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Sk8r 07/16/2015 08:41 AM

Poison warning: serious stuff, venom, toxins. Hospital stuff. [pix of items]
 
1. when fragging, wear goggles. Palys (buttons) have palytoxin. Take it very seriously: wear gloves, wear goggles, discard the gloves without touching the outer surfaces, and bury them deep in garbage. Wash the goggles in warm water with soap, also wearing gloves, and discard those too. Do not have children or pets watching. Treat it as very serious poison.

Likewise coral is living tissue with bony bits: do not get it in the eyes. Eye surface is a very nice salty growth medium. Got it?

2. various fish have toxic spines. I've personally seen a guy in real danger of losing a thumb to one of these, and if he didn't, he might have lost muscle in it. Blackening, necrosis, etc. Some people are more sensitive than others, but just do NOT get tagged by rabbits, lions, or any of the toxic sorts common in the hobby. Rabbits plaster themselves to the underside of rocks when freaked. If moving rock with a rabbit in the tank, either have the rabbit constantly in view (not easy) or wear over-elbow gloves with leather gloves under them. Better safe than sorry.

3. repeated exposure of human skin to water in which corals are carrying on chemical warfare can sensitize an individual to reef water---so badly that they will ever after break out in a rash as a consequence of touching such water. This has happened to two lfs owners that I know. Wear gloves.

4. never ever, ever, ever heat live rock. The vapor could have serious medical consequences. Not to mention the explosion.

BlackTip 07/16/2015 09:56 AM

Hazmat suit on order.

thestreetzking 07/16/2015 09:57 AM

good info! Needs to be taken seriously!

Sk8r 07/16/2015 09:58 AM

Pretty well. Not everybody reacts to some of these, but some are in the downright vision or life-threatening category, and if you're one of the 'lucky' ones, or just happen to have a hangnail and sore spot, it can be 100% nasty. I am particularly not fond of answering posts from people who are suddenly having serious burning of eyes or rapid heartbeat---IANAD: once you've done it, all I can say is rush to an opthamologist or get to a large ER. Particularly it is REAL difficult to go to a small-town ER and say 'I think it's palytoxin' or 'it was a rabbitfish' and expect the intern on duty to know what on earth you're telling him.

ericarenee 07/16/2015 10:26 AM

I had a reaction to my fingers once Curing uncured live rock in a two container method. Once a week i would take the rock from of container (90 lbs approx) One Rock at a time and rinse it at the top of the water then scrub it with a soft brush. then put in the second container with fresh salt water.. after doing this for a few weeks i noticed the tips of my fingers were getting very sensitive and kinda red .. Kinda like a chemical burn . It was not until like the 4th or 5 th time i figured out for sure it was the Rock doing it... Started using gloves and washing my hands with anti microbial /fungal soap and scrubbing them and it cleared up... I know most live rock will not have this much growth but in the end i should have worn one of the several pair of gloves we have around... I still to this day get a similar but much less intense reaction if i mess with rock work for more then a few minutes.....
I say JUST DO NOT BE STUPID LIKE i was.. IT CANT HAPPEN TO ME..... PSST.

gone fishin 07/16/2015 10:32 AM

I actually printed out some pages about palytoxin and my foxface. Hopefully they will not ever be needed but my wife knows where they are so they can go with me to the ER in the event I cannot take them myself.

Shock and Awe 07/16/2015 01:50 PM

Good post Sk8r and great reminder.

heathlindner25 07/16/2015 03:14 PM

I have an over sensitivity to saltwater tanks with coral in them from years of working at a local fish store...
when I even look at the softy system ,I'll get rashes and sores on my hand....lol
My hands are still recovering from touching a bubble tip anemone over 9 months ago....I'm a real slow learner and sometimes I just put my hands in there without gloves ,knowing I'm going to have a reaction.
it took me over 7 years to learn to wear gloves.....lol , With beat up hands the whole time.
Hammers will put me on the ground in pain.

Duke4life 07/16/2015 03:55 PM

Never really thought about this issue with corals, did with fish.... Good points

Sk8r 07/16/2015 07:49 PM

Yep, handled too many bristleworms; now if I get tagged by a simple worm, fingers swell up hard to the touch and quite nasty. I know better---sometimes i get in a hurry when some stupid fish has tossed a coral into the pits---and I tell myself, y'know, it will not die in the next three minutes.

A box of nitrile exam gloves in the cabinet, dedicated to that purpose, is a good thing to have.

heathlindner25 07/16/2015 07:56 PM

The box of gloves is less than 4' away.....sometimes I still don't use them....then regret it for about the next 6 months,lol.

Bpb 07/16/2015 08:26 PM

I work in an ER and I can't wait till someone comes in for palytoxin poisoning. I'll be all poking my head in the room and saying "hey! New reefer! Wanna trade frags when you're well?"

