Just learned Palys and Zoas aren't for me - any other risky reef tank critters?

RickLRMS

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I had bubble algae on one of my three zoanthid frags, so I needed to take it out and clean it. All three frag have grown considerably since going into my quarantine tank about four weeks ago. I decided I would go ahead and get all three out and use the opportunity to separate and make some additional frags.

This would be my first experience in doing frags. I was nervous dealing with the zoas because of palytoxin, with “one of the world’s deadliest toxins” and “no antidote” floating through my brain. I had sweated it out when doing the original coral dip and had not enjoyed the experience. So today I almost backed out of doing anything but decided I could handle it. I was wrong.

I opened a window and partially lifted a shop door and pointed a fan out the door to get a cross breeze through my shop (where my quarantine tanks are), put on an N95 mask, a face shield, and nintrile gloves and set to work. All I can say is the job didn't go as smoothly as it does on the videos I watch.

I mean, it wasn’t a horrible frag job but if I was a zoa and I had any palytoxin to release, I would have released it. There was scraping and cutting and polyps holding on for dear life. I was on the second zoa with a smear of brown goop (PALYTOXIN! (probably not)) on my gloves and on the frag plug and a scalpel 1/16 of an inch from my goop-smeared (PALYTOXIN! (probably not)) 3mm gloved finger, my glasses fogged up, the song by Deadboy & The Elephanmen: “Stop, I’m Already Deaaad” running through my brain, and I realized I wasn't having any fun at all. Instead I was seriously concerned about what I was doing and what it might do to me. To each his own, not trying to panic anyone else, make your own decision, but zoas and palys are off the table for me. I realize the risk is minimal, but it takes the joy out of the hobby for me.

So, assuming I’m alive tomorrow (about 85% joking) my question: any other items of the reef world that are as risky? Any other corals I should avoid because it requires hazmat gear to work with? Or fish? I'd like to be able to handle any coral without gearing up to work with them. I don't mean a sting or a nip, I'm asking about you-could-become-seriously-ill-and/or-die items.

Thanks for any replies.
 
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elysics

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If it comes down to it, touching anything at all in the tank could give you flesh eating bacteria or other nasty infections in general.

Handling stuff is always a gamble. The odds of something happening (at least without obvious open wounds) aren't that big, but they are there.
 

Tiki Reef Joshua

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Man.... I’m sitting in urgent care right now with excruciating kidney pain. I was shaking all night. I feel terrible. I’ve been working in the tank like crazy for 3 days. I have no idea but I’m not ruling out that. I was cleaning old skimmer.... moving corals.... everything. I woke up at 345 shaking like crazy. I don’t care for zoas... I just like mushrooms, sps, and euphilia. I feel awful. I just got a negative Covid test... my kidneys hurt so bad. I don’t use gloves and my hygiene during the maintenance wasn’t stellar. Definitely got a mouth full of water starting a siphon. ..... who knows.
 

jgirardnrg

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Man.... I’m sitting in urgent care right now with excruciating kidney pain. I was shaking all night. I feel terrible. I’ve been working in the tank like crazy for 3 days. I have no idea but I’m not ruling out that. I was cleaning old skimmer.... moving corals.... everything. I woke up at 345 shaking like crazy. I don’t care for zoas... I just like mushrooms, sps, and euphilia. I feel awful. I just got a negative Covid test... my kidneys hurt so bad. I don’t use gloves and my hygiene during the maintenance wasn’t stellar. Definitely got a mouth full of water starting a siphon. ..... who knows.
Oh man... speedy recovery. Report back and let us know you're ok.
 
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cooksterni

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Man.... I’m sitting in urgent care right now with excruciating kidney pain. I was shaking all night. I feel terrible. I’ve been working in the tank like crazy for 3 days. I have no idea but I’m not ruling out that. I was cleaning old skimmer.... moving corals.... everything. I woke up at 345 shaking like crazy. I don’t care for zoas... I just like mushrooms, sps, and euphilia. I feel awful. I just got a negative Covid test... my kidneys hurt so bad. I don’t use gloves and my hygiene during the maintenance wasn’t stellar. Definitely got a mouth full of water starting a siphon. ..... who knows.
my word, I hope you are ok
 
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RickLRMS

RickLRMS

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Man.... I’m sitting in urgent care right now with excruciating kidney pain. I was shaking all night. I feel terrible. I’ve been working in the tank like crazy for 3 days. I have no idea but I’m not ruling out that. I was cleaning old skimmer.... moving corals.... everything. I woke up at 345 shaking like crazy. I don’t care for zoas... I just like mushrooms, sps, and euphilia. I feel awful. I just got a negative Covid test... my kidneys hurt so bad. I don’t use gloves and my hygiene during the maintenance wasn’t stellar. Definitely got a mouth full of water starting a siphon. ..... who knows.
Hope all turns out well; post back with an update.
 

