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Tuba Toothpaste

Is anyone else afraid of touching their fish?

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So I have this really irrational and inconvenient fear of touching my fish. It's not even like I'm afraid of hurting them or anything, I'm just terrified of the feeling. When I first got Hodor I tried touching her with one finger, but as soon as I touched her I immediately removed my hand because I didn't like the slimy feeling. I'm even afraid of putting my hand in the tank to adjust something because I'm afraid of one of the goldies touching me....and if they come near my hand I pull my hand out really fast.

When one of my orandas had a fish louse, I had to ask my dad to hold him while I pulled it off and put neosporin on him....but what if one of my fish has a problem like that again and my dad isn't home to help me? I really really want to get over this fear but I don't know how. I've tried to just suck it up and do it before, but my heart starts beating really fast and I can't do it.

Does anybody have any ideas on how I can get over this stupid fear? o;

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I was the same way. I was so scared. But I have over time gained confidence in my ability to handle the fish. Handfeeding helps as well. As they nibble your fingers and you get used to that. It takes time and determination. They feel weird but I got used to it. Now I'm noticing that the chus feel softer than the rest and my oranda is also a little soft. It's weird.

It takes time. You can work through it!

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I think UK Becs doesn't touch her fish. I'm sure there are others. At first, I was a little reluctant to pick him up but I don't even think about it anymore. :)

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I am not scared of them because they aren't scared of me. Hand-feeding does help both ways, to get everyone comfortable with each other. It becomes easier as you get used to keeping goldfish to get yourself comfortable with touching them. :) It's a really rewarding feeling once you seal the bond with a fish like that.

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I'm the same way. I will let them nibble me but if Im cleaning the tank and they brush my hands it kinda scares me. My fish got sick and I had to transfer him to his QT and I was so scared of hurting him and by being so scared I almost dropped him. But like the other members have said; hand feeding and trying to get used to feel helps alot

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I'm not afraid of touching my fish, and they certainly aren't afraid of me. However, I don't touch them as a matter of policy, because to me, there is no perceivable benefit for any party involved.

Fish are not like cats and dogs (and hamsters [this is for you, Georgia :rofl]) with respect to petting. :rofl

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I'm not afraid of touching my fish, and they certainly aren't afraid of me. However, I don't touch them as a matter of policy, because to me, there is no perceivable benefit for any party involved.

Fish are not like cats and dogs (and hamsters [this is for you, Georgia :rofl]) with respect to petting. :rofl

It's not so much that I want to pet them as I want to be able to handle them if I really need to, like when one of my fish had a fish louse, or if I ever needed to do a baytril injection or something like that. It would also be nice if I wasn't afraid of them touching me when I'm moving something in the tank.

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I used to be afraid to handle my fish, since I had only ever heard of using a net. Now that I know the damage a net can do, I would never use one again. I do have some fish that are more afraid of my hands than others; for these fish I grab them as quickly as possible. Once out of the water, they go limp in my hand, so I have no concern about dropping them.

My fantail loves to "kiss" my fingers; I think it's adorable! :-)

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IM not afraid to touch my fish.

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To be honest, with fears like this you kind of just have to suck it up and do what you gotta do. I know how hard that can be but usually after you do it once or twice you'll be ok. Maybe you could take it slow and let them nibble your fingers or brush against you while you do a water change.

Perhaps you could find some thin, form fitting gloves to wear (That are fish safe of course) if you had to hold one for a procedure...like the disposable gloves that are used in medical/food service jobs. I don't know if they're safe for fish but you might be able to find some that are.

Edited by Goldenhero

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To be honest, with fears like this you kind of just have to suck it up and do what you gotta do. I know how hard that can be but usually after you do it once or twice you'll be ok. Maybe you could take it slow and let them nibble your fingers or brush against you while you do a water change.

Perhaps you could find some thin, form fitting gloves to wear (That are fish safe of course) if you had to hold one for a procedure...like the disposable gloves that are used in medical/food service jobs. I don't know if they're safe for fish but you might be able to find some that are.

I think I would be okay holding my fish if I had gloves on. Maybe I could wear latex gloves or something, vets wear them when they work on animals all the time don't they?

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To be honest, with fears like this you kind of just have to suck it up and do what you gotta do. I know how hard that can be but usually after you do it once or twice you'll be ok. Maybe you could take it slow and let them nibble your fingers or brush against you while you do a water change.

Perhaps you could find some thin, form fitting gloves to wear (That are fish safe of course) if you had to hold one for a procedure...like the disposable gloves that are used in medical/food service jobs. I don't know if they're safe for fish but you might be able to find some that are.

I think I would be okay holding my fish if I had gloves on. Maybe I could wear latex gloves or something, vets wear them when they work on animals all the time don't they?

