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Like the title says, can they? My kids are asthmatics and both of them have 2 ten gallon tanks in thier rooms for about 5 months. Everything has been normal(meaning the usual attacks and wheezing) but this past week they have been in the ER 3 days in a row! And one of them is there now with my wife. Has anybody had any reactions or allergies to fish tanks?
I know if I touch freezedried bloodworms and then rub my eyes they will blow up to the point of being completly closed! Had to be rushed to a doctor once for this.
 

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The only time that I have ever observed bad fish tank smell is when I have used foods with a lot of garlic. Are the kids' rooms pretty small? I wonder if something like shellfish content or other likely allergens in fish food could trigger asthma(?). If the tanks have any bubbling or splashing I think that could increase the likelihood of that kind of thing getting into the air.
 

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Funky smells usually mean something's up. Sometimes, you get a rainforest kinda scent goin on, but I can't imagine that scent would do much harm. Run some purigen in their rooms, it should strip the water of any organic funky stuff.

My little brother has asthma, it was worse when we were younger, but we were always out fishing and playing in the river. My brother, in fact, used to stock the bait shop with leaches. I can't recall any reaction from anything other than pollen when we were out.

Maybe they have a plant allergy to something in the tanks? Any predominant plants or any that boomed or flowered up?
 

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Like the title says, can they? My kids are asthmatics and both of them have 2 ten gallon tanks in thier rooms for about 5 months. Everything has been normal(meaning the usual attacks and wheezing) but this past week they have been in the ER 3 days in a row! And one of them is there now with my wife. Has anybody had any reactions or allergies to fish tanks?
I know if I touch freezedried bloodworms and then rub my eyes they will blow up to the point of being completly closed! Had to be rushed to a doctor once for this.
Hi Shangrila,

+1 for msjinkzd comment. Aquariums increase humidity; increased humidity can lead to increased spores and molds (even if they are not visible). If in doubt take the tank out of the room, increase the ventilation for a few days with a fan, and see if the problems continue or diminish.
 

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Invert Warrior
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Funky smells usually mean something's up. Sometimes, you get a rainforest kinda scent goin on, but I can't imagine that scent would do much harm.
Coompleeetteellly agree. I get this smell and I love it. It smells fresh.

Smells that stink = bacteria. Bacteria = mold or an excess of decaying things.

Check around for a leak or double check the tanks.. Any pictures of them/their setups?


MABJ's iDevice used for this message :p
 

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Check for mold if there is a humidity issue. Mold can cause havoc with respiration. Check your whole house. Asthmatics will be more sensitive and doctors won't test for it.

As a kid I was asthmatic, and a humidifier helped me, but if there is an underlying mold issue the tank will make it worse.

Clean everything. Open windows and do an air exchange. Clean everything. My mom used to vacuum the dust off the walls even and that helped me. Check your hvac system. Especially if you heat with wood.

I hope your kids get better. Asthma sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No leaks or molds around the rooms or tanks. They have been sleeping on the couch downstairs in my living room for the past 3 days and there has not been any improvement. I'm wondering if its not the tanks and its just a bad go round with the asthma. They have had some really bad episodes in the past(before tanks). The ER treats them and we treat them but they just cant shake it. Sometimes we are up every 2 hours giving them both nebulizers. it's exhausting to say the least and know I feel like I am getting sick.
 

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Children Boogie
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+1 on the humidity and mold. In addition to the wet winter, the tank's humidity could be a problem. Keep the tanks covered and maybe add a dehumidifier.

A good hepa filter would be nice too. I developed allergies in NYC when I lived there. It got bad in the meldewed subways. It's not the cleanest city.
 

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First - Take them to their allergy/asthma specialist to see if there's something more serious going on.

Second - Make sure the tanks are covered to prevent evaporation and increased humidity in their rooms. This makes a huge difference.

I have crazy asthma and take things to an extreme. No carpeting in most of the house, dehumidifiers, fancy HVAC filtration system, mattresses sealed, pillows in special casing, no plants with pollen, no cleaners to irritate the lungs, no perfumes, no scented anything.

