I guess it was November, I was doing a big water change and I was removing some live rock that was covering in these green palys. They are taking over the tank. I did not handle them directly to much just grabbed the rock out of the tank and did a big water change because moving the rocks stired up a lot of stuff... I took the rock in the basement and set the rock in the wash sink and ran a little hot water over it to kill everything off the rock. That is how frustrating these things are making me. Later that night I started feeling something like a congestion in my chest and aching. A few hours later I was shivering cold, but hot at the same time and I could not get warm. I felt like this tighness and conjestion was worse. After that phase, I just felt burning hot, but my skin felt cold. I could not cool down. By the morning I felt better, but I was tired from not sleeping and I had a headache. While this was going on I felt like something with the tank did this and I googled the palys and the first thing that came up was someone who did the same thing I did and had to go to the hospital. He said the steam from him using boiling water had the toxin in it. Now I'm freaking out, but I didn't think I needed to go to the ER since I was feeling better. I felt better by the morning, but I still called out of work. I went to the doctor and they did nothing... I went back to work and told them about what happened and a coworker said she had the same thing and it was going around. Now I figure I just freaked out about my tank for nothing.
So fast foward months of me doing water changes, touching corals, ect... No problems. the middle of last week my heater went bad power on and my tank hit 96. I lost a few corals, a fish, almost all my clean up crew and it looks like my chiller is toast. Those palys are all alive though. I'm doing another water change and really moving things around to get all the dead corals and critters out of there. I decide to take out large rock with the palys on it. I figured things can't be much worse and let me just start fresh. This time I just put in the sink and rinse it with cold water , brushed off some crap on the rock and left it. I used gloves to take it out of the bucket and handle it, but being an idiot I did not use the gloves while working in the tank. I was working in the tank a lot longer then usual to clean it up from the heater and a lot of the sand bed got stirred up. Now a few hours later. I'm getting the same symptoms from that time in November. This time it was not as bad, but the same exact thing happened. It seemed to run its course in a few hours. Now pretty postive it's the Palys. The only things I did different from this time and the last time. Is this time I changed the chemipure bag and I added purigen. The purigen kicked up a little dust when I was pouring it in the bag and the salt kicked up some dust when I scooping it from the bottom of the bucket and I am sure that stuff isn't great to breath in. Those are the only things I can think of that were different then last time. I am convinced it is the Palys.
I had read all the back and forth on them. A lot of people saying they can be toxic and then plenty of people who handle them all day with bare hands and everything else with no problem. So, From now on I'm wearing gloves in the tank and I have one last rock with those palys on it. I might get a hazmat suit for that, lol, but it is going. I think I see now how it is important to be careful with these tanks and I for one will be taking things more seriously from now on.