View Full Version : The use of copper

05-30-2010, 12:21 AM
I did a huge water change, took all the rocks out and put them into a freshwater bin soaking with copper above 4.0 ppm (mg/L) for almost two months after a terrible ich (or oodinium may be, I can't tell) spread in my tank which killed almost all my fishes. Putting the rocks back and slowly adding some new fishes in but disappointed to see there is still some ich (a few on their fins and tails) on both the survivors and the new comers. Even though they all eat fine and the ich seems like under control/not spreading widely (it's the 3rd week now from adding the new fishes), but I'm worried that the threat will happen again when I add more fishes later on. In order to stop the misery from happening, should I add copper directly into my tank now? or wait and see like I did before? Will copper break down the biological cycle happening in my canister filter? And is it wise to leave copper in my tank permanently and will fish become weaken for being soaked in a safe copper concentration level at 0.3 ppm (mg/L)? Since some of them don't have ich and will they become weaken after treated by copper? Can shrimps and crabs stand copper?

Btw, I have a 90 gallon running w/ a rena xp4 and coralife hang on skimmer

Thank you for your time


05-30-2010, 12:44 AM
Seriously, copper can and will kill anything and everything without a backbone. If you want to treat your fish treat them in a quarantine tank.

05-31-2010, 12:03 PM
try to use garlic to get rid of the ich I have 6 tangs in one tank and had ich, used garlic on the food and in the water no more ich

05-31-2010, 02:15 PM
Consider some cleaner shrimps or a cleaner wrasse.
If you can afford to purchase new hardware try a UV filter or a Ozone dispenser.

There is a reefsafe cure i tried one time and it worked wonderfully.
Made by polyp labs.

05-31-2010, 03:46 PM
He soaked his rock in copper for 2 months.....cleaner shrimp will not survive in the tank

05-31-2010, 06:02 PM
Ya probably not the best move. You could have accomplished the same thing by just putting the rocks in a system that had no fish for 2 months instead. The Ich will not survive without a host.

05-31-2010, 06:03 PM
Copper = Bad for rocks. IMO I would toss the rock, or keep it soaking to leech out the copper.

There are many different types of Ich, it is like a flu shot, unless they guess right on the Flu strain, the flu shot may not work, and is a waste of time.

Because of the various strains of Ich, the only REAL solution to quarantine your livestock for at least 30 days, or leave your tank fishless for 30 days, for the lifecycle of Ich to complete.

The parasite has several ‘stages’ in its life cycle. Cyst in aquarium (usually on substrate or rock) ruptures into free-swimming parasites that burrow into fish, grow into a visible white nodule that is ‘pregnant’ with more parasites, that usually falls off the fish to form a cyst that starts the cycle over again.

I could personally talk you to death with all the information and myths I have reasearched in the past few years, but I won't as I would be repeating a lot of information that most users on here have already.

If you already have fish in the tank, here are some steps that will help reduce Ich.

- Use a food additive, like garlic guard
- Use a tank additive that helps the fishes immune system like ImmunoVital
- lower tank salinity, and raise temperature.
- Use freshwater dips if you can catch the fish. (The parasite burrows into the fish, below the mucous layer and into the skin.)
- The use of a UV sterilizer will help in the intern.

Just some observations that I have used in the past.

Ken - BWA

06-01-2010, 02:18 AM
I've been feeding my fishes w/ garlic guard, I did try to give them a fresh water bath, and I don't have a hospital tank running. I thought copper isn't a chemical but just a natural element which even exists in our tap water but in a very low level. Since I'm not adding chemical/medication to contaminate the water, I don't see how bad it does to the rocks beside killing the worms or those tiny creatures living on them and once the copper is diluted, it should be fine to the system because it's natural, isn't it? The reason I intend to add copper into my tank directly b/c like I said I soaked the rocks into a freshwater bin w/ copper for almost 2 months, but disappointed enough to see the ich are still on some fishes...so I suspect they may hide in the gravel, somewhere in the tank or filter beside in the rocks. I'm so fed up and my ultimate goal is to get rid of all those ich that are hurting/killing my fishes and my only concern is whether if copper will harm the nitrifying bacteria and break the biological cycle in my filter, can anyone tell me? and I heard some stores leave copper in their systems to prevent the outbreak of disease so I wonder if I can leave copper at a safe level in my tank as well?

Anyway, thank you all for the quick responses, valuable info. and advices.

06-01-2010, 03:56 AM
How old is your tank? how long has it been established?

Ken - BWA

tang daddy
06-02-2010, 07:27 PM
if you soaked your rock in copper then it has killed everything off, the reason why you still have ich is because you added new fish and your system is under stress.

The live rock was you filtration but now it's just a decor in your tank and has no filtration benifits.

The ich that keeps popping up in your tank is because the fish are stressed out!

I had this same problem when I had a 90g Fish only system. No matter what others said I thought that it was my tank and I would do what I wanted.

in doing so I killed alot of fish, make sure your tank is not overstocked do lots of waterchanges when there are no traces of copper buy alittle more lr to seed the dead rock!

feed less
I now feed my fish once every 3 days, unfortunately if you have big fish you would have to feed them daily, again if you feed heavy do 2 50% water changes weekly

True story I had a 90g with 140lbs of rock 9 angels from the 3in to 7in range, fed 3 times a day, had ich every time I added new fish, overstocked by 10x, I would do 75% WC weekly, every month I would shake all the rock in a garbage bin filled with tank water, it would look like the nile river couldn't see your hand in 2in of water.....

conclusion: it costed me alot in salt and alot of time doing maintanence, not even considering the cost of food so I shut it down!

if you want more tips pm me!

06-05-2010, 05:30 AM
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