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Old 01-06-2005, 05:21 PM   #1
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The dangers of Zoos...

It didn't really occur to me that the stuff in our tanks could pose a health risk to our pets or children until I read a frightening account of a mans dog dieing from ingesting either water from the process of fragging zoos or the zoos themselves.

Just thought I'd throw the topic out there and see what your thoughts on the dangers of zoos really are. Any other high risk tank occupants? I thought I'd seen zoos in the easy to care for (read: even a newbie could take these on) category on some e-tailer sites. Seems to me that something that could kill my pets or children (or even potenially a fully grown man) should be in an expert category?
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:39 PM   #2
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Well they aren't exactly on the menu at Mcdonalds. I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to consume them. Antifreeze will kill your pets and make your children and adults sick if consumed too. There is a certain risk and responsibility to just about anything animal, vegetable and mineral in your home. You don't leave chemicals out for your children and pets to get into and you shouldn't leave anything related to your aquarium out and exposed to them either. The fact is that they are some of the easiest corals to keep and even a newbie can have them, but, there is a certain maturity and responsibility and common sense involved and assumed. This is my opinion and others may vary.
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Old 01-06-2005, 08:36 PM   #3
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Zoos contain palytoxin (as do all palythoa and protopalythoa sp) which is a very deadly neurotoxin. It is leathal to humans @ 4 micrograms.

Do a search for palytoxin and you'll get quite a few hits that go into more detail on how to protect yourself.
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:03 PM   #4
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Hmmm interesting!
I just read that Palytoxin is the most toxic natural product known to man! 8O
You learn something new everyday!
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:09 PM   #5
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Elec... I know they aren't on a menu anywhere, but I'll bet that dog didn't exactly ingest a zoo... it probably lapped up some of the water innocently when the fishkeeper walked out of the room. It took a mere 12 hrs for the dog to die and there is no antitoxin. Pretty dramatic. Apparently just handling them can cause reactions in some people. I'm certainly not looking for the world to protect me from myself. That isn't why I started this thread. I started it because I was very surprised that after 2 months of extensive reading on what I can and can't put into my tank, how to care for what I do put in, etc, I've never come across anything until that thread on another forum that addressed palytoxin. I don't own any zoos, yet, was just starting to get serious about researching them. The thought that it was lethal at 4 micrograms was staggering to me. I came here, not to be ostracized for bringing up the topic, but to start a conversation about peoples thoughts on the care and maintenance of a tank with zoos.

Don't you think it might be good to chat about what you know, what you've seen, etc so that the newbies have a chance to learn about the potential dangers of a zoo? It only made sense to me. Sorry if I offended you with my topic!
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
The fact is that they are some of the easiest corals to keep and even a newbie can have them, but, there is a certain maturity and responsibility and common sense involved and assumed. This is my opinion and others may vary.
They are also something that can kill you simply by moving them from one place in your tank to another, that might be something you might care to know about. You can he the nicest zoo collection on the planet, but if your dead you won't enjoy them. Precautions should be taken when handling these beautiful animals, for your sake and those around you.

Scenario: Your working in your tank, you had to move a rock full of zoos or you fragged them or some such, your small child is playing in the room while your working. You have had both hands in the tank, you are currently working with just one hand in the tank, your child grabbs the hand that's sitting outside the tank, swings your arm around, just playing and then runs off. What do you do? You continue working in your tank, but meanwhile your child goes into the next room and grabs a piece of candy, the childs hand is still wet from the water and coral slime that was on your hand, the child pops the candy in their mouth. lethat to adults at 4 micrograms, less for small children, how many micro grams are contained in the water and slime that were on your hands?
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:33 PM   #7
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Why do they not have any warnings on the websites that sell them then? I've seen warnings that corals will sting each other and fish but have never seen anything(except some toxic fish) that says they are toxic to people. Most people handle their corals as they are moved around in the tank so you would think there would at least be a warning to wear latex gloves or something.

To Phyl and everyone else. I did not mean to offend you at all. First, I did not realize that you were originally talking about a true toxin. I thought you were only talking about a general stinging type poison like anemones and most corals have that may be an irritant but not deadly. My apologies to all. I'll try to be more observant and less flippant in the future.
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:41 PM   #8
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Why do they not have any warnings on the websites that sell them then?
Because...

1) They are not on the menu
2) They are not regulated by the fda or any other regulating body (if the gov't didn't make them, no one would have warning labels on any of their products)

Other than those two reasons, I do not know why. Mostly the second reason, no one makes them.
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Old 01-06-2005, 11:44 PM   #9
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Kat, now you understand my intrigue at this seemingly quietly kept, but pertinent information!
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:12 AM   #10
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It's really best to use latex gloves when working in your reef tank. I buy them in boxes of (I think) 100 pair. I also have a stainless trash can with a foot operated lid (cheap at Lowes) next to the tanks...used gloves go in there. I've learned a lot over the years about working with hazardous substances since I spend my days transporting and loading/unloading haz chemicals. As long as you use proper precautions along with a little common sense, you really don't have anything to worry about. Palytoxin is no different than any other potentially deadly substance...proper precautions pretty much negate the danger. I would think the biggest danger, as pointed out by Kevin, would be having small children and/or indoor pets around when you're working with zoos. Again...proper precautions + common sense = safety. I don't mean to minimize the dangers of palytoxin, just to point out that these critters can be handled safely. FWIW, I also wear glasses when fragging them...sometimes they will squirt all over you when you cut them.
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