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

RJ Murphy

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I take it as literally. Since I have kept my hands out of the tank everything is really growing and looking great. I even get nervous of washing my hands prior to working inside the tank. I'm just not sure of what chemicals can be in any of the soaps nowadays.
 

jacksin

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Certain sunscreens contain extremely harmful chemicals. Many oceanside towns have regulations on which sun screens you can use. I believe Key West Fl was the most recent to impose a ban
 

McGene

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While I have not been in this hobby nearly as long as many on this forum, and frankly many have forgotten more than I have learned. That being said: I'm convinced that this hobby is not nearly as "delicate" as we tend to believe. My fish and corals are much more resilient than I ever expected. My clean hands in the tank are frankly my least concern.
 

FishEngineer

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I agree you should keep it to a minimum "figuratively", but don't freak out if you need to put your hands in. Like all things, common sense should rule. If you've just change the oil in your car or applied weed killer to your lawn, you might want to think twice about it.
 

KrisReef

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I sweat so much my tank salinity goes up when I put my dirty mits in the tank.
Seriously, corals seem happier with fewer interventions and more “stability.”
I have only anecdotal evidence for this. The link between suntan lotions and coral health issues is another point that suggests our bodies can introduce problems into the tank via water contact activities.

I’ve killed a few coral tips by crashing around doing tank maintenance or when I left a frag on the cutting table.
 

madweazl

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If your hands are in the tank, you're disturbing something. Unless I have something nasty on my hands, I dont bother cleaning and I dont wear gloves. That just isnt a concern of mine but what does concern me is messing with the ecology of the system by simply being in it and messing with stuff. Unless I'm trimming a coral, I have no business in the tank.
 

jgaepi

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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
Wearing gloves doesn't count right?
 

Terrp

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There are really two parts to the question...

First, literally, should you avoid putting your hands in the tank even if they have no contaminants? As others have said, I believe that you should limit this to only what's truly necessary so that you reduce stress for the fish and avoid doing more harm than good for the corals, aquascape, etc. However, to avoid doing more harm than good and to finish as quickly as possible to minimize fish stress , I think it's actually better to use hands than to use gloves or tongs, since hands are more efficient, are less clumsy and have the best "feel."

Second, should you avoid putting your hands in the tank specifically to avoid introducing contaminants? While I think tongs or long aquarium gloves that also cover your arms are best for avoiding contaminants (assuming you're 100% certain that they never come in contact with contaminants when they aren't in the tank), I prefer to use my hands for the reasons noted above. Therefore, I clean my hands and arms before putting them in the tank. I also run ROX carbon 24/7 as a backup to remove any unexpected contaminants that may have been on my hands (or gloves/tongs when I use them) and to remove contaminants that may have been introduced to the tank through the air (such as from cleaning products, perfumes, etc.).
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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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
The less my hands are in DT, it seems happier my children of the sea are.
Proof is in the pudding.
Take it from me, I'm a doctor.....not a real doctor, of course.

Screenshot_2019-10-02-09-26-08-1.png
 

Tuan’s Reef

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Means a couple of things to me...
1. I don’t touch the water with my bare hands before throughly rinsing , then wear gloves when working on tank

2. Leave corals and inhabitants alone... don’t disturb, move them , etc

3. Literal meaning of the word .


I don’t think 2,3 is applicable for reef aquaria . I avoid sticking my hands in my tank whenever possible but maint and water changes makes that impossible . So , only when I have to
 

Nick30G

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I like to try to keep my hands out of the tank unless I have to put them in for a good reason. I do run carbon 24/7 and rinse my arms well before I put them in the tank. Cant say I have ever noticed negative reactions from my corals ever after I put my hands in the tank.
 

reefwiser

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As I worked I. The food industry we saw countless videos and where daily informed to wear gloves and wash our hands very time we did anything with out gloves on. Your hands contain bacteria that you pick up and that is one of the main paths of bacteria getting into the body. So it’s always best to where gloves and wash hands at least before you work in your aquarium. That is why at shows you see vendors using Tongs to pick up corals and many wear gloves they have learned over time that this causes coral
Losses
 

Sallstrom

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For me that means leave the tank be as much as possible. Don't change light schedule once a week. Don't move around the corals. Don't mess around with all the settings on your aquarium computer. Let the herbivores do their job. Let the good algae outcompete the unwanted ones. And so on. Perhaps you also can call it patience :)

Works well for me.
 

damselindistress

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Burned into my memory for life is an incident from many years ago when I first began keeping fish - I stuck my freshly lotioned hands into a tank of angel fish to quickly adjust an air tube. As you can imagine the results were disastrous - I lost the whole tank. To this day I still do not use any type of skin product below the elbow, except shower gel of course.

I’ve been in reefing right at two years and in the beginning my hands were always in the tank fixing, moving, adjusting. I don’t put my hands in very often now, I try to avoid it when at all possible, but when I do I just rinse well before and after. No soap.
 

krbshappy71

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I promise not to put my hands in the tank unless I'm giving a puffer a belly rub. I love that video! But seriously, I rarely reach into my freshwater tank and will start good practices with the saltwater one. Great topic!
 

Manthanol

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There is always something to do in my tank so I wash my hands with unscented soap and warm water before putting my hands in. The last two times I ended up getting fish handler's disease, I was always so worried something bad being introduced by my hands that I didn't think about the other way around. Now I use nitrile gloves every time.
 

ironman187

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I'm unsure. As long as the necessary precautions are taken, I think the impact is minimal. Whatever the case, I loved letting cleaner shrimp crawl on my hands, that interaction was a lot of fun. I don't recall what I did to clean my hands and arms though and it's been around 5 years.
 

mattdg

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I recently purchased disposable veterinary gloves (yes the ones used to deliver cattle) off of Ebay, in order to minimize skin / water contact when doing maintenance. Crazy thing is, they are not water tight! They are also annoying to use.

I've since relegated all 'hand in tank' husbandry to one day per week. When I see something that gives me the itch to stick my hands in, I add it to a list for that one day. I also scrub up, surgeon style, minus the soap.
 

DraggingTail

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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

My GF is a science teacher. I used a lab test that she uses for testing water with students. My tank tested positive for coliform bacteria. Coliform on comes from mammal feces.
 
BRS

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

  • Hydrogen peroxide

    Votes: 12 15.6%
  • Lawn Mower Blenny (or other fish)

    Votes: 17 22.1%
  • Manual Removal

    Votes: 39 50.6%
  • Rock Scrubbing

    Votes: 14 18.2%
  • Lowered Phosphates

    Votes: 16 20.8%
  • Tank Blackouts

    Votes: 6 7.8%
  • Urchins

    Votes: 19 24.7%
  • Fluconazole

    Votes: 6 7.8%
  • Granular Ferric Oxide (GFO)

    Votes: 7 9.1%
  • UV Sterilizer

    Votes: 6 7.8%
  • Refugium

    Votes: 18 23.4%
  • Algae Scrubber

    Votes: 7 9.1%
  • Clean Up Crew

    Votes: 41 53.2%
  • Lighting Change

    Votes: 8 10.4%
  • Sea Hare

    Votes: 6 7.8%
  • Vibrant

    Votes: 8 10.4%
  • Other (please explain in thread)

    Votes: 5 6.5%

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