BAD NEWS - Velvet Strain Survives 1.75 PPM Copper!

drstardust

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According to Seachem - its LFS using 'high' doses of copper thats causing resistance. - but in any case - its misuse of copper. FWIW - the first report of resistant velvet was years ago (2011) - and I spoke with the author of the paper - who said - it was in an LFS that was using copper up to 2.7 ppm - but still having deaths from velvet and the only 'cure' was CP. So - I think this has been a problem for some time - as compared to 'something new'. This again is only my opinion - based on my recent research.
Yeah, this is really bad. Here's to hoping it doesn't become more common.
 
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mcpeachy

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Breaking News: We believe we have discovered at least one strain of velvet that survives 1.75 PPM copper, we recommend increasing to 2.0PPM to eradicate it.

@HotRocks and I have quarantined hundreds of fish over the past year and we've unfortunately learned a lot of hard lessons we can pass to all of you. The previously "accepted" and studied therapeutic level of copper for eradicating ich + velvet was 1.5 PPM. We suggested 1.75 PPM to account for human error and a cushion.

On TWO separate occasions, we've had velvet make it through copper. The first time, some QT's had CP (Chloroquine Phosphate) and the others Copper. When these were combined to a 125 G observation tank post-treatment, velvet can roaring in within 3-4 days very badly.

The first time we blamed CP (we found that the bags used in the filter media contained poly, so it was likely that the CP levels were reduced by the poly pad found in the HOB filters -- we had cut out and removed all carbon). This was still an important thing to know/learn (as common sense as it sounds).

This time we used ONLY copper, and combined only one large batch of fish from copper in to another sterile tank, and the same thing happened. So it may have been this strain surviving copper the first time as well. But for certain, from this last batch, it can survive copper levels around 1.75PPM.

Methodology: completely sterile tanks, bleached in-between use, zero cross-contamination, 10 feet or more away from one another, copper levels measured with the Hanna Copper Checker. 14 days in 1.75PPM, then transfer to another sterile quarantine. 14 days should be MORE than enough for the life cycle of velvet, which is pretty short.

Anyone with failed quarantine to velvet that did not add anything wet to the tank, cross-contaminate, or is as anal about ensuring everything is done by the book as @HotRocks is, this is the likely reason for the failure.

I've updated the "my quarantine process" thread first post, changing to 2.0 PPM copper, as well as the Hanna Checker thread. We will slowly be changing all suggestions to 2.0 PPM.

We are of course discussing chelated copper products such as Copper Power (our primary recommendation due to it being far more consistent and reliable than CopperSafe). Ionic copper such as Cupramine and Cuprion have a therapeutic range of .5 - .6 -- previously .45 - .55 but we are comfortable increasing it in light of this new discovery.

What Has Caused This?

Well, if it is true and not human error or some misunderstanding about velvet, I suspect that LFS and the distribution system maintaining sub-therapeutic copper levels is probably the most likely reason. Like any organism, velvet adapts. The more we subject fish to sub-therapeutic levels of medication, the more likely these organisms are to “evolve” or adapt. I understand why LFS and distributors do this; it keeps fish alive and keeps fish prices low. Unfortunately, there are lasting impacts.

What Do We Do?

1) Treat your fish with therapeutic copper (those that can handle it, which is the vast majority) or CP. In reality, fish are kept in copper before they arrive, acclimating them to a QT with copper right from the beginning isn't going to be as hard on them as you'd think since they've been in copper for some time since collection, theoretically. We've done it hundreds of times with good success. Chloroquine Phosphate can be used on fish such as sharks, rays, some puffers, etc. that do not typically handle copper well.

2) Use accurate copper testing methods like the Hanna Checker. Each failed treatment where velvet or ich failed to be eradicated gives the parasite more resilience to the "medication". Color kits are near impossible to be accurate with, and with such a risk of reinfection you need to be certain of the level of copper in the tank.

Avoid copper in the DT for the same reason unless absolutely the only option. This because it is much harder to maintain constant therapeutic copper levels due to absorption with substrate and rocks in anything but a sterile hospital/quarantine tank.


Footnote: This has NOT been proved scientifically, only anecdotally. We didn't perform scrapes and confirm anything in a lab. It happens so quick we have to act quick to save fish, and it's too late for many by the time we discover it. It is possible that another course of action would fix the issue such as extending the length of copper another week. Someone else will have to fund/perform any scientific research. It was without a doubt, not ich or brook. Disregard at your own risk.

#reefsquad
is copper power safe up until 2.5? what is the max therapeautic range? i dont see an answer anywhere for this. i know cupramine is dangerous at .8 but i haven't seen an upper limit for dangerous with copper power.
 
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is copper power safe up until 2.5? what is the max therapeautic range? i dont see an answer anywhere for this. i know cupramine is dangerous at .8 but i haven't seen an upper limit for dangerous with copper power.
I’d say north of 2.5 is dangerous and the lower the better. Cloudy water and copper poisoning symptoms are more likely the higher the concentration. Right now we are using 2.0-2.25 as the range with good luck.
 

ReefWithCare

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I’d say north of 2.5 is dangerous and the lower the better. Cloudy water and copper poisoning symptoms are more likely the higher the concentration. Right now we are using 2.0-2.25 as the range with good luck.
For those of us who do 30 days of copper would you still recommend 2.0 - 2.25 PPM?
 
