Keep THESE TWO THINGS out of your tank for a better reef? True or False?

BRS

How often are your hands in the tank?

  • Every Day

    Votes: 171 22.9%
  • Few Days A Week

    Votes: 266 35.6%
  • Once A Week

    Votes: 183 24.5%
  • Every Few Weeks

    Votes: 77 10.3%
  • Monthly Or Longer

    Votes: 38 5.1%
  • Literally Never

    Votes: 12 1.6%

  • Total voters
    747

revhtree

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Ok we've heard it said that we should keep our hands out of our reef tank as much as possible. To me it's always been a tongue in cheek type of thing but lately, more than ever, I'm finding out that this may be better advice than what I once previously thought! About a year ago I kinda lost my passion for my reef tank. I was doing the bare minimal tasks to keep the coral and fish healthy and quit buying anything new. Equipment would stop working correctly and instead of replacing it I just started reefing more "old school." Also during this time I quit putting my hands in the tank and since then my tank has really started to blossom from what it was. I quit worrying about the occasional aiptasia and algae patch and for the most part the issues corrected themselves or stayed at bay. Has the success of my tank as of late been in part or mostly because I've kept my hands out of the tank? Might just be a fluke but let's talk about it!

1. Are you a believer that keeping your hands out of your aquarium is a good practice?

2. How often are your hands in the tank?


image via @Nash
24f14428f78b5c9d3e6feaea48c5fe65.jpg
 

blaxsun

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1. Yes.
2. At least once a day - maybe more. While I agree and strive for #1, reality dictates that upturned snails, empty shells, overturned coral frags and weekly coral feedings necessitate "getting wet". I also have a "digger" and have to dust off my rocks and corals at least once a week.
 

Quietman

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Every 3-4 weeks on average but have gone 6-8 weeks. But I never put my hands in the tank without my first putting on my yellow up to the shoulder gloves. One - don't want to contaminate the tank and Two - don't want the tank to contaminate me.

I do put my acrylic sand bed stirring rod almost daily and I have my Tunze grabbers for snail saving.
 

James_O

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1. Are you a believer that keeping your hands out of your aquarium is a good practice?
I don’t really like the idea, because 1) They get all sticky and smell bad afterwards, and 2) I’m subconscious about how clean my hands are, going in the tank.


2. How often are your hands in the tank?
Every few days.
 

Andrews_aquarium

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1. Yes
2. Maybe every few days but I now where long gloves. A few months ago I had a Zinc contamination from a soap I was using, even with me washing my hands thoroughly in fresh water prior to putting hands in tank the Zinc killed half my SPS, after multiple water changes and 3 ICP tests I've gotten it down to acceptable levels. Now everything is back and thriving!
 

a fish

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I try to go a few days, but I have a jerk of an emerald crab that knocks everything over and will dislodge glued frags. If they aren't face down in the sand or rockwork, i'll let them go until I need to do a few things.
Same, I got two hitch hikers in my live rock (emerald crab and gorilla crab, It killed my anemone) and my dotty back killed it :)
 

MaxTremors

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I probably stick my hands in a couple times a week, but I’ll put things off and try to consolidate tasks that need to be done and do them all at the same time. Whenever I do put my hands in the tank I scrub my hands and arms with a sponge kept specifically for this task (ie soap or cleaning products have never touched it), and basically do the surgical scrub with just tap water, and then dry them off with paper towels. I’m not worried about anything in my tank harming me, I’ve been putting my hands in reef tanks several times a week (when I had multiple tanks for years it was daily) for many years and have never had any issues (though I wash with soap and water when done). I do use a grabber and tongs, pipettes/basters, and an algae scraper to move stuff, flip stuff over, or blow sand/detritus off corals rather than put my hands in the tank, but it I’m being honest that’s more out of laziness and not wanting to get my hands wet than out of concern for bothering anything in the tank.

I don’t know that just putting your hands in the tank hurts any corals, crabs and other tank inhabitants are constantly touching them and causing them to retract, I don’t think being touched or fanned with some water by my hand is really any different. Moving corals can affect them (I’ve found it can pause growth for a while), but I think that’s more a change in light and flow than being touched or physically moved.
 

