Proper dosing of Coppersafe

Brew12

Electrical Gru
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
22,489
Reaction score
60,800
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Decatur, AL
I want to put some info out which will hopefully clarify the large amount of confusion when using Mardel's Coppersafe.

If you look at the Fritz website they indicate that Coppersafe maintains a total copper of 0.15ppm to 0.2ppm. This is not correct. Not only is this not the recommended dosage for chelated copper but it isn't what their recommended dosing achieves.
They recommend dosing at 5ml per 4 gallons. This works out to 1.16ppm of copper. The problem? Chelated copper needs to be maintained between 1.5ppm and 2ppm to be therapeutic.
To make this even more challenging, the API test kit tends to read on the high side, making the problem even worse.

Have I confused you enough yet? Sorry. Can't help it.

So here is my best recommendation.

Actual dosing should be 1.6mL/gallon to 2.1mL/gallon. I recommend adding 1.6mL of coppersafe to 1 gallon of salt water and taking a test with your API kit. Compare this to your chart and try to think of this color as 1.5ppm, or the minimum recommended level. Then dose another 0.5mL Coppersafe into that gallon and take another test. Try to remember this shade as proper for 2ppm, or the highest level you want.

For slowly raising copper levels as is appropriate for Ich on all but the most sensitive fish, I recommend dosing 0.3mL/gallon every morning and evening for 3 days. This should get you to 1.8mL/gallon at the end for a concentration of 1.7ppm. Another 0.3mL/gallon dose will put you right at the top end if you want to add it.


Hope that helps!
 
Last edited:
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

Ocelaris

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
1,772
Reaction score
1,137
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
This is really helpful, I just started copper safe and had to abandon ship due to a fish being skittish. I did a bunch of water changes and everyone is happy again. I'll go slower next time following these instructions. Thanks!
 

jsker

Reefing is all about the adventure
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 11, 2015
Messages
21,010
Reaction score
47,965
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Central Florida
Great info @Brew12 thank you very much for putting the information together and posting it.
 
OP
Brew12

Brew12

Electrical Gru
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
22,489
Reaction score
60,800
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Decatur, AL
Thanks, but it was actually @Jeffdstafford and @Humblefish that did the hard work. I just did a little math to make dosing recommendations.
 
AS
OP
Brew12

Brew12

Electrical Gru
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
22,489
Reaction score
60,800
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Decatur, AL
Sorry guys, I rushed the numbers out last night and I didn't catch that I used the wrong recommended dosing numbers from Fritz. I did the math at 4mL/5 gallons instead of 5mL/4 gallons. That mistake carried through all my calculations.

The numbers have been edited and should be correct now.
 

reburn

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
68
Reaction score
8
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Austin, TX
So if 1ml/g = 1.5pmm
Then 1.25ml/g = 1.75ppm
Then 1.5ml/g = 2.0ppm
Then 1.75ml/g = 2.25ppm

Then the reccomended dosage of 5ml/4g should put you at 1.75ppm a correct therapeutic dosage, not 1.16ppm as outlined above?

So your 3 day raise over 6 0.3ml doses for a total of 1.8ml/g would be above the maximum dose of 2.0ppm.

Should it not be 0.25ml each morning and evening for 3 day for a total of 6 doses equaling 1.5ml/g which would equate to 2ppm.

I have used the dosing formula 0.3ml/g once daily for 5 days to reach the maximum reccomend dosage of 1.5ml/g =2ppm. This formula has been successful for me on a slow raise for wrasse including cleaners and leopards (meleagris, ornate, bipartitus)
 
Last edited:
OP
Brew12

Brew12

Electrical Gru
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
22,489
Reaction score
60,800
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Decatur, AL
So if 1ml/g = 1.5pmm
Then 1.25ml/g = 1.75ppm
Then 1.5ml/g = 2.0ppm
Then 1.75ml/g = 2.25ppm

Then the reccomended dosage of 5ml/4g should put you at 1.75ppm a correct therapeutic dosage, not 1.16ppm as outlined above?

So your 3 day raise over 6 0.3ml doses for a total of 1.8ml/g would be above the maximum dose of 2.0ppm.

Should it not be 0.25ml each morning and evening for 3 day for a total of 6 doses equaling 1.5ml/g which would equate to 2ppm.

I have used the dosing formula 0.3ml/g once daily for 5 days to reach the maximum reccomend dosage of 1.5ml/g =2ppm. This formula has been successful for me on a slow raise for wrasse including cleaners and leopards (meleagris, ornate, bipartitus)
I'm glad you caught that. Part of my edit didn't save. 1.6mL/gallon should 1.5ppm with 2.1mL/g being 2.0ppm
 

reburn

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
68
Reaction score
8
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Austin, TX
So I'm clear. The copper sulfate solution of copper safe isn't at the listed solution percentages from the manufacturer thus doesn't yield the proper ppm dosage when their formula is applied?
 
REEFTIDE
OP
Brew12

Brew12

Electrical Gru
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
22,489
Reaction score
60,800
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Decatur, AL
So I'm clear. The copper sulfate solution of copper safe isn't at the listed solution percentages from the manufacturer thus doesn't yield the proper ppm dosage when their formula is applied?
That is correct. The recommended dose of 1.25mL/g (5mL/4g) gives 1.16ppm copper. Recommended copper levels for this product are 1.5ppm to 2ppm.
 
AS
OP
Brew12

Brew12

Electrical Gru
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
22,489
Reaction score
60,800
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Decatur, AL
Well that is interesting. It does confusing things. This is something a few of us have been discussing behind the scenes for quite awhile. I will share some correspondence we received from Fritz.