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For those of us who do 30 days of copper would you still recommend 2.0 - 2.25 PPM?
Yes. I have to assume that if 14 days of 1.75 didn't work, 30 days wouldn't either. If it didn't kill it in 14, why would 16 more days at an assumedly "no longer therapeutic level" work?

Perhaps it would, but this my own view.
 

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Yes. I have to assume that if 14 days of 1.75 didn't work, 30 days wouldn't either. If it didn't kill it in 14, why would 16 more days at an assumedly "no longer therapeutic level" work?

Perhaps it would, but this my own view.
yeah, i've been confused...some people do 30 days right? i haven't been understanding whether that's because its chelated or not.
 

ReefWithCare

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Yes. I have to assume that if 14 days of 1.75 didn't work, 30 days wouldn't either. If it didn't kill it in 14, why would 16 more days at an assumedly "no longer therapeutic level" work?

Perhaps it would, but this my own view.
The 30 day is for people who don’t have a second tank to do the Tank Transfer. I only have one tank so I do copper for 30 days. Just wanted to check on the levels since over 2.00 in the past was considered pushing it.
 

MnFish1

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Yes. I have to assume that if 14 days of 1.75 didn't work, 30 days wouldn't either. If it didn't kill it in 14, why would 16 more days at an assumedly "no longer therapeutic level" work?

Perhaps it would, but this my own view.
this is a valid assumption - but it goes against evidence...
 
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mcpeachy

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i have 2.2 copper power in my tank....hopefully ok. i dont think tank transfer would be easy for me either.
 

TheHarold

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this is a valid assumption - but it goes against evidence...
Just went through this thread a bit. Didn’t I read before that you’ve never used copper, nor deal with delicate species? Seems kind of condescending/hypocritical for you to constantly try to correct people with much more experience.
 

MnFish1

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Just went through this thread a bit. Didn’t I read before that you’ve never used copper, nor deal with delicate species? Seems kind of condescending/hypocritical for you to constantly try to correct people with much more experience.
Yes it would seem condescending if that were true - but - its not. I have used copper multiple times 20 years ago - and it would also seem condescending if I didnt have a graduate degree in microbiology. But - since I have used copper before - and since I ave a graduate degree - and since I can read scientific literature that some may not have access to - I think the anecdotal experience is perhaps not as worthwhile as its claimed to be - since you asked.
 

MnFish1

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Just went through this thread a bit. Didn’t I read before that you’ve never used copper, nor deal with delicate species? Seems kind of condescending/hypocritical for you to constantly try to correct people with much more experience.
BTW. you must not have read that I have 2 yellow tangs and a purple tang in my tank now... I can take a picture if you will?
 

MnFish1

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Who’s evidence?
Im not going to go back and repeat what I've already said. if you feel the desire to do so go ahead. Not trying to be offensive - but - the recommendation from 2 sources (at minimum) is that 2 weeks is not enough. Its repeated multiple times in the literature - and I've quoted it. You have an agenda - keep touting it. Im done. There may be resistant velvet out there - but its far about 2.25 ppm - the rest is duration. Read back if you will:).... Im tired of this discussion
 
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MnFish1

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That makes two of us.
But - you reignited the discussion lol:)..... You cant admit you might be wrong with your protocol. - and in fact you might be right. IDK - but - to automatically dismiss anyone who might question your god-like opinion - is at best intellectually dishonest - at worst - dishonest.

There is no evidence that you've presented that there is a velvet strain that survives 1.7ppm copper but dies at 2 ppm (I believe - unless you've changed it again) your target. Its just anecdote. There are at least a couple reports out there where velvet are resistant to 2.7 copper - so what is your recommendation based on - your protocol - its merely luck. and good luck you've had - until you lost a bunch of fish and couldn't explain it. Try google next time.
 
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But - you reignited the discussion lol:)..... You cant admit you might be wrong with your protocol. - and in fact you might be right. IDK - but - to automatically dismiss anyone who might question your god-like opinion - is at best intellectually dishonest - at worst - dishonest.

There is no evidence that you've presented that there is a velvet strain that survives 1.7ppm copper but dies at 2 ppm (I believe - unless you've changed it again) your target. Its just anecdote. There are at least a couple reports out there where velvet are resistant to 2.7 copper - so what is your recommendation based on - your protocol - its merely luck. and good luck you've had - until you lost a bunch of fish and couldn't explain it. Try google next time.
I’ve said I could be wrong literally since the first post.

The first post’s conclusion (footnote):

BD1A77BA-07A8-428C-AB05-B59C280EE1C0.png
 
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DucatiGtr

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so.. i use the salifert color change tester.. I’m assuming it’s garbage. Obviously it’s not 2.0 on the salifert tester?
 
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so.. i use the salifert color change tester.. I’m assuming it’s garbage. Obviously it’s not 2.0 on the salifert tester?
Sorry I am not understanding your query, sorry!

But I don’t really trust color charts, lots of human error, at least for me! Tough to read! :)
 

DucatiGtr

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Sorry I am not understanding your query, sorry!

But I don’t really trust color charts, lots of human error, at least for me! Tough to read! :)
Oh my bad.. the color chart on the salifert goes to 1 I believe. But they say do not go over .08.. I’m
Pushing .08 slowly and hoping all works out..
 
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