Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: North Central MA
Interesting topic! A few stories:
Back in the early days of reef keeping we never knew what was going to come out of the styros sent straight from the Indo-Pacific, but the water was usually pretty foul after the long trip. I was acclimating a bunch of fish and inverts. Not knowing any better, my technique for handling anemones was to pour out the water and gently ease the creature into my hand, and then place them in the tank. Well, i grabbed one anemone and he grabbed me. I knew something was amiss right away when my hand had hundreds of red marks after I scraped off this strange invert. Later that evening I was stopped by the police because I was weaving all over the road. Then I had a vomiting fit in the middle of the night. It was only later that I realized the dizziness and sickness were probably from the anemone. Still have never seen another one like it.
In another case I was sorting live rock and at the bottom of the styro was a bright yellow 1" long crustacean. I went to pick him up with my thumb and index finger and bam! It was a pistol shrimp. That's the most I've ever been hurt. Ouch!
My piranha story. I had a red belly when I was in college. Others are right about them being pretty boring pets. A big tetra. However, do not underestimate them! I was packing the piranha for college. I had heavy duty fish bags, so thick you couldn't tie a knot in them. I put six of those bags one inside the other and put in about a gallon of water. I scooped the piranha up in a net and got him in the bag(s) no problem. Just as I was putting rubber band around the bags the fish freaked. Within 5 seconds he had bitten about 10 dime sized holes though ALL SIX BAGS and water was pouring all over my room. He went to school in a glass fishbowl.