Current Quarantine Protocol

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Jay Hemdal

Jay Hemdal

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I’m treating 2 tomato clowns in a qt. using Copper Power. Suspected ich. I had been using the API copper test kit, but the results were coming up in the yellow family, whereas the chart is more in the orange family. Based on hue, I estimated copper to be at about 2.0. I was gradually increasing copper in an attempt to reach 2.50 ppm. I just bought the Hanna H1702 copper tester and it is showing 4.70 ppm. That’s very high. Has anyone experienced this? Does anyone know if the Hanna tester shows inaccurately high ppm levels?
I would trust the Hanna tester over the API kit in every instance. Here is a trick though: mix up exactly five gallons of seawater. Add 7.4 milliliters of copper power to that and mix well. That should read 2.5 ppm copper. You can then use that water to do a partial on your QT, just so it isn’t wasted.
Jay
 
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tbs246

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I've found the Hanna Tester to be accurate, but no way to really tell unless you have a third testing device to compare.

If you believe your dosage was consistent with the instructions, the Hanna tester could be at fault

Copper Power instructions are to add one ounce per gallon of water.

How does the procedure you followed compare to that? I've found the instructions to be pretty reliable for this product.

How did you estimate the volume of water? Often, the actual amount of water is less than that advertised. you can calculate the amount based on ( (L x W x H) /231) minus volume of rock, plus volume of external filtration
I followed the dosing instructions and was dosing little by little. I guess I overdosed. I’ll do a mini water change today and top off with salt water at same salinity level. Then I’ll check copper level again later today.
 

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I followed the dosing instructions and was dosing little by little. I guess I overdosed. I’ll do a mini water change today and top off with salt water at same salinity level. Then I’ll check copper level again later today.
Jay's suggestion would also be a good way to validate the accuracy of the Hanna Checker. But as he said, I also trust the accuracy of The Hanna check over the API kit any day.
 

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Water changes are the safest way to reduce ammonia in a tank being treated with copper. Better still of course is to only use tanks with fully cycled systems as quarantine tanks.

Using ammonia reducing compounds (Amquel, Prime, etc.) are risky - all three main copper medications bind copper with amines (ammonia bases). The worry is that adding ammonia reducers can break that bond, releasing free copper in high amounts, poisoning the fish. We know this is an issue with Cupramine, but it may also be with Coppersafe and Copper Power. It isn't an issue with copper/citric acid formulations.

Jay
Thanks, Jay, this is helpful.

I have also started to use AmGuard which seems to bind the Ammonia without interfering with the Copper. I'm using this to get by when I cant perform the water changes. I don't know what the long-term effects will be so if anyone has input on that I would appreciate it as it seems to be a newer product.
 

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Jay's suggestion would also be a good way to validate the accuracy of the Hanna Checker. But as he said, I also trust the accuracy of The Hanna check over the API kit any day.
+1 for the Hanna checker.

As long as you're rinsing out the glass vials with RO water immediately so no copper residue is left its seems to be dead on. Granted I've only been using it for 3 weeks but I'm using it at least once a day on two separate tanks and all readings have made sense based on cupramine dosed.
 
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Thanks, Jay, this is helpful.

I have also started to use AmGuard which seems to bind the Ammonia without interfering with the Copper. I'm using this to get by when I cant perform the water changes. I don't know what the long-term effects will be so if anyone has input on that I would appreciate it as it seems to be a newer product.

I'm concerned that Seachem is completely silent about using AmGuard and Cupramine. They warn against using Cupramine and "too much Prime" or other reducing agents like formalin. I would still be very leery of using any ammonia remover with any amine-bond copper.

This issue is tough to track down - breaking the copper/amine bond will release huge amounts of more toxic free copper. Trouble is, nobody knows which products will react that way. You can't test for it with copper test kits, so the only way would be to run "bioassays" - basically try it and see if the fish live.

