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> Hi people
> I didn't want to ask something that has been asked previously but from
> the APD archives there doesn't seem to be a consenus on the matter;

The consensus from the archives is one of extreme caution and that you don't
need much at all.
> what
> is an acceptable amount of Cu (copper) in a trace element mix for use in
> a tank? Several people including Chuck Gadd appear to use Microplex
> which has Cu 1.5% but (please correct me if I'm wrong) Karen Randall
> said even with water changes unknown levels of Cu could rise to toxic
> levels harming plants and fish.

You are playing with fire. Anything above say 0.1ppm of Cu is asking for it
and is more than enough(half that is enough in most cases). And your plants
better be growing fast.

Even that's a debate in itself. Crypts might like up to 0.5ppm or so but
that would kill off more sensitive plants/fish. This was looked into a
number of years ago back before a better understanding of algae control was
in place. Fish can die, plants too. Plants do need some but it's not much.
Many plants are copper sensitive. Piping and tap water supply enough in many
cases and too much in a certain areas.
Will you get more out of this by adding more copper?

Highly doubtful. Certainly not worth that little gain for the risk. Some
Fish are very sensitive also(fry etc).

> The mix available to me which isn't
> chelated (is that a problem?)
> has the following analysis by weight: Fe
> as Sulphate 12.0%, Mn as Sulphate 3.11%, Zn as Sulphate 1.1, Cu as
> Sulphate .50% , Mo as Molybdate 0.04%, B as Borax 0.10 %, Ca as Gypsum
> 3.5%, Mg as Carbonate 2.5%, S as Sulphate 15.0%. I've just started
> adding Pottasium Nitrate after getting tests and finding out my nitrates
> were nil and my phosphates were at 1ppm (good green growth now) and have
> just gotten some Sulphate of Potash so the only other thing I need is
> the mix. If there is no consensus out there does anyone have any
> recommendations for dosing and water changing with this mix? (33
> gallons, 120 watt fluro, diy Co2 10litres changed weekly).

Keep up on that CO2. If you are interested in adding more Cu and other
traces the SeaChem Flourish Trace looks promising. Has no iron.
But all the others.

Careful with adding KNO3. Try adding it 3 times a week at low doses or/and
feeding fish well. See how much your tank is eating of NO3(get a decent
kit). I'd add an 1/8 teaspoon 2-3 times (KNO3) a week with a 50% water
weekly and good fish feedings. A 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of K2SO4 after the
water change. All that's left then is your traces. You don't likely need the
Mg/Ca/SO4 at all. It's in the K2SO4 and other things like the tap(GH) unless
your tap is low in these, less than 3-4GH. 50% water changes will reduce any
build up provided your tap is good. Adding that will also give you a nice
amount of P each week too. No need to add any. Lucky you.
You do this and your tanks will do very well. If your CO2 goes downhill all
this will be a big mess so watch it. Gas tanks are so nice and worth every
penny for that reason alone. This will help you far more than worrying about
Tom Barr