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..

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  • No it doesn't make a difference....

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

    Votes: 214 28.4%

  • Total voters
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ca1ore

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You remove your mag cleaner? :oops:

Oh yes, always. Tanks acrylic, so leaving it in offer temptation to my kids and their friends to ‘give it a quick test drive’. That’s never a good thing.
 

TheKyle

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My hands are literally in the tank daily for swapping out feeding clips. Just rinse well with freshwater and I run carbon in the tank all the times.

The thing I worry about most is when I have to go in armpit deep is deodorant/antiperspirant getting in the tank. I scrub pretty hard trying to getting any residue off before hand. Don’t want any heavy metals getting in the tank. Same goes with lotion.
 

mattfish

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Sometimes its ness. , but i try to limit. I Keep a little change water on the side to rinse arm .
 

jayala12

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Rinse my hands with water only before. Scrub, move , blow rocks as necessary, and feed corals. Then I wash my hands with soap after . I feel like my tanks like a newborn. Make no noise and they will spook and cry for everything. Make plenty of noise and u will be vacuuming while they r asleep in no time. Fish and corals can handle a lot more than we think. Heck they can be out of water for long water changes and cleaning. 20-30 minutes if need be. That’s sps too
 

dansreef

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40 years ago when I started my first big tank.... 55 gallons... freshwater.... I was told by another hobbyist to try not to do too much in the tank and let the tank find its "balance". Get it set up.... then let it be. Let it mature... All tanks have a balance they will achieve at some mysterious point in the future. It kind of worked for me.... I have had many successful tanks... fresh, salt and reef....

Interestingly, when I got into large reef tanks... I must have had amnesia....as I was always fooling around with one thing or another. Moving rock, corals, gluing this and that.... It became an obsession.... I work from home and I get to stare at my tanks all day long. I have taken conference calls with my arms deep in tanks.... cleaning, moving....etc.... I also chased all the new fads in equipment, food, additives... etc... So I always had something I could and would be doing....

A couple of years ago, I was having real problems with my new 180 reef... I had one problem after another. It consumed all my time. I could not figure out why this tank was giving me headaches. Meanwhile, I had a 72 bowfront and a 135 corner bow both reef systems that I began to neglect. I didn't do anything to them other than topoff.... feed.... and an occasional water change. Both tanks found their "balance" and both tanks began to thrive. I was able to grow corals that I really shouldnt have in them. They were not the prettiest tanks. The fish were healthy.... the corals were growing.... It then dawned on me... that I was goofing around too much with my new system and all the things I was doing was having a negative impact to the fish, corals and the ecosystem I was trying to establish.

I adopted a more "hands off" approach. I resist like crazy doing too much in any given week let alone in a day. I feed... I do basic maintenance. I used to test the parameters all the time. This led to chasing parameters. I now test maybe once or twice a month... Alk, Ca, Nitrates and Phosphates. I do have a doser... and topoff... I also have a basement sump with an algae scrubber....blah blah... blah....

The tank has since started to settle in nicely. things are growing. The fish are happy and healthy. I even have a pair of clownfish that spawned this last Saturday....a first for me.

For me, going hands-off as much as I have has helped my tank settle.... I am not sure it has found its balance. But... it has become less of a chore and things seem to be doing much better.
 

Rjramos

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Soap and detergents which may be residual on your hands may be the worse thing contaminating a tank, not even greasy hands compare. So I would say, keep your hands out as much as possible, if you need to, rinse hands and arms well with R/O water prior to dipping in the tank.
 

rc1626

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Some have mentioned washing their hands before putting them in their tank. What type(s) or brands of soap do you recommend? Obviously looking away from perfumes and antibacterials is there a soap on the market that would not introduce unwanted chemicals into our tanks. I would assume rinsing with fresh water would be a minimum. I, like others try to keep my hands out as much as possible. When they need to go in I'm usually just rinsing them. If there was a safe soap to use I would consider it.
Thanks.
 

James Tucker

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I try not to put my hands in the tank if at all possible. Generally because who knows what kind of junk is in the soap that I am using that the company might not be telling me about.

I especially do all my tank stuff before I do anything with landscaping, cleaning or messing around with anything in the garage.

I also make sure not to touch my water if I have taken a shower in the past 8hrs if possible.

Just limiting variables.
 

MartinWaite

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I believe in keeping my hands out of the tank, as it saves me jumping and shouting when my female clown bites the skin between my thumb and index finger. Ever since she started to bite me I only go in when I have to and the tank seems to certainly be doing better since then.
 

Doctorgori

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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
FAMA or maybe TFH did a article on soap residue and hands in the tank a long while back... anyway I think the gist was soap isn’t as innocuous as you might think nor does it wash off that easily
 

ADAM

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If you can smell the fragrance of the soap you use then there is a chemical on your skin. Washing you hands with proper soap is fine but the oils under the tips of your nails from the pizza may make it way into the water, certainly worse on a PICO system then it would be on a 210gal.
Since adopting the mentality of not putting my hands in the water unless absolutely required I have noticed a difference in the system. I use tongs for scaping and drag placement whenever I can, wear exam gloves when dealing with any equipment that’s in the water or frag needs, I bought food grade spray bottles to use with RO to wash everything well before going in the tank when new or after maintenance.
It’s not a requirement and think it’s more of a “let it be” phrase. If you gotta get elbow deep.....go ahead, just be mindful of cleanliness. Which they do sell gloves that cover the entire arm also!
 

