Originally Posted by Oldfishlady
It is important to wash your hands before and after working on the tank....you only think your hands are clean......the oils can make your tank look dirty too....I always use soap and running water and wash up to my elbows...but I have big deep tanks and sometimes I have my arm up to my armpit in the tank...lol.....and wash good after too.....it is rare that we catch anything from the tank...but especially with open wounds on your hands.....wash...wash.....
Make sure your hands are wet before touching your fish...dry hand can stick to the slime coat and damage it....now you have an open wound the first line protection for the fish that pathogens can invade.....
+1. Never put your hands in your tank without washing with soap (and rinsing really well or you absolutely WILL introduce bacteria/fungus/etc into the tank...you will anyway, but this cuts down on the amount) Also always wash your hands AFTER handling anything to do with your fish and you should avoid placing your hand in the tank if you have open wounds, but like OFL said, its ok if you wash wash wash :)
I also recommend NOT handling your fish at all. I use a cup to transfer my fish. When I use hands, they almost always jump out of my hands. The nets tear fins...and the cup causes no harm other than the unavoidable stress from being moved.