause of your allergy or talk to an allergist. Allergies have the potential to be dangerous until you know more about your triggers and reaction to them.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 02:00 AM
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Usually the blue green algae that grows in aquariums is one or more of the blue green ones, often so dark it can look almost black, especially when it is exposed to air. However, it does indeed come in other colors.

Usually the brown algae (any shade from almost yellow-tan to golden brown or even richer) is actually Diatoms.

I have heard of allergic reactions to bloodworms, but if you have no livestock, I doubt you would be feeding bloodworms to an empty tank!

People can be sensitive to all sorts of things.
I would do as close to 100% water change as you can, and see if you can get rid of the copepods. Perhaps treat for copepods, then drain and refill the tank.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 02:02 AM
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What chemicals have you put in the tank, if any?

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 02:09 AM
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blue green algae is actually a cyanobacteria, not an algae, and can be treated w/ erythromycin.


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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 02:10 AM
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Some people are allergic to cyanobacteria, an "algae" that can grow in aquariums. It's not technically an algae, but that's besides the point. A friend of mine was doing a hydroponic veggie setup, and he got it in his water system where he was sticking his arms in, and had a crazy skin rash reaction to it. He went to the ER, where they figured out what it was.


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Yea I think it was the cyanobacteria because I washed my arm after and it went away. As well as there are links to lyme and that stuff causing reactions. Im fine with blood worms, and I don't put chemicals in my tank. Im fine with cold water too. Will my fish be okay if that bacteria is still in the tank?
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