The Potential of Palytoxins: Do you use PPE?

Do you use PPE when handling species of Zoanthidae?

  • Yes, I always use PPE.

    Votes: 30 14.2%
  • Yes, but only when I am fragging. I do not use PPE if I am moving them around my tank.

    Votes: 36 17.0%
  • I only use some PPE.

    Votes: 11 5.2%
  • No, I do not use PPE, but I do wash my hands and avoid touching my face during/after handling them.

    Votes: 63 29.7%
  • No, I don't use PPE.

    Votes: 46 21.7%
  • I wasn't aware that some people use PPE when handling them.

    Votes: 14 6.6%
  • Other (please explain!)

    Votes: 12 5.7%

  • Total voters
    212

AlyciaMarie

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Members of the Zoanthidae family are arguably some of this hobby's most recognized and kept corals. But these guys can pack a punch if you're not careful!

Do you use personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling species of Zoanthidae, specifically Palythoa and Zoanthus?


P.S. This is not an endorsement of any specific practices. It is each reefer's individual responsibility to understand the risks that come with handling any and all sea life and to understand how to maintain their personal health while enjoying their home reefs.:)

CAEDE1AE-EB71-4B55-8A27-68C80A107A05.jpeg

Photo Credit: @Nick Rose
 

vcnt

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Members of the Zoanthidae family are arguably some of this hobby's most recognized and kept corals. But these guys can pack a punch! If you're a reefer, odds are you've probably got something in your tank that has the capability to release palytoxins.

Do you use personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling species of Zoanthidae, specifically Palythoa and Zoanthus?


P.S. This is not an endorsement of any specific practices. It is each reefer's individual responsibility to understand the risks that come with handling any and all sea life and to understand how to maintain their personal health while enjoying their home reefs.:)

CAEDE1AE-EB71-4B55-8A27-68C80A107A05.jpeg

Photo Credit: @Nick Rose
I dont own any yet, tanks still cycling, but zoas are my favorite and if i have any I dont want to be injured so id be extra precautions
 

Rjukan

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I never do. But I did wear nitrile gloves handling a bubble coral I recently got. I read about it possibly stinging and I don't have any experience with that coral yet.

Zoas or Palys I never do. But I always wash my hands after they are in the tank, regardless of what I'm touching in there. But, I would definitely take precautions if I removed a rock with a lot of them, or if I wanted to remove any. But normal frag mounting, or cleaning in the tank, I don't do anything special for them.

Pic of the bubble coral and some of my zoas..
20240706_190637.jpg
 
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AlyciaMarie

AlyciaMarie

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I did wear nitrile gloves handling a bubble coral I recently got. I read about it possibly stinging and I don't have any experience with that coral yet.
I'm glad you pointed this out about bubble coral! I think it's important to realize that you can predispose yourself to harm anytime you mess with wildlife if you're not careful. Maybe some pose greater risks than others, but everyone should be doing the appropriate research to ensure not only the safety of the animal but the safety of yourself too! (I'm preaching to the choir here, LOL)
 

exnisstech

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But I did wear nitrile gloves handling a bubble coral I recently got. I read about it possibly stinging and I don't have any experience with that coral yet.

I'm glad you pointed this out about bubble coral

A bubble coral is my oldest piece. Other coral pay the price if they get too close but I have never been stung and to be honest never heard of that. Many coral can sting other coral but don't sting us. Nothing wrong with being careful tho, I could just be lucky.
 

Lucky_805

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i never wear gloves or anything but one time i was fragging zoas and i accidently tore one in half. I felt light headed and dizzy, felt like throwing up but super shaky like my blood pressure dropped or like my sugar level dropped after a couple minutes i decided to take a break. I did have a thin paper cut in one of my fingers and I am assuming that the toxins were able to get into my bloodstream through the cut. After that I always check my hands for cuts if i am fragging, if not I will still put my hand in if I am not fragging.
 

