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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1153

> Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 20:55:49 +0800
> From: Alfred Heng <alheng at pacific_net.sg>
> Subject: Copper Slag
> I know that copper is bad for any tanks with plants or fish, but I have a
> question about copper slag.  It's a by product from smelting copper.  It's
> like black crystals and is used for marine sand blasting (I think). I
> thought it would look really cool to have a tank with black substrate, peat
> filtered water and cardinals.  Does anyone know what this is and is it is
> safe to use in tanks?

I saw some at my local sand and gravel dealer. He gave me about 75lbs in a
nice bag I filled myself. AFAIK, it is so heavily oxidized that it is
basically inert.

It wasn't totally clean, but was the prettiest black shiny granules you
could ever want for a substrate. They had been growing some lush tomatoes in
it, by their front door, so I figured plants might like it OK.

I rinsed and netted lumps out of some. I set it up in a couple of small
containers, and kept some rugged fish in them for several months. I didn't
detect any effect on the basic water chemistry, but don't think I checked
for copper at the time. Peat filtering would no doubt remove any copper
traces, by ion exchange, anyway. Plants were only Java moss and Hornwort, so
I didn't prove much, there.

If it was me, I'd go for it. Cardinals aren't Paradise Fish, but the stuff
seemed really inert to me. I'm going to use it with some of my spookier
killies, as a dark substrate calms them a lot.

Keep us posted on how it works.


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

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