View Full Version : Please, please help me!!!

08/25/2006, 04:42 PM
Hi all, I really need some help!

I just finished my sump/plumbing on my 75g. It is still mixing salt so there is nothing in it but a mixture of home depot's premium play sand and aragonite. I ran a copper test on the water to make sure that there was no copper present (it has had freshwater fish in it that has been exposed to copper once upon a time) and I got a reading of .1. Because the color change is really hard to read (0 and .1 are very similar) I tested my 20g reef to make sure that I was seeing the color correctly. My reef's reading is .3!!!

I cannot imagine what has happened, or how it happened. What I do know is that I have never dosed my reef with copper, and that the only copper I have ever used in qt of both fresh and salt is coppersafe, which is chelated. My copper test, which is red sea, come to find out, tests for nonchelated. So does anyone know what is going on?


08/25/2006, 04:50 PM
where did you get your live rock from... how old are the test kits.. and do you have any inverts in your tank now?

08/25/2006, 05:07 PM
The live rock (the majority) was purchased from a LFS back in pennsylvania when I used to live there. A few of the pieces came from other stores in PA too, I was looking to add diversity to my sandbed and tank.

The test kit is brand new (today), and I do have inverts. The reef was moved with me to FL a year and a half ago. What really scares me is that I just bought a cucumber. Can I be getting a false reading of sorts?

08/25/2006, 05:11 PM
here is what i am thinking.. if inverts are still alive you dont have to worry because they would be the first things to go but the reading on the kit is high. Try another brand of test kit when you get a change... maybe a couple of LFS can test it for you.

a cucumber wont add copper to your tank.. LR and sand are the only things that really absorb copper to later leach it into the tank

i take it you used PVC or the like to plumb your tank...

08/25/2006, 05:26 PM
I was worried about the cucumber because I don't want it to die and possibly hurt my tank, not because I was thinking it was leaching copper. LOL

Can you tell me more about PVC? Can PVC leach copper? That still wouldn't make much sense since to me because my 20g was plumbed (I moved my overflow box to my 75g....20g will become new QT) without PVC except for a ball valve. The 75g I just finished is PVC, the kind that is safe for drinking water.

How fast do inverts die from copper exposure?

I really appreciate your help.

08/25/2006, 05:43 PM
lol no i was wondering if maybe you used copper to plumb your tank.. maybe chiller... just asking to find out... lol PVC is good.

inverts will die with in a day or 2 from high copper levels...

08/25/2006, 05:57 PM
I thought you might be off your rocker there for a minute or maybe there was some new news flash I haven't heard yet about PVC. lol The 75g is all PVC.

I am very excited about my new set up, but now I am nervous about my 20g with my rock/inverts/zoos. I have never bothered to test for copper before, it just occured to me while filling the 75.

Perhaps I should run to the LFS and get some polyfilter to be safe and sure. And a new test kit.

08/25/2006, 07:03 PM
Have you tested your make-up water for Cu?

08/25/2006, 07:13 PM
Did you use any brass valve switches in the blumbing? What about the nozzle piece that screws onto your pump? A while ago I had a small brass part of a pipe accidentally fall into the tank, and immediatly it bleached my zoas. Over the next few days I lost a lot of snails, and my starfish lost 2 legs and eventually died. I ended up using the Magnavore Pura Pad to remove the copper after lots of water changes:

08/25/2006, 08:35 PM

I went back to LFS, and bought a different test by AP. I get no reading at all in either tank. :)

I was really concerned that I accidently crossed equipment or something.

The only conclusion that I can come to is a defective Red Sea test. I might jump over to Randy's forum and ask his opinion. Both tanks were bought new, I QT faithfully, and I never let any LFS water mix with my tank. I have also never used any other type of copper than coppersafe. My 20g reef is showing no ailment at all. I just picked up a frag of zoo's a few days ago that were really ailing in the LFS. Since bringing them home, they are recovering nicely and beginning to really open and color up a bit.

wrott- I have Air, Water, & Ice's Typhoon 2 RO/DI unit. I did test the water with the Red Sea kit, and I got a 0 reading.

mraafat- I don't have any brass anywhere and the nozzle on my pump we jiggied a pressure fit tubing-to-PVC.

So what do you folks think- Defective test or inaccurate test because the test is meant for noncleated copper?

Thanks all for the help. I was really freaking. :)