Copper used previously in tank... is it safe?

BAPrince

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I picked up a used IM20 AIO tank. I know that copper was previously used in the tank. It's empty now, so any cleaning is possible. I've read that copper could have been absorbed into the silicone (and I'm wondering if also the back plastic panel of the AIO sump). Is this tank safe to set up as a reef tank?
 

uiogd13

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My current tank previously had copper in it. Vinegar and elbow grease goes a long way.
It was a Nuvo 20 if that helps. It has a similar plastic baffle, just as you mentioned.
Currently I have no signs of problems from copper, and all of my copper-sensitive livestock are healthy.
 

CCauthers

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I would definitely be very cautious, and don't use anything else from the original tank. I agree, vinegar can work, but test it with some very inexpensive things first, and don't get your hopes up.
 

Reefer1978

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The whole ‘silicone absorbs copper’ appears more urban myth than fact. I’ve used tanks that had copper a few times without incident.
It's not an urban myth. I have a friend who treated tank with copper. Even a year later, any SPS he tried to add to the tank died, Couldn't figure it out at all, so gave up on the tank and sold.

Now you could argue he didn't know what he was doing. He had 5 tanks in total, and probably the most expensive SPS collection I've ever seen. 4 other tanks were doing great. This was the only tank that couldn't sustain SPS life. Copper didn't show up on any test kits.
 
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BAPrince

BAPrince

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I don't know what type of copper was used. And, I'm not using anything else from the previous setup.... all new rock, sand, etc. If I set it up bare bottom with fresh salt water and let it run for a couple of days, is there a way I could test?
 

Reefer1978

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I don't know what type of copper was used. And, I'm not using anything else from the previous setup.... all new rock, sand, etc. If I set it up bare bottom with fresh salt water and let it run for a couple of days, is there a way I could test?
ICP test is probably the best way to go, but they are not cheap. Run it after the tank is up and running for a few weeks.
 

PatW

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You could try adding dilute muriatic acid, say about 1/20 or even more dilute, to the tank and let it sit with some circulation. Vinegar is a weak acid meaning little of it is in acid form. Muriatic is a strong acid and is just about 100% in acid form.
 

redfishbluefish

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Folks, copper doesn't "stick" to glass or silicone.... it's not there. And let's assume some was left behind.....the dilution would be so great, it wouldn't matter. I wouldnt hesitate one moment in using a tank that was used with copper.

Now if you told me someone treated rock with copper, I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole.
 

Hal3134

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Carbon absorbs copper. +1 to what was said above that glass does NOT absorb copper. I’m not 100% sure about silicon, but believe that it does NOT absorb copper. In any case , if you’re worried, just run carbon. I would still use the tank. If you’re really worried, test for copper. Also, polyfilters absorb carbon and I think they even turn a particular color to indicate that they are absorbing coppe. if it were me I’d just run carbon.
 

NanoDJS

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Its more about the rock and sand , chances of the tank getting skunked are super low, run a poly filter for a few if your that concerned
 
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ca1ore

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It's not an urban myth.
We shall have to agree to disagree because I think that it is .... as long as we are taking about a bare tank. Add rocks to the equation and it’s a different discussion.
 

Hilltopreef

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Just clean it well and throw a Polyfilter in the sump or whatever filter your gonna use. It will pull out anything that leaches out. Probably none at all but good cheap insurance.
 

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