Having a fish tank at home can be a whole lot of fun. Being able to watch all those colorful fish swim around and interact with each other and also be quite relaxing. With that being said, having a fish tank at home is not always all fun and games.
This is especially the case for people who already have existing breathing problems. One question that we often get asked is can dirty fish tank cause breathing problems?
The answer is that unfortunately yes, there are some cases where dirty fish tank can cause breathing problems, especially in people who already have existing breathing problems.
Let’s take a closer look at exactly how dirty fish tanks cause breathing problems, or at the very least, exacerbate already existing breathing problems. Keep in mind that here we’re talking mainly about asthma.
Can Dirty Fish Tanks Cause Breathing Problems?
Before we get to the part where we scare you, do remember the fact that if you are perfectly healthy, and you don’t have any existing breathing conditions, then the chances of a dirty fish tank causing breathing problems is extremely low.
This is especially the case if you keep your fish tank clean. Remember, prevention is always the best method, so keeping your fish tank clean in the first place is the best way to prevent any such issues from occurring.
However, with that being said, if you do have an existing breathing issue, then yes, a dirty fish tank can be harmful to your health. For instance, a dirty fish tank will contain a lot of harmful bacteria, some of which are fairly bad. Now, if you are in good condition, your health is good, you have that strong immune system, and your lungs are otherwise not damaged, this generally won’t be an issue.
If you do already have existing breathing conditions, you are more likely to develop an infection due to inhaling the bacteria that come from your fish tank. This is especially the case when you go to manipulate the water, such as when you are cleaning the fish tank.
Although we aren’t going to get into the details of it, some of those bacteria in the fish tank can cause infections in your lungs and other parts of your body.
Once again, this is really only the case if you are already suffering from existing breathing conditions. For instance, some people sleep beside fish tanks, especially dirty fish tanks, do notice that they have more asthma attacks and that their asthma attacks are also more severe.
Something else to consider here is humidity. People who suffer from asthma and other breathing conditions are often susceptible to high humidity levels. It is shown at high humidity levels causes asthma attacks to worsen in severity and frequency.
Therefore, if you have a very large fish tank with a large surface area, all of that water that evaporates from it is going to contribute to high humidity levels in your room. Therefore, if you sleep in a room with a big fish tank, especially if it is hot outside, all of that in that evaporating water may very well exacerbate current breathing conditions.
How to Keep Your Fish Tank Clean
Seeing as a dirty fish tank made very well exacerbate current breathing conditions, it is essential that you keep that fish tank as clean as possible. Therefore, right now, we are going to go over some essential tips on exactly how to keep your fish tank as clean as humanly possible.
1. Don’t Overstock The Tank
One helpful tip to prevent your fish tank from becoming really dirty is by not overstocking it. What we mean by this is that you shouldn’t keep too many fish in the same tank, especially if it is a small tank.
If you want your fish tank filters to be able to keep up, you generally should have around 2 gallons of tank space for every inch of the fish in the tank. At the very least, this will allow the bacteria and substances in the washer to spread out a little more.
2. Watch How You Feed Your Fish
Another important factor to keep in mind here is that if you over feed your fish, that food is going to swim around in the water.
As the food swims around in the water, it’s going to start to rot. As the food starts to rot, it’s going to start releasing ammonia and other chemicals into the water, and also provide bad bacteria with a breeding ground.
Therefore, make sure that you don’t overfeed your fish to the point where they can’t eat everything. On that note, you do also want to go for high-quality fish food that is not going to break down in the water too quickly if left there to swim around.
3. Good Filtration and Maintenance is a Must
What you need to keep in mind here is that in order to prevent your tank from getting dirty, having a good water filtration system is absolutely essential.
This means that you need a fish tank filter that can handle at least three to four times the amount of water in the tank every single hour. Moreover, you also need a fish tank filter that is able to engage in all three major forms of water filtration. This includes mechanical, biological, and chemical water filtration.
On that note, maintaining your fish tank is also essential. In other words, you need to clean your fish tank at least once per week. This also means changing the water at least once per week, around 15% of the water per cleaning session.
Although a dirty fish tank won’t cause breathing problems, they can exacerbate current or existing breathing problems. Therefore, whatever the case may be, the best way to avoid this is by keeping your fish tank clean in the first place.
Aquarist & Writer 22+ Years