SeaDweller

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I have 26" gloves for this purpose. I take the term literally, but obviously there are times we have to stick our hands in, but the less you touch and move and mess around with, the better.
 

Scott.h

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Too vague of a question. It depends on what is going on with the tank. Proper maintenance and attention at the right time makes one able to leave things alone most rest of the time.
If the question refers to contaminates on your skin there are people out there that can get in their tanks as in whole body. I have hand fed my eel for years so my hand is physically in the tank almost daily. I rarely wash my hands prior but at the same time I’m super aware if I have my hands in cleaning products (or something) I make sure I want my hands after that stuff.
 

boostedbeast

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I don't really think your hands being in the tank is a bad thing as long as there fairly clean. The problem is what your hands are doing in the tank. Mine always seems to do better the less I mess with things(other than routine maintenance).
 

Rjramos

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Some have mentioned washing their hands before putting them in their tank. What type(s) or brands of soap do you recommend? Obviously looking away from perfumes and antibacterials is there a soap on the market that would not introduce unwanted chemicals into our tanks. I would assume rinsing with fresh water would be a minimum. I, like others try to keep my hands out as much as possible. When they need to go in I'm usually just rinsing them. If there was a safe soap to use I would consider it.
Thanks.
I would stick with the rinsing and rubbing with R/O. If you still feel you need to get a possible contaminant off your skin, get a handful of table salt , could be with iodine, don’t think that would hurt the tank, wet with R/O and rub hands and arms with it. Seriously I’ve done this, and it makes your skin feel really good when you rinse it off.
 

WallyB

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40 years ago when I started my first big tank.... 55 gallons... freshwater.... I was told by another hobbyist to try not to do too much in the tank and let the tank find its "balance". Get it set up.... then let it be. Let it mature... All tanks have a balance they will achieve at some mysterious point in the future. It kind of worked for me.... I have had many successful tanks... fresh, salt and reef....

Interestingly, when I got into large reef tanks... I must have had amnesia....as I was always fooling around with one thing or another. Moving rock, corals, gluing this and that.... It became an obsession.... I work from home and I get to stare at my tanks all day long. I have taken conference calls with my arms deep in tanks.... cleaning, moving....etc.... I also chased all the new fads in equipment, food, additives... etc... So I always had something I could and would be doing....

A couple of years ago, I was having real problems with my new 180 reef... I had one problem after another. It consumed all my time. I could not figure out why this tank was giving me headaches. Meanwhile, I had a 72 bowfront and a 135 corner bow both reef systems that I began to neglect. I didn't do anything to them other than topoff.... feed.... and an occasional water change. Both tanks found their "balance" and both tanks began to thrive. I was able to grow corals that I really shouldnt have in them. They were not the prettiest tanks. The fish were healthy.... the corals were growing.... It then dawned on me... that I was goofing around too much with my new system and all the things I was doing was having a negative impact to the fish, corals and the ecosystem I was trying to establish.

I adopted a more "hands off" approach. I resist like crazy doing too much in any given week let alone in a day. I feed... I do basic maintenance. I used to test the parameters all the time. This led to chasing parameters. I now test maybe once or twice a month... Alk, Ca, Nitrates and Phosphates. I do have a doser... and topoff... I also have a basement sump with an algae scrubber....blah blah... blah....

The tank has since started to settle in nicely. things are growing. The fish are happy and healthy. I even have a pair of clownfish that spawned this last Saturday....a first for me.

For me, going hands-off as much as I have has helped my tank settle.... I am not sure it has found its balance. But... it has become less of a chore and things seem to be doing much better.
Totally agree. You saved me typing a longer response.
To me...."keeping hands out of tank" doesn't mean the oils or soap on my hands....it means Tinkering.....
And I'm terrible for messing around with my tank. (I actually enjoy it)
I messed around to correct things, and even messed around when things were doing good to make things even better.
Be it additives, moving Frags arounds, changes in flow, Lighting, Different Alk Levels, etc
The YOYO syndrome was wrecking havoc on my Tank Corals (especially SPS).

So over last few months/year, my goal has been to just not change anything.
And when I do think (Maybe I should...Raise the Lights, add more photo period.... since corals might do better).....my new thinking is NO...nothing is terribly wrong. Maybe in a month, and I repeat that "Maybe in a month" over and over again. Each month nothing get worse, so it was a good decision. STABILITY.

Yes, I watch water parameters and adjust A/B dosing (but I stopped the Daily Phosphate checks to tune GFO), and switched to Regular Weekly. Very Regular all water parameter tests. Thinking of every two weeks.

And it's working. Things are better without unnecessary changes (no tinkering).

However, if this topic is about actually keeping hands out of tank. That I have to do since my skin gets terribly dry, so I use surgical gloves with a rubber band wrapped on wrist for in-tank needed maintenance.
 
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JuddtheBlack

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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
I keep my hands out as much as possible. It's important to do this for a few reasons in my opinion. I have a nano-reef for a start and also as I work with a lot of dangerous chemicals ( to marine life) such as ammonia, copper and nickel salts.
I wash most of my arms in fact.
Start with hot water then cold and a final rinse off with R.O . Anything getting into the tank after that should be taken care of by the filtration system.
 
BRS

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