Also have tons of tanks in my home and find that covering them is the best bet.
 

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I have had asthma attacks from certain things like some cats, carpeted houses mostly (acharids) and redwood dust (I was a carpenter)... If something an aquarium in their room would help their respiratory systems, that is why people buy humidifiers.

I hope you don't live in a carpeted house, that was killing me. Never again.
 

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Aquarium evaporate water into the home, thus making it more humid, this alone is better than drier air for some.

But this also means a higher % of mold if you have a lot of tanks, and colder weather, humid wet winters, non double pane windows and other sweating/humidity overload type issues. I run a dehumidifier at night and cover the tanks in the winter.

Some serious asthmatics find desert dry air to some of the best.

Depends on what sets it off.
 

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First - Take them to their allergy/asthma specialist to see if there's something more serious going on.

Second - Make sure the tanks are covered to prevent evaporation and increased humidity in their rooms. This makes a huge difference.

I have crazy asthma and take things to an extreme. No carpeting in most of the house, dehumidifiers, fancy HVAC filtration system, mattresses sealed, pillows in special casing, no plants with pollen, no cleaners to irritate the lungs, no perfumes, no scented anything.

Also have tons of tanks in my home and find that covering them is the best bet.
i want to live in your house! my daughter and I have SUPER bad allergies and would love to tear out all the carpets... we have air purifiers etc... but ... oooo..

as far as fish tanks... the only time my allergies /asthema acts up is when i;m cleaning them... (but i'm allergic to all things green) and that 'rainforest' scent messes with my lungs... but who cares plants rule!
 

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You should seek out a good allergist. My son had problems, when tested 12 things on his arm, x 3, he was positive for almost all 36, and off he charts. He also had neubelizer when he was younger.

He now goes every week for shots, which is building his immunity. Its a 2 year thing, it is quite expensive, but this allergy season, his eyes didnt even get puffy. Its worth the investment, and its good for the rest of his life.
But talk to a professional.
 

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I'm a pretty big allergy sufferer, and I've had quite a bit of experience with stuff like this over my years in the hobby. None of this is scientifically or medically based, but...

Aquariums themselves don't really contribute to allergies at all. That is the aquarium itself. There's lots of things related to aquariums that can create issues.

- Humidity is a major problem. I used to not be able to go near my aquariums for long periods of time. I discovered the evaporation off the top of the tanks, combined with the high humidity in the basement, had created mold on the ceiling in the basement. Adding glass tops to my aquariums as well as making sure the humidity is low year round with 2 dehumidifiers has helped significantly.

- Unclean aquariums has been an issue for me. Algae causes allergy symptoms. Cleaning the tanks when they're dirty causes allergy symptoms. Keeping your aquariums very clean and over filtering helps. Clean the filters mroe often too. It helps when you're cleaning a filter that's just a bit dirty versus 2 years of sludge!

- Be careful of all of the dirt/sludge/plant matter you leave around the tanks. Leaving rocks or aquarium equipment laying around all adds up. Keep your space neat and tidy. Keep your aquariums on hard surfaces makes water spills much easier to clean up. I like keeping my aquariums in the basement on tile, just because it's much easier to clean up.

- Keeping your aquarium running like a well oiled machine, so you don't have to keep poking around all the time in the tanks helps too. I'm not saying low-tech (I don't run low-tech), but a simple iwagumi-type layout with just a few types of plants helps out.

Keep in mind allergies aren't an all or nothing thing (for me, anyway). It all kind of adds up. So just improving my habits in some of these areas has helped.

Also going to an ENT/allergy specialist helped a lot too. I've been on allergy shots for 2 1/2 years now. I used to feel very dizzy, tired, and just very ill during allergy season. I swore I had mono or cancer or something...but it turned out to be very bad allergies! There's really not a cure, but allergy meds/allergy shots have allowed me to be more of a functional human being during bad allergy/sinus times! :)
 
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