Manhattan Reefs

Manhattan Reefs (
-   General Discussion (
-   -   *Reef Keeping Precautions* (

aznt1217 02-18-2009 12:17 PM

*Reef Keeping Precautions*
Hello Everybody,

Not trying to scare anyone here, but I felt that this thread would be necessary not only for new reef keepers but also advanced ones.

First... A series of questions:

1. How many of us put our hands in the tank to move corals around?
I am sure... all of us do,


2. How many of us use gloves?!
Probably the vast majority don't... well I didn't and now that's going to change.

-Many of us are captivated by these wonderful and artistic creatures. Some reefers even describe them as "moving paintings." And they appear to be relatively harmless. All, if not most of us know it's common knowledge that anemones sting, frogspawns can sting, lionfish are venomous, etc.

Many with Zoanthids may also think they are relatively harmless. For the New people:

Zoanthids, if given the conditions, can potentially be the most fatal of all the corals due to something called Palytoxins, if ingested or in direct contact with an open wound on the hand or fingers... this can be fatal in seconds and there is no anti-serum.

So I should be fine... I don't eat them. And it's only toxic and secretes these when I frag... WRONG

The Story:

Over the weekend, another user and I were able to score some palys and zoanthids. I have about 10 Variations of Zoas in the tank. So we went about placing them in the tank. Both he and I experienced similar if not the same symptoms. We had NO open wounds in our hands. This was the timeline:

15 Minutes: Sneezing profusely
Approx. an Hour later: 101 Fever (mild)
An hour into sleep: Episodes of extreme heat and chills
Rest of the night: Extreme amount of soreness and coughing (made it hard to breathe properly)

Literally, this experience was horrid and thought I was going... So I went to the Doctor immediately only to find out my heart rate was off (after performing an ECG) and that my blood pressure was higher than it should be (wasn't like this 2 months ago)
. I have to go in again to check on my health conditions.

The doctor suspected that the bacteria went in through the cuticles and this was a bad reaction. The other reefer had substantially less exposure because he used grabbers, but only took the corals out of the bag with his hand. Me... not so much I love aquascaping.

So essentially, the lesson was learned hard and extremely dangerously. I am probably going to get flamed and got my flame suit on but I'd much rather warn others. This danger isn't only present when fragging but quite simply going near these corals or even having water with these palytoxins present pose a threat to one's life. So buy gloves and be wary of the risks.


Let's merge all of this to make it like a good resource:

More Information, User Experiences, and Other Threads <-- A little bit more informative on the technical aspects

**Disclaimer: by no means am I saying don't keep these corals**

holyherbiness 02-18-2009 12:22 PM


Bob 1000 02-18-2009 12:25 PM

Hey most fish also have toxins.. I got poked by a dorsel fin of a blue tang or hippo in my thumb and it was throbbing the whole night approximately 14 hours.. Started to swell but I kept moving the thumb and rubbing it while icing every 30min.. after I slept and woke up the symptoms had all but disappeared...

aznt1217 02-18-2009 12:29 PM

Of course they do.

Dorsal fins and fish injuries usually require direct contact, unlike corals where it's virtually chemical warfare and probably something one wouldn't even see.

Bob 1000 02-18-2009 12:33 PM

Great info and even better thread... Our hobby can be a very dangerous one... I might take up skydiving this summer instead,,lol..

Chiefmcfuz 02-18-2009 12:43 PM

Wow i am surprised we didn't cover myobacterium marine infections.

aznt1217 02-18-2009 12:58 PM

I was too... did a search and didn't see anything solid.

Tangs Rule 02-18-2009 01:00 PM

Thanks for the info.

ClosetFishGeek 02-18-2009 01:05 PM

Im surprised my hands havnt grown fins with the amount of time there in the tank....:splitspin...You are correct though...

daaznmofo 02-18-2009 01:14 PM

could have been the flu

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:17 PM.