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Aquarium Safety Hazards - Keeping your Fish Safe

Keep your fish friends safe and sound by following a few basic steps.

Aquariums may seem secure, but within those glass walls lie several safety hazards that can injure or even kill your pets. Watch for these dangers:

Electrical Shock
Most aquarium equipment and accessories use electricity, so electrocution is a potential danger for both you and your fish. Broken light bulbs or frayed wires in aquarium covers can slip into tanks. And cracked glass and exposed filaments on heating units also spell trouble.

Ground all electrical cords and make sure outlets include built-in circuit breakers. If possible, let cords hang loose so they drop below the outlets - this keeps water droplets from running directly into the wall socket.

Power Outages
Since aquariums depend on electrically driven pumps, filters, and heaters for water-quality maintenance, these self-contained ecosystems can suffer during power outages. For such emergencies, keep a spare battery-operated oxygen pump on hand. And if you own an expensive marine collection, consider buying a generator to make sure your exotic beauties survive the storm.

If the room temperature gets too high during summer outages, add cool water to stabilize the temperature and oxygen content. And remember to dechlorinate the water as needed. Frigid water temperatures in winter can be just as detrimental - cover aquariums with heavy blankets to reduce heat loss and add warm dechlorinated water to stabilize the temperature.

Air Pollutants
Many airborne particles and chemicals easily dissolve in water. So avoid using household cleaners, insecticides, or pesticides around your tank. Fish's gills are sensitive to chemical damage, which can cause suffocation and death.

Escape from Tank
Certain athletic and brave fish species may attempt to fly the coop. If you discover a motionless escapee on the floor and he's not completely dried out, put him back in the tank. Although some fish won't survive their brief encounter with the outside world, many will.

Always monitor survivors closely for signs of skin infections because their protective mucous layer may be damaged. You can prevent such unauthorized furloughs by keeping a tight-fitting cover on your aquarium at all times.

Preventing these potential hazards is easy if you invest a little time and apply some common sense.

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