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View Full Version : Major issue, copper experts please chime in!!!!


brad s1
01/08/2008, 02:41 PM
I woke up two days ago to a buzzing noise in my tank, upon closer inspection it became apparent someone at some point in the night tripped over a power cord which was left out in front of my newly setup 65 reef... Careless on my part to have wires out in front of the tank.

Without going into too much detail I found my fuge light had fallen into the fuge, I lost all my inverts and the fish were sickly looking.

I tested the basics at first and it all seemed normal, until I tested for copper which was nearly off the scale... Within two hours of making this discovery I did a full water change, re-tested, and copper levels dropped to a readable level, ".15," which is apparently a, "normal," dose. The fish returned to normal, but the corals are obviously still not happy.

Day two of this fiasco I added a bottle of NovAqua which is supposed to remove copper, I added 4 large poly filters, and two bags of chem pure in addition to another full water change, copper at the tap was zero.

I tested again last night and copper is now down to between zero and .10

Is it a lost cause attempting to remove copper through filters, chemicals, and water changes? Should I just start over? Somewhat upsetting since I lost corals and shrimp that have been with me for years and years, not to mention the large investment I just make in live sand and rock for a 65g tank.

Anyone deal with copper issues like this before? Any info would be great!

bertoni
01/08/2008, 06:10 PM
I'd use a lot of fresh activated carbon, water changes, and a PolyFilter or two.

This type of problem does happen from time to time. It's always unpleasant.

demonsp
01/09/2008, 01:44 AM
A full water change is very bad and can cause a recycle or mini cycle that fish could tolerate much more then coral.Changeing anymore then 33% at a time is very dangerous. I lost an expensive light timer to water damage which only happened a few days after i purchased and i didnt mount on the wall yet. You need to get the powercords up and with a loop and use a powerstrip with a built in breaker to help prevent this.

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/09/2008, 05:08 AM
Cuprisorb might also be a good choice. :)

brad s1
01/09/2008, 08:54 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11556734#post11556734 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by demonsp
A full water change is very bad and can cause a recycle or mini cycle that fish could tolerate much more then coral.Changeing anymore then 33% at a time is very dangerous. I lost an expensive light timer to water damage which only happened a few days after i purchased and i didnt mount on the wall yet. You need to get the powercords up and with a loop and use a powerstrip with a built in breaker to help prevent this.

Eh, never had an experience where a huge water change killed anything I could see. I have experienced a re-cycle based on a large change but in this case it's the lesser of the two evils wouldn't you say? 33% wouldn't have been nearly enough to get copper down to an acceptable level... Even when the tank does recycle, I watch the chemistry and make changes too quickly for a spike to get too toxic.


I woke up this morning to the return in the sump dry... I have a baffle in the intake to return section which is full of poly pad... in one night they turned green and water is hardly flowing through them now... There is alot of copper leeching out of the system still.

Unless someone has another idea my strategy is to just keep it fish only while checking the copper levels over the next month, doing water changes and keeping up on copper removal media... I hope in a month or two I can hold it at zero.

A friend picked up what was left of my inverts and corals, so it's fish only, with just a harlequin shrimp who hasn't molted in a while.

brad s1
01/09/2008, 08:55 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11556879#post11556879 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Randy Holmes-Farley
Cuprisorb might also be a good choice. :)

I have to check to see if the store stocks that... I did read about that last night and it seems like another good option.

hypernesia
01/09/2008, 09:37 AM
If you have live rock in your tank it most definitely is taking up some of the copper in the tank, you may want to replace the live rock

brad s1
01/11/2008, 12:30 AM
Update for you guys, the poly pads removed all the copper in the water down to zero ppm.

I made my fuge closed loop for now, washed it, replaced the substrate and I've got several small inverts living in there zero ppm copper.

I'm using acid on sunday for my live rock, and laying a new display substrate...

Looks like I might be in the clear!

bertoni
01/11/2008, 01:16 AM
Sounds good so far! Good luck!

hypernesia
01/11/2008, 06:22 AM
Good luck

brad s1
01/13/2008, 11:08 AM
New update... I thought I might be in the clear... polys are 100% green so I took them out, two days running no poly copper leached back into the water... doing an acid dip on the rocks today and a 100% water change.

bertoni
01/13/2008, 02:57 PM
Wow, that's a lot of copper! Hope the acid drip works. Be careful!

brad s1
01/16/2008, 01:13 PM
The poly filters were working so well I decided to just drain the tank, slosh NovAqua copper remover in the old substrate and cover it with 40 pounds of fine reef sand, it was between zero and .05 before this....

Tank has been running for about 12 hours, copper test shows such a mundane amount its hard to tell if there is any... New poly filters have almost no trace of copper on them after 12 hours... So in a week I'll throw a shrimp in and let you guys know what happens.

oct2274
01/16/2008, 01:45 PM
just keep running the poly filters till it stops leaching. sounds like you are on the road to recovery :)

brad s1
01/16/2008, 02:26 PM
I will be running a new set of poly filters every week unless they don't turn green at all.

I notice two of my Nassarius Snails cruising the tank today, I also noticed some Aiptasia on a newly placed rock, and that's doing well...

Not sure how sensitive either of those things are to copper, but they seem normal to me... I didn't lose any crabs at all, those must not really care about copper too much.

brad s1
01/20/2008, 09:58 AM
Corals are back into the tank and doing well.

CW from the OC
01/20/2008, 10:49 AM
Glad things are back on track.

One last bit of advice. I would run poly filters on the tank for the next 12 months. If they don't change colors, just leave them in, don't replace tham. But leave them running in case the substrate is leaching small amounts back into the water column.

brad s1
01/20/2008, 12:13 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11643585#post11643585 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by CW from the OC
Glad things are back on track.

One last bit of advice. I would run poly filters on the tank for the next 12 months. If they don't change colors, just leave them in, don't replace tham. But leave them running in case the substrate is leaching small amounts back into the water column.

No question, I run 3, and have been watching them. Thanks!