Is your air freshner, paint or pet flea spray killing your fish?

Airborne contaminants are the most overlooked and underestimated toxin source for an aquarium. They include a wide range of sources from common household cleaners to invasive pest control.
 
 
Household cleaners: Common household cleaners and aerosols such as glass, wood, and oven cleaners, as well as deodorants and air fresheners release an airborne mist of tiny droplets of the chemical of which it is made. If these products are used in close proximity to the aquarium, they enter the water and quickly turn into ammonia. This will cause a drop in the water's pH as well as stress on the aquarium's inhabitants. Even in small amounts, this ammonia, over time, can lead to algae problems, as it provides added nutrients for the various forms of microalgae.
 
Renovating and decorating: activities including painting, staining, the production of airborne dust, and any chemical that causes a strong odor, will have the same results as the cleaners and aerosols mentioned above. Airborne dust is less dangerous to the system, but it can be a major contributor to the phosphate level in the aquarium, leading towards even more problems with algae.
 
Pest control: Fumigating and using bug bombs to rid your house of pests and insects is more of a serious situation, as the chemical used will stay within the air for a longer period of time. It is best in this situation to move the aquarium out of the treated environment. This may not be possible with a larger or heavily stocked aquarium like a saltwater reef aquarium.