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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our five year old Grandson has cancer and lives with us. He just had his 2nd chemotherapy out of 43. My wife asked the doctors about the fish tanks we have five of them(3 planted). They said fine but he is not to play with them or feed the fish. I am worried down the road they could make him sick when his immune system is compromised and is neutropenic. I also fear when I would have to break down the canister filters. those things get pretty gross. Does anyone here have any experience with this situation? Thanks in advance.
 

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I have been around cancer a lot more than anyone should ever be. What are your concerns exactly? Most zoonotic diseases are not transferable across different taxa, with a few exceptions, like salmonella. Do any of your tanks have any reptiles/amphibians?
I don't think there is anything to worry about, even with a compromised immune system.
There are far worse potential vectors that your grandson will come in contact with.

Aquariums are considered a stress reducer for many ( they are for me), and if they make you or your grandson happy..
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your grandson. I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers, it saddens me to hear of anyone going through this let alone a five year old child.
I have no experience in this area but if I may I will offer a few thoughts. I'm curious if your grandson enjoys the fish tanks as they seem to me they could be therapeutic in a way. If so it would be sad if they were taken away in this situation. You're in Arizona so is cleaning your equipment outside, such as canisters and the like, an option? Closing the hoses off with valves should minimize spills. Keeping the water contained during water changes can be done with a python. Cleaning up any spills then using bleach to further clean and disinfect the areas. If the area is carpeted maybe spot cleaning with a steamer and mild bleach solution if you have one and if not they are reasonably priced. Keeping the aquarium glass cleaned with vinegar or ammonia after water changes.

I hope all works out for you and your grandson. Best wishes.
 

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Do what the Dr. says to do. Aquariums feed two types of bacteria: Heterotrophic-carbon eating, (yeast, mold & fungus) and Autotrophic-light eating (algae). Both of these are found throughout your house and outside. A Dr. may not be aware of aquarium life so you could ask specifically about these bacteria. I would be willing to bet, since these are all around us every day to some degree, that your home cleanliness is more important than anything else. The bacteria in your aquariums is contained, whereas in your home, these same bacteria are on the loose, looking for food in damp areas, or dirty areas. I believe I see aquariums set up in our cancer center for patients to enjoy during their visit. You can clean your filters outside if you are worried.

It's so unfair at such a young age. My heart aches for you and yours. Universal arms wrapped around you all as you go through this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No reptiles or amphibians. The doctors had us get rid of our house plants. The soil and plants can have bacteria and mold and what not. One tank has duck weed and floats on top along with pennywort and slew of other plants and wood with snails, RCS and fish. The CRS tank is open but has moss submerged. The big cichlid tanks have a couple hundred pounds of lace each and have some algae on rocks and back glass panel. These two tanks have a slight odor when you open the lid as well. I don't know if the tanks could make him sick. Just checking to see if there could be issues down the road so I can get them out now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the quick responses. Entire house was tiled last summer. Very clean and organized. I will clean canisters out in the driveway. I do use a python but will run it outside to the hose and into the yard.


AWOLF thanks I will ask about the bacteria.
 

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There are some fish diseases that are communicable to humans like fish TB. It's best to listen to the doctor. Also keep the tanks covered to control humidity. Buy a arm length pond gloves to do tank maintenance. Just let air dry when done.

Hope the grandson will be well soon.
 

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Even fish TB would mostly just be cuts that heal looking like warts.
Anyway, I just wanted to pitch in to say good luck, it gets worse before it gets better.
Seen my mom go through the big C twice, very severely, and she is 100% clean still today.
 
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