Be well acquainted with the outside and hazardous sources of problems for your fish. The bass speaker in the living room, the nicotine from your cigarette, hand soap/sanitizer or the vanilla flavored air freshener can be dangerous for your tank. If you’ve encountered mysterious deaths of your fishes, now is the the time to make amends and avoid them –

1. Noise pollution 

We hate to break it to you but noise can have a tremendous effect on fish. Sound produced by traffic, loud DJ music and urban sprawl has been found to be an acute or chronic stressor for fish and a sudden abrupt noise can shock the fish and cause immediate death.

You might want to keep the tank away from loud TV or music system that can confuse and stress your fish.

Avoid playing with the tank and hitting the tank from outside as impacts against the tank can cause terror to your fish and can kill them. Teach any kids in the house to not slap or knock the tank from outside. The sound of slamming of doors and barking of pets can also perturb your fish.

2. Air we breathe

The air we breathe has a multitude of hazardous chemicals in it. Anything in the vicinity of your tank can get into the water as water is great at absorbing pollutants present in the air and that can cause serious problems for your fish.

  • Flea/Tick repellent sprays– they have an ingredient called permethrin or pyrethin which can poison your fish and kill them. You should not spray your pets anywhere near the tank and better still, it’s best to keep them in separate rooms for a few hours.
  • Air freshener– although you might want to spray them every now and then, your fish aren’t too excited about it. The scent and chemicals are extremely toxic for your fish even at low doses and can cause acute poisoning. 
  • Cigarette smoke– Treat the room your tank is placed in as a public place and save your fish from the harmful effects of your cigarette.  Do not smoke anywhere near the fish tank as nicotine can harm your fish. The nicotine and many other chemicals used while producing cigarettes can have deleterious effects on your fish. Do not even think of dousing a cigarette by dipping it in your tank.
  • Deodorants and perfumes- Just like air freshener, deodorants and perfumes can prove to be fatal for your fish and it’s best to not touch the tank if you’ve sprayed some on your wrist.
  • Paint and varnish- Move everything out of the room that is being painted including your fish tank even if it is covered. Better safe than sorry.

Use an aquarium cover to enhance protection

3. Contact poison

Do not wash your hands with a hand wash and then put your hand inside the tank. Hand soaps and sanitising gels can be fatal for your fish and any amount of residue has the potential to destroy your aquarium.

We are sure you must be having a separate bucket for cleaning your house, car etc. Then why not a separate mug & bucket for your aquarium. There’s still some or many traces of harmful chemicals on the sides of the buckets even after you wash them thoroughly.

Overdosing fish with medications can prove to be lethal for your fish. Overdoses can cause major organ failure, clubbing gills and can wreak havoc on kidneys.

Insecticides and pesticides is fatal on some level or another. Make sure you seal the top of your tank and turn off the air pump before a pest control in your house.

The salt you use for cooking can accumulate in the tank and cause your fish to dehydrate and hence it should be handled with care.

How to spot an incident of poisoning

Watch out for a few things such as

  • Change in color of water which is associated with toxins in water
  • Change in color of fish or unusual spots or dark marks on the fish’s body
  • Heaving for air at the surface of the tank due to a chemical that’s irritating the gills
  • Inactive behavior and sluggishness (Some fish are just generally lethargic but when all or most of the fishes in the tank are idle, you should be worried)
  • Turbulent behavior, trying to jump out of the tank can be due to an escape reaction from a toxic substance 

What will fix it?

The solution to toxic shocks are water changes. They’re essential if you suspect a case of poisoning. You should look to dilute the fatal chemical as soon as possible. For some cases, doing a 20% water change over a week will help whereas in case of emergencies you may have to do a 50% water change. You should also keep an Acradia Polyfilter handy and they can be helpful in times of crisis.

Prevention is better than cure. Hence,you should try to avoid spraying/using any toxic chemicals in the vicinity of you tank and save yourself and your fish from the trouble that may come.

4 thoughts on “Everyday chemicals that can kill your fish

  1. Mic says:

    Yes watch the air fresheners thought I was far enough away from my tank when I sprayed but obviously I wasn’t and killed my betta

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