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View Full Version : Tank made us sick. What happened????


phurst
08/01/2010, 09:35 AM
So I had several friends over last night to help me re do the aquascaping in my 150. We pulled the rocks out of the tank, into a rubbermaid trough, then began designing the aquascape. We ended up drilling a few pieces of rock in the process. Everything went well, and everyone went home. That's when the troubles started. Within a hour or so of everyone leaving, I began to have trouble breathing. I spent all night with a severe wheeze, tightness in the chest, vomiting, shivering, restlessness, a slightly salty, slightly bitter taste in my mouth, and terrible, vivid nightmares when I could sleep. It was one of the most miserable nights I can remember. This morning, I checked in with my friends, and all reported the same symptoms. I still have a little tightness in my chest, and I generally feel like crap.

So, what happened? Did we vaporize some nasty in the rock when we were drilling it? I really can't imagine what happened, but it was horrible.

paulduong
08/01/2010, 09:41 AM
So I had several friends over last night to help me re do the aquascaping in my 150. We pulled the rocks out of the tank, into a rubbermaid trough, then began designing the aquascape. We ended up drilling a few pieces of rock in the process. Everything went well, and everyone went home. That's when the troubles started. Within a hour or so of everyone leaving, I began to have trouble breathing. I spent all night with a severe wheeze, tightness in the chest, vomiting, shivering, restlessness, a slightly salty, slightly bitter taste in my mouth, and terrible, vivid nightmares when I could sleep. It was one of the most miserable nights I can remember. This morning, I checked in with my friends, and all reported the same symptoms. I still have a little tightness in my chest, and I generally feel like crap.

So, what happened? Did we vaporize some nasty in the rock when we were drilling it? I really can't imagine what happened, but it was horrible.

it may cause by touching live rocks without gloves

NaH2Ofreak
08/01/2010, 09:54 AM
Could be something in the liverock dust. Did you serve food? What did everyone have to eat?

Dennis

phurst
08/01/2010, 09:54 AM
Doubtfull. I've touched this rock bare handed thousands of times.

phurst
08/01/2010, 09:55 AM
No, didn't serve anything to eat. There was some beer, but not everyone had any.

zachslow
08/01/2010, 09:59 AM
Do you have Zoas in your tank?

Jkraft136
08/01/2010, 10:00 AM
Any cuts or scrapes on everyones hands? Could be a bacteria infection

phurst
08/01/2010, 10:07 AM
Yes, there are a few zoos, but no real mechanism by which we would have all encountered palytoxin, plus, we're not all dead ;)

No discernible cuts on my hands. Not sure about everyone else.

NaH2Ofreak
08/01/2010, 10:21 AM
virus maybe?

RotaryGeek
08/01/2010, 10:44 AM
You ****ed your tank off by rearranging everything, so it got its revenge lol. No but really, i have no idea why that happened. I have never had any ill effects from my tank besides the occasional sting from something or bite here and there.

tibob32
08/01/2010, 10:56 AM
could be something airborne reef unrelated

adambirk
08/01/2010, 11:12 AM
do you have dino algea? i have heard of the tonxins in this being very harmfull. other thatn that it really sounds like palytoxin too me. not all is fatal. if you got enough in your system it could make you quite sick like you described. but unless all your friends handled your z's and p's too i doubt that was it.

but dino's could have been on your rocks and i am guessing everyone handled the rocks?

ludnix
08/01/2010, 11:36 AM
could be something airborne reef unrelated

I wouldn't discount this possibility. Just because you were all working on the reef doesn't mean the reef caused it.

You should really go see a doctor about it though, none of us are qualified to offer a diagnosis.

ReefWaters
08/01/2010, 01:58 PM
Sounds like an episode of House!

jtph11
08/01/2010, 02:12 PM
Did any of the live rock come from the Gulf of 5W-30?

phurst
08/01/2010, 04:28 PM
LOL, nothing from the gulf. It's all Fiji I've had for many years. The only thing I can think of is something from the drilling. Most of the rocks went easily enough, but there were 2 that were harder than the rest, and had the bit and rock hard enough to smoke.

><((((o>
08/01/2010, 05:20 PM
It could be inhaling the LR dust during the drilling that caused the discomfort. This sometimes happens to me too when I do some DIY work in my house with little ventilation.

donkeys4hire
08/01/2010, 05:25 PM
from the drilling of the LR

iamwrasseman
08/01/2010, 05:56 PM
i would tend to think that when you drilled the rock you got into some zoos and inhaled the dust which was carrying the zoo" spew" which is not good for you . the result of zoanthid toxins is very much what you experienced .be very very careful next time as there is some serious ramifications of zoo toxins . you may have dodged a bullet but with enough of it it can be very dangerous .

phurst
08/01/2010, 09:10 PM
I guess that's as likely as anything. I'll definitely be more careful next time. I hope everyone will be careful in the future.

touhy
08/01/2010, 09:25 PM
i would tend to think that when you drilled the rock you got into some zoos and inhaled the dust which was carrying the zoo" spew" which is not good for you . the result of zoanthid toxins is very much what you experienced .be very very careful next time as there is some serious ramifications of zoo toxins . you may have dodged a bullet but with enough of it it can be very dangerous .

