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Microelements Excess CU

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by dkarmona, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. dkarmona

    dkarmona Junior Poster

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    I have a microelements fertilizer which has the following amounts

    g/lt
    CaO
    0,2
    MgO
    12,35
    S 13
    B
    2,5
    Cu
    5,1
    Fe 2,1
    Mn 0,054
    Zn
    6,2
    Mo
    0,018
    Co
    0,0056
    Na
    0,19

    When i dose 0.5 ml of this solution (250lt aquarium) i get 0.012 mg/lt of copper, I think that is a lot an maybe that is why my snails dissapeared and my shrimp are dying. I think the Zn levels are also high.
    I dose Fe Chelated so Fe is not my problem with this solution, will this deliver the righ amount of microelements without killing everything.
    There is no way i am dosing this more than once a week.

    Should i get CSM+B instead?
     
  2. m lemay

    m lemay Prolific Poster

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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    The copper ratio is way too high in that mix. I'd switch to CSM or Flourish.


    Marcel
     
  3. dkarmona

    dkarmona Junior Poster

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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    yeahh I don't know why terrestrial plants around here need so much copper.
    :confused:
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    Many trace mixes have higher Cu, not just this one.

    I think it helps some plants, Cyrpts for examples it certainly helps, see TMG's levels of Cu.

    Many of the traces have ETDA for Cu, Zn and Mn or other chelators.

    So it's just not Fe.

    But on a much more practical point...
    You can look up aquatic toxicity level for Copper easily, there have been lots of those done.

    Copper has been used a great deal in aquatic systems for algae and weed control.

    I added 2 liters of Flourish into a 350 gal tank by accident(the 350 gal on the gallery actually last month), I still have lots of snails left, I have not seen any shells around.

    I do not think the trace mix Cu levels will cause any issues unless you do not do any water changes and keep adding it.

    Some plants seem to have a better sheen with TMG than Flourish, some plants seem to do a little better with flourish.

    It's subtle.

    Reagrds,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. dkarmona

    dkarmona Junior Poster

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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    TAken from Diana Walstad Book
    Heavy metal standards for fish
    Cu 0.02 ppm
    Zn 0.1 ppm

    And it talks about toxicity on young fish
    Maximum acceptable concentration
    Cu 0.010-0.017 ppm
    Zn 0.026-1.2 ppm

    And I am adding everyweek
    0.012 ppm Cu
    0.015 ppm Zn

    I change 50% of my water weekly, dose micros and macros everyother day, and plants are getting better since i am following your advice, but fish are dying (small platys), and this seems to boost plant growth.

    Since fish just die, shrimp disapear and MTS are gone, that's when I though something else is wrong, and since I am so close to the toxic levels of copper I have to either those less solution or change to something that has a more adecuate mix of micronutrients.

    Diego
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    I look up the information at the EPA's site.
    I've used Copper a lot in the past, I have not found this to be true, I had other fish and snails, though........tetras/catfish are generally more sensitive........

    But if you'd like to adress the issue and see what the it might be and rule this out:

    Add only a ageneral trace at 25% and then the iron only trace to add the remaining 75%.

    You also are assuming that this Cu and Zn are free and not incoproated into plant tissue or bound organically/inorganically or preciptated out.

    All those will occur.

    If you have lower light, the use of traces every other day is not needed, if you have 2/w gal, then you don't need that much.

    You can also dilute the traces you have and add the same frequency or add less etc.

    I use auto dosing units for traces on several tanks..........
    I dose very high traces, I have lots of pencil, tetras, catfish snails and lipmets................all supposely very suspetible to Cu/Zn etc.

    They have nothing short of awesome health, out of perhaps 1000 animals, we lose at worst, one or two a week after the first week and then none thereafter. We have soft water also which will increase the toxic effects of Cu, Fe, Zn etc FYI.........

    KH is around 40-50ppm.
    No platies, but the fish should be more sensitive than platies

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. aqualung

    aqualung Junior Poster

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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    Could you tell us how to do that?
     
  8. dkarmona

    dkarmona Junior Poster

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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    Thanks Tom

    I am trying to find out what is going on in my aquarium, following your last recomendation my plants are actually growing again, some are sending out some big very big leaves, but since I also want to keep my fish healthy i was worried about some deaths. That is why I posted the other topic since I was concerned about their fast moving gills.
    Having small fish like platies has turned out to be a problem for me, they are small, my tanks has a lot of plants, it gets really dificult if they die, I never found them, but I know somethind is wrong when plants grow a lot, stop and then algae appears. A dead fish can turn everything upside down in a matter of days.
    I will dilute more the trace mix, and continue to use it until I end up the liter I bought :eek:, that should last for a long long time.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    EPA web site, has tons of toxicity data on a wide range of organisms.
    Goggle will also pull up a great deal of research depending on the key words, eg "Cu Toxicity aquatic plants algae" etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    I have never had any fish problems at 5-10mls of trace per 80 liters 3 x a week.

    These fish in clude Altums, Apisto's, AF cichlid featherfins, tetras, catfish, Discus, shrimps,

    I do not lose fish nor have deaths occur.

    It's very simple: happy plants = happy fish.

    Even if a fish has ick, I can take them home and in abotu 3-7 days the ick it gone and the fish is fat and happy.

    If you get a sick fish or did something else to stress it, then there might be something to this,b ut unless you adding more than 5mls/3x aweek/80 liters of tank, it's exceedingly unlike traces are the cause.

