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Zoo's and their toxins

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mattseattle

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
I just found out something 'interesting' and thought I'd share it with everyone. I'm sure quite a few of you know this and quite a few of you don't know this. I just read how 'dangerous' the toxins are in zoanthids. Seems that Palytoxin is one of the deadliest toxins out there. Eeks

Here is a whole thread I found on reefcentral about this guy that lost his dog after the dog stuck it's head in a bucket that had some zoo's in it. Only a few hours passed before the dog was sick then a few more before it died.

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=158730

Interesting reading and definitely something most of us should be aware of.
 

G~

Super Gobie
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
133
yea, it is some pretty mean stuff. i do not know which are the more dangerous though. i think the brown button polyps are very toxic.

G~
 

Gordo

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
398
Location
Olympia, WA
I try to wear gloves when I'm messing with my coral. I've got a Bali Slimer that makes me dizzy if I mess with it too much. Strange :drinking:

~Gordo~
 

mungus

Well-known member
Joined
May 12, 2005
Messages
671
Location
Wisconsin
Matt I can't seem to get the link to work and would love to read the article. I knew they were pretty toxic and just got a new puppy. Would not want that to happen to her. I tried to search for the thread but because I am not a premium member I always get the try again later bs.

Thanks
Brian
 

Jiddy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
2,228
Location
S.Dakota (1 LFS)
I read it Brian and it was pretty basic, the zoo's where toxic and the dog stuck his head in the tub of water with the zoo's in it. Died that night. Very sad, and that was the first time i knew how bad zoo's where.

My questions:
How do you guys handle your zoo's?

Do Zoo's make the water poisoned too?
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
I dont drink my reef water. LOL I dont think it works like that I think they have to be disturbed and have the mucus touch open skin or a mucus membrane. I think it is something like 5 micrograms is deadly dose for a human. It is broken down by heat. If you search google on palyotoxin you can find some neat medical articles on it and the effects.
 

clayswim

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
561
Location
Napavine, WA
The poison inside Zoanthus (Palytoxin) has to get into your bloodstream in order for you to get sick. When you're moving them it's always possible to release some of it; so you should always wear gloves to handle them. The toxin can enter either through small cuts on your skin, in your eyes, or by swallowing water that's contaminated. To my knowledge it's not normally found in the tank water at toxic levels, but you should always use protection whenever Zoanthus corals are present. The corals themselves don't actually produce the toxin; it's believed that a dinoflagellate called Ostreopsis siamensis makes it and that the coral simply collects and stores it. It's possible that the effects of Palytoxin are responsible for the seafood disease clupeotoxism.

Clayton
 

Trenchsoul

Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
24
Location
Seattle
I'd like to clear up a few things for myself. In my brief research I found that only "palythoa," hence the name "paly toxin," have been known to create palytoxin. I also call attention to the bolded statement.

Palytoxin was first isolated from the soft coral Palythoa toxica. Several species of Palythoa are used in aquariums, but do not produce the toxin. . . . Toxin-containing corals appear to be randomly and sparingly distributed throughout the South Pacific and there is now a school of thought that suggests that the coral is simply concentrating the toxin made by a dinoflagellate (a small single-celled organism) called Ostreopis siamensis.
http://www.cbwinfo.com/Biological/Toxins/Palytoxin.html

Also,

Palythoa are easy to distinguish from other zoanthids because the base of the polyps is like an encrusting mat giving the appearance that the coral is a single organism. The encrusting mat is called the coenenchyma
http://animal-world.com/encyclo/reef/zoanthids/seamat.htm

I brought up the subject with a co-worker, a well experienced reefer, and he told me the same thing. I work with zoos for hours at a time with an assortment of cuts from clearing algae and moving rocks about and have never had a problem. I rarely wash my hands since I'm in and out of tanks frequently. Additionally, these indicidents seem rare and lack details such as the species or at least a desciption of the coral, nor is the source ever confirmed.

On the other side, people do have allergies and I'm no doctor. So I suppose that if you're deathly allergic or suspect you might be then take precautionary measures. This has become a real hot topic lately, just don't get so over excited about it.
 
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