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stinging hydroids????

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johnsmb

Active member
Joined
Jul 12, 2003
Messages
43
Location
Southwestern WA
About 6 months into my reef tank I started getting bumpy, itchy rashes on the back of my hand or under my fore arm every time I worked in the tank. After a particularly bad rash, I bought the long silly gloves and the problem was solved. But those gloves are so hard to work in. So...the other day I was slacking and didn't use the gloves and got the rash again.

Anyway, I am pretty sure that it is hydroids that I am bumping into. Do they sting people? I know I have a few different patches of them. Anyway to get rid of them?

Thanks, Beth.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Hey Beth! Great question. We are very vulnerable to many things in our tanks. The rash could be from a number of different things you have become sensitive to. Corals, algaes, anemones - I also get rashes occasionally, and my tank doesn't have much of anything in it yet. Some days are worse than others. The critters we keep have developed modes of defence to stay alive....they can sting each other, release chemicals, and/or contain toxins. If you have any concern, please ask your doctor. What types of gloves did you get....the veterninary sleeves?

For further reading here is a thread: Let's Talk About ~Reefkeeping Dangers~
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Oops, I forgot to answer about the hydroids....

Here is a quote from Ron Shimek's website, if you are certain they are the nasty hydroids:

They are quite capable of giving a serious sting as well, to sensitive individuals.* They are suspension-feeders and will do well in a well-fed aquaria.* The individual polyps are small about 1/10 in (2 mm) across.* Each polyp is surrounded by what has been referred to as a tubular chitinous sheath, but in reality, it is likely of proteinaceous origin.* If the colony starts to become a problem, it may often be simply "peeled" off the the rock.* Otherwise, they may be killed with a calcium-hydroxide paste.
Hope this helps!
 

johnsmb

Active member
Joined
Jul 12, 2003
Messages
43
Location
Southwestern WA
Thanks for the reply. I really think it is those little buggers. Which is just amazing, they are nearly impossible to see, but you should see what they do to my skin! It's not pretty.

I got the long sleeved aquarium gloves. I think they are made by Kent? But, they are very difficult to work in when you want to pick up small things and move around corals, etc. I tried the veterinarian style gloves, but they leaked and were very big and wide.
 

EvilMel

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
46
Location
Knoxville, TN (for the moment)
Hey so I have alot of personal experience with these stinging hydroids. They are on quite a few rocks in my tank. I would definately try to pull them out if you only have them on a couple of rocks. You just have to be sure to get the whole tube/worm. I am gonna try Joe's juice pretty soon and see if that does anything.

I have gotten horrible itchy bumps that are basically little tiny blisters under the skin. I actually have some scars from it. What I have learned that works the best to prevent it is this: I use latex gloves on my hands and wrap a layer of saran wrap around my arm to the elbow. I use two barely tight rubberbands, one around my wrist and one around my elbow to keep it on. That seems to work alot better than gloves. I have heard that the aquagloves are too thick to use, so I have tried the really thin plastic ones that are intended for cow examinations. Well those are so thin they got punctured right away and filled with water, which would run down my side whenever I took my arm out of the tank.
 
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