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Old 03-02-2012, 05:17 AM   #1
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I love owning fish but I can't touch them

So I have always, always loved fish. My dad was an aquarium enthusiast growing up, and I loved seeing all of his fish- from the tiny home-hatched killifish in their brackish tanks to the baby baracuda he had for a while in its own tank. I also have always loved fishing and eating fish.

But...I have this phobia of coming into physical contact with live fish. I was the best fisherman for my age in my hometown growing up, but I always needed a trusted friend with me who could get the fish off my hook if I forgot my gloves. I can't explain why I am so afraid of touching fish; I think when I was young a goldfish jumped out of its bowl and I had to get it back in, and it was flopping in my hands and I was freaking out and didn't know what to do.

Literally, my worst fear is my fish jumping out of its tank and me needing to get it back in, by hand. I love my fish enough to know I would do it if I had to, but still, the thought of it makes me shiver.

I am in counseling but we haven't covered this. Is anyone else in my shoes, or has/had been? Is it bad for a fish owner to be afraid of touching fish?

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Old 03-02-2012, 05:47 AM   #2
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I kind of was/am. When I used to go fishing I could never get the fish off the hook either. But honestly there's no reason you'd ever need to touch a fish. If you have a cup and net nearby, if a fish jumps just scoop it back in. I've never had a jumper anyways

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Old 03-02-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
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I can't touch them either... if my hands/ arm is in the tank and they nips at me or rub up on my arm, that fine .. but no touching for me either. I also have to cringe when I have a fish in my net and pull it out of water and it flops around... it freaks me out!
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:10 PM   #4
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Glad I'm not alone I love cats, dogs, birds, fish...all pets, because they are different and require different kinds of ownership. Unfortunately, fish- among my favorite pets- scare me in terms of tactile contact. Everyone in my family is like this with something- rats/mice with my mom, frogs with my sister, and for me, fish
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:58 PM   #5
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Thats funny..i hold all my fish to take a picture of em before i put them in the water
Currently rebuilding
QTing is a good thing
Grow your filtration
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:14 AM   #6
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Im sorta germaphobic. I dislike touching the tank water and scrub my hands/arms about as well as surgeons do after Im in my tanks.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:23 AM   #7
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Oh wow! I used to be terrified of touching fish because how quick they move. When I first started feeding brine shrimp to my glass catfish a couple of them started eating out of my hand and the first few times it scared me outa my wits! Then I got used to them. Next it was my Betta. She actually bit me and I screamed so loud and jumped so far I fell over the couch LOL. Now I am accustomed to it though and enjoy "petting" my glass cats and betta. All the other fish don't let me.
Far as touching a fish OUT of water? I totally freak out! Can't do it if it's one my pets but I can if it's a salmon I caught. Weird since they are all fish.
I am so happy I joined Aquarium Advice! I have met some awesome people here!
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:55 AM   #8
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I can't say it really bothers me to touch fish but I do get a little jumpy working in my puffer tank. When they nip, it hurts! They've mistaken me for food a couple times, and now I do my best to work as far as I can away from them.

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