Cleaning Fish Tank While Pregnant? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-10-2010, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Just a strange "is this harmful" question. I'm 10 weeks pregnant. My mom promised my 6-year-old son (without asking me ) that she would buy him a fishtank. I think it would probably be fun, but he will obviously need help in caring for it and I just got thinking... when touching fish water and cleaning fish tanks would I be exposed to any harmful bacteria or germs? For example you know how cats can carry a disease that can be harmful to unborn babies if the pregnant mama has never been exposed to it before and are first exposed during pregnancy? Some very random things are "no-no's" so I just thought that perhaps live fish might harbor some kind of nastiness as well that may be harmful, especially for "first time" fish owners. Anyone know?
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#2 of 8 Old 08-10-2010, 05:28 PM
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I cannot think of anything that should be concerning for a pregnant "fist time" fish owner. I have had fish most of my life (currently have a large koi pond) and frequently get in there and clean gunk out, even while pregnant. I actually spent quite a bit of time standing in my pond during my pregnancy with DS, trying to cool down.

Are you planning on getting a regular fish tank with a pump and filter, and not a bowl? If so, you should be able to do 10% water changes once a month, and that will be almost all the cleaning necessary. The only other thing needed will be periodically wiping algae off the inside glass of the tank, and changing the filter cartridge (or rinsing it off) when it gets full.

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#3 of 8 Old 08-10-2010, 05:39 PM
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I've cleaned several fish tanks throughout this pregnancy and never had a thought that it could be harmful. A quick internet search brings up several mentions of potential salmonella infection. You'll also want to make sure not to drink or inhale the chemicals used to condition the water, but that applies when not pregnant as well.

Ehh, that's not going to scare me off of cleaning my tanks. I'll be extra careful not to drink the dirty tank water from now on.

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#4 of 8 Old 08-10-2010, 06:11 PM
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Had tanks my whole life, my brothers have always worked in tropical fish shops and now own fish shops, never heard of cleaning a fish tank being an issue for pregnant women. I worked for a pet store and cleaned all kinds of yuckiness while pregnant, never had a problem.

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#5 of 8 Old 08-10-2010, 06:24 PM
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I've been cleaning fish tanks this entire pregnancy - we've got a large one in our living room and ds has a smaller one in his room. I never thought twice about it - like a pp said, I wouldn't drink the tank water, but otherwise you should be just fine.

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#6 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone!
Ya, salmonella was one of the things that came to mind originally ... sometimes though my overactive imagination thinks about these things and creates potential problems where none previously exist so I wasn't sure whether this worry was valid! I would assume really good handwashing practices could cover that concern?
Haha, I will try to refrain from drinking the tank water... and if I'm craving it I will have to assume I must be lacking some vitamin or mineral! Yikes!
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#7 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 01:12 PM
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I got a visual of a very pregnant me tiping up a large fish tank and drinking it down, fish and all!

A little off topic maybe, but if you get some suckerfish they will help you keep the scum down which would make cleaning your tank no more difficult than checking the ph levels and changing the filters.

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#8 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 01:14 PM
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My friend got a staph infection in her hand from cleaning a fishtank, but that's the only thing I've heard of happening from cleaning a tank.

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