i agree. that would be first on my differential list. the symptoms are very consistent with palytoxin which may have became aerosolized when you had the rocks out and drilled. While it appears the effects of the toxin have passed, there could be a possibility of persistent of recurrent asthma/reactive airway symptoms. This can happen because once the airways get irritated that much there can be persistent inflammation and irritability cause more bronchospasms and wheezing. Those symptoms should not be taken lightly and if you continue to have them, you may want to go a see a good doctor to see if you would benefit from a couple weeks of a steroid.

rtstrat01
08/01/2010, 10:50 PM
It was the little green reef aliens.............................................................

walkerbrody
08/02/2010, 12:17 AM
Ive done this twice. It is a mild case of palytoxin. I always wear rubber gloves now. The first sign is a strange metalic/acidic taste in your mouth. It is very rough for a couple days.

RVANANO
08/02/2010, 07:23 AM
I was also at Pearsons. I had the symptoms too even though I showed up after the drilling and was only there the last 45 min. But I smelt something funny when I got there although it wasn't that noticeable. By the time I left, everytime I took a deep breath my chest got tight and there was a noticeable chemical smell/taste.

I couldn't sleep that night and kept tossing and turning. I was extremely hot all night even thought the house was cool. The next morning my throat was killing me and I kept coughing up stuff. Was fine by last night (all this happened sat early afternoon)

1sirjustis
08/02/2010, 02:24 PM
i was one of the friends that attended the aquascape get together! i wrote this email to my friend phurst, who i hold in high reguards to this hobby, and would never think for a moment that he would put any of us and his FAMILY in danger! hes a great asset to our club and new and old members!

heres the email! at about 9am that morning! my title was worst night of my life!

OMG! so i left your house unable to breath, thought maybe it would clear up soon. and so i went to qdoba to eat! had a burrito on the way home! got home then my head started to hurt, couldnt breathe, and stomach was queezy! layed down unable to breathe, shaking like a leaf on a tree, burning up and cold at the same time, my body hurt terribly and started to run a mild fever 99.8, later i hurled...... all night long i tossed and turned and had horrible nightmares about LEDS and light fixtures and the craziest crap you could ever think of! i woke so many times that i ran out of fingers and toes to count on.......... holy crap! i woke up at 845 caughed up a huge wad of flem, head still hurting but manageable, and everything else ok! what do i think happened??? food poisoning!!! what was it??? beer? or burrito??? IDK..... GREAT now i have to go to church and pick my son up!!!! ughhhhhhhhhhhh

now i realize that it obviously was not food poisoning, but you get an idea of the symptoms, the 6 of us had! now we did not hit any palys, but for sure do to the stress the tank went through, haveing lost power for a day, and the relocation of rock! the pallys could have released there toxin onto the neighboring rock, or in the water column. IDK im not a scientist, just trying to understand the possibilities, so we can pass this very vital info on!!!!! i feel a lot better today! BUT my chest is still a lil sore, and when i inhale deeply it hurts!..... but in general a LOT better...... as we know if you have ever picked up pallys you have noticed how slimy they are, is that the toxin????? if it is then it leached to the rocks and thats what did it!

muttley000
08/02/2010, 07:45 PM
I kind of remember some cactus buttons that gave me these symptoms about 20 years ago;) I am glad you guys are all right, could've been worse.

raynist
08/02/2010, 08:05 PM
Yes, there are a few zoos, but no real mechanism by which we would have all encountered palytoxin, plus, we're not all dead ;)

No discernible cuts on my hands. Not sure about everyone else.

I had a similar experience about a year ago when redoing my aquascaping while not wearing glove. Almost the exact same thing you describe. Pretty sure it was from touching zoa's and palys.

RVANANO
08/03/2010, 08:47 AM
I showed up after all the rock work was done and back in the tank. I noticed a chemical smell/taste when I arrived and had the same symptoms over the next 24 hours. I didn't touch anything so it definitely had nothing to do with physical touch. It was something in the air from drilling/vaporizing something in the rock.

raynist
08/03/2010, 09:44 AM
I showed up after all the rock work was done and back in the tank. I noticed a chemical smell/taste when I arrived and had the same symptoms over the next 24 hours. I didn't touch anything so it definitely had nothing to do with physical touch. It was something in the air from drilling/vaporizing something in the rock.


I was talking with Anthony Calfo a few weeks ago and mentioned what had happened to me. He told me a story of someone taking a rock with palys attached and left it sitting on top of the tank. Everyone in the room including the dog ended up getting sick.

phurst
08/03/2010, 09:24 PM
I think I may have figured it out. I flipped the light on to see how everything was doing, and I noticed the top 2 shelf rocks we drilled have dinoflagelates on them. They can apparently be fairly toxic. If we vaporized some, that could have been it.

ejk17
08/03/2010, 10:42 PM
drilling x2. That dust can be pretty bad. Its like fiberglass