Best Way to Remove Copper from a Saltwater Aquarium
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Best Way to Remove Copper from a Saltwater Aquarium

Copper can either have a positive or negative effect on a saltwater aquarium environment. Exposure to copper may cause damage to fishes' gills and extended exposure may compromise their immune systems.

Copper in a Saltwater Aquarium

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Copper can either have a positive or negative effect on a saltwater aquarium environment. Exposure to copper may cause damage to fishes' gills and extended exposure may compromise their immune systems. Many aquarium invertebrates may also not tolerate certain levels of copper, while most saltwater fishes usually die when exposed to high levels of copper.

Low amounts of copper, however, is sometimes added to a saltwater aquarium in order to kill a protozoan parasite called ick, which manifest as white spots on the fishes' fins. In testing whether copper levels in the aquarium have become too fatal or damaging to the fishes, it always helps to have a cooper test kit. These copper test kits are normally available in most pet stores selling saltwater aquarium products.

Testing Copper in a Saltwater Tank

The test is usually done by taking a certain amount of tank water and putting it on a test tube. A specified amount of copper reagent is then added to the said sample, and mixed by swirling the tube gently in five seconds. The solution is then left to stand for a certain time as instructed, and then the color produced in the tube is compared with that on the color chart with the corresponding concentration of copper. When copper is high, some measures can be done on how to remove copper from salt water aquarium

Removal of Copper Through Reverse Osmosis

Putting reverse osmosis filters is often considered the best way to remove copper from a saltwater aquarium. Reverse osmosis is a method of purifying the water, by bringing the impurities of the water to non-detectable amounts. It is estimated that about 99% of impurities will be removed with the use of a reverse osmosis filter.

Reverse osmosis is a type of filtration method wherein water is purified by pushing it through a selective membrane, trapping impurities and clearing it away from the water. There are commercially available reverse osmosis units that can be bought from pet stores and even online. Before buying a reverse osmosis unit, factors should be considered such as the size of the aquarium and how frequent water changes are made.

There are things, however, to also keep in mind before buying a reverse osmosis filter. For one, certain fishes may not be able to tolerate rapid changes in the aquarium water’s chemistry. Before making any changes, aquarium owners are often advised to research and learn whether the species they have can adjust to these changes in the chemistry of their saltwater tank.

Other Measures

Using activated carbon and ion exchange resin which are commercially available may also help remove copper from a saltwater aquarium. Frequent changes of small amounts of water in the aquarium tank is also encouraged. This processes however, may take longer, or about one month, in order for most amount of copper in the tank to be removed

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