aquarium maintenance

5 Good Reasons to Wear Gloves When Working in a Marine Aquarium

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  1. Lackadaisical approach describes me to a T, even though I’ve experienced a bought with Mycobacterium marinum years ago that proved to be very hard to treat. The ensuing infection led to open, oozing, very painful sored on the back of my hand and up my arm. Ultimately it led to blood poisoning. This was back in the ’70s and the doctors had never seen a case prior to mine. It was days and several visits before they got a diagnoses. The reason was, they were culturing the samples taken from the wounds at room temperature. Turns out that Mycobacterium marinum must be cultured at body temperature to flourish. After the correct diagnoses, it took six months of treatment to reach a cure. That brings me to today and my latest warning…

    Two days ago I got in a large clump of 100 Palyotha grandis. I was working with this large Paly separating them and mounting the singles on plugs. Earlier in the day, I had cut my thumb. NOT thinking, I was working with slimy palys, some squirting toxin out, drying the ends for gluing and never gave a thought to infecting that wound. Next day it was painfully evident I had indeed infected that wound. Now I’m fighting palytoxin in that thumb. Hmmm, Thumb rhymes with dumb! Lessons learned the hard way are often the best lessons retained in the brain. Don’t be dumb when working with palys and zoanthids, wear gloves and eye protection. Wearing gloves while in the aquarium working makes good sense, too. Better safe than sorry!

  2. Jeff Kurtz says:

    Very timely observations and advice, Dick. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully your thumb will be on the mend soon!

  3. Thumb was swollen, beat red, and hot for a couple of days. We use Melaleuca Oil as a disinfectant around here for everything from insect bites, cuts, burns and more. Now I can add, it works on Palytoxin infections, too. Pain is nearly gone, swelling and redness gone. Feeling much better about the whole thing. Now where are those gloves? 🙂

  4. Ayaan says:

    Hmmmm…..
    Bucket loads of thanx … it ought to be remembered.

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