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Old 11-03-2011, 11:05 AM   #1
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disposing of a pest

I remember reading somewhere that snails are highly sensitive to copper (i found out the hard way). Alot of aquarium treatments contain copper, but i also know alot of people disagree with adding chemicals unessecarily; understandable.
But what i was thinking was ciukd u put a small piece of copper under the substrate eg. A penny, to rid yourself of the pest.
Possible or just stupid?

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Old 11-03-2011, 11:42 AM   #2
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Since you offered it as a possibility, I would say "just plain stupid". Pennies corrode. I don't even want to think of what effect that would have on the fish.

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Old 11-03-2011, 11:46 AM   #3
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Pennies only have a thin copper cover, thy are not pure. If I remember correctly they have zinc and several other cheap components in its core (it costs more than a penny to make a penny). I don't think this is a viable option.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:34 PM   #4
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Like i said a penny was an example, copper was the point i was making
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:00 PM   #5
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Generally copper is added in a liquid form. Don't know how well a piece of pure copper (like wire for example) would affect invert populations. Do keep in mind that copper will affect all invertebrates, not just snails.I do know from experience that pennies will corrode, but they do not affect the fish. One of the common hazards of keeping aquariums in a high school classroom LOL.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:24 PM   #6
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Since most people use water delivered through copper pipes, it should give you an idea of the relative toxicity of a penny in a tank. I a tank that was very acidy, there might be some dissolution, but not likely in the average tank. Copper sulphate, which dissolves readily in water is very toxic to invertebrates. A concentration of 2 ppm ( of copper) in an aquarium will kill snails. Snails are a useful indicator when adding copper to a tank. You add it a little at a time until the snails start falling. At that point, you have hit 2ppm, which is the dose you are looking for.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:25 PM   #7
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as a chemist, YES solid copper will add dissolved Cu ions into the water. The speed of dissolution will be affected by the acidity of the water (more acid = faster oxidation of metal).

As a method for removing snails, it is a TERRIBLE idea. By killing the snails in-place, you leave their rotting carcasses everywhere, causing a big ammonia spike and killing all your fish.

The best way to rid a tank of snails is the bait method-- place a nice delicious vegetable on the floor where you and the snails can see it, and take it back out when it's covered with the little guys. Then dispose as you see fit. Repeat as needed. Keeps the tank much healthier than adding unknown concentrations of heavy metals to the water.

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