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Re: Copper in DIY CO2

On Tue, 17 Jun 1997, Aquatic Plants Digest wrote:

> Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 16:15:23 -0700
> From: "G.Tong" <gtong at sirius_com>
> Subject: Copper tubing in DIY CO2


> I can understand acidity's effect on  copper but how would the copper get
> carried by CO2 gas through airline tubing into the tank?


And also....
> Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 21:49:18 +0000
> From: "Jim Spencer" <jrs at cyber-quest_com>
> Subject: Copper tube in DIY CO2 Sysytem
> There is no way a short piece of copper tubing is going to cause a
> problem in a DIY CO2 system.  Even if a small amount of copper
> disolved, copper couldn't be transported in the gas phase.

I'm sure Ms. Randall can handle this herself, but I'm going to get my two
bits in anyway.

As one of the recent posts on DIY CO2 pointed out just a few days ago, you
can get active foaming in a CO2 generator that will flush foam (read this
as acidic liquid phase) through the CO2 line and into a tank.  This has
happened in mine.  I've also seen liquid in the line, probably from
condensation.  I imagine that with some setups the condensate might also
pick up Cu and make it to the tank.

Copper toxicity is highly variable, but the conditions that a lot of
people try to achieve in their tanks would tend to promote its toxicity -
low alkalinity (a few degrees) and pH less than 7 increase the likelihood
that copper will be toxic.  If you use RO water or distilled water then
the likelihood of copper toxicity is even higher because the highly
processed water is without the organic complexing agents that might
otherwise sequester the copper.

I don't know if yeast is sensitive to copper or not.  If you use copper or
brass in your setup and the yeast method doesn't work very well, then
maybe you should try without the copper.

So there are ways to get the copper into the tank and there is a potential
for it to cause trouble.  Why take the risk?  Glass and hard plastic
tubing are good alternatives.

I think its generally good advise to use no metals of any kind in an
aquarium setup.  If you must use metal, try stainless steel.

Roger Miller