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Old 10-09-2009, 11:37 PM   #1
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Question A stupid question about SW aquarium bacteria and humans

Ok so this is probably really, really stupid but I haven't seen anything on line about it and I have to ask.

I had a small scrape on my thumb and put hand sanitizer on it earlier in the day without thinking about it like I normally do. I was taking my first Ammonia reading in the tank and didn't wash my hands first.

But it got me thinking...

1. Are there any diseases I can catch from my tank from bacteria getting in that scrape?

2. I know that sanitizer is a big no no (and I am so buying marine gloves!) but how bad did I screw up?

It's only my second day cycling...and yes I am a bit of a germ-a-phobe


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Old 10-09-2009, 11:50 PM   #2
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1. Diseases... probably not. But infections in your open cut... you bet. Fish only... probably not that many issues. But in a reef tank, there are tons of bacteria that live in the slime coat of coral. Some are not nice. Strains of Vibrio come to mind, right off the top of my head. When handling corals, it's always best to use gloves. With that said though, I don't always do it myself.

If you get zoanthids or palythoas, both contain a pretty potent neurotoxin that you don't want to mess with. Again... use gloves and you'll be safe.

No... reef tanks are not death traps, but they do deserve research and respect as to what *may* be in there.

2. I doubt you screwed anything up with the hand sanitizer since you're just cycling at the moment. No bacteria to kill yet.

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Old 10-10-2009, 12:40 AM   #3
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Just a thought.. if you cut your hand in the tank, it will probably burn... salt+cut=pain

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Old 10-10-2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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It did but it wasn't bleeding. I just have to realize that I need to be more careful and wear gloves. Just need to get used to being an Aquarist

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:46 AM   #5
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If you have a fish infected with TB, it can be transferred to you via an open cut. That is about the only one I know of.
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:10 AM   #6
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I know a friend of mine's mom has various health issues. They are not allowed to have an aquarium in their home. I am not sure if that is the doc being paranoid or because of the chance of getting sick. For the most part I would have to say if wash your hands after playing in the tank and have a normal immune system you should have no problems.
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:28 PM   #7
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Diseases? of course! Mycobacteriums and Vibrio just to name the two most prevalent in just about every waterway system. Many possibilities from handling live rock and getting cut or having bacteria rubbed into the wound to having an animal injure you.
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:38 PM   #8
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i wear gloves because of the Zoas in my tank. better safe than sorry!

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