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[APD] Re: copper

> From: John Wheeler <jcwheel76 at yahoo_com>
> Subject: [APD] Re: copper
> Hey gang,
> I'm having trouble believing that the copper card has
> been played. Of all the things that you could put into
> a planted tank, copper is up there as enemy number
> one.

I am one who did play the card and it did solve the problem, permanently. A
couple of years ago, (after being fed up of trying everything else,) armed
with just copper sulphate (not chelated) I got rid of grey Staghorn, a green
filamentous algae and what was probably a cladophora, and I left the fish
AND plants in the effected tank! With heavy pieces of fern and moss covered
driftwood its not easy to rip up a big tank as has been suggested here. And
mosses do not take kindly to bleach treatment anyway.

The method I used was quite simple:
Concentrated copper sulphate in a syringe (with needle),
switch off all pumps for a few minutes (no current),
squirt CuSO4 _directly_ over affected areas (just a small cloud to cover the
algal strands),
leave pumps off for another ten minutes. (after 24 hrs the algae turn white
and disintegrate)
Repeat for 2 days.
Keep water well aereated.
Repeat if signs of growth.

As long as the tank copper concentration did not rise above 3ppm the fish
(Tetras and Ottos) were not troubled. Moss treated directly did turn brown
but the rest grew normally. None of the other plants I had then (various
Echinodorus, Crypts, Anubias, Microsorum showed any sign of distress. The
crypts and Echinodorus looked even better. A month of monitoring the tank
and spot treatments got rid of those algae.

>Even after copper resins and water changes, there
> could be enough to kill shrimps, sensitive plants, and
> cause metal toxicity in others.

Shrimps did die after I put them in 6 months later. But who needs shrimps if
they don't have algae? I'd rather have no algae and no shrimps than both at
Most if not all plants enjoy a small amount of copper.
Most snails die with more than 1 ppm copper. But some get used to it (1ppm).
Ramshorn snails are good for BGA but not for filamentous types.
Live bearers and loaches are sensitive to copper but I have some in this
same tank now and they do not show any signs of distress.

>You'll have other
> algae for sure even if you manage to get all the
> Chladophora which is a gamble.

True, but I never had filamentous types again.

> At any rate, it seems to me that at this late date in
> your struggle, it would pay not to use the stuff
> that'll kill your plants, inverts, and (maybe) the
> algae, but to start over and be *sure* you took care
> of the problem.
> FWIW, HTH, and YMMV-- really just best wishes (BW?):)

> John Wheeler


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