Copper, Otos, SAE's and CO2 systems

Subject: Copper in acidic Vancouver water?

> If there
> is Copper in the water, how could I safely remove it (ie. pretre
> the water) without leaving compounds that might also precipitat
> my Fe(EDTA)? From Karen's comments, it doesn't sound as if she h
> found a highly successful method.

Actually, I got pretty good at removing it.  The biggest problem 
in my case is that like George, my primary interest is in display 
tanks, they are spread throughout the living areas of my home and 
their combined volume is quite large.  Pretreating water in _any_ 
way is cumbersome at best.  Now, I watch that tap water closely.  
I know what times of year the water is likely to have the highest 
copper levels.  At these times, I _do_ pre-treat water, but I do 
less water changing to.<g> 

I am sure that either R.O. and/or D.I. would solve the problem 
completely.  I am able to reduce the levels to below .25 ppm (from 
3+ ppm) by running the water in a storage tank through GAC for 24 
hours, followed by running cuprisorb (or other copper specific 
resin) in the filter for a second 24 hours.  I do this rather than 
just running the copper resin from the beginning because carbon is 
so much less expensive, and I need to treat a lot of water.

It has been my conscious descision to live with the conditions I 
have, and just not use species of fish or plants that cannot 
tolerate my water conditions. (there are more species that do fine 
than I can use anyway!)  Besides, there are some advantages... 
I've never had a case of Ich since we moved to this house, snails 
die on contact with my water, as does red algae ;-)


Subject: Brown Otocinclus
> What have been people's experience with "brown otocinclus"? Any
> comments or concerns?

You'll have to be a little more specific than that, there are at 
least several species of Otocinclus.  One type that has been 
coming in under the name "O. flexis" (but probably isn't) has 
turned out to be a plant eater and fin nipper.  Is that what 
you're hinting at?


Subject: Boston Area Store with SAEs?

> Which store is this?

Uncle Ned's Fish Factory.


Subject: Tetra CO2 System...?

> I'm wondering if anyone can give me some sound advice from hands
> experience with Tetra's complete CO2 system to help me decide wh
> buy or not...
> Including how long their CO2 canister (6oz.?) lasts in the real 
> my heavily planted 29g they say 6-9 months)...

My 5 _pound_ tanks last me 1 year on my 55G tank, and 9 months on 
my 70G... You won't get much CO2 into the water if you make 6 
_onces_ last 6 months.

> And how well the 
> injector works and how long the system actually lasts between
> injections--from what I could read in the kit, I will need to ma
> inject the CO2 twice daily...?

Yup.  Royal pain in the neck.  That's probably why the CO2 lasts 
so long... people forget to do it regularly.  IMO, intermittent 
use of CO2 is probably worse than none, at least where Crypts are 
> Yes, I'm aware that I could go out and get everything for a mor
> professional setup (canister, regulator, valves) for about the s
> money--providing I rustle through the phone book and then run al
> finding things from home-brewing dealers and valve dealers ("Y'a
> WHAT, mister?!"), and I'm not real thrilled about this mixing of
> yeast every two weeks ("How much will it bubble this time?!?") t
> currenly doing...
> The thought of buying one box from my dealer and BINGO I'm in bu
> very appealing for my current hectic schedule!

If you think that's a chore, try remembering to fill those silly 
little cups at least twice a day.  (passive diffusion will also 
not add a lot of CO2 to the water)

You'll be much happier with a properly set up and adjusted DIY 
system.  If you have the $$, and want to do it the easy way, buy a 
serious CO2 system with a pH controller.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA