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Old 01/10/2008, 10:51 PM   #1
jgsensor
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Copper Levels

Just tested for copper in my tank and it tested .05mg/l. Not sure where this came from, I have never dosed copper in the tank ever. Would this low level have an effect on anything? I have been having trouble keeping corals alive for sometime due to phosphates. Finally got those down using a reactor and phosphate buster, but still having trouble with the corals and coraline algea. I have had no trouble with keeping snails, crabs, starfish, and fish alive just the corals.

All other levels tested good at last check, but I am going to retest them tonight. At last check they were:
Salinity 1.025
PH 8.02
Calc 450
Alk 9.3
Mag 1350
temp 79.2
amon, nitrite, nitrate 0,0,0


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Old 01/10/2008, 11:23 PM   #2
Billybeau1
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If you had toxic levels of copper, I would expect it to hit your inverts. This apparently is not the case.

What brand copper test kit ?


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Old 01/10/2008, 11:37 PM   #3
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Fast test

All inverts are ok, just having the problem with the corals and coraline for about 1yr now so I was trying to tests for a shot in the dark and found the low copper level. Maybe it leached from the phospahate media (phosoban, salifert, and Rowaphos) That is the only idea I can come up with.


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Old 01/10/2008, 11:45 PM   #4
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Well, since your inverts are ok, I wouldn't necessarily suspect a copper problem.

Maybe a test kit problem with your other parameters.

How do you measure specific gravity and what brand test kits do you use for calcium, alkalinity and magnesium ?

Also, what brand salt mix and how often do you do water changes ?


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Old 01/11/2008, 12:08 AM   #5
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I am planning to take a sample this weekend to the LFS just to double check the copper. I have already done that with my other test kits and they have always checked out.

All my test kits are salifert and I use a reflectometer for checking salt ever since I got burned by a hydrometer.

Salt is IO and I change 50g every 2 weeks. I run a calc reactor with ARM media, and dose Salifert Iodine and Mag, but have recently been trying ESV.

The tank is 375g with 50g sump and 75 refugium, dart return pump, 4 tunze 6100 on controller, MRC MR-3 skimmer, 3x400 MH 10K reeflux, and 4x96 PC for actinic. Its been running for 2.5yrs


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Old 01/11/2008, 12:12 AM   #6
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Forgot to mention, I just tested the water again tonight.

Time tested 10:20pm
Alk 10.6
Copper .05
Mag 1140
Calc 470
Phosphate .01
PH 7.98
temp 78.6
Salt 1.025


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Old 01/11/2008, 12:19 AM   #7
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Just so we can get a complete picture, are your corals lps, sps or mixed?


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Old 01/11/2008, 12:41 AM   #8
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They are mixed. Right now the original corals from tank start up are still alive (mushrooms, torch, gorgonian, heliopora, green star polyps), but they have not grown for several months. I have tried to add but lost, mushrooms, finger leather, zoas, montipora, and a favia. I did add a hydnophora that is hanging on, but not looking all that good.


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Old 01/11/2008, 12:53 AM   #9
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I'm not a coral expert but figured I'd get you to post that for the AM.

I'm sure Bertoni and Randy will get a look and offer some thoughts.






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Old 01/11/2008, 01:00 AM   #10
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Thanks for the input, I'm no coral expert by a long shot. I'm just trying to get a handle on things so I can get the reef going again. Didn't like the copper showing up and I didn't know if there was a safe level. I've always heard copper = bad.

I will throw in some poly pads and up the skimming for now. I'll take a water sample to the LFS for a double check and then go from there.

Thanks again.


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Old 01/11/2008, 06:29 AM   #11
Randy Holmes-Farley
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If you have snails (or perhaps crabs and shrimp) in the water and they are OK, the copper reading may be inaccurate. That said, if you want to be proactive about it, try a polyfilter or cuprisorb and see if that brings the vales down.


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Old 01/11/2008, 02:36 PM   #12
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Just a thought where does your water supply come from? Quick story I used to work at a lfs and the place was pretty dumb and thus why I moved on. But I never knew if this was actually a problem but they fed water make up vats that they sold to customers through copper piping. I remember a whileback that someone said that copper pipes could leach if the water running through them was hot enough and I know that a quick trick that lfs around here think is a smart idea is to mix their saltwater with scalding hot water to get it to mix faster which is completely bs for a business to do but they did.

Just my .2 though

Also where did the rock come from. Alot of lfs will sell live rock that other people gave to them from customers getting out of the hobby and trying to get some money back and possibly could have came from a tank that had used a copper medicate treatment on say a predator tank or something. Keep us posted!


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Old 01/11/2008, 05:12 PM   #13
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I am going to get the water tested at the LFS tonight just to double check that I don't have a bad test kit.

Yes all inverts (snails, crabs, urchins and starfish are fine) just a coral and coraline problem.

I can't be 100% sure as to the source of the rock. It was all bought new from the LFS, but I can only go on what they say.

All water is through my RO/Di unit. It is a new house and I only have copper pipes running between my main line and the house softener. All other pipes are PVC.

I don't think this small amount of copper ould be affecting my corals and not have an effect on the inverts. It would be nice to know where it is coming from or how it got in there.


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Old 01/11/2008, 09:59 PM   #14
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Keep trying man, use a process of elemination and you will find the weakest link one by one. If you have a huge investment of live stock it might be time to think about a temporary setup for the live stock even something as simple as a rubbermaid can handle it for some time until you figure out the culprit.


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Old 01/13/2008, 01:42 AM   #15
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Took a sample to the LFS to test and their test came back with hardly no change at all. I may have just had a bad test kit. As a precaution I added some polyfilter pads to the system and I will see if those turn up any evidence.

Still have to figure out why the corals are not doing well though.


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