Anyone else allergic to their tank?

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Ryan@ShelteredReef, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Ryan@ShelteredReef

    Ryan@ShelteredReef Active Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Build Thread Contributor

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    Recently any time that I do major work in my tank for extended periods of time, my fingers and/or hands swell like crazy. I'm not coming in contact with any coral in particular. This has been happening for the past year or so in comparison to the 9 years or so prior where I had no issues.
    It figures that I'd be allergic to one of my favorite things. (I have no other allergies btw, not even poison ivy) IMG_7944 2.jpg
     

  2. Tahoe61

    Tahoe61 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    I use to have a similar reaction when I worked in my 28 gallon that had a significant palythoa population. Since I no longer keep palys I have never had the problem again.
     
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  3. DancingShark

    DancingShark Well-Known Member

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    Wow, time to wear some gloves buddy.
    Maybe a chronic reaction.
    Also as you get older you become more susceptible to things like this. I just to never get the flu but over time I see my self greeting it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
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  4. joekool

    joekool Mixed Reefer Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    There is a lot of bacteria in a tank and if your handling rocks etc you are probably scraping the surface of your skin causing irritation. I would just get some nice arm length tank gloves to wear and not worry about it again. The best are the ones with the strap that goes across your back to keep them pulled up. That way your whole arm is protected. You also wouldn't have to worry about adding pollutants to your tank either. I would wash the with distilled white vinegar before use to clean any manufacturing oils or stuff off them then just hang them up to dry after each use where they wont get anything on them.
     
  5. Ryan@ShelteredReef

    Ryan@ShelteredReef Active Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Build Thread Contributor

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    Interesting. This recent bout followed fragging some of my larger acro colonies. It must be something unique to my personal tank though because I've yet to have a reaction at the shop.
     
  6. Ryan@ShelteredReef

    Ryan@ShelteredReef Active Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Build Thread Contributor

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    It's funny you mention gloves. I did wear gloves every time I had my hands in the tank after the first time I had the swelling. After neglecting my tank for several months and having my hands in the Frag trays at the shop for hours at a time with no issues, I figured it might have subsided. After last night however I can see it hasn't haha. No pain or itching really, just the swelling.
     
  7. Fishfinder

    Fishfinder Valuable Member

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    This happens to me quite often when fishing in the ocean. I attribute it to my hands being wet for long periods of time
     
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  8. azbigjohn

    azbigjohn Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    If you are wearing gloves, it is probably a latex or nitrile reaction.
     
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  9. Katrina71

    Katrina71 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    How long does your reaction last?
     
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  10. Ryan@ShelteredReef

    Ryan@ShelteredReef Active Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Build Thread Contributor

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    I wasn't wearing gloves at the time
     
  11. Ryan@ShelteredReef

    Ryan@ShelteredReef Active Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Build Thread Contributor

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    The swelling usually goes away after a few days
     
  12. Ryan@ShelteredReef

    Ryan@ShelteredReef Active Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Build Thread Contributor

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    That's almost what this seems like but it's only happened to me after working in my own tank. I've worked in a few LFS, worked on other people's tanks, and worked in the tanks at the shop without ever having any reaction. For the first time in months, I had my hands in my tank and boom, swollen.
     
  13. GHsaltie

    GHsaltie Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018

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    I used to work around tanks, after the first year I started developing a rash and my hands would swell. It's not so bad now but I still have a pair of shoulder length gloves for my personal tank.
     
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  14. Katrina71

    Katrina71 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Gloves for sure!
     
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  15. Reef Monkie

    Reef Monkie Active Member

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    It could be something specific to your tank like a bacterium but this could also happen if the barrier on your skin is affected by dry air from air conditioning or detergents. Perhaps those other places where you come into contact with aquarium water are more humid or you wash your hands with less aggressive soaps making you less likely to be affected by what is in the water. I know mechanics have similar issues where prolonged contact with petroleum products can cause a allergy over time and this is (partly) caused by them cleaning their hands with aggressive detergents.
     
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  16. norfolkgarden

    norfolkgarden Well-Known Member

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    After a year of putting my hands in the tank with beautiful frogspawn corals I noticed that I was having a minor sensory reaction to the corals.
    Nothing really visible just the fact that I felt something when I brushed against them that wasn't exactly Pleasant.
    Not really painful necessarily just maybe mildly numb and weird.
    The flame Angel took care of that problem for me...
     
  17. Ryan@ShelteredReef

    Ryan@ShelteredReef Active Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Build Thread Contributor

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    This could very well play a part in it. I'll have to pay attention to what exactly I do prior to putting my hands in the tank to try and narrow the cause down to something along those lines.
     
  18. Ryan@ShelteredReef

    Ryan@ShelteredReef Active Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Build Thread Contributor

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    I have a few things that I know for certain will irritate my hands. Of those, grabbing chaeto from my fuge and touching my branching hammer are two of the biggest contenders. Not all euphyllia though, just my green tip hammer. And the reaction is different. More along the lines of what you'd expect with a reaction to nematocyst exposure(itchiness, redness)
     
  19. albyone

    albyone Active Member

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    ... bristle worms?
     
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  20. Ryan@ShelteredReef

    Ryan@ShelteredReef Active Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Build Thread Contributor

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    Could be. But I didn't see any so who knows.
     
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