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Old 08-23-2011, 11:50 PM   #1
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Doctors orders to get rid of tanks

I recently got an allergy test done (on Friday, to be specific) due to me having a few episodes. It came up that I am highly allergic to many foods, meats, gluten, dairy, etc. Also, I am extremely allergic to molds, mites, and cockroaches. I still have the marks on my arm from where they tested it.

I live in an apartment that was built in the seventies and is a very common complex for college kids to live in (30 seconds off of campus) and thus, has not been kept up very well. On top of this, I live in a very humid aprtment due to all the fish tanks, the gecko cage, multiple house plants, and being that I live in Atlanta. It basically adds up to why I have searing head aches, dizziness, lack of being able to breathe, lack of short term memory, etc.

There are many other things that can cause my symptoms, but as a first measure, my apartment administrators are going to do a full inspection. After this, there are all the steps for things I come in direct contact with (dishes, bedding, etc.). And finally, I have to either get rid of my tanks and my gecko to my parents or a new home.

Now, Caesar (my gecko) I can argue will not cause that much harm. He is in a mesh cage that has almost no moisture, until I mist it. It is a natural cage, meaning dirt, live plants, and daily waterings. I could easily switch that over to a basic all-fake cage. The tanks, isn't as easy. How do you remove the water? You can't.

This is where the advise/help comes in. I don't know what exactly to do. I obviously do not want to get rid of my fish. My parents could take care of my three bettas, but Sebastian (flowerhorn) and the rainbows/danios, I'm not so sure. That's a lot of water changes and higher maintainance that my parents wouldn't have the time for. Is there any articles or anything that has some sort of inclination that one can have tanks when having a severe allergy to mold?

I'm going to do my own personal research, but if anyone can help me out, or any support really, is greatly appreciated. I started keeping fish seriously over a year ago. It was my way of dealing with mourning over the loss of my brother. They have become a part of my life and a part of my daily routine. I say good morning to these guys. They are one of the reasons I bounced back and finished my last month of high school and started college. It would put a big dent in my day if I didn't have them to feed and watch. I would have nothing to do on my Sundays (tank cleaning day).

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Old 08-24-2011, 12:08 AM   #2
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Man im sorry to hear that. Im kinda doing the same thing, my gma passed but more like my mom / friend. Im sure there is something you can do to keep them but Idk what. Good luck.

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Old 08-24-2011, 12:27 AM   #3
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dehumidifier maybe?
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:03 AM   #4
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I had a mold infestation in my apartment bathroom a few months ago. I didn't really notice it, but most of the bathroom ceiling was black. I guess I don't really look up. My roommates also didn't notice it because the mold grew so slowly. I ended up moving one unit over, and the leasing manager had to get someone to tear down the whole ceiling of the old unit. I had to wash all my clothes and bedding. Throw away my mattress, couch, and anything else that can absorb moisture and collect mold. If I didn't, then there is a chance of the mold growing in my new place.

Anyways, you need to keep your apartment circulated, clean, and dehumidified when you move into a newer apartment next to school. This is the only way to keep you in school and attached to your fish. You will need one or two weeks fulltime to get all of this accomplished. Good luck
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:56 PM   #5
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Wow that's crazy. They still haven't come to do the inspection. The management is so shady here. But, I definitely need a dehumidifier. I would have to get one anyway. And I have to properly clean everything and get the wraps for my mattresses and everything. All in all, very expensive. My mother is behind my doctor on the whole getting rid of my fish. She would only take one, my favorite Marlboro. That's it.

I'm pretty stuck, I guess. I can't find anything to really help me talk my mother/doctor out of this. Really depressing, since I just set up my 55g planted tank and finally got everything situated nicely. Oh, and my dream fish, my blue titanium flowerhorn, I finally got. Just sucks.

And the ironic thing, my pet that I have been trying to sell, a male blue tongue skink, is the only pet that won't get me sick. I might end up keeping Eddy after all.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:22 PM   #6
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If the tanks have glass lids, they won't contribute much to the humidity in the apartment. If you are in Atlanta, I am assuming you have an air conditioner, which will act as a dehumidifier.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:46 AM   #7
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I have to agree with BillD, glass líds, dehumidifier, and regular cleaning of tanks and it should not be a problem.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:32 AM   #8
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First thing I would do is get a second opinion. I've had great allergists and I've had the allergist from ****.

If it were me, I would take all the other steps first, see how much of a difference that made for me health-wise. Only if absolutely necessary would I get rid of my tanks (or anything else I loved that much).

Don't forget too, that you can grow into and out of allergies. It would be a shame to get rid of everything and then your allergies go away on their own.

I used to be allergic to horses, refused to get rid of mine and my body compensated somehow. I never even took meds for it, but the allergies disappeared. I think I overdosed them with horsehair and manure and they gave up.

Fix up your living space first, then see what happens. Good luck!
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:55 AM   #9
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Frankly, your tanks are likely not adding a fraction of the humidity that atlanta its self is. My suggestion is find your apartments air filter, and change it put for a very good filter mesh (even we have filter media) and pull everything out of cabinents and closets and clean all walls with bleach our another anti mold cleaner. The other notes with dishes are good

A stand alone dehumidifier is also good idea. Acs do little for the air they don't pump. You might add wiping out filters and the not submerged part of your tanks to, but gnats just a slight addition to basic tank maintnence compared to once or twice a month doing the same thing.

Frankly, I doubt the fish tank is contributing anything. The reptile tank might be moist and hot enough top be more problematic, but honestly I doubt it's that either. Honestly you described sick building symptoms to me
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:04 PM   #10
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Wow I''m sorry about your situation! I would agree with Lynda; try everything else first. If the allergies are still a big problem and the tanks are causing it, then take appropriate action. I have severe allergies also and I've had the allergy tests done. Turns out I''m allergic to pretty much everything except mites and cats. I currently receive 4 weekly injections to build up my resistance to the allergens and have been getting them for over a year now (most of my allergies are outdoor ones -- trees, grass, weeds, pollen -- but mold and dust are on the list also) and overall they have helped. I still have episodes (like now) when the weather is changing but overall they are better. Would injections be an option for you?

Good luck. I hope you can keep your fish.

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