Salty Cracker 07/16/2015 09:39 PM

I have been hit by a lionfish while spearfishing. Best way to explain it, take a red hot needle and stick yourself. And that's the just the beginning. What feels like an instant flu with what feels like a fever of 110 and puking. Still love to eat them though.

pbell101 07/16/2015 10:32 PM

Buying some gloves this weekend! Thank you for the warning. Never thought about that.

nitro4kthompson 07/16/2015 11:28 PM

I have had an allergic reaction to brushing my arm against one of my maxi-mini carpet anemones during a water change. I did know I needed to be careful around them, but I didn't realize I would require an ER trip for wheezing,swelling, and pain. I had to move the rocks with the nems to a spot in the back of the tank so I will not be likely to make that mistake again. I can't bear to get rid of them because they are so beautiful.

johnike 07/17/2015 03:33 AM

Also almost every flea and tick medication for your furry pets is deadly to marine invertabrates.
Wash good!

NedFlounders 07/17/2015 07:55 AM

Man this is some scary stuff.

Sk8r you said to wear gloves when fragging. But what about normal tank maintenance?

I have some zoas and a couple palys. Does this mean I need to wear gloves anytime I put my hands in the water? Even if I will not be in contact with those particular corals?

Bent 07/17/2015 09:48 AM

I was stung once severely by a large lion fish.

It was not fun, and the hospital bill and plastic surgery bill I'm still paying on.

I don't suggest it.

Leviathan_XE 07/17/2015 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericarenee (Post 23876016)
I had a reaction to my fingers once Curing uncured live rock in a two container method. Once a week i would take the rock from of container (90 lbs approx) One Rock at a time and rinse it at the top of the water then scrub it with a soft brush. then put in the second container with fresh salt water.. after doing this for a few weeks i noticed the tips of my fingers were getting very sensitive and kinda red .. Kinda like a chemical burn . It was not until like the 4th or 5 th time i figured out for sure it was the Rock doing it... Started using gloves and washing my hands with anti microbial /fungal soap and scrubbing them and it cleared up... I know most live rock will not have this much growth but in the end i should have worn one of the several pair of gloves we have around... I still to this day get a similar but much less intense reaction if i mess with rock work for more then a few minutes.....
I say JUST DO NOT BE STUPID LIKE i was.. IT CANT HAPPEN TO ME..... PSST.

This...it's funny how it seems to build up over time. When new I use to stick my hand in the tank all the time with zero issues, grabbing nems with my bare hands.....nothing. Then over time, I started to notice that my hands would feel sore the next day after working in the tank, then gradually it became worse......went from just being sore, to red and itchy....then to a rash.

Bpb 07/17/2015 10:13 AM

I always was under the impression that lion fish stings were no worse than your average bee or wasp sting.

Sk8r 07/17/2015 10:34 AM

Depends on the fish, its diet, according to some reports, and the individual's sensitivity. Guy I saw had most of his thumb inky black, dead, necrosis, from which flesh doesn't recover---from a rabbitfish. You can end up with a nasty scar, or in this guy's case, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't lose the thumb. I've seen fiddleback spiderbites necrose clear to the bone,. and the deep dimpled scars they leave aren't pretty,so 'no worse than a spider bite' is subject to a lot of conditions. I'd liken it more to snakebite...occasionally it's not a problem, but sometimes it's real serious. I've never heard of anybody dying from a tank encounter, but they certainly can be seriously toxic.

I recommend wearing the nitrile gloves in ALL work in the tank because of the chemical problem (no protection against fish spines, but do protect against bristleworms), and rubberband your wrist if you have a sore on your hand, which will keep your hand dry. I know we don't always follow that ideal, and we instinctively dive in, in a crisis, but *try* to use the gloves for everything.. If they're good enough for brain surgeons to wear, in terms of touch, they're good enough for us to work around corals.

Bpb 07/17/2015 10:48 AM

Spider bite is a much wider range of severity. Fiddleback aka brown recluse spiders are a nuisance in my area of the state. Everyone around here is very familiar with how dangerous their venom is. They're nothing to play around with. But a common red wasp sting or a honey bee sting is fairly mild unless you have an allergic reaction

Duke4life 07/17/2015 11:42 AM

Ended up picking up a pair of gloves that will go to my elbows earlier from Lowes.

cmcoker 07/17/2015 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnike (Post 23877632)
Also almost every flea and tick medication for your furry pets is deadly to marine invertabrates.
Wash good!

+1
Those topicals, like Frontline Plus, are made to be water resistant, so wear gloves when applying the flea control to your pets

hkgar 07/17/2015 12:46 PM

Please take it seriously. As someone who spent 3 days in the hospital from Palytoxin, it is serious.

Here is a link to my story for those interested

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2499316

And, yes, I know I was stupid and didn't think it could happen..


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