Copper and live rock/ velvet and lion fish

BRS

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Does anybody have first hand experiencing removing copper from live rock and adding invertebrates? Don’t tell me what you think will happen, looking for what you actually observed. I have a lion fish with velvet and have to decide today wether the live rock stays or goes. It is an essential part of my bio filter and he is comfortable with how things are. It is going to be a stressful time on the big guy and I want him as comfortable as possible. On a side note he is dealing with it surprisingly well. Was covered in a dusting of velvet yesterday morning. I actually observed him shed his mucus membrane and with it every single parasite. Hundreds of them, unfortunately they are on his eyes and I fear I need to act quickly. He spends most of his time hiding or swimming into the heavy current. This is a fish that normally spends every waking moment at the top of the tank swimming around praying for food. He is still eating For now. Don’t buy live rock at petco and not quarantine it :( rookie move.

He is the only fish in the Aquarium, cleanup crew being relocated.
dosing with kalk and vinegar
ph - 8.0
nitrates - 10
amonia nitrite - 0
dkh - 10
calcium - 420
 
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I have considered quarantine tank and tank transfer method. With my work schedule and the massive amount of water changing it will take to keep ammonia down with a 9 inch lion fish. It is just not a possibility.
 

Jay Hemdal

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What brand of copper do you plan on using? You'll need to move pretty quick on this. I've found that ionic copper/critic acid medications get into the rock much faster than organically bound coppers do. With long term ionic copper use, no amount of pH leeching worked for me with coral rock. I have re-used rock though, after a short exposure to coppersafe. Much of the microfauna will be lost, though, and to make the rock safe, you'll need to soak it in a dilute acid (vinegar perhaps) and the of course, it won't be "live rock" any longer.

Jay
 
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He is swimming around right now. He comes out when I walk into the room which he wasn't doing as much yesterday.
 

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What brand of copper do you plan on using? You'll need to move pretty quick on this. I've found that ionic copper/critic acid medications get into the rock much faster than organically bound coppers do. With long term ionic copper use, no amount of pH leeching worked for me with coral rock. I have re-used rock though, after a short exposure to coppersafe. Much of the microfauna will be lost, though, and to make the rock safe, you'll need to soak it in a dilute acid (vinegar perhaps) and the of course, it won't be "live rock" any longer.

Jay
Seachem. I will take the rocks out as they are very nice. Is it possible to use a uv sterilizer to help him beat this without copper? He is a big strong fish and seems to be doing a little better than yesterday. He is out a little bit more, but not like normal. He got rid of all his body parasites, still on his eyes.
 

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You can use UV with coppersafe and copper power, not sure why you can’t use it with Cupramine.
The UV sterilizer along will not resolve ich once it reaches a moderate stage of infection.
Jay
 
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You can use UV with coppersafe and copper power, not sure why you can’t use it with Cupramine.
The UV sterilizer along will not resolve ich once it reaches a moderate stage of infection.
Jay
SeaChem Cupramine ™ effectively eradicates ectoparasite of both freshwater and marine fish. It has all the advantages of copper sulfate and chelated copper, but not the disadvantages. Like copper sulfate, it is fully ionic and effective at low concentrations. The cupric (Cu+2) charge is fully active. Like chelates, it is safe for fish and is not precipitated in the filter bed. Unlike both, there is more than a 4x concentration gap between the minimal therpeutic dose and the toxic dose. Unlike copper salts, it is stable in the aquarium, and, unlike chelates, it is easily removed by chemical filtration. Unlike other copper products, it is both highly effective and safe in freshwater as well as marine water. It does not damage the filter bed. Cupramine™ contains 10,000 mg/L of copper and 100 mL treats over 500 gallons. Do not use in conjuction with ParaGuard™. Test for copper with our MultTest: Copper™ kit. Marine or freshwater use.

Caution: Turn off your UV sterilizer while treating with Cupramine. UV will break up the ionic bond in Cuprimine; causing it to be much more toxic.
 
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You can use UV with coppersafe and copper power, not sure why you can’t use it with Cupramine.
The UV sterilizer along will not resolve ich once it reaches a moderate stage of infection.
Jay
He is doing such a good job managing the outbreak by himself that I’m going to try to see if the UV sterilizer gives him enough of a relief to beat it. Maybe I am being foolish but if he starts to deteriorate I will start copper. He hasn’t swam into the current or had any body parasites in 48 hours.

Is it possible this is ich and not velvet? He had all the symptoms of velvet. Swimming into the power head, staying away from the light, with a bunch of parasites on him. He was covered in the parasites overnight. As far as size of parasites, they were small. They however were not on him long and ich takes a minute to mature in size if I remember correctly. From what I have read, he should be dead by now if it were velvet.
 
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He is doing such a good job managing the outbreak by himself that I’m going to try to see if the UV sterilizer gives him enough of a relief to beat it. Maybe I am being foolish but if he starts to deteriorate I will start copper. He hasn’t swam into the current or had any body parasites in 48 hours.

Is it possible this is ich and not velvet? He had all the symptoms of velvet. Swimming into the power head, staying away from the light, with a bunch of parasites on him. He was covered in the parasites overnight. As far as size of parasites, they were small. They however were not on him long and ich takes a minute to mature in size if I remember correctly. From what I have read, he should be dead by now if it were velvet.
Yes - survivorship from true Amyloodinium (velvet) is often less than 36 hours after symptoms are first noticed. Without doing a skin/gill biopsy positive ID is difficult. I'm even less confident that UV can reduce a velvet infection. There is some idea that velvet may not always actually have to leave the gills in order to reproduce, and if 100% of them don't drop and form new theronts in the water column, UV has no chance to affect them.