sp1187

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Man.... I’m sitting in urgent care right now with excruciating kidney pain. I was shaking all night. I feel terrible. I’ve been working in the tank like crazy for 3 days. I have no idea but I’m not ruling out that. I was cleaning old skimmer.... moving corals.... everything. I woke up at 345 shaking like crazy. I don’t care for zoas... I just like mushrooms, sps, and euphilia. I feel awful. I just got a negative Covid test... my kidneys hurt so bad. I don’t use gloves and my hygiene during the maintenance wasn’t stellar. Definitely got a mouth full of water starting a siphon. ..... who knows.
kidney stones.
I'm no doctor but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn last night.
 
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sfin52

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Man.... I’m sitting in urgent care right now with excruciating kidney pain. I was shaking all night. I feel terrible. I’ve been working in the tank like crazy for 3 days. I have no idea but I’m not ruling out that. I was cleaning old skimmer.... moving corals.... everything. I woke up at 345 shaking like crazy. I don’t care for zoas... I just like mushrooms, sps, and euphilia. I feel awful. I just got a negative Covid test... my kidneys hurt so bad. I don’t use gloves and my hygiene during the maintenance wasn’t stellar. Definitely got a mouth full of water starting a siphon. ..... who knows.
Have you had a kidney stone before. Thays how I felt. Imagine child birth and than you get the type of pain.

All you women out there im just repeating what my aunt told me when I had one.
 

sp1187

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I had bubble algae on one of my three zoanthid frags, so I needed to take it out and clean it. All three frag have grown considerably since going into my quarantine tank about four weeks ago. I decided I would go ahead and get all three out and use the opportunity to separate and make some additional frags.

This would be my first experience in doing frags. I was nervous dealing with the zoas because of palytoxin, with “one of the world’s deadliest toxins” and “no antidote” floating through my brain. I had sweated it out when doing the original coral dip and had not enjoyed the experience. So today I almost backed out of doing anything but decided I could handle it. I was wrong.

I opened a window and partially lifted a shop door and pointed a fan out the door to get a cross breeze through my shop (where my quarantine tanks are), put on an N95 mask, a face shield, and nintrile gloves and set to work. All I can say is the job didn't go as smoothly as it does on the videos I watch.

I mean, it wasn’t a horrible frag job but if I was a zoa and I had any palytoxin to release, I would have released it. There was scraping and cutting and polyps holding on for dear life. I was on the second zoa with a smear of brown goop (PALYTOXIN! (probably not)) on my gloves and on the frag plug and a scalpel 1/16 of an inch from my goop-smeared (PALYTOXIN! (probably not)) 3mm gloved finger, my glasses fogged up, the song by Deadboy & The Elephanmen: “Stop, I’m Already Deaaad” running through my brain, and I realized I wasn't having any fun at all. Instead I was seriously concerned about what I was doing and what it might do to me. To each his own, not trying to panic anyone else, make your own decision, but zoas and palys are off the table for me. I realize the risk is minimal, but it takes the joy out of the hobby for me.

So, assuming I’m alive tomorrow (about 85% joking) my question: any other items of the reef world that are as risky? Any other corals I should avoid because it requires hazmat gear to work with? Or fish? I'd like to be able to handle any coral without gearing up to work with them. I don't mean a sting or a nip, I'm asking about you-could-become-seriously-ill-and/or-die items.

Thanks for any replies.
mushrooms
foxface
lionfish
morays
scorpion fish
some blenny's
some gobies
blue ring octopus

owned all. just turned 61. I survived.
most people that get poisoned in this hobby are either
careless or unaware of what they are dealing with.
 

sp1187

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Have you had a kidney stone before. Thays how I felt. Imagine child birth and than you get the type of pain.

All you women out there im just repeating what my aunt told me when I had one.
my sister in law told me it was worse than child birth.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Just Avoiding Work

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kidney stones.
I'm no doctor but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn last night.
I thought the same thing. That is virtually identical to my story. If it is they can fix you right up. If you have been bending into your tank for three days that could definitely knock one loose. They can take it out for you if necessary. Good drugs, nurses playing with your bits, and sympathy from others. Take away the excruciating pain and it doesn't seem half bad ; ) Remember to tell the nurses that you are experiencing "anxiety shrinkage". Hang in there and get well soon!
 

DucatiGtr

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Never had them. This is so stressful. My wife has breast cancer surgery next week. I feel totally useless right now.
Have a local comedy and frag them for you... I was in the hospital for 7 days w the worst pain from palytoxin. Long story..
I still frag and be as careful as I can.. my hands are in my tank an hour-3 hours 5/7 days a week
 
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