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Friday, December 22, 2006

Correction to Grants Pass Courier article about poisonous pet fish.

The Grants Pass Courier ran a story about poisonous marine fish on December 16, 2006.

Unfortunately they did not do their home work (not that it would have been hard to get the correct answer, I personally have ran an ad with the front page for over a year without one response, the writers easily could have had the courtesy to ask an advertiser such as myself who has been in the aquarium trade profession since 1978 with one of the largest maintenance companies in LA).

Foxface and Lionfish produce different neurotoxins that attacks the nervous system, so does the Stone Fish, Puffer Fish, and the Blue Ring Octopus (as well as the Black Widow Spider).
Each of these fish/animals puts in different amounts or use different neurotoxins that are more or less deadly/toxic. This is important to note as a second or third sting/bite with neurotoxin can be life threatening (which a Blue Ring is very much so due to the highly toxic nature of the Tetrodotoxin used by these cephalopods and only one bite is needed to kill a human).

Foxface which use a more mild "Enterotoxin" which primarily breaks down proteins in the intestines are not generally a danger though to the hobbyist. The best treatment is a hot compress of 50 C with baking soda. At this temperature tests have shown the poison to be denatured.
Lionfish use a more dangerous Neurotoxin that while usually not fatal, is more dangerous than that of the Foxface, but not as dangerous as a Blue Ring Octopus or Puffer fish which utilize a Tetrodotoxin.
The Black Widow Spider uses a latrotoxin which is another form of neurotoxin.

The story implied a tissue toxin, which is very different with different treatment.
The Courier should realize there are some people who may know something and get their stories strait. Admittedly not all internet sources are correct here either, that is why the best sources are usually human medical articles as describing the wrong venom in a medical article could draw a lawsuit.

Here is one recent source:

More REPUTABLE Aquarium Information and Product Resources

Volitan Lionfish, information, about
Aquarium Saltwater-Marine Basics For more information about poisonous marine animals.

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