*Reef Keeping Precautions*

aznt1217

Forever Noob
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Bayside
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,


BUT


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.

-Ted

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

More Information, User Experiences, and Other Threads

http://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/...-critters.html

http://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/...os-owners.html

http://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/...-went-eye.html

http://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/...palytoxin.html <-- A little bit more informative on the technical aspects

http://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/...one-sting.html

http://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/...-critters.html

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

Bob 1000

New member
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Staten Island
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

Forever Noob
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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.
 
Last edited:

chanman

New member
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queens
could have been the flu
dude, i wish it was the FLU. I am the "other user" in this case. I touched it taking it out of the bag(2-3 rocks full of palys and mixed zoas), never thinking about toxins. I even had gloves at home but neglected to use it. I did use my tongs cause i had some dry skin and salt water is mean to dry skin.
 

NYReefer

GOT FRAGS??
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Good info..i was aware of the fact they can spray toxins when you try to frag them, which happened to me luckily it wasnt in the eye or mouth, but didnt even think about just being in contact with them which i do all the time..
I used to wear rubber gloves, non-powdered, when first starting out, however for smaller things and fragging it limited dexterity and they came off and water would always go into the gloves anyway..
 

aznt1217

Forever Noob
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Location
Bayside
Yes, I was right with you. I only thought that too but if it goes through any other opening it's still a bad thing.

Is there anyway we can make this a sticky for Noobies?
 

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