Does Anyone Run Low Level Copper at All Times?

SkullV

They Got My Number
I'm planning my next tank (about a year out) and will be ditching the reef thing to go back to FOWLR.

My question is does anyone run low levels of Copper (cupramine) at all times to keep algae from growing? I know that LFS do this but they don't keep the fish around long term. Has anyone done this for a long period of time? 5+ years?

I know that this level of copper has no therapeutic level to fish, so no need to remind me of that :). I am just concerned with algae control in an aggressive tank where a CUC is not able to be used.
 

namxas

Things With Stings R Us!
I know Renee has mentioned something about long-term, low dose Cu having an adverse affect on fish nutrition, esp. in large angels. I'll have to get her to find the reference in whatever journal it's in (she's the nutrition geek at "chez scorp").
 

SkullV

They Got My Number
That would be great Greg. We all knew I couldn't stay away from the FOWLRs for long.
 

D5HP

New member
What's the average recovery time for nuisance algaes after a treatment?

What if you just treated for one week a month and ran cuprisorb and carbon in the weeks between?

I just finished a copper treatment in my DT and my algae all died completely except for a few choice macros.

I feel like they would never really get out of hand that way.
 

geaux xman

New member
just dont turn on the tank lights. i just turn on the room lights and thats it. half a year later after startup, my rocks still looks like the base dry rocks i started with.
 

SkullV

They Got My Number
just dont turn on the tank lights. i just turn on the room lights and thats it. half a year later after startup, my rocks still looks like the base dry rocks i started with.

That is not an option. Good quality tank lighting will enhance the coloration of your fish.
 

jwm2k3

New member
just dont turn on the tank lights. i just turn on the room lights and thats it. half a year later after startup, my rocks still looks like the base dry rocks i started with.

Ive wanted to see pictures of the tank listed in your signature, 180 Rimless...

Post them up!
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
Many LFS (and wholesalers, shippers, etc) also often run copper to catch the stray free-swimming parasite. Because LR and substrate can absorb and release small amounts of copper, I think it would be impossible to monitor the copper over time. UV, which does next-to-nothing controlling parasites, does a good job with algae control. That's why pondkeepers love it.
 

sandwi54

New member
copper is essentially a poison to fish and even at low dosage has a long-term effect on the fish's health. there are many other ways to control algae. letting tank mature, use of UV, shorten lighting hours, growing chaeto in refugium to compete with micro algae in the DT, etc. not mentioning in a fowlr, LR/LS absorb the copper over time and you'll have to keep dosing it. i just don't see any good reason to continually run copper in a DT.
 

MrTuskfish

Team RC
copper is essentially a poison to fish and even at low dosage has a long-term effect on the fish's health. there are many other ways to control algae. letting tank mature, use of UV, shorten lighting hours, growing chaeto in refugium to compete with micro algae in the DT, etc. not mentioning in a fowlr, LR/LS absorb the copper over time and you'll have to keep dosing it. i just don't see any good reason to continually run copper in a DT.

Yeah, sometimes just common sense is the answer. I'm a big fan of copper; when used as needed, then removed. I don't have to be an Einstein or do a lot of research to to assume that long term exposure to anything as toxic as copper just must be a bad idea. the time any fish is exposed to copper in a LFS, QT, etc.; and continual long-term exposure cant be compared. Apples & oranges. My liver can handle the amount of alcohol I feed it; but I don't think I'd try a permanent slow dosing of IV gin (maybe with a vermouth dropper attached).
 

Recty

New member
Something as simple as only running the lights every other day, or just on the weekends, can keep your algae growth down to nothing. I'd much rather do that than copper.

Also, if you work all day and therefore only view your tank in the evening, you could just run the lights from say 6:00pm to 10:00pm. This isnt a reef that needs light to stay alive, the light is mainly just for our viewing pleasure. Just the normal room lights being on is enough for the fish to live happily.

With that said...

I try to maintain natural conditions for my fish as much as I can. Humans certainly need sunlight, we process vitamin D that way. Quite a few people up here in Alaska go through major depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, during the winter and scientists have linked it to lack of vitamin D processing due to sunlight on the skin being at a super low level. I'm not sure if there is anything like that for fish or if it doesnt matter at all, but it stands to reason that fish which are normally in the upper 60 feet of water on a reef probably benefit somehow from sunlight they would naturally be exposed to. I could be wrong, I could be right... but I try to error on the side of caution so I put nice lights over my FOWLR.

Plus, the reefs the fish live on are not sterile, white bleached rocks, they have algae and growths and the fish gnaw on that all day long. So in my mind, a little algae isn't a bad thing, it's more natural. I can tell you now that when I add new rock to my tank, the fish HATE the sterile, super bright white rock and they avoid it for sometimes weeks until it colors up.

Anyway, I dont view a little algal growth as a bad thing.
 

SkullV

They Got My Number
Alright, seems like the consensus is that it is a bad idea. I guess I'll go with a very large UV sterilizer along with a large biopellet reactor and an even larger skimmer.

Luckily I have a year or 2 to plan and accumulate equipment.
 

viggen

New member
yea... copper really bad if in all year round. Fish stores & wholesalers get by with it since they fish are in their system for a short period.

I plan on running both a good size UV & also Ozone on my FOWLR..... & a QT tank incase I do need to dose copper
 

barbianj

New member
Why isn't keeping the lights off an option? It works great to control algae and saves power. I run the lights when I'm home, and the fish get some natural sunlight during the day. I have a very large bio load with no algae issues. All I do is vodka dose and control the amount of light.
 

SkullV

They Got My Number
Why isn't keeping the lights off an option? It works great to control algae and saves power. I run the lights when I'm home, and the fish get some natural sunlight during the day. I have a very large bio load with no algae issues. All I do is vodka dose and control the amount of light.

Again, quality lighting brings out the color when viewing your fish. Many hobbyists also believe that quality lighting enhances the color of the fish themselves (look into "blue stripe" clownfish debates about lighting).
 

DoubleM 10

Active member
well another thing i have heard of people doing when they have FO systems is run the salinity low. like 1.019 or some thing like that.

thet have the same affects on the tank but the salinity version does not harm the fish and the copper over time will
 
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