Jay
 
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Yes - survivorship from true Amyloodinium (velvet) is often less than 36 hours after symptoms are first noticed. Without doing a skin/gill biopsy positive ID is difficult. I'm even less confident that UV can reduce a velvet infection. There is some idea that velvet may not always actually have to leave the gills in order to reproduce, and if 100% of them don't drop and form new theronts in the water column, UV has no chance to affect them.

Jay
Update - I gave UV a few days with no improvement. Eyes still have the same number of parasites. I pulled all the live rock out along with the CUC. I did leave the sand, life rock, and bio balls/ bricks And started dosing seachem cupramine last night. I need this stuff to keep my tank cycled. I’m not worried about the life rock dying, it is fake coralline to begin with.

Jay - So far I have put in 17 ml which is suppose to be enough for around a .5 copper reading In 90 gallons. However I am still only reading .1 in my seachem copper test. There is a control solution that I used to verify the test is working and that I am using it correctly, this read as it was suppose to. It has been 24 hrs since I started dosing. Is the life rock and bio bricks absorbing the copper? Should I continue to add more or am I missing something/ can the copper just all of a sudden leach back out into the water?
 

Jay Hemdal

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It does sound like something is taking up the copper out of the water. I thought that most bio brick media was pretty inert, so I would suspect the live rock. Still, Cupramine should be more stable that that. How old is the live rock? Some of those products are made from concrete/mortar and if the rock is really new, it might be pulling more copper out that I would expect. Generally, you do not have to worry about copper leeching back into the tank from these materials as long as you do not let the pH drop. If that happens, the copper that is bound up in the rock could go back into solution. Can you pull the rock out?

Jay
 
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It does sound like something is taking up the copper out of the water. I thought that most bio brick media was pretty inert, so I would suspect the live rock. Still, Cupramine should be more stable that that. How old is the live rock? Some of those products are made from concrete/mortar and if the rock is really new, it might be pulling more copper out that I would expect. Generally, you do not have to worry about copper leeching back into the tank from these materials as long as you do not let the pH drop. If that happens, the copper that is bound up in the rock could go back into solution. Can you pull the rock out?

Jay
I don’t think my biological filter can take me pulling it out. The ammonia test kit I have doesn’t work with copper and my seachem in tank ammonia gauge showed 0.025 ammonia when I cycled my tank while the actual ammonia was .75. So I really have no way to tell if ammonia spikes. My ph is at 8.4 which will eventually fall to 7.8 because I’m going to stop adding kalkwasser without the live rock and snails to take up the alk and calcium. And I added too much recently causing all to get too high. I will certainly keep an eye on that. The rocks are probably somewhat new. I bought them from petco 2 weeks ago where they were in their aquarium. Which is where this mess came from. Thanks for all the advice so far, it is appreciate!
 

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You know, I'm going to stop recommending Cupramine to folks - just too many drawbacks to using it; ammonia kits don't work, you can't use prime with it, UV lights break it down...I don't have any of those issues with Coppersafe.

Jay
 
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You know, I'm going to stop recommending Cupramine to folks - just too many drawbacks to using it; ammonia kits don't work, you can't use prime with it, UV lights break it down...I don't have any of those issues with Coppersafe.

Jay
Yeah, I decided to go with it because I read lion fish are sensitive to copper and seachem claims their cupramine is less toxic to fish. I took the carbon out, only thing I left in the tank was the polyester quilting floss I use to Catch debris Besides sand/ rock/ marine pure blocks. I’m going to do a lot of testing until this settles out and my ph drops.
 
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You know, I'm going to stop recommending Cupramine to folks - just too many drawbacks to using it; ammonia kits don't work, you can't use prime with it, UV lights break it down...I don't have any of those issues with Coppersafe.

Jay
Also I only have around 12 lbs of rock in the tank right now. Just added another 9 ml. Will test in a few hours and see if it did anything.
 
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Yeah, I decided to go with it because I read lion fish are sensitive to copper and seachem claims their cupramine is less toxic to fish. I took the carbon out, only thing I left in the tank was the polyester quilting floss I use to Catch debris Besides sand/ rock/ marine pure blocks. I’m going to do a lot of testing until this settles out and my ph drops.
Your comment about not expecting rock to absorb that much copper put me on a hunt for the problem. Turns out my filter sponge is infused with active carbon. Things are more stable now.

How long do you recommend treating him with copper. The bottle says 15 days after the parasites are no longer present, othe threads have recommend 30 days.

You mentioned soaking the rock in a low acid solution when this is all over. What kind of solution and how long is needed?
 
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Update - After 2 days of slowly raising the level and 4 days of using cupramine at the recommended dose of .5, my lion fish has dropped its last eye parasite. Velvet or ich, nobody can be sure.

So far the cupramine has had no ill effects on the lion fish as many have claimed With copper. He is back to his normal self begging for food at the top of the water column every waking second. Hopefully this continues.

Other interesting news on ammonia testing. I am receiving no false positives on api tests as many have claimed. I am running the appropriate levels of cupramine and conclude fake news on this.

My algae scrubber algae is dying fast and bristle worms from the sand have emerged and died. As expected.

I will update on all of this if anything changes and will update at the end of the treatment how invertebrates fare after being introduced to a display tank that was used with cupramin.
 
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Update

It has been a month using cupramine. Fish seems 100 percent, hopefully the parasites are dead. I have had to add about 3 ml of cupramine every 2 days to keep the level up. Api Ammonia test has no false positives. One interesting note is I have 10s of thousands of pods in the tank. Before I never saw any, they are covering walls, sand, water, and rock. How is this possible?
 
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