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Old 03-07-2004, 11:02 AM   #1
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Wash hands before working in tank?

What's the safe way to clean hands before putting them in the aquarium? If I wash my hands with soap, won't that poison the water? If I don't use soap, then won't I contaminate the water with whatever is on my hands (lotion, germs, dirt, grease, etc.)?

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Old 03-07-2004, 11:22 AM   #2
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I wash my hands with soap and I rinse VERY well. So far, haven't lost any fish!


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Old 03-07-2004, 12:24 PM   #3
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Rinse Rinse Rinse and Rinse some more.

I personally dont wash my hands at all. I just dive right in. Course I dont use lotion. I cant stand that stuff.
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Old 03-07-2004, 01:44 PM   #4
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I rinse my hands in hot water , but only because as the cleaner of the house i may windex, ,bleach, ,detergent, etc on my hands. I would prolly be less anal about how long I rinse if I was doing lesser things.
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Old 03-07-2004, 02:24 PM   #5
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Hi elmonty,
Have you seen these gloves, to be worn while working in an aquarium? Here's a link from DrFosterSmith.com, showing two types of gloves:


Some people prefer to wear goves, and some don't. I use the clear gloves -- the disposable gripper sleeve. They are very thin, and they can be re-used 3 to 4 times before they get too leaky to use again. I may order the heavy duty aqua gloves, but a thicker glove like that may be too bulky to use in a 5 gallon aquarium.

I just thought I would show you the gloves in case you didn't know about them, and you can decide whether that's something you would like to try. Hope this helps!
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Old 03-07-2004, 05:03 PM   #6
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I never use gloves, but that's a personal choice, certainly nothing wrong with gloves.

Insofar as washing hands, it depends what I was doing before tank work. If using household cleaners, or changing oil in the car or chemicals in the yard, scrub like mad and rinse for a long time. If I was just messing around the house, playin' on the computer or whatever, just a good rinse with fairly hot water before tank work.
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Old 03-07-2004, 05:25 PM   #7
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Strangely enough, its more important to wash your hands AFTER then before. Most of the germs we carry are not transmittable to fish, but fish can carry one thats transmittible to us (see here: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=10620 ). I do try to rinse my hands off before sticking em in the tank, mostly because I work on more then one tank at a time and don't want to transmit anything between em. I also don't work on the tanks right after using cleaning supplies just in case.
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Old 03-08-2004, 04:02 PM   #8
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I'm like fishfreek, I just stick my hands right in. But like Alli, I wash like a fiend AFTER I am done doing tank work. Fish poo is still poo after all 8O
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Old 03-08-2004, 04:34 PM   #9
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It's funny. Now that I think of it, I tend to wash my hands before and after doing most tasks, both at work and at home. I think this has to do with working for 14 years in a biomedical research lab where nearly everything I touch poses the risk of becoming contaminated by me, cross-contaminated by me, or is potentially toxic to me.

When working with the fish, I wash my hands thoroughly with warm water, no soap. After I'm done, or between tanks, I wash well with hot soapy water and rinse really well.

IMO, you really can't wash your hands too often - at the very least, you'll prevent the spread of the common cold!

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