Come on seriously?! Keep your hands out of the tank!!

BRS

Is "keeping your hands out of the tank" as big a deal as people say?

  • Yes you should limit the amount of time..

    Votes: 345 45.8%
  • No it doesn't make a difference....

    Votes: 195 25.9%
  • Unsure but willing to read and learn...

    Votes: 214 28.4%

  • Total voters
    754

revhtree

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You may have heard it a time or two but there's an reefing old wives tale that says it's a good idea to keep your hands out of your tank.

Is "keeping your hands out of the tank" as big a deal as people say?

What does it even mean and how do you keep your hands out of the tank?

39-FC8569-B3-BA-409-F-9-C78-05-FD0-EF9-C77-F.jpg

amazing reef image via @PSXerholic
 

ca1ore

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Depends if you mean this literally or figuratively? I suspect most people think of it literally (skin oils, unwanted chemicals, etc.). I think of it more figuratively in that you should let your tank do it’s thing and not be changing things around in there too much. Other than placing the mag cleaner wet side into the tank weekly my hand/arm rarely goes into the tank. Really just the occasional prune, coral addition, or replacement of something that got knocked over.
 

C. Eymann

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I think it more applies to what you are doing whilst your "grabby sticks" are in the tank.

If I'm working with cleaners or wrenching on the car, my hands generally stay away from the tank at least the rest of the day, and I always stick my arm under a hot shower head both before and after working in the tank.

Granted gloves are more ideal, but can be tough when tasks require finesse.

If you are constantly moving stuff corals, etc around/reaquascaping etc etc, I agree that is not good.

But if it's just for manual cleaning of glass, fighting bubble algea, chasing Aiptasia etc etc I think as long as you are mindful of stuff, not constantly moving corals etc etc and being mindful of not contaminating it with residual chems on your hands, its okay

Just my .02
 

Bruno_Soares

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I try to keep my hands out of the aquarium as much as possible. I always rinse my hands before and after doing anything in my tank... maybe it is paranoia, but I have done it since ever in freshwater, so, if there is any problem with one tank, I don´t contaminate any other tanks.
If the question is more related to changing things in the tank like adding, moving and removing, then I believe it is best to avoid doing changes, unless it is really necessary.
 
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lpsouth1978

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Depends if you mean this literally or figuratively? I suspect most people think of it literally (skin oils, unwanted chemicals, etc.). I think of it more figuratively in that you should let your tank do it’s thing and not be changing things around in there too much. Other than placing the mag cleaner wet side into the tank weekly my hand/arm rarely goes into the tank. Really just the occasional prune, coral addition, or replacement of something that got knocked over.

Couldn't agree more. I literally keep my hands out of the tank as much as possible, but more important to me is the figurative version of "keep your hands out of the tank". I have found, over my many years in the hobby, that the less I mess with things, the better the tank does. Let the system do it's thing. it will have its ups and downs, but in general, let it do its thing.
 

gtrider

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I more look at this as dont make too many changes, continue to do what you're doing if it's working, dont chase number etc...
i also keep my hands out as much as possible.. just because i feel introducing anything on my hands can add anything positive to the tank.
 

TVV

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Other than agitating corals and fish, I don't think it is that "hands" that is the issue. I think it is what may be on the hands that could contaminate the water. Of course the smaller the volume of water you're dealing with, the higher the concentration of possible contamination.

Getting your hands into a tank is absolutely necessary. I feel that it should be limited to "as necessary", whatever that means to each reefer. I wash my hands with salt before diving in and have not experienced any noticeable ill effects from entering my biocube 32 with my hands.
 

Merv49

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You may have heard it a time or two but there's an reefing old wives tale that says it's a good idea to keep your hands out of your tank.

Is "keeping your hands out of the tank" as big a deal as people say?

What does it even mean and how do you keep your hands out of the tank?

