Copper in Reef tank


New member
Many months ago I had an out break of ich and velvet in my 180 fowlr so I dosed Coppersafe into the tanks because I hade no way of QT all of my fish. So now I was thinking about converting into a reef tank, but will the copper still be in the water after about 6 months??:confused:

Any help would be appreciated.



New member
You can use activated carbon to take the copper out of your system if you havent already (thats why the directions on the coppersafe say to remove any activated carbon while using it). The frequent water changes that youve mostelikely been doing will have already replaced what water you wer at one time dosing. Witch means you have already physicaly removed the copper. Copper should be long gone by now via water changes alone.
The only problem you would face is: did you have any lace rock in your system? If so you might want to take it out of your system. I have read that lacerock can actually hold stuff like copper in it and release it at later times.

If you dont know what lacerock is you probably dont have any. (its the really cheap rocks you see at your LFS usually sitting around on shelves and in bins, greyish, rough and extremely porous, mostly used for freshwater tanks) sometimes people buy it because its so cheap and will eventually become "live" if in their systems long enough.

Other then that if your still scared run some activated carbon in your system for a bit and do a big water change. But, like I said before as long as youve been on your water changes its already gone. hope that helped.


Team RC member
Team RC
I am not sure I agree with the above. I think that your rock will retain it once it is in the aquarium. I would not worry about water, that is easily replaced. First step, though is to get the water tested; I am not sure if hobby kits will be sensitive enough to show any residual effect though.


Premium Member
Run some polyfilter.

I agree rock can absorb Cu. You may need to change out the rock. If you have a glass aquarium the silicone may also have trapped some Cu.


New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12935789#post12935789 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by yukonblizzard
Can I at least have marine plants or no???

Well, to be honest, it's up to you. After you run some activated carbon and/or polyfilter, that should bring the copper levels down to undetectable (be sure to test), you can add corals/etc. Just be sure you known the risks and don't buy anything that you'd be devastated over if the rock/silicone did leach coppe into the tank.

wayne in norway

New member
I wouldn't worry about your silicon, powerheads and such. But any carbonate materials like live rock, limestones in gerneal or calcium carbonate sands (coral sand , live sand, aragonite sands) will have bound the copper and will need to be tossed.

Paul B

Premium Member
I ran copper in my tank for years then a few years later converted it into a reef tank. The copper treated rock, gravel and everything else is still in there. Tank is almost 40 years running and so far, no problems. Maybe at 41 years problems will kich in.