    I have not been albe to reproduce that response from the sailfin liver bears that are very common in FL I keopt for 2 years.

    I'll assume 2 years is long enough to see any negative effects. The fish unfortunatly bred.
    So did other fish.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    I can tell you what it is not in some respects, but it could be a sick fish issue or a disease you brought in recently.

    FYI, I add 4 liters of Flourish to a 350 gal tank for 3 days before changing the tank's water. The water was tea colored, no fish or shrimp losses.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. dkarmona

    dkarmona Junior Poster

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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    Usually fish last a long time in my aquariums but recently (month or maybe two) I am in a down spirall, I am managing to have "happy" plants, I didn't introduce new fish, since they don't die, no new fish. I haven't seen ich in a very long time, but two platties, a big blue gourami and a pelvicachromis pulcher died in the last month or two. None had any sign of disease the gourami appeared one day death, the same with the pulcher and the platties just dissapeared. From a recent post in the mailing list I was thinking of this

    There is no real set and forget substrate over the longer term

    My substrate is commond sand (2mm aprox), one year old, never cleaned, with a 2 mm layer of peat (no handfull). How do you know when its time to vaccuum a little, since plants like Hygrophila Corymbosa have a lot of roots and mine aint working in that department, could it be that my substrate is too charged with a lot of waste. If you look at my substrate from the front were it receives a little light, there is a lot of black algae, the other sides are white and look clean. But cleaning with peat in there will be a big mess . If you askme my plants had a lot of roots when i had gravel 5-7 mm in size with an undergravel filter, now with the sand substrate plants don't seem so eager to grow roots, maybe now that they are growing a lot things are changing, but I haven't uprooted any plant in a long time.

    So many things to consider, now I am doing better with the plants not better with the fish, and brown dust has began to appear, this gets complicated, when you think you have one thing under control something else pops up.:confused:

    And finally my shrimp disssapeared.:(
     
  13. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    dkarmona, i think you would be much happyer if you switched to something like florite or eco-complete. i fooled around with gravel and sand with not very good luck. those substrates take too long to provide nutrients to plants. the sand compacts too badly. i've found that plants start out very good using the pricey substrates and they are good for life. you can move plants around in your tank anytime without causing a big mess. when you build a house .you have to start with a good foundation. and also a good canistar filter with lots of gph will help with livestock issues. CHANGE water EVERY week,makes a big difference!
    cornhusker :)
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    I think now you are the right track Diego.

    Here's what you can do and some of the potentail issues you might have.
    H2S is possible, other gases from an old substrate, you likely have TOO MUCH organic matter, peat + too much mulm in there.

    What this does is reduces the substrate much firther than is ideal.

    Then you get nasty things like H2S, and reduction of Al and other metals.
    This also reduces O2 levels.

    How to solve things:
    I'd suggest vacuuming with a gravel vac in 1/4 sections, uproot the plants in the section, vacuum all the way to the bottom, remove everything.
    Replant, do at least 50-60% water changes.
    Wait 3-7 days, do the next section till you have finished the tank.

    Now you can re slope the gravel how you would like it, replant something different, plants will also grow better now, more O2, cleaner, healthier fish and plants.

    I did find some older references that suggested Zebra danios are the most senstive to copper and then live bearers etc on down to cichlids.

    But I think that is not the case here.

    After cleaning the gravel you switch to a plant specidfic type of substrate if you wish, the reduction and the vacuuming/repolanting/uprooting is still needed every so often though.

    Mulm is good in the beginning to help start up a tank, too much adds too much breduction and that harms the tank, not helps, so yes, there is no set and forget substrate, it needs maintaneance as well.

    I like uprooting at least once a month for most plants, Crypts, Crinums and few others I will leave that have awesome roots systems loaded with aerenchyma, that helps cycle the mulm and break it down by pumping the O2 deep into the gravel.

    Many plants are not good at that. Simply because these plants do this, does not imply they prefer root feeding.

    You can add SEaChem tabs back to the gravel once you get it all cleaned up.

    Given the wide range of fish dying, I do not think it's Cu.
    One sensitive species perhaps..........but you are losing more than one species and not really dosing more than anyone else that's not losing fish.

    So I think you can rule that one out.
    Try the gravel cleaning, you are due for it anyway.
    You can always try out some Zebra danios for a Cu test:)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. dkarmona

    dkarmona Junior Poster

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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    Thanks Tom

    I will definitely begin the cleaning soon, this makes a lot of sense and since my fish were gasping for air, maybe I have taken things too far, let mulm accumulate and no surface movement, no wonder my fish don't like it.

    The Eco complete or Flourite isn't really an option since I think shipping costs will make that a luxury. My sand hasn't compacted but there is definitely a lot of mulm in it, that is why I got a canister because there was a lot of organic matter and the common filter used to get clogged every week, I needed something bigger.

    Anyway since plants are better now, I think the cleaning should get everything in the right track and I will have happier plants and healthy fish.
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Microelements Excess CU

    Sounds like a good plan. That will definitely help the fish, plants as well. But the first concern is to the livestock, they don't grow back as rule.
    Plants can.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. aqualung

    aqualung Junior Poster

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    Re: Microelements Excess CU


    Thank you, but I know about Google and I know the EPA has a web site. It takes a lot of time to review all of the web pages returned by a typical Google search and I was hoping to save some precious time.

    I really wish I had more time for this stuff.
     
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