Worried about palytoxin!

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Hi, I’m very new to marines and have a 125L tank. Today I was given 2 small corals- a red cabbage coral and something called gorilla nipples(!!!)

I was told that the latter is the type that carries the infamous palytoxin.

Anyway as I was introducing them to the tank I managed to remove the coral from the water (not completely, just a portion of it), only briefly, a few seconds at the most, (stupid mistake, I wasn't concentrating) and now my paranoia is absolutely going crazy.

How likely is it that I’ve been exposed to the toxin? What do I do?! I’ve spend most of the evening researching case studies, and have found that in most instances the problem arises when a person has been pouring water over it/ scraping it, which of course hasn’t happened here.

I’m so sorry, this is my first post and I’m coming across like an absolute loon. Sorry!!!

ajm83

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Reply #1

Welcome to ReefBase  8D

You'll be fine. 

The issue arises when you're cutting them into pieces or off a rock, boiling rock that's had them on, or touching them directly and then rubbing your eyes - that sort of thing.  I don't believe there is any problem with just exposing them to air.

Also gorillas nipples (at least the kind I have) I'm fairly sure are zoas not palythoas.  They can in theory have palytoxin in them,  however most of the scare stories are associated with palythoas (like for example Nuclear Green or Texas Trash - google them - they're similar looking but much larger).

When you handle them, wear nitrile gloves,  have good ventilation, and eye protection and you'll be fine.  I've fragged (chopped up) my nuclear green palys a load of times and had no issues. 👍

ajm83

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Reply #2

PS. I forgot to say it's absolutely normal practice to expose corals to the air when you add them.

You really ought to dip them in something like CoralRX or Coral Revive (then rinse in old tank water!) to avoid adding pests to your tank.
Don't add the water from the frags to your tank.

fr499y

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Reply #3

Palytoxin is in a lot more corals than you think! Not just zoanthids and palythoas

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