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Old 12-22-2009, 06:52 PM   #1
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Can my tank make me sick?

So Last Friday I tore down my tank and shortly after, my kids and I started to get sick. The wife came home after it was all apart and she just got stuffed up. I started sneezing like crazy got congested and a pounding headache. Later that night I had such bad chills that I had to hop in the shower to warm up so I could sleep. Both my daughters got congested aswell and the youngest one (5) woke up around 3 in the morning vomiting. My buddy who helped me move the tank to my van said too that he started feeling congested and a little off

Only think I can think of is that I had an air pump hooked to my Maxi-jet 1200 in the Rubbermaid that I put my zoo's and GSP in and something got into the air.

Anyone have any input?
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:31 PM   #2
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The short answer is, yes your tank can make you sick. However, I have never heard/read anything about getting congested from the tank. It sounds to me like you gave each other common colds, but I am not a doctor. The Zoas/palys do have dangerous toxins which are dangerous to get into broken skin or youy eyes etc. I believe the symptoms of that are more flu like and also swelling/ numbness in the area of contact... look up palytoxins on google.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:41 PM   #3
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I've never heard of someone getting sick just from they're tank being torn down. I've never contracted anything though and mine is in my bedroom.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
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I've never heard of someone getting sick just from they're tank being torn down. I've never contracted anything though and mine is in my bedroom.
It can happen if they are handling certain types of coral. But again, I have never heard of getting a stuffed up nose from that. "palytoxin"
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:26 PM   #5
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I've handled Zoos and such, touching the zoos, with no gloves and never had any ill-effects.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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If it's anything, it's probably bacteria-based - something like vibrio or the like. Vibrio is often found in the mucous coats of some corals, I believe. Doubt it's an issue with palytoxin - that's a neurological poison and isn't going to give you flu-like effects.

It does seem odd that everyone that came into contact had the same symptoms at the same time. Normally, it seems like the run of the mill colds and flus will work their way through a household in stages and not all at once.

But yeah... in theory, there's stuff in our tanks that could make you sick. If you do end up seeing a doctor, make sure you tell them that you have corals and a SW tank in the house. Some docs are aware of the issues, others will give you a blank stare.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:13 PM   #7
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It could be possible that water had gotten spilled and caused mold that would be the reason for the congestion. However to give you an idea how dangerous zoas can be YouTube - So you touched it now what? Part 2 of 6
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:44 PM   #8
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I would think that mold is a likely culprit. It can easily become airborne and have immediate effects. Is there anything that was flaking off or becoming airborne when you were working? A carpet area that had not been vacuumed for quite some time?
This is from a EPA website.
A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home | Mold | Indoor Air Quality | Air | US EPA
"Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people."

A good cleaning and airing of the area may be needed.

Hope everyone feels much better soon!
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:08 PM   #9
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I've handled Zoos and such, touching the zoos, with no gloves and never had any ill-effects.
That sounds like playing with fire and not yet being burned
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:28 PM   #10
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It was accidental and before I knew anything. Now I'm older and wiser!
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