Can Fish Tanks Make You Sick? (Myth Busted!)

Keeping a fish tank in a house is one of the favorite hobbies of people, but the doubts they may have for safety and health resist so many people from not keeping the fish tank in a house. Can fish tanks make you sick? Let’s find the answer.

A fish tank will not make you sick until and unless you are doing tank cleanup periodically and maintaining a fish tank in good condition. Following the precautions during the fish tank cleaning process will avoid getting sick from fish tanks.

Is The Fish Tank Safe To Keep?

Keeping the fish tank in your house is safe with proper cleaning and precautions. To begin with, it is a part of home decoration.

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Second, it is a form of self-entertainment or entertainment for adults and children. Keeping the aquarium tanks clean, attractive, and fish-friendly keeps one busy and engaged. Both young and old will find this to be a really enjoyable hobby.

Having a fish tank when you suffer from depression and anxiety is helpful and highly recommended.

Large aquariums are common in hospital wards, and patients find great comfort and amusement in regularly watching the fish’s beautiful motions.

On the other hand, it can cause sickness in humans due to bacteria and pathogens present in water. But it is not like you receive the bacteria by touching or putting your hand in a fish tank unless there is a cut or scratch on the skin.

Can You Keep A Fish Tank In The Bedroom?

Most of us stay in our bedrooms for a longer time during the day. There, we study, sleep, and dress.

Many of us want to improve the ambiance of our bedrooms to make them cozier. Including a fish tank is one method to achieve that.

An aquarium not only warms up your bedroom but also exudes good vibes. Your room can have a lovely atmosphere thanks to the colorful fish, lush plants, bright decorations, and sparkly lights.

But occasionally, the sound or smell might be unsettling, making it challenging to get to sleep and stay asleep.

Occasionally, it may also have the opposite of the desired results, making you feel tense and nervous rather than at ease and relaxed.

Moreover, A fish tank in the bedroom can raise the humidity, which makes it difficult to sleep. More than 50 percent humidity can make you feel stuffy and hot, while the recommended range for sleep is between 30 and 50 percent.

Aquariums surely provide moisture to the air, and if the humidity level is too high, the moisture can interfere with your ability to get to sleep.

Can Fish Tanks Cause Diseases?

Yes, a fish tank can cause disease if it is not taken care of properly. Poor water quality and an unhealthy diet often account for bacterial infections. Usually, skin affections occur in humans by having regular contact with fish or fish tanks.

Many fish species have different bacteria species, such as Mycobacterium marinum, M. fortuitum, M. chelone, and others.

Although the majority of fish are long-term carriers before clinical sickness is found, all can be linked to acute or chronic disease in fish.

Direct contact with fish (alive or dead) or polluted water in ponds or aquariums, where bacterial penetration might be aided by skin sores or damage, can result in the transmission of these diseases to humans. 

What Diseases Can You Get From A Fish Tank?

A fish tank has a huge variety of bacteria. Depending on the fish tank’s state, there can be a majority of bacteria present.

This raises the question of whether or not my aquarium can make me ill. However, bacteria are pretty good for the fish in your home aquarium!

But these bacteria don’t serve humans as well when it comes to health. Streptococcus iniae, Mycobacterium, Campylobacter, Erysipelothrix, Aeromonas, Edwardsiella, Salmonella, Klebsiella, and Erysipelothrix are bacteria species responsible for causing infections or diseases in humans. From a fish tank, you can get the following diseases or infections. 

Aquarium Granuloma:

The free-living bacteria Mycobacterium marinum can be found in non-chlorinated water, such as that found in aquariums at home.

Humans have been reported to catch opportunistic infections from these bacteria, including an unusual disease known as aquarium granuloma. They typically arise as lesions or skin ulcers on the hands.


A gram-positive bacterium called Streptococcus iniae, which is carried by freshwater or aquarium fish, can infect people and lead to cellulitis, arthritis, endocarditis, meningitis, and even death if not treated on time.

The majority of people have suffered an infection while managing live or dead fish through an open wound or a recent puncture wound.

Vibro Infections:

V. alginolyticus, V. DAMSELA, V. parahaemolyticus, and V. vulnificus are some of the VIGRO species that can infect people. Vulnificus or Damsela systemic infections can quickly become FATAL or result in limb amputation.

VIBRO infection is a kind of bacterial infection that spreads through open wounds. To avoid this, ensure not to put your hand in tank water without wearing gloves for safety reasons.

Crayfish Handler’s Disease:

Numerous bacteria can cause it, but Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae and other members of the Vibrio genus are particularly problematic.

The bacteria generate a terrible itching or burning feeling when they penetrate the skin through abrasions, lacerations, or fissures.

There could be swelling and inflammation of the lymph nodes, but this is uncommon.

Can Fish Tanks Cause Breathing Problems?

Fish tanks don’t cause breathing problems. But it can trigger the issue for someone having already breathing problems as people with asthma may be more subject to damage, especially around aquariums with tropical fish.

These fish require warm water and a moderately dark atmosphere to flourish in captivity, both of which are favorable environments for bacteria growth.

Both angioedema and anaphylaxis are severe allergic responses that restrict breathing and can be fatal if treated soon and effectively.

So, to prevent mold growth and breathing issues, you have to be careful about maintaining regular water changes and fish tank cleaning.

