Dumb newby mistake. Copper in tank

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ScubaSkeets

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One of my fish had ich. It's a newer tank with only fish, live rock and live sand. I was planning on it to be a reef tank but wasn't going to add any corals for a while until the tank was ready.

So, in my Newby ignorance, I put CopperSafe in the tank with the thinking that the copper will dissipate, especially since the bottle of CopperSafe even says "Treats water for one month". (I definitely should have done more research)
So, as I'm sure most of you know, copper is way more stubborn than just dissipating on its own after a month and I'm afraid I ruined my plans on it ever being a reef tank. I know there measures that I can take to remove the copper (water changes, poly filters, Cuprisorb, carbon, etc.) However, im not sure if I will ever be 100% comfortable with putting corals in it knowing there's a chance that the rock and sand may continue to leech the copper into the water.
Oh well...who needed a dumb 'ol reef tank anyway? ;Sorry;Sorry;Sorry;Shy

Oh yeah...I also didn't know that the copper may/will kill the live rock and live sand. Arrrrgghh!
 
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Billdogg

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Run carbon, polyfilter, and do water changes. The copper that did leech into the rocks and sand will slowly go away. It wasn't the best choice, but I've done it myself. I had a 60 cube that I got about 1990. The tank got ich (badly) and I treated repeatedly with copper to finally get on top of it. It became my first reef tank, with the same rocks and sand.
 

Brew12

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I agree that you will be fine to eventually transition this into a reef tank. Ocean water does have copper in it so small amounts aren't a problem. You don't need to remove it all. You only need to keep it below the level where it becomes toxic to coral. In fact, some people purposely add very low levels of copper because they feel it helps color their coral up. I'm not that brave.
Cuprisorb or Polyfilters until level gets very low and then running carbon should help keep it at safe levels imo.
 

Lasse

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knowing there's a chance that the rock and sand may continue to leech the copper into the water.
I have never understand this after a single treatment. The Cu you have add in an environment containing limestone will be adsorbed in the limestone (sand and rocks) after a certain ratio - x% in the limestone and 100-X in the water. After a week or two a single ICP test can tel you the real concentration for 100-X. If the conditions in the aquarium is rather stable - the ratio between the copper in the limestone and the water always will be the nearly the same. The Cu in natural water vary between 1 - 3 µg/L and below - you can see my Cu concentrations during 4.5 years without any problems at all

1614439871181.png

It means that if your Cu concentrations are below 10 µg/L it could never leak out so much that the concentration rise over this 10 µg/L. If the ratio is 1:10 (its not - only as an example). It will be 10 µg/L in the water and 90 µg/L in the rocks. Take away the 10 µg/L from the water (bioackumulation as an example) - next ratio will be 9 µg/L to 90 µg/L and so on.

Tip - before you decide to make it to a coral tank - send in an ICP - if Cu is below 10 µg/L - just go further - if not - use some of the mentioned methods in order to bring it down.

Sincerely Lasse
 
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saltyhog

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Agree with getting an ICP test. I would run Cuprasorb for a while and get the ICP in a couple of months.

For the record. There are no treatments for Ich that are safe to use in a reef tank. That's one reason many of us QT all fish before they go in the DT. The other option is Ich management...which means dealing with the parasite and achieving a viable fish population despite it's presence. It can be done (though I prefer prevention).
 
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ScubaSkeets

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Thanks for the replies! I picked up some Cuprisorb and Poly Filters today and will start treating it tomorrow. I'll keep things posted.
I do have another question: if the copper did/does happen to kill the live rock/sand, how would you be able to tell? What changes to the rock/sand would you actually see?
 
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