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Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Tom Wood, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    I treated my 90 gallon with a 1/4 dose of Coppersafe - chelated copper sulfate in order to see if it might harass some thread algae. According to the product info, that will provide a concentration of 0.4-0.5ppm total copper level. I'll watch it before going up 1/4 dose at a time. How long will it take for the algae to respond if I hit a lethal (to the algae) level along the way?

    TW
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    4 hours if high levels are dosed, 48 hours max.
    Similar for larger plants.

    You can baster squirt copper also.

    Copper should select for the algae over the plants.
    We only use a very high level to kill weeds.
    Algae has a much lower ppm.

    The other thing that seems less toxic to plants etc is percarbonate(sort of a dry H2O2).

    I've tested both of these trying to kill weeds so I have a good feel for the dilution series.

    If you add just barely enough to kill the algae, then you can get resistent algae BTW if any left overs make it through...........

    The same is true and why they tell you to take all the Antibiotics at the doctor's................

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    I dosed 1/4 of the recommended amount 4 times with 12 hours between each dose. It's now been about 56 hours since the first dose. Not a very dramatic effect so far, but some improvement in terms of thinning out the fuzz algae. No visible effect on plants or fish. The rotala macrandra actually improved.

    TW
     
  4. brad

    brad Prolific Poster

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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    where can I get more info on this? I was going to try Excel. What's the prefered method besides pruning?

    so the options are:
    copper
    h202
    Excel
    elbow grease
    any others that are better?
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    Clean plants, equipment, filter very well first.
    Wait a day or else do a water change that day right after and then do another the following day.

    Then do a treatment.

    Algae responds to changes by making zoospores rapidly(few hours after a large change) which settle and start to grow.

    So if you attack them when they are young and vunerable, you will have the most success.

    Like most things, if you let it go too long, things are much tougher.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    I've also installed a 15 watt Aqua UV sterilizer that will be left on permanently, per the manufacturer's instructions. (Got the one with the wiper - nice idea, that.) That's had a big effect on slowing down the green dust algae. It's inline on the return from the also new 650GPH circulation pump, so there's now a lot of water movement and turnover to pick up and kill spores.

    The goal here was to get crystal clear water in a planted tank, with goldfish too. It's about there. If anything, there's not much microscopic life left in this tank by now...

    TW
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    Tom, some folks reported their green dust went away with the CO2 mist idea.
    They are zoospores, so once you wipe them off, they swim around and resettle on the glass after 30-120 minutes.

    So the high current and UV will help after wiping.
    You may wipe good and then do a good water change followed with the UV and CO2.

    Should take care of it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    What a difference a day makes...

    Pretty good wipeout on the green fuzz, but not total so now I've got mutant fuzz. Some dark patches on the green dust, but no strong effect there. There's been a couple of misfires/meltdowns on new bud tips on the cabomba furcata, dunno if it's related to the copper.

    According to the Coppersafe product info, the tank is now at 1.5 - 2.0ppm total copper. (They give the big spread, dunno why.) In some posts that date back to 1998, Neil Frank posted on APD that the copper sensitivity levels of various algaes were known and published. I've googled a variety of search terms and I can't find that info. Any clues where to look?

    TW

    EDIT: BTW, the Coppersafe renders the AP PO4 test kit useless. It now reads a value off the dark end - 20+, when I know it's about 2.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    Sounds like the Cabomba (A known sensitive plant) got a little cooked, it'll grow back, it's a weed.

    Rather than worrying about the algae's tolerances, try the plants.
    Little is known about Akinoscendemus, I think I know more than most in terms of it in aquariums, I can/did ID it, which is more than many can say.

    But I think the Cu is playing some games which the asorbic acid reduction in the PO4 test kit.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    Here's an article that relates the toxicity of copper to the KH and pH of the water. Is this a valid concern when the pH is artificially depressed with CO2? If so, then I need to do some diluting.

    http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM1352I.pdf

    TW
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    No, with the lowered pH the NH3/NH4 ratio is shifted to less toxic NH4.
    Fish responses to ions and pH are another matter.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    And what a difference a week makes.

    Fuzz algae is gone. I did some water changes to dilute the copper down. The cabomba stalled out but is now trying to make a comeback. This worked very well, but I think I'll do a 90% water change this weekend and get it out of the system. One of the larger goldfish is hiding way more than usual. I don't know if it's the copper, but since it's done its job it's time to get rid of it. Now that the plants have the advantage, it should stay in the clear.

    TW
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    Copper does work and has one of the longest track records of any aquatic herbicide, much as folks piss and bemoan any new algicide that comes down the pipe as something that needs to be investigated, but we already have plenty of methods, ways to kill algae in our tool box already.

    Unlike most algicides, you can test for copper easily and cheap and widely available.

    For SW, it's often the only thing you have to kill many diseases in fish.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Copper Sulfate - How long does it take?

    I've been doing water changes to dilute the copper away so I could get a rational reading on my PO4 test kit. After several large changes, the kit still reads very high. I tested a gallon of tapwater that was treated with the standard dose of copper, and the PO4 kit performed fine. Hmmmm...

    I did start both the copper sulfate AND the new UV sterilizer at about the same time. Is it possible that all this phosphate the test kit is reading could actually be there, and is the result of killing all the micro-organisms in the water with the UV, the copper sulfate, or both?

    TW
     
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