Did you know that contaminated carbon, hand lotions, perfumes, household cleaners, cigarette smoke residues on hands, (& the list could go on) are toxic & lethal contaminants to all live things in your tank?! These invisible killers leave many a hobbyist scratching their heads at unexplained fish & livestock deaths, corals not opening & more. Even in minute quantities it can at the very least cause stress = illness & may be the reason you're seeing an outbreak of Ick when there's been no new introductions or other explainable cause.
It's easy to avoid such catastrophes. Below is a short list that will go a long way to keeping your precious livestock safe:
Wash your hands before putting them into the tank. Be sure to rinse them well to make sure no soap is left behind, especially under your nails. Remove jewelry like rings. I prefer to use hot water & a clean cloth or paper towels unless there's something on my hands only soap will remove. Again, rinse, rinse, rinse!
Be sure your hands are clean before handling fish foods.
Do NOT use Windex or any chemical cleaner to clean your tank glass. Wet & dry paper towels work wonderful & are truly all you need.
Do not spray furniture polish or any other cleaning product near your tank. Spray your cloth in another room then use.
Be sure any equipment/tool used for your tank is free of contaminants too. Rinse pails, new totes & tools with hot water (as hot as you can get it) then wipe down with paper towels. New razor blades are coated with a film of oil at the factory to keep them from rusting. Clean with warm water & paper towel before using.
Suspect a contaminant in your tank? The most effective ways to remove them are:
1. Water changes
2. Your Skimmer
3. Installing a Polyfilter in a high water flow area. Every reefer should have at least one new Polyfilter on hand...just in case.