"In the absence of hard data, Fritz elected to utilize the standard recommended dosage for the public aquarium/zoo and aquaculture industries which is 0.15 -.20 mg/l or ppm (Noga E. 2010. Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment. 2nd Ed. Ames (IA): Wiley-Blackwell. p. 391-393.) This was done to protect consumers and prevent overdoses. We also began a research program into chelated copper sulfate pentahydrate. We also examined the Customer Service databases provided to us by Sergeants; it is clear that this formulation, which has been unchanged for decades, is one of the safest products available on the market.

Our research has determined that when used per label directions Coppersafe will yield a copper level of 1.16 to 1.17 ppm. At this level there are no fish mortalities in controlled experiments. Gill damage is not observed in treated fish exposed to this dosage level. This is due to the sophisticated chelating agent used on the formula."

So what comes directly from Fritz is that they recommend 0.15ppm to 0.20ppm but dosing per labeled direction comes to 1.16ppm to 1.17ppm. I personally don't have a Chemetrics test kit, but the 1.15ppm was verified by 2 members using them.

I'm at a bit of a loss to explain the video. The only thing I can think of us that the actinic light from the aquarium messed with the color. Regardless of which copper test kit is used, we have found it best to read in natural sunlight.
 

Ocelaris

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
1,772
Reaction score
1,137
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
The video is cool, but I wonder if it's a 20 gallon nominal, but in reality less? That's the only question I have about the measurements. If it was measured against a graduated 1 gallon I would have been more sure of the results.
 

reburn

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
68
Reaction score
8
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Austin, TX
Ok I'll help confuse things.
A 20gL is 30x13x13
Actual measurements to hold that water
29.5x11.75x11 = 16.5g

How I got there. The advertised measurements are outside to outside including the rims. You have to subtract for the 1/4" of glass x2 to get to the inside measurement. For the length. The side is a bit trickier as its a little off measurement to start with at 12.25" on the actual glass. Again minus 1/2" of glass to get you inside to inside comes up to 11.75" inside. Since I have a 20gL sitting here I just measured to the bottom of the rim from inside the tank and came up with 11". This leaves the water line at the very bottom of the rim where most people will have it. All there measurements were verified real world with a tape measure on a 20g long.

So now im going to attempt to work the formula backwards. 20ml into 16.5g equals 1.21mL/g. This is below the minimum recommend dosage above of 1.6mL/g which should come out to 26.4mL

You dosed 20ml for 20 gallons which is 4ml/4g instead of the 5ml/4g on the bottle which should have been 25ml.

The copper concentration should be at 1.14pmm

The math from the op I'm still having a hard time understanding but if;
1.6ml / 1.5ppm = 1.066 ppm/ml
2.1ml / 2.0ppm = 1.05 ppm/ml
Then
1.21ml / 1.14 ppm = 1.061 ppm/mL

I'm having a very hard time with the OP's math.
May we see the data on the percent solution actually tested.
How did it work out into ppm per mL?

Honestly this is muddy as heck. The op's math doesn't work correctly.

This is compounded by the fact that the video is under dosing the copper per manufacturers instructions on the bottle.
 
OP
Brew12

Brew12

Electrical Gru
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
22,489
Reaction score
60,800
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Decatur, AL
The math from the op I'm still having a hard time understanding but if;
1.6ml / 1.5ppm = 1.066 ppm/ml
2.1ml / 2.0ppm = 1.05 ppm/ml
Then
1.21ml / 1.14 ppm = 1.061 ppm/mL

You calculated to ml/ppm not ppm/ml. You would need to invert the number to get ppm/ml

1.6mL/1.5ppm =1.066mL/ppm = 0.94ppm/mL
2.1mL/2.0ppm = 1.05mL/ppm = 0.95ppm/mL
then
1.21mL/1.14ppm = 1.061mL/ppm = 0.94ppm/mL

Per Fritz
1.25mL/1.165ppm = 1.073mL/ppm = 0.93ppm/mL

Hope that explanation makes sense. There are some rounding errors but I'm not sure they would be significant except in very large systems

So now back to the video and tank size.

It looks like whoever made the video did do the correct dosage per Fritz for the tank size. He probably had close to a 16g water volume. At 5mL/4g he should have dosed 20mL/16g which he did. Per Fritz, he should have come up with closer to 1.16ppm than 2.0ppm.
 

reburn

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
68
Reaction score
8
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Austin, TX
Thank bud I didn't take the math the right way on a mildly caffinataed brain :)
Yes it makes perfect sense.

In the video he states it's a 20g tank. He doesn't ever state that it's only holding 16g of water. If he did that calculation it wasn't in the video that I saw. Per my math above if he did calculate 16.5g of water he did dose correct to Fritz and did come out at 1.14ppm which is close.

If he was dosing for 20g he dosed 4ml/g and undershot the formula of 5ml/g. Which curiously enough had he said a 20gL holds 20g and dosed the 25ml for 20g he would have come to 1.51mL/g which would have been the very bottom end of therapeutic range based on the fact that it holds 16.5G.
 
Tidal Gardens January 29th YouTube Live Show

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

  • Yes! I have. (Tell us about what issue you faced in the thread.)

    Votes: 175 24.2%
  • No. Thankfully, I haven't.

    Votes: 373 51.6%
  • Nope, but it almost happened. (Share your experience in the thread.)

    Votes: 53 7.3%
  • Not yet, but I'm almost there. (Tell us what you're dealing with.)

    Votes: 61 8.4%
  • If you reef long enough, this will eventually happen to you.

    Votes: 47 6.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 14 1.9%
Cherry Corals Polyp-Palooza Dec 18th and 19th!
Top