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Old 12-09-2010, 08:56 AM   #1
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copper in my tank

history: I had an ich outbreak. I removed all my fish and let my main go fallow for the alotted time, I believe it was about 6 weeks ( I can't really remember this was 5 years ago ) I treated the fish with copper in a 55g with an hob filter that came off the main. I had almost no cycle in the 55g because I had enough biological filter in the hob. Any way when I put the fish back in the main I made the newbie mistake of also putting the hob back on the main. I changed out all the media and replaced the bio wheels but I guess the copper must have absorbed in the plastic body of the filter because about 2 weeks after I replaced the fish I lost all my inverts. I thought maybe it was due to an ammonia spike but it wasn't. A year later I tried to put some emerald crabs back in but they died a few weeks later. I haven't tried again since. this happened in 2005. I don't get a copper reading with the test kits but I have read that untraceable amounts can still kill your inverts. I am in the process of buying a new tank and starting over. My question is has all my live rock absorbed the copper too! How about the sand and water. Should I make new water and buy new sand? If the rock has copper I will have to stay fowlr.

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Old 12-09-2010, 09:30 AM   #2
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Yeah, from what I've read it's pretty much impossible to completely remove the copper from the rock. I posted a bunch of threads here and on RC about copper removal for the tank itself, and the responses I've received, you can save the tank by draining it and giving it a good rub-down/scrub with vinegar to release the 'sticky' copper med (this apparently goes for glass and acrylic tanks). Mr. X on this site stated that he had treated a tank with copper and was still able to keep inverts eventually.

You can buy filter pads that will remove the trace copper, but they're a little expensive. Also if you're using API test kit, that test for one kind of copper, Salifert or others will test for the other kind (chelated and non-chelated). I tested one tank and API said zero, Salifert said 0.5 ppm.

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Old 12-09-2010, 01:02 PM   #3
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I agree. It`s hard to get rid of copper from the rock. It gets in the hard to reach nooks and crannies that regular washing wont reach. Better to like you say go FOWLR or just buy some new rock. It does not have to be LR as you can buy cheaper base rock and it will become live over time.


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