Wouldn't it be ironic: I've used amine-bond coppers for 35+ years and never see any overt copper toxicity. I also have never used ammonia remover with copper. I hear all the time, "my fish died from copper poisoning". What if these cases were attributable to having also used (what they presumed to be a safe) reducing agents?


Jay
 

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Question about removing copper. Jay recommends removing it with a series of water changes. Being new, I'm not sure the best way to do this. Do I do as many small water changes in a single day until I don't have a copper reading anymore? Is it better to do a couple of larger water changes? I gather he is doing this in a single day. Any advice
 

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Question about removing copper. Jay recommends removing it with a series of water changes. Being new, I'm not sure the best way to do this. Do I do as many small water changes in a single day until I don't have a copper reading anymore? Is it better to do a couple of larger water changes? I gather he is doing this in a single day. Any advice
I think it depends on where you treated. Was it a QT tank or main display? QT you could do a few large changes making sure the parameters are the same with no issues I think. If its main display and you have rock/sand then that gets much more complicated.
 

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I think it depends on where you treated. Was it a QT tank or main display? QT you could do a few large changes making sure the parameters are the same with no issues I think. If its main display and you have rock/sand then that gets much more complicated.
Sorry, this is for QT.
 

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Sorry, this is for QT.
I think you should be fine with some large water changes. I heat my new water, make sure the params are the same and with a 28gal tank, i've done 50% water change with no issues. Couple of those a few days apart and cant think there would be much left in the system.
 
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In QT, I usually do 50% water changes two days in a row which should result in a 75% reduction in copper level, then I use cupramine cuprasorb to absorb more while I'm conducting the praziquantel phase of quarantine. The only reason I use cupramine cuprasorb is because I sometimes use the same QT to hold new corals. That way, I'm ready to reuse the QT for either fish or coral depending on what I decide to purchase next.
 
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Question about removing copper. Jay recommends removing it with a series of water changes. Being new, I'm not sure the best way to do this. Do I do as many small water changes in a single day until I don't have a copper reading anymore? Is it better to do a couple of larger water changes? I gather he is doing this in a single day. Any advice

Don't do small Water changes. I made that mistake of doing a bunch of 20% water changes and it took forever to get the copper levels down. Do a couple of 50% water changes and it will go much quicker.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Thank you!

Agreed - assuming they are done correctly, (matching temp and salinity) 50% water changes work well. I once did the math on this; smaller water changes end up changing too much water that you just changed, it takes you forever to get the copper out. Even with 50% water changes, two 50% changes only removes 75% of the copper, and three gets you to 88% I think.

Jay
 

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Agreed - assuming they are done correctly, (matching temp and salinity) 50% water changes work well. I once did the math on this; smaller water changes end up changing too much water that you just changed, it takes you forever to get the copper out. Even with 50% water changes, two 50% changes only removes 75% of the copper, and three gets you to 88% I think.

Jay
Thank you Jay. Will make sure to match temp and salinity.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Here is the thing - I can't CONFIRM that dechlor is an issue, especially with Copper Power and Coppersafe. I'm just suspicious that it might be an issue. Reducing agents seem to be a problem with Cupramine. These would include ammonia removers and formalin. Extrapolating that to the other two copper products is just being cautious.

If you are using sodium thiosulfate to treat tap water outside of the tank (like in a mixing vat), as I presume that you are, then you are fine to do that, even with cupramine. Just try to avoid reducing agents in the tank water itself when copper is present.

I'd like to try and confirm if this is even a problem, but the only way I can figure out to test this would be to put fish at risk (it doesn't show up on copper test kits).

Jay
 

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If you are using sodium thiosulfate to treat tap water outside of the tank (like in a mixing vat), as I presume that you are, then you are fine to do that, even with cupramine. Just try to avoid reducing agents in the tank water itself when copper is present.
This I would avoid too thiosulfate can make metal complex as well.
 

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breaking the copper/amine bond will release huge amounts of more toxic free copper
Also in past when I mention this is not what I ment by free up copper. At one point it can but if ph is high enough it re dissolves. Changing one complex into another...
 
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