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Old 05-18-2005, 06:11 PM   #1
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Running low level copper

Has anyone had any experience just running low level copper or copper safe in a FOWLR tank. I have had a few problems with ich and stuff and have just gotten to the point where I am tired of treating after the fact. I have been talking with my LFS, who is also a friend of mine. He has told me over and over that I should just decide to not put any inverts in there and run some copper in the tank at low levels, or run coppersafe for a month then off a month. I think he has finally convinced me that the amount of money I stand to loose makes it worth the negative aspect of not putting any inverts in there (which I would not do anyway).

Anyone have any thoughts on this???? Keep in mind that I have 3 other tanks so I have no worries about needing this one for inverts.

Also anyone who had done it, do you just treat the water with coppersafe (the way I think I would go) as instructed. I think it says 1 teaspoon per 4 gallons, and then replenish as you do water changes? Or do you just do the first treatment and then leave it alone until you need to treat again. Keep in mind I want to use the copper safe as a prophylactic rather then after the fact.

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Old 05-18-2005, 06:59 PM   #2
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Is it healthy to expose them to copper on a constant basis? Will it kill the life on the live rock? Does it affect the biological part of your bio filter?
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:43 AM   #3
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accoding to the info that he has given me he says that at low levels it is not going t hurt them. It could kill off any hitch hikers on the live rock, but in this tank anything moving has long since been eaten.

I am not sure about the bio part of the filter. I will ask him today if no one else has any input on this.

I thought for sure that there would be alot of opinions out there.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:13 PM   #4
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Long term exposure to copper will eventually damage the internal organs of the fish. Specifically the kidneys and liver. It will also cause reduced gill capacity leading to hyperplasia. Low level dosages are ineffective remedies against parasites, they merely prevent larger outbreaks. The The damage to your ecosystem will become appearant quite quickly but the damage to the fish will not until too late.

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Old 05-19-2005, 11:47 PM   #5
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When I used copper safe, I didn't add it as I did water changes. One other thing you could try is once the ich is gone, drop the salt level down to about .017. I did that and since then my tank has been really healthy.
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Old 05-20-2005, 07:49 PM   #6
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Steve-s normally you are the word of gospel...... I am just not sure. I have talked extensively with my friend at the LFS and he assures me he has run copper in his systems for years with no ill effects at all. I have heard that what you say is true.... aarrghh I just am not sure what to do. I have also spoken at length with 2 other guys I know that have gigantic tanks (one at a car dealership, and one a 540 at home) and they both say that they had problems until they started running copper. Now everything is just perfect and fish have been stable and alive for a long time.

I think I will use the coppersafe rememdy as it disperses slower and keep it at a level of about 1.5 and will let everyone know what happens. Worst case scenario I can get most of the copper our with carbon and water changes, except for of course the trace amount that are not removable. I will let everyone know what happens.
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Old 05-20-2005, 11:14 PM   #7
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If you want to use a preventative, why not just get a large UV Sterilizer and run the water through it slowly. This will do exactly what you want without the long term debilitating effects of running low doses of copper. Copper must be maintained at a certain level to affectively kill the dinoflagellites. Monitoring must be done with a test kit and not just by going by instructions or water changes.
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Old 05-21-2005, 01:29 PM   #8
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While you seem to have already made up your mind, I would like you to consider....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ogden10
I have talked extensively with my friend at the LFS and he assures me he has run copper in his systems for years with no ill effects at all.
These fish are in transition, spending weeks or even a few months in holding tanks, not their entire life span.

Quote:
I have also spoken at length with 2 other guys I know that have gigantic tanks (one at a car dealership, and one a 540 at home) and they both say that they had problems until they started running copper. Now everything is just perfect and fish have been stable and alive for a long time.
QTing all fish does exactly the same thing and does not exspose them to long term poisoning. That is an important part of this, copper is a poison. You will also need to realize that with copper in the system, you will only be keeping fish and dead rock. Nothing else will live in it. Also, what is their definition of a "long time"? My current fish have been with me for over 5 years. None have ever needed removing from the main after the QT process and none have ever shown illness, parasites and no deaths.

Quote:
I can get most of the copper our with carbon and water changes, except for of course the trace amount that are not removable.
With short term exsposure this may be possible but with long term use you do not know how much of the copper may become freely ionic. Then it will be absorbed into the substrate and rock which is near impossible to get rid of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SALTYDAWGY
If you want to use a preventative, why not just get a large UV Sterilizer and run the water through it slowly.
Slow speed is one thing but in terms of parasites, the wattage of the UV verse tank size is also extremely important. Most of the UV's sold for general aquarium use are actually useless against parasites, they simpley aren't powerful enough. Why spend that much money (unit + pump and plumbing) on a UV when you can spend $50 on a QT?
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=39

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Old 05-21-2005, 03:15 PM   #9
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Keeping copper out of the main IS the way to go for the reasons many here have explained. By treating the main with coper you have just limited any future additins to the tank. No corals, no LR, no inverts. Copper does remain once dosed in the tank. It can be absorbed by the silecon in the joints and slowly leeched out over time. A QT is the only place copper should be used. You are just setting yourself up for trouble...
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Old 05-22-2005, 02:29 AM   #10
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U/V's can be effective as a means of removal of parasites but what many people dont realize its all about exposure time. You have to run the least amount of flow allowed by the manufacturer to maximize exposure time, this is what kill parasites.
I bought a little higher wattage U/V so that I could have more water per minute filtered, but keep it at the right amount to kill parasites. But honestly once its been run for a month and your not adding anything you could shut it off for awhile, you would lose the benefits of killing bacteria and algae though. I noticed within 12 hours after instaling a UV my tank became crystal clear.
As far as LFS using copper, alot do use copper and in some instances it is effective if they keep it in the safe zone by testing, if they don't then they will harm the fish, these can be the mystery deaths a few weeks down the road. These fish are also not in their permanent homes, so for a short period of time it's ok that they are medicated. I wish some LFS actually had healthier specimens and use copper or medicine to treat them. Alot of LFS in my area have tanks with ich or other diseases, many have left the dead fish in the tank. To me there's nothing worse than going into a LFS and see a floater, but whats even worse is a floater thats been there for awhile!!
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