FEED ME ZOAS

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In years past I used to almost make reasons to get my hands in the tank. Constantly fiddling and messing with things. I think it's largely an adhd thing. Recently though in my current tank I'm making much more of an effort to avoid it when it isn't necessary and when hands are going in I'm giving my arms a good rinse up past the elbow before I touch tank water.
 

MnFish1

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Ok we've heard it said that we should keep our hands out of our reef tank as much as possible. To me it's always been a tongue in cheek type of thing but lately, more than ever, I'm finding out that this may be better advice than what I once previously thought! About a year ago I kinda lost my passion for my reef tank. I was doing the bare minimal tasks to keep the coral and fish healthy and quit buying anything new. Equipment would stop working correctly and instead of replacing it I just started reefing more "old school." Also during this time I quit putting my hands in the tank and since then my tank has really started to blossom from what it was. I quit worrying about the occasional aiptasia and algae patch and for the most part the issues corrected themselves or stayed at bay. Has the success of my tank as of late been in part or mostly because I've kept my hands out of the tank? Might just be a fluke but let's talk about it!

1. Are you a believer that keeping your hands out of your aquarium is a good practice?

2. How often are your hands in the tank?


image via @Nash
24f14428f78b5c9d3e6feaea48c5fe65.jpg
This is exactly what happened to me - after a massive problem due to equipment failure. (a way overdosing of Ca/Alk). I decided rather than chase down the alkalinity, etc - I just left it. So far - multiple things (after weeks-months) have recovered. The fish suffered no issues. Things that I had not seen for YEARS (a leather coral I had taken out 5 years ago) - came from somewhere (same spot on the rock it was on) - and is now about 6 -7 inches tall. etc.

I have gotten rid of carbon reactors algae reactor. In favor of an oxydator and chemipure. My nitrates and phosphates are well in range my alkalinity (down from 24+) is 9 (with no dosing) - I will restart dosing soon..

1. Are you a believer that keeping your hands out of your aquarium is a good practice? yes

2. How often are your hands in the tank?
I feed the fish daily - so they sometimes 'go in' - but if you're talking about moving stuff around, fiddling, etc - every few weeks
 

LiveFreeAndReef

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Every day, but only my fingertips! I rotate between live, frozen, flakes, and pellets and I like to put the flakes and pellets underwater so my fish aren't struggling to get the food off the surface. Also gives my corals stuff to eat as the food is in the water column right away.
 

boacvh

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1. Are you a believer that keeping your hands out of your aquarium is a good practice?
Sort of. I am a believer but not in the literal meaning above. I don't think having my hands in the tank changes anything significant in the tank. However,I am a believer of "keeping your hands out" meaning don't constantly tinker with your lights, your flow, your aquascape, your dosing, etc. All of those things that just go against stability. Just let the tank be

2. How often are your hands in the tank?

Sometimes daily and sometimes once every few weeks. Depends whats going on with fish and corals and maintenance tasks
 

tharbin

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I voted every few days.

I do believe it is best to keep our hands, and our hand extensions (tweezers/grippers/tongs/gloves), out of the tank as much as possible. Ocean life thrives in stability and even repositioning a coral is disruptive.

That said, my current tank is only three months old so nothing is stable yet and I'm still getting it dialed in but my hands go in a little less often each week. Once I add a few more inhabitants I expect to only go in for equipment maintenance tasks or a really nasty pest problem.
 
BRS

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

  • Yes! I have. (Tell us about what issue you faced in the thread.)

    Votes: 171 24.2%
  • No. Thankfully, I haven't.

    Votes: 365 51.6%
  • Nope, but it almost happened. (Share your experience in the thread.)

    Votes: 52 7.4%
  • Not yet, but I'm almost there. (Tell us what you're dealing with.)

    Votes: 59 8.3%
  • If you reef long enough, this will eventually happen to you.

    Votes: 47 6.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 13 1.8%
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