Category Archives: Marine Tropical

Copper Use in Marine Systems

Seachem Cuprimine is the superior copper treatment.

To treat most parasites in Marine systems, consider copper a good choice.

Copper is not be used in Marine systems containing Sharks, skate or Rays, nor should the system have, or ever be intended to have, Invertebrates like crabs, and anemones. Sponges and corals also perish in even the lowest copper levels. So forget it for reef tanks.

To save fish lives, however, copper would be used to provide 0.2 ppm indefinitely.

Care should be taken to measure the copper concentration while adding it and daily thereafter. You will be surprised at how it drops after addition, and how you need to keep adding it for a few days to get that 0.2 ppm level.

Test copper 2x daily when treating with this dangerous chemical. Do not add any more when the concentration crests 0.15-0.2 ppm.

When you are tired of the copper, and your fish have been well for a while, then add Carbon to the system filter to remove the carbon. Carbon should be run for a month to collect the copper that slowly leaches BACK out of the substrate and corals skeletons decorating the tank.

Copper would be the end of this Leopard Shark. Don’t use copper with sharks, skates or rays.. no in a reef system with corals, anemones or invertebrates.

Carbon is accused of dumping phosphates into the water, so maybe a resin that binds phosphates is indicated, I have never worried about it. I am not a reef keeper, and never will be.

Copper should be kept in for a minimum of 2 weeks to stop sensitive parasites like Cryptokaryon. As a side note, Copper suppresses the activity of immune cells in fish, and is hard on filter bacteria, upsetting DeNitrification if concentrations get too high.

If you must avoid copper because you have sensitive species or specimens in the system, then consider Freshwater dips for the affected fish.

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Freshwater Dips in Marine Fish Disease Cases

This pertains to SALT WATER fish.

Freshwater dips. I want you to be cognizant of the following about that procedure.

* 1) Fish vary in the amount of time it takes for them to become stressed by the freshwater dip. Some marine fish seem to actually like dipping. Others become weak and near death in as few as 1-2 minutes, so alertness is the keyword.

A minimum dip, if the fish seems to be doing fine and you are bored waiting, is 7-8 minutes. It has been shown that 7-8 minutes is enough time to clear the fishes’ surface of parasites. But you have no choice if the fish appears stressed before that time: Remove him.
* 2) Use water that is dechlorinated by time, or by chemical dechlorination.
* 3) Use water that is the same temperature as the system, or mother tank.
* 4) Use water that has the same pH as the mother system, eg about 8.3-8.5
I routinely keep a Marine Buffer or African Cichlid buffer on hand for buffering the pH of freshwater dips on my marine specimens.

* 5) After the dip, do not dump the dip water back into the tank. It is said that loosened parasites can be revived upon return to the marine environment, and in the case of Trematodes, (Black Ich) I could see this happening. Trematodes may be better handled with PraziPro.
* 6) Dips should be done daily or every other day depending upon the fishes’ response to it. If the fish is very weak, every other day may be all it can stand, but if still strong, daily affords more complete parasite eradication.
You will be dipping for a 14 day period, so get out your galoshes.
If you treat with copper, and can confirm that you have maintained the copper level at 0.2 ppm, and the fish is still not well, then stray voltage may be playing in the case.