SaltyArms

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I won't put them in my tank(s). It's not worth the risk to me, my wife, or my dogs. It doesn't take much just to have an "oops." All the stories from "known" experienced hobbyists that point to how easy it is to have an accidental exposure just reinforce that position.
 

KrisReef

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These look almost good enough to eat raw!

P.S. This is not an endorsement of any specific practices. It is each reefer's individual responsibility to understand the risks that come with handling any and all sea life and to understand how to maintain their personal health while enjoying their home reefs.:)

IE, DO Not eat these. :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing: :cool: :face-with-spiral-eyes:

Many are poisons enough to cause agony followed by many disgusting symptoms that rock you until death. :confounded-face::downcast-face-with-sweat::zipper-mouth-face:
 

NanoNana

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I do wear nitrile gloves banded at my wrists UNDER elbow length gloves if I have to do any more than glue a plug.
I scrubbed algae around a particular colony once and got pretty symptomatic. Almost went to the ER. I’m assuming it was an inhalation exposure. I’m not about to don a respirator every time I clean my tank so I just tell the lettuce nudi to do his job and clean around the suspect Zoa colony cuz I’m not touching them again. I have come very close to dropping that colony in a bucket of bleach.
My next tank will have exactly zero zoas.
 

LordJoshaeus

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I would wear ppe if I had any zoas or palys, but the risk of being poisoned seems to far outweigh their beauty in my eyes...so I simply won't keep any.
 

jlitz

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I wear arm length and nitrile gloves if my hands go in the tank period. They’re cheap and it’s really not that much of an inconvenience. It protects me from odd and likely rare issues like palytoxin or infections through small cuts, but I do it more because it protects the fish and coral from soap or whatever other contaminants might have accumulated on my hands throughout the day. I’m also often having to reach in the tank to feed the fish before or after work with long sleeves too, and gloves save me time in that regard. That’s it for ppe for me though.
 

Narideth

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If I'm working on my zoas out of the tank, I throw on the safety glasses I keep in my accessories and tools. I feel like an accidental squirting in the eye is what I hear about most other than the paper cut or scrape scenario.

If I'm doing a big batch I'll throw on nitrile gloves too. Otherwise it's bare hands and thorough washing before/after!
 

Everclear

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I always wear gloves whenever I'm in the tank, you never know what pathogens are in the water and it doesn't take much extra time to put them on and clean them afterwards. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cute!
 

Townes_Van_Camp

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I raw dog my tank. Have for years. I am keenly aware of the risks.

If I handle a lot of animals/coral or spend more than 15-20 minutes with my hands in and out. I wash my hands with dish soap before I go in. Wash with anti bacterial and do a all-over rinse with 70/30 IPA afterward. I let the 70/30 air dry. I'm much more concerned about infections than I am toxins.
 

TangerineSpeedo

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If I'm working on my zoas out of the tank, I throw on the safety glasses I keep in my accessories and tools. I feel like an accidental squirting in the eye is what I hear about most other than the paper cut or scrape scenario.

If I'm doing a big batch I'll throw on nitrile gloves too. Otherwise it's bare hands and thorough washing before/after!
My buddy at the LFS just got nailed in the eye. No fragging involved, just moving some zoas to another tank. Instant bacterial infection... Accident or not, from the stories I have heard, Zoas have better aim than half the ppl I went through basic training with...
 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN REEFING? (TELL US YOUR BIGGEST MILESTONE IN THE COMMENTS!)

  • Less than 6 months

    Votes: 22 15.9%
  • 1 year

    Votes: 12 8.7%
  • 2-4 years

    Votes: 22 15.9%
  • 4-6 years

    Votes: 10 7.2%
  • 7-10 years

    Votes: 11 8.0%
  • 10-15 years

    Votes: 12 8.7%
  • 15-20 years

    Votes: 18 13.0%
  • Over 20 years

    Votes: 12 8.7%
  • Over 30 years

    Votes: 15 10.9%
  • Umm....Yeah, it's been a super long time. No comment.

    Votes: 2 1.4%
  • Other (Please explain!)

    Votes: 2 1.4%
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