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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if drinking water from a healthy aquarium is good or bad? In theory, it should be the same as drinking water from a clean lake.

A couple reasons for asking this, sometimes we start a syphon the old fashioned way and get a little. Or we may have a pet that likes to drink from our tanks. I have two tanks that my cat would have easy access to and I have caught him drinking from the 2.5 betta tank before.

If I start a siphon by mouth, I sometimes get some in my mouth, my first reaction is to spit it out, but I am wondering if that even matters.

Just an interesting topic for discussion
 

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Nothing to worry about IMO. It started out as tap water and I doubt the fish carry any pathogens harmful to us. Been siphoning like that for over 30 years and I am still here.
 

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I've siphoned the old fashioned way and it shouldn't be bad for you. I just keep the siphon higher up so I don't get a taste of fish poo on the bottom.
 

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Nitrate in your diet is bad for you. Although the amount of nitrate in a well maintained aquarium is very low, I wouldn't make a habit of drinking aquarium water on purpose. A little in your mouth now and then is harmless but don't pour yourself a big glass of it.
 

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Your aquarium water has high levels of many bacteria. Drinking from an aquarium is not the same as drinking from a lake, which would never has anything near the same population density as your tanks. The water in the aquarium is not healthy. Generally speaking I think you should even wash your hands after reaching into the tank.

You shouldn't expect to feel any harm from drinking a bit of fish water during a siphon, it happens to us all. But spitting is probably a bit safer. Sure the risks are low, but why risk a minor bacterial infection and have to deal with a case of the runs, or something?

Think on this: It is generally recommended if you go hiking to bring water purifier. And your tank water is probably a bit dirtier than most natural sources.

The risks are very small, even if you have a compromised immune system (as I do). But as far as I understand it, they are not zero, so some safety and common sense approaches are probably best.
 

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Your aquarium water has high levels of many bacteria. Drinking from an aquarium is not the same as drinking from a lake, which would never has anything near the same population density as your tanks. The water in the aquarium is not healthy. Generally speaking I think you should even wash your hands after reaching into the tank.
People who run fish sections or LFS or have aquarium servicing companies reach into many tanks every day and they aren't getting sick. I think the washing your hands thing is a bit much. That's like saying you should wash your hands after touching soil. It's not going to hurt you. Maybe if you have a super weak immune system, but still, I think it's overkill. JM2C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I make sure my hands are clean before I put them in my tanks. I don't worry about washing right away when I'm done unless I'm touching algae or dirt or something.
 

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People who run fish sections or LFS or have aquarium servicing companies reach into many tanks every day and they aren't getting sick. I think the washing your hands thing is a bit much. That's like saying you should wash your hands after touching soil. It's not going to hurt you. Maybe if you have a super weak immune system, but still, I think it's overkill. JM2C.
Actually I think most people working at LFS don't regularly reach into the tanks, that I have ever seen. They net out the fish. Sure they have cause to once and a while, but most people at LFS's I have seen don't seem to have their hands in the tanks very often, which I imagine would be preferable for both workers and fish.

I am not suggesting you are going to get sick all the time by not washing your hands every time you touch your fish water, but I think there is a small risk of bacterial infection if you are careless. And likewise, many sites suggest not reaching into tanks with an open scratch or cut on your hand for the same reason.

And for the same reasons we wash our hands after using the bathroom. There isn't a very large risk, people who don't do it aren't getting sick all the time. But there is something to be said for good hygiene. Especially yes, for those of us who have weakened immune systems, and also those of us with small kids.

I think I actually HAVE gotten a bit sick (i.e. poopy) after swallowing a bit of water by accident when siphoning.
 

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Your aquarium water has high levels of many bacteria. Drinking from an aquarium is not the same as drinking from a lake, which would never has anything near the same population density as your tanks. The water in the aquarium is not healthy. Generally speaking I think you should even wash your hands after reaching into the tank.

You shouldn't expect to feel any harm from drinking a bit of fish water during a siphon, it happens to us all. But spitting is probably a bit safer. Sure the risks are low, but why risk a minor bacterial infection and have to deal with a case of the runs, or something?

Think on this: It is generally recommended if you go hiking to bring water purifier. And your tank water is probably a bit dirtier than most natural sources.

The risks are very small, even if you have a compromised immune system (as I do). But as far as I understand it, they are not zero, so some safety and common sense approaches are probably best.
I agree with you 100%.

And after reading many stories of diseased tanks from folks on this and other forums I would say our tank water is way more polluted then any lake or river you might consider drinking from.

Have you ever watched a reality show like survivor? The first thing they do is try to get a fire going so they can boil water for drinking otherwise they don't risk drinking the water.

I too always wash my hands after they've been in any of my tanks and I think I do a great job of keeping up with tank maintenance and water changes.
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Paul
 

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Eeeew, I can't even believe this question is being asked :eek:

Fish pee, poo, and have sex in it. And you shouldn't be drinking lake water either.

That's why humans have dug wells since prehistoric times. If you're thinking of drinking your aquarium water in an emergency, filter it through a coffee filter and then throw in water purification tablets that you would find at a camping store.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 

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If you think aquarium water won't hurt you, google fish diseases that affect humans and read. Good luck to those who don't heed. :eek::eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just wondering about my cat that I have caught drinking from my 2.5 betta tank and now there is a new 20 long he has easy access to.
 

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I'm paranoid drinking my left over bottled water overnight, let alone aquarium water. You couldn't pay me to drink it. It reminds me of a person I once met. He dipped his finger in aquarium water to taste it to determine if a water change was required. Until today, I'm not sure if he was being serious or pulling my leg. Yikes!

By the way, does the gunk built up in the HOB power filters and/or canister filters not a good enough reason, not to drink?!
 

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You would be fine. Pathogens in water in nature that make you sick come from sources other then the fish or their crap. Beaver fever for instance is caused by an organism called giardiasis and humans as well as many other mammals spread it not fish. The water you started with was clean water and unless you have had someone or another mammal or bird using it as a bathroom you would be fine. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070905195156AAqtYhc
 

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As an Axolotl owner I am in the habit of always washing my hands if they get any tank water on them. There is actually a Salmonella concern with them. So I would strongly advise not drinking your tank water.

You can still siphon the old fashion way... When I do out of necessity, I dip the end of the hose in Listerine first.

Some interesting reads:
Nemo Beware: Fish Tank Can Be a Haven for Salmonella
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/18/health/18cons.html?_r=0

Safe handling of reptiles and fish
http://ideas.health.vic.gov.au/diseases/safe-handling.asp

Could explain the Member's nausea/illness.
 

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Those aquarium siphon are designed to use gravity for the water to flow from high to low elevation not sucking on it. Or use hand pump it only cost 5$ or 10 new
 
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