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Old 10-16-2007, 05:22 PM   #1
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I just scared the poo out of myself!!!

I was just cleaning out my tank, barehanded, stupid I know, and I touched a bristleworm. Having read up on them when I first discovered them (I have 2 that stretch out to about 9" and I saw a 1" one a week ago), I found that their bristles can be toxic and with some extremely painful. I about fainted thinking I was gonna have to run to the hospital when I felt it, pulled my hand out and saw 50ish little spines in my finger. I ran to the bathroom and wiped them all off with my son's wet sock (the nearest thing on hand - I really have to do laundry). But it doesn't hurt, atleast not anymore then when I repotted my cactus and got a handlful of spine. Anyways, does anyone know if there can be a delayed reaction or did I just get really lucky to get one that is not toxic?
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:21 PM   #2
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Different folks have different reactions. While it did not bother you it might seriously harm someone else or at least be painful. Evidently you dont have delicate skin. Thank goodness you are OK.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:37 PM   #3
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I've brushed up against one before and just got a mild little welt on my hand that didn't hurt as much as it was sorta annoying. No delayed reaction. You should be fine.
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:03 PM   #4
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Good luck and hopefully a lesson learned.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:05 PM   #5
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I think I'd be more worried that I had a 9" bristleworm in my tank! Yikes!
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:43 PM   #6
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I thought that I would come back and mention that I still have not had any awful reaction. THank God. I was scared all day that all of a sudden something would happen. But I am okay.

What's wrong with it's size? I used to have 2 or 3 big bristle worms. I'm not sure cause they stretch so long. I decided to rip some rocks out of my tank last week cause I had some ugly white spider looking thing eating all of my zoos and shrooms. I lost all (down to my last 3 polyps now) of what I had to the bugger, and hundreds of dollars After trying to trap the thing for the last 3 months I gave up and took the rocks out and boiled them to kill them. They didn't have any live corals or anything else that I could see, But I did try rinsing them off with some tank water and only had a couple of little shrimpy things come off. After they finish drying I am going to start over with a newer bigger tank and use them for base rock. But I did see the end of one of my bristle worms in the dead rock so I am sure I lost one of how ever many I really had.
I'm actually kinda sad that I lost one though. They are the best part of the cleanup crew I have in my tank. I see them doing more eating and sifting then I do all of my snails and crabs put together. THey come out to eat just as predictably as the fish does and are hunting around the tank as soon as the power head swirls the food into the water. Plus I think they are kinda cute. Even if they did scare me.
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:14 AM   #7
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You know what really hurts? When the heater in the tank cracks in half and stray voltage is flowing through the water. You can't see it, but then when you touch the tank there's this nice burning sensation flowing through your arm
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:47 AM   #8
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Wow that would definitely suck. Last time my heater cracked I was lucky enough to notice it and unplug it before I stuck my hand in. Did that happen to you today?
I'd hate to get shocked like that but my son did. Not that this is fish related, but, this summer my son was electrocuted. He was wearing a mood ring and brushed the coppers on the cord to his lamp plugging it in. We didn't know at the time that they were exposed, but figure that our hamsters may have chewed them when they got out a couple days before that. It blew him across the room and the ring off his finger. Short circuited half the house. Carbon residue on half his hand, and melted outlet and a burn pattern 6 inches up the wall. Doctors said that he is one lucky kid as they can not find any sign of burns or electric contact on him, other then the carbon residue that I didn't get out from under his nails before we arrived at the er. They say the only reason that they can figure he lived with out any damage is cause he hit it with the ring and that it flew off his finger. My lucky 7 year old thinks it was the highlight of the summer and tells the story more often then how he managed to hike to the top of Multnomah Falls the week before. Of coarse, I am saving the ring, just so I can tell the story too, as soon as my heart stops pounding every time I think about it.
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:05 PM   #9
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Wow. Cool story to tell Shannon!

When it happened to me. I put my arm in the tank and pulled it out. For me, it was like thousands of needles stabbing you in the hand/arm. I actually had no idea at first then I realized what had happened. I actually put my hand in there a couple more times and got use to the pain to the point I could just leave my hand in there and move around the rocks. It was the heater so it wasn't that much. I think it was one 400 watt heater. It was a 150 gallon reef/aggressive tank.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:12 PM   #10
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Good Lord!

Did you loose everything in your tank?
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