39-FC8569-B3-BA-409-F-9-C78-05-FD0-EF9-C77-F.jpg

amazing reef image via @PSXerholic
Pretty hard to put in new corals, cut frags, trim corals without putting hands in tank. Moot point IMHO
 

motortrendz

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So.i always wash and dry my hands before I put them in the tank, I'm a mechanic by trade and work with lot of harsh chemicals.

But with that said I think it's more about leaving things alone than actually having your hands in the tank.
Example #1: I decided I didnt like where a colony was growing, so i decided to move it.. (dumb idea) so instead of the colony breaking off the glue mount the while rock broke free of the epoxy holding it to the rock below. Causing an avalanche of rock.. yes knocking frags free and damaging corals on it's way down. Of course now being to fix it made it worse, stirring up the tank, ticking everything off.. get it all back together (never looks the same) lost 3 frags, they're just gone. 2 died the next day and the damaged ones had to be fragged. And to top it all off I never moved the colony I originally wanted to....SHOULDA HAD A BEER I STEAD OF PUTTING MY HANDS IN THE TANK!

example #2, did this years ago, couldn't find a fish I recently bought do I went searching. Dumb. Again stirred everything up scared the crap out of everything and destroyed my aqua scape. And still didnt find the fish... 2days later it came out... SHOULDA HAD A BEER AND ENJOYED THE TANK, INTEAD OF PUTTING MY HANDS IN THE TANK! Lol

So that's my thought on the subject. Keep em out, but if you do make sure they're clean.
 

brandon429

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The number of tanks we have saved by not only putting hands in the tank, but subjecting the entire reef to disassembly cleaning, is about five thousand reefs. Hands on beats hands off all day long including knowing when to access preventatively, don’t wait till a takeover is in progress. The ideal reef is purposefully designed to be accessed, that way when brush algae shows up at the very bottom you can get to them, for removal, should someone want to opt out of the highly popular invade your entire tank method.


Hands off/out only works for reef sages. You can’t transmit the method to two hundred willing people and have outcomes aligned, they’ll vary wildly. Manually controlled tanks have low variability we show
 

DarkSky

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I keep my hands out of the tank as much as possible. I use tongs if I need to do something, or I glove up to my elbows. Never know what chemicals or oils you have on your hands.

... and I always assumed it was both literally and figuratively, don't change things every day (leave stuff alone!) and keep your oily hands out of the tank. :)
 

Bryce M.

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literally and figuratively I see it and I disagree with both. Lets start literally, oils and soap and such can be bad for the tank, I also make sure to wash my hands with RO water before I start moving and handling thing and feeding, I also do fresh water so I'm always washing my hands to prevent contamination so if you just keep your hands and arms clean I think your fine
Now Figuratively, no, no, no..... I have seen what happens when you sit back and let the tank go fully, algae going out of control, corals dying. As a reef keeper we need to observe and change according to what we see. I agree we can do it too much but I think we should be involved
 
BRS

What have you found to be the best things/methods to beat hair algae? (choose all that apply)

  • Hydrogen peroxide

    Votes: 17 15.9%
  • Lawn Mower Blenny (or other fish)

    Votes: 20 18.7%
  • Manual Removal

    Votes: 53 49.5%
  • Rock Scrubbing

    Votes: 19 17.8%
  • Lowered Phosphates

    Votes: 24 22.4%
  • Tank Blackouts

    Votes: 6 5.6%
  • Urchins

    Votes: 27 25.2%
  • Fluconazole

    Votes: 10 9.3%
  • Granular Ferric Oxide (GFO)

    Votes: 10 9.3%
  • UV Sterilizer

    Votes: 7 6.5%
  • Refugium

    Votes: 23 21.5%
  • Algae Scrubber

    Votes: 7 6.5%
  • Clean Up Crew

    Votes: 48 44.9%
  • Lighting Change

    Votes: 10 9.3%
  • Sea Hare

    Votes: 9 8.4%
  • Vibrant

    Votes: 15 14.0%
  • Other (please explain in thread)

    Votes: 9 8.4%

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