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Old 01-23-2015, 03:28 PM   #1
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Copper and Inverts

Not really sure which subforum this should go in, so I'll just put it here.

I use tap water for my FOWLR, and I was wondering if it's possible to keep snails or shrimp with tap water.

I live in Toronto, and I was able to source a water quality analysis for 2013, and I found that the maximum level of copper detected was 0.0039mg/L, with the average being 0.0019mg/L. I don't know if this is all types of copper, or only elemental copper (it just says "copper"). This is, of course, before the water passes through all the pipes to get to my house (which has copper pipes).

Is there anything else in the water that would be harmful?

I have a stomatella snail and a collonista snail that came in as hitchhikers when I set up the tank five months ago and they're still alive, if that can be used as an indicator.

Thanks for any help!


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Old 01-23-2015, 03:34 PM   #2
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If the snails are living, you may be able to keep other critters as well. The trouble with heavy metals in source water is that they tend to build up over time. Will they ever build up to dangerous levels? No one can say.
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:52 PM   #3
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I believe they can build up to dangerous levels. I had a friend that had a tank for about twelve years and use to say all the time that she only used tap water. One day she woke up to a dead tank. Can we say it definitely was the cause. No we cant be 100% sure but IMO it was the reason.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:04 PM   #4
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Copper and Inverts

I plan on doing one water change every six months with distilled water to counter the buildup of dissolved solids. Based on my evaporation and water changes, that should mean that nothing ever goes above twice the concentration out of the tap.


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Old 01-23-2015, 04:27 PM   #5
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How do you figure that? you'll be topping off every day with tap water, water changes on a regular basis, and then 1 water change is going to correct it?
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:10 PM   #6
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Talk to your water company. Find out how frequently they flush the pipes and/or if they ever add anything to the tapwater that you should know about.


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