Are Octos in danger of Zoanthid toxin?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Phuntoon, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Phuntoon

    Phuntoon O. bimaculoides Registered

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    With all that I read about how careful you should be (wearing gloves and such) when handling zoanthids, is an octopus in danger of coming into contact with the toxins? I'm mulling over the idea of putting a few lower light corals like zoanthid and maybe a mushroom or 2 in the tank. I know octos explore everything, so if there is any danger of injury, corals are a no go. Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I wouldn't put zoanthids in the tank. Mushrooms may be OK. But anything with a decent sting is out! Octis have delicate skin which is easily damaged by stingers.

    J
     
  3. main_board

    main_board Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    In the wild, do octopus just not inhabit the same sorts of environments as these stinging corals, or do they just learn which ones sting and avoid them? I know that in a tank situation it's entirely different to include a potential hazard, I was just curious.

    Cheers!
     
  4. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Depends what species. Usually tropical octopuses inhabit coral reef areas and many corals have stinging organisms like around Florida, Australia and the Caribbean. From documentaries iv seen, they obviously create their dens in safe areas, but do move across Anemones, and sea urchins, but ignore them.
     
  5. Illithid

    Illithid Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I thought that Zoe poison was just that-poison, not venom. I didnt think Zoes has stinging cells like Hammer, elegance, etc. I thought they had poison that worked when ingested and you could have a problem when fragging and if they died by releaseing thier internal poison.
     
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Do we have a coral expert who can respond to this, because it's important. I thought only hard corals were a true danger - octopus keepers need to avaoid anything that stings. But any toxin or poison that can be released in a closed system is also bad.

    If you look at actual reefs, the kind that briareus might range over, you'll find they're quite different from the little reefs that most people build in their tanks. We tend to cram in as many corals, all different, as possible. On an ocean reef, an octopus could easily avoid harmful corals.

    Nancy
     
  7. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    I started to some reading on Reef Central, and the news is not good. I bought a 55 gallon from a guy with mushrooms and zooanthids. My cuttles are now in that tank... I will be removing the zooanthids and hopefully trading them to my LFS.

    On a related note, a couple of weeks ago, I thought I had a bad reaction to an insect bite. Now, I am almost certain that I had a reaction to the zooanthids. I was moving the corals around in the 55 gallon in preparation for the cuttles moving in (I was catching two damsels and a maroon clown). Afterward, my hands and joints were swollen and aching and it spread to my feet. My hands hurt so bad that I couldn't lift anything. This lasted for several days. I was going to go to the doctor because I thought I could have contacted Lyme Disease, but the day I was going to go, the achiness subsided a little, so I figured I would recover on my own.
     
  8. sjfishguy

    sjfishguy Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi everyone, I am new here because I am getting an octopus in a new tank, but have kept every species of coral you can think and have a lot of reef experience. About the zoanthids (its one o when you spell it out, two o's when you say zoo's), they are pretty docile in general. The do sting, but mostly other corals and VERY small prey (copepods, etc.) I personally would have no qualms about putting an octopus in a reef tank, their are actually people over on Reefcentral (I have been on there for years) that have received small octopuses as hitchhikers in liverock, only to imerge into their reef. Thier reef is in more danger from the octopus than vise versa, believe me. No, I wouldnt put an octo w/ an anemone, or even certain species of strong stinging LPS (large polyp stony corals) like hammer or frogspawn, but the octo should be fine.

    Concerning your sting.... You usually need a break in the skin or contact to a mucous membrane for the palytoxin (this is the name of the zoanthid toxin) to cause a severe reaction (elevated heart rate, death, etc.) The palytoxin is also within the tissues of the zoos, this is not the molecule they sting with. You would have to smash the zoos or eat them to get a real effect. The localized inflammatory reaction you had could be from anything, but it would not surprise me if it was from some palytoxin (by the way, I am also a med student). I try to wear gloves when when handling my zoos, but I dont always. I had a reaction once to condi anemone- rash head to toe! Anyway, the zoos/shrooms, etc. should pose no problem to an octo, just stay away from anemones :)
     
  9. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Welcome, sjfishguy! :welcome: I'm sure we're going to be pleased to have your input about a lot of things.
     
  10. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome:
     
  11. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    :welcome: Well, I did have several breaks in my skin (cuts, hangnails) and I took all the live rock (with corals) out of the tank, piled it on top of one another, caught the fish and then returned the corals to the tank. I have never kept coral before, I bought the tank already set up from someone who did not want it anymore. I have kept cephs before and didn't really think too much about the corals... now I know better...:goofysca:

    My cuttles didn't seem to be bothered by the zoanthids and one even likes to sit on top of a mushroom...but to be safe I moved most of the zoanthids to my 30 gallon with a clown fish and a goby. I don't have to have my hands in that tank as much.
     

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