Can Fish Tanks Cause Allergies?

You might be wondering if a fish tank can trigger allergies as a beginning aquarist. Despite their appearance as allergy-friendly pets, fish can sometimes cause allergic reactions if not properly cared for.

Fish tanks can easily support the growth of fungus, and bacteria, which is a frequent allergy. Since silicone is used to seal aquariums, allergies to this material might also be problematic.

There is a significant risk of allergies when cleaning your aquarium if you have open wounds on your body. Symptoms often take another two to four weeks to manifest.

As a result, take caution whenever you clean your body. Be sure to check your body for injuries! You don’t want to be left wondering whether you can have allergies by a fish tank or not.

How To Avoid Getting sick from fish Tanks?

You are more likely to consider fish safety issues when maintaining a freshwater aquarium than you are to consider personal safety issues.

When cleaning your tank, you might try to avoid using harsh chemicals or cover the tank with a lid to prevent nosy pets or kids from getting inside and disturbing your fish.

However, you might not be aware that safety issues could also affect you and your kids. You run the risk of endangering yourself if you are careless when putting up and running your electrical equipment or if you abuse some tank attachments.

Take a look at these safety suggestions so that your aquarium hobby is as entertaining and risk-free as possible for you and your family.

While many of the bacteria in aquariums are good for your fish, hazardous bacteria may also be present. Aquariums are breeding places for bacteria.

Steps To Avoid Getting Sick From Fish Tanks:

01. For protection from toxic bacteria, always wear rubber gloves when handling aquarium equipment or cleaning your tank, especially if your hands are cut open or have open sores.

2. 20% or 25% of the aquarium’s water should be changed every week or every two weeks. The temperature of the replacement water should be the same as the aquarium water.

3. Before adding tap water to the aquarium, always treat it with a water conditioner to remove chlorine and ammonia.

4. At least once each month, replace the filter cartridges. Every week, check them and rinse them as necessary.

5. Change the water of the tank when you feel like it is smelly, muddy, and yellowish. Contaminated water is harmful to both fish and fish owners. So, compulsory to change the water to keep the tank condition and surrounding clean and free of toxic germs.

Do Fish Tanks Cause Cancer?

There could be a chance of having pathogenic bacteria in the tank when it is not cleaned on time, not carcinogenic bacteria which causes this disease.

But it can cause skin infections in humans which can convert to skin cancer later if not treated on time.

Moreover, make sure to have a cleaned and hygienic fish tank to avoid any mess or diseases in the fish and for you.

Can The Fish Tank In The Bedroom Make You Sick?

Having a fish tank in your bedroom can be quite peaceful and soothing until you start getting annoyed by it, but it will not make you sick.

First, having a fish tank in your bedroom can be troublesome for you and anyone else who uses the area. Second, there are other health concerns to consider in addition to your sleep.

Because of the pumps, power heads, filtration systems, and splashing water, certain aquarium layouts can be noisy.

With all this noise, it will be difficult to have a good sleep. Whether this one affects you depends on how your aquarium is set up, how much or little you sleep, and where exactly your tank is.

Moreover, contact with aquarium water carries a minimal risk of infection, but the danger may be increased if your hands are infected with open wounds or sores.

Can Fish Tank Algae Make You Sick?

Yes, fish tank algae can make you sick. A beautiful element of home decor is a fish tank. Fish tanks can appear hazardous if they are kept uncleaned and overgrown with algae.

The fish tank will soon get covered in green without cleaning your aquarium. The green substance is called algae! Algae make the aquarium look dirty.

Also, it harms humans’ health during cleaning or putting hands in the aquarium. It can cause skin infections if you have any open wounded or even scratches. Therefore, getting rid of the green coating as soon as possible is crucial.

Can Humans Get Parasites From A Fish Tank?

Yes, humans can get parasites from the fish tank while cleaning the tank or removing leftovers from it. Fish tanks of both freshwater and saltwater can transmit parasites to people.

Fish tapeworm originates from freshwater fish, but fish roundworm is connected with saltwater fish.

On the other hand, freshwater fish in temperate and warm seas typically carry fish flatworms or flukes.

Trematodes are a disorder brought on by flukes in people. Early and mild infections often go undiagnosed.

Moreover, Diphyllobothriasis is a disease brought on in humans by fish tapeworms. It may be an illness for a longer period of time.

Most infections don’t show symptoms, but abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss are considered common symptoms.

Pernicious anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency can both occur. Severe infections may cause intestinal blockage.

Can Saltwater Fish Tanks Make You Sick?

If you have a weak immune system and an open wound or cut on your hand, and you have the saltwater fish tank, then there is a risk of getting several terrible illnesses.

However, the vast majority of healthy individuals may work in their saltwater tank with an open cut without experiencing any adverse effects.

The humidity from the tank may cause bacterial growth in locations like your window frames and the corners of the room underneath the carpet.

This could make you sick if you have allergies. But there is nothing to worry about as long as you have a saltwater tank with proper conditions.

So, nothing is not going to occur for the typical hobbyist who keeps a tank in a living room with a reasonable humidity level and some ventilation.


A fish tank will not make you sick or ill until you are maintaining the fish tank very well and keeping the water in the tank clean.

Also, while cleaning up the aquarium, you need to take safety steps before you start to clean the aquarium.

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