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Old 11-07-2005, 05:26 PM   #1
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Saltwater aquarium creatures that you dont wanna mess with?

The more reading I do, the more I find out about the suprising defensive mechanisms some of these saltwater aquarium creatures have, such as the thumb splitting mantis shrimp, stinging lion fish, spearing mantis shrimp, and most suprisingly stinging bristle worms? I wonder what other sw critters has these traits to be forwarned of? As a complete newbie I do not want to stick my hand in to grab something to painfully find out that it can defend itself! I was wondering if some of the more experienced members would mind listing off a few of the common sw critters that you do not want to get to friendly with, and what they would do, and how much it would hurt (I am kinda facinated now) because if I had not been browsing through these forum pages, I would have never known to not just grab a bristle worm!

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Old 11-07-2005, 06:04 PM   #2
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You forgot urchins.
When I first started I was scared to touch anything. Now I have no fear of reaching in and doing what I need to. That's not to say I shouldn't have any reservations. I've just been lucky thus far.

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Old 11-07-2005, 06:26 PM   #3
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urchins sting too? 8O I hope to one day have a tank full of dangerous sea creatures, makes an interesting conversation point for sure. There must be alot of people on here that have had a run in with an aquarium creature, I wanna hear about em!
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Old 11-07-2005, 06:36 PM   #4
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Stonefish and scorpionfish are venomous as well. Those two are very nasty.

I've had close calls with Lions, and Scorpions but so far I've been lucky. When I worked at Petco I had a co-worker stung by a lion, but he was fine. He was envenomated, but heat was added immediately so he was fine.
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:11 AM   #5
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So far there hasn't been a case of a lionfish killing someone so you should be fine lol. Most likely he got stung by a dwarf lion, nothing but a minor throbbing pain after a while.

Urchins don't sting, but they're spines poke you.

There are many things that can hurt you, not kill but hurt. Some things of course like blue ringed octopuses though can kill you.
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:47 AM   #6
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As a general caution to all on this topic, lets be careful about what is presented as fact if you don't have factual experience or proof. Also, while most things aren't deadly themselves, there is always a risk that you may have a "reaction" to somethings defensive mechanisims.

Urchin spines CAN have venom in them. This one I speak from experience. I had a long spined urchin and was moving some rocks around and he got curious and moved a lot faster than I thought he could! I got jabbed in the back of the hand. A thick black substace was under my skin and a strong burning sensation was present for a few days. Urchin venom is often not enough to put you in danger by themselves, but you CAN be in trouble if you have an allergic reaction. When my hand started burning I got nervous but didn't feel any other effects and I was stabbed once more by the same critter with the same sticky venom and burning. It left a black spot on my hand for about a week or so.

The reaction danger holds true for ANY creature that has a sting or venom. A bee's sting, for example IS a type of venom. It's just not toxic enough to kill the average person, however we all know that someone who's allergic can have deadly problems from even a single sting.

Another critter to be cautious of is the spiney puffer. Similar to a bee sting IIRC (in terms of toxicity).

A number of anenome's and corals can also have a sting that you could be affected by.... for some reason hammer Coral comes to mind, can anyone back that one up or refute it for me?
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:56 AM   #7
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Some blennys also can inflict a painful bite. Canary, vampire, and a few others. They won't attack your hand, but be careful not to handle when netting.

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Old 11-08-2005, 01:07 PM   #8
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dont forget about zoanthid reactions. some people are alergic to zoo's.

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Old 11-08-2005, 03:22 PM   #9
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ill second that zooanthid thing....i work at a really good LFS and one guy didnt know and just put a whole bunch in a tank barehanded and then went out to have a cigarette and rubbed his eye....lets just say he had to go home for the day
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Old 11-08-2005, 03:23 PM   #10
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I found a couple interesting links regarding our more unfriendly sea creatures:

Dangers of the Reef, from barrierreefaustralia.com

it covers a number of critters to be careful of. mostly geared toward divers, but a number of creatures mentioned appear in our aquariums.

including cone shell snails, lionfish, and even Anenomes and Starfish.

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