Possible Copper Poisoning?

Fiji

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Hey everyone,
So I've recently gone back to live plants but cannot afford a co2 system at the moment so I've been using Seachem Excel as a supplement. Now ever since I started using this fertilizer some strange things have been happening and the only factor I can connect this behavior to could be the possible presence of copper in the water (I'm waiting on a test kit). I found a product called Seachem cuprisorb but I could use any suggestions at this point:

20 gallon hex: all the mts mysteriously disappeared, angelfish have become lethargic and refuse to eat, and mystery snails have been "hibernating" for literally months now without eating and their normally white bodies have a sort of orange tint now. I know the mystery snails aren't dead because they still recoil when touched and they don't stink.

29 gallon: mts are also dying off, mystery snails still won't wake up. Other fish are fine.

Water parameters in both tanks:
Ammonia- .25 ppm (water change overdue)
Nitrite- 0 ppm
Nitrate- Never above 20 ppm
pH- 7.4-8.0
 

AbbeysDad

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Seachem Excel is NOT a fertilizer - it is a chemical called Gluteraldehyde that in a more concentrated solution is used to STERILIZE heat sensitive medical and dental equipment!!! In the aquarium, it is said to break down to form a carbon source for plants....but it also kills algae and if overdosed can kill all forms of aquarium life. You do not need Excel (or CO2) in a low tech planted tank.
I suggest you stop using Excel and do a 50%+ water change and repeat in 2-3 days. I'd also resist using any other ferts until after a few more water changes and/or until the stock recover.

Also note: I'm 'suspicious' about your 'water change overdue' remark and the presence of ammonia in your 29g. This may suggest 'old tank syndrome' also with high nitrates and/or that your BB has suffered. This tank may require a several partial water changes to bring back to 'normal'.
 
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Seachem Excel is NOT a fertilizer - it is a chemical called Gluteraldehyde that in a more concentrated solution is used to STERILIZE heat sensitive medical and dental equipment!!! In the aquarium, it is said to break down to form a carbon source for plants....but it also kills algae and if overdosed can kill all forms of aquarium life. You do not need Excel (or CO2) in a low tech planted tank.
I suggest you stop using Excel and do a 50%+ water change and repeat in 2-3 days. I'd also resist using any other ferts until after a few more water changes and/or until the stock recover.

Also note: I'm 'suspicious' about your 'water change overdue' remark and the presence of ammonia in your 29g. This may suggest 'old tank syndrome' also with high nitrates and/or that your BB has suffered. This tank may require a several partial water changes to bring back to 'normal'.
The name of the fertilizer is actually Flourish, not Excel, my mistake. Can you explain this "old tank syndrome"? I'm unfamiliar with that term.
 

NickAu

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This stuff?
flourish-excel.jpg


If it is throw it in the bin you do not need it,
 

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Your first post is a bit confusing. You said you can't afford a CO2 system at the moment so you've been using Seachem Excel as a supplement, with a link to the product in NickAu's post, but now you say you haven't used that one. Seachem Flourish Excel is marketed as a substitute for CO2 and you linked to that product, which is why we all assumed that's what you've been adding.

The links in your first post are for:
"Excel" - link is for Seachem Flourish Excel
"fertilizer" - link is for Seachem Flourish root tabs
"copper" - link is for Mardel Coppersafe - a treatment for ich, velvet etc. This contains copper.

Have you actually used any of those in your tanks? If the links were to the wrong products, what have you used?



Once we know exactly what you have added, we may be able to help.
 
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Your first post is a bit confusing. You said you can't afford a CO2 system at the moment so you've been using Seachem Excel as a supplement, with a link to the product in NickAu's post, but now you say you haven't used that one. Seachem Flourish Excel is marketed as a substitute for CO2 and you linked to that product, which is why we all assumed that's what you've been adding.

The links in your first post are for:
"Excel" - link is for Seachem Flourish Excel
"fertilizer" - link is for Seachem Flourish root tabs
"copper" - link is for Mardel Coppersafe - a treatment for ich, velvet etc. This contains copper.

Have you actually used any of those in your tanks? If the links were to the wrong products, what have you used?



Once we know exactly what you have added, we may be able to help.
There's two different bottles! Just "Flourish" and "Flourish Excel". I am NOT using the latter. I didn't mean to link those products, the forum does it automatically. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00025696M/?tag=ff0d01-20 is what I was using.
 