Yeah, you wouldn't feel the slimy sensation if you had gloves on! I work in a kitchen and we use those kinds of gloves, though I think ours aren't latex because of allergies. Similar though. The ones we use are obviously food safe so I would assume they don't have any kinds of weird chemicals in them and would be safe for fish as well. But yeah, like the ones vets and doctors use.

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We use Kimberly-Clark Purple Nitrile gloves in the lab at work. If you have smallish hands, I would still go with a medium. The smalls seem to be made only for people with ridiculously tiny hands as they are very tight. I don't think these would be harmful to fish, but perhaps someone else can confirm.

The main drawback I can see to using gloves rather than bare hands is that it would be very difficult to do the gill examination, which requires allowing the goldfish to suck on your fingertip. (See ChelseaM's video on YouTube for instructions.)

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Edited by *Amanda*

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I have no issue with touching my fish, so I'm not sure how you can get around your fear. Maybe dangle your hands in and hand feed sometimes (as others have suggested), then you could get used to them touching your hands :) I hope you find a way of overcoming your fear! :)

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If you don't mind me asking, are you afraid to handle anything else?

I can't say I've ever thought of anyone keeping fish being afraid to handle them. Then again I was the child who would wander around the garden picking up lizards, worms, slugs and what have you.

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Then again I was the child who would wander around the garden picking up lizards, worms, slugs and what have you.

That was me too :rofl my mum used to catch me all the time sat on the sofa with toads that I'd found in the garden :rofl

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I actually use the powder-free nitrile gloves when I want to hand-feed bloodworms. They work just fine.

The gill examination technique works fine with the gloves, honestly. The fish doesn't really have to create a suction bond to your fingertips for the procedure, so it's not too hard.

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When I first got fish, I was terrified of touching them, All I was thinking was "When it dies do I have to touch it? Ick" but as soon as I thought one of my fish was in trouble I just went straight in for her, (My cat jumped on the tank and smashed the glass lid, and my fish was under the bit that fell in the tank and wasn't moving...she was fine though) and as I spent more time with them and with my hands in their tank I grew to love touching them. I wish you could pet them like a cat or dog because I love how they feel, but only touch them when needed now. A few years ago I had a tiny little fantail who loved being petted (I didn't know about how too much petting could harm their slime coat back then) and I really loved petting her, Unfortunately she died in a filter accident :(

But um all I can suggest is hoping when they really need it you can go i there like I did and that will get you right over it. Or just spend lots of time with your hands in the tank and hope that as they get closer to you, you don't feel so bad about touching them

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Then again I was the child who would wander around the garden picking up lizards, worms, slugs and what have you.

That was me too :rofl my mum used to catch me all the time sat on the sofa with toads that I'd found in the garden :rofl

I came home with a water lizard once. I remember crying when mum told me he had to go back to his family. :rofl

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If you don't mind me asking, are you afraid to handle anything else?

I can't say I've ever thought of anyone keeping fish being afraid to handle them. Then again I was the child who would wander around the garden picking up lizards, worms, slugs and what have you.

I'm also terrified of touching any kind of bug or slimy creature, including snails and slugs some amphibians and stuff. When I feed my puffer fish snails, I have to use tweezers.

I don't have a problem touching reptiles though, as long as they're not slimy.

Worms are pretty much my #1 fear.

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I just had to pick up my Quinn to look at his vent. He never holds a grudge. :)

Tuba toothpaste, are you yucked out touching foods, like raw meat? I am :idont

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I just had to pick up my Quinn to look at his vent. He never holds a grudge. :)

Tuba toothpaste, are you yucked out touching foods, like raw meat? I am :idont

I actually am ok with touching raw meat, even raw fish meat. I guess that's kind of weird....lol.

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I find my fish silky, not slimy. :idont Wens feel like jelly though. :rofl

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If you don't mind me asking, are you afraid to handle anything else?

I can't say I've ever thought of anyone keeping fish being afraid to handle them. Then again I was the child who would wander around the garden picking up lizards, worms, slugs and what have you.

Too funny ... I did this too! As a child I would collect dead snakes and tack them to my wall. My mom would take me to all the pet stores and ask if they would give us the shedded skins from the snakes, and I was always looking for salamanders in the yard. She would also take me to various reptile exhibits ... it was awesome. My grandma really thought something was wrong with me, because apparently little girls are supposed to be squeamish around those kinds of things? But not me, LOL! :-)

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I'm such a wuss! I used to hate it when ever my fish swam anywhere near me! :yikes

Over time, and believe me it took about four years! I gained in confidence and I began to touch my fish. It all started with one finger and I let the fish swim to me.

I had to really man up one day because I needed to weigh Hercules to work out how much medicated food to feed him. I was all alone so I had to handle him all by myself. After that I got over my fear. Now if I cup my hand in the tank he swims over and sits in the palm of my hand. :heart

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