AbbeysDad

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The name of the fertilizer is actually Flourish, not Excel, my mistake. Can you explain this "old tank syndrome"? I'm unfamiliar with that term.

The term 'Old Tank Syndrome' has been around nearly as long as the hobby. When routine periodic partial water changes are not done the pollution levels in the tank can continue to increase. The water becomes acidic and nitrate and phosphate levels typically get very high. Now fish somewhat adapt to the slowly decreasing water quality so hobbyists think everything is fine....but it's not. I have often seen posters brag about not doing water changes but then can't figure out why their fish are fine, but any new fish added seem to quickly die off. They question the acclimation method when adding new fish. In reality, the water has become so polluted that they shock any new fish added to the system. And make no mistake - many cases of ich, fin rot, wasting away...are often the result of poor water quality.
Suffice it to say that the 'best medicine' for any aquarium is a constant supply of 'new' fresh water - the solution to pollution is dilution.

Note: relative to the above, plants do help purify the water. HOWEVER, we typically have stock levels that exceed what plants and good maintenance alone can handle. So as good fishkeepers, we need to perform routine periodic partial water changes to maintain a sufficiently high water quality.
 
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The term 'Old Tank Syndrome' has been around nearly as long as the hobby. When routine periodic partial water changes are not done the pollution levels in the tank can continue to increase. The water becomes acidic and nitrate and phosphate levels typically get very high. Now fish somewhat adapt to the slowly decreasing water quality so hobbyists think everything is fine....but it's not. I have often seen posters brag about not doing water changes but then can't figure out why their fish are fine, but any new fish added seem to quickly die off. They question the acclimation method when adding new fish. In reality, the water has become so polluted that they shock any new fish added to the system. And make no mistake - many cases of ich, fin rot, wasting away...are often the result of poor water quality.
Suffice it to say that the 'best medicine' for any aquarium is a constant supply of 'new' fresh water - the solution to pollution is dilution.

Note: relative to the above, plants do help purify the water. HOWEVER, we typically have stock levels that exceed what plants and good maintenance alone can handle. So as good fishkeepers, we need to perform routine periodic partial water changes to maintain a sufficiently high water quality.
That makes sense. However I don't think it applies to my tanks as they never go more than two weeks without water changes. Even if this was the culprit, how does it explain the ammonia reading?
 

AbbeysDad

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That makes sense. However I don't think it applies to my tanks as they never go more than two weeks without water changes. Even if this was the culprit, how does it explain the ammonia reading?

It would seem that something has reduced/eliminated your beneficial biology so that ammonia is no longer being converted...and perhaps the ammonia is killing the inhabitants. Did you replace filter media? Do a water change w/o conditioner? ....?
 
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It would seem that something has reduced/eliminated your beneficial biology so that ammonia is no longer being converted...and perhaps the ammonia is killing the inhabitants. Did you replace filter media? Do a water change w/o conditioner? ....?
I never replace filter media (biomax). I rinse out the sponges and replace carbon/filter pads with every other water change. I add the correct dosage of Seachem Prime after water changes are complete.
 

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I add the correct dosage of Seachem Prime after water changes are complete.

No. Prime should be added to the tank (for the volume of the entire tank) BEFORE you add the new source water. OR, you add the appropriate amount of Prime to the water (eg in a bucket) before adding to the tank.
To add new water with chlorine/chloramine before adding the the Prime could kill your beneficial bacteria... So this may be your problem.
 
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[QUOTE="Fiji, post: 3779565, member: 102788" I add the correct dosage of Seachem Prime after water changes are complete.

No. Prime should be added to the tank (for the volume of the entire tank) BEFORE you add the new source water. OR, you add the appropriate amount of Prime to the water (eg in a bucket) before adding to the tank.
To add new water with chlorine/chloramine before adding the the Prime could kill your beneficial bacteria... So this may be your problem.[/QUOTE]
I use a Python for water changes so that's not really possible to add before it's in the tank...
 

Essjay

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It is possible to add the Prime to the tank then start filling it with the python. This will remove the chlorine as soon as it gets into the tank. Adding Prime after means that chlorine has been in the tank for as long as it takes to finish refilling.
 

NickAu

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Why cant you add the prime before you start refilling the tank?

When I had to use straight tap water in my 6 foot tank, I would empty half the water, add the appropriate amount of Prime then leave it for 10 or so minutes while it mixed with the tank water, then fill from garden hose.
 

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