Importance of Testing for Copper
Copper is often used to treat many parasitic infections on fresh and saltwater fish. To be effective, the copper concentration in the aquarium must be maintained at the therapeutic level for several weeks. Frequent testing is required to monitor the copper level in the aquarium. Some fish species are very sensitive to copper treatments. Therefore, follow the copper treatment manufacturer’s directions carefully.
Copper should not be used or evident in aquariums with invertebrates, including snails, shrimp, crayfish and corals, as well as in freshwater aquariums or ponds with plants. Tap water may contain copper leached from pipes and, ultimately, it can accumulate in the aquarium.
The Copper Test Kit reads the total copper level in parts per million (ppm) which are equivalent to milligrams per liter (mg/L) from 0 ppm (mg/L) to 4.0 ppm (mg/L). The Copper Test Kit works in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. The color chart provided with this test kit should be used to test for copper levels in fresh and saltwater aquariums and ponds.
Directions for Testing Copper Levels:
- Read thoroughly before testing. Do not allow Test Solution to get into aquarium.
- To remove childproof safety cap: With one hand, push red tab left with thumb while unscrewing cap with free hand.
- Fill a clean test tube with 5 ml of water to be tested (to the line on the tube).
- Add 10 drops of Copper Test Solution, holding dropper bottle upside down in a completely vertical position to assure uniformity of drops added to the water sample.
- Cap the test tube and shake the tube for 5 seconds. Do not hold finger over the open end of the tube, as this may affect test results.
- Wait one minute for the color to develop.
- Remove the cap. Hold the test tube upright over the white area on the color chart and view the color of the solution by looking down from above (through the tube from top to bottom). Compare the color of the sample with the printed colors. Even a very faint color indicates the presence of copper.
- The closest color match on the Copper Test Color Chart indicates the total ppm (mg/L) of total copper (free and chelated) in the water sample. Rinse the test tube with clean water after each use.
What the Results Mean
This kit measures the concentration of both free and chelated copper. Chelated copper compounds are very stable and will remain in solution for long periods of time. Free copper levels will decline rapidly and must be tested daily. If using copper as a medication, maintain the copper level recommended on the product label.
Reducing Copper Levels
To reduce the copper level, first conduct a partial water change and then add Bio-Chem Zorb®, (a combination of scavenger resins, ion exchange resins, and carbon adsorbents in a convenient pouch), to completely remove any residual copper left in the aquarium. If copper comes into the aquarium from your tap water, use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Tap Water Filter to remove all unwanted copper ions before adding water to your aquarium.
- Keep out of reach of children.
- Eye contact: gently flush with water for at least 15 minutes. Remove contact lens, if present, after the first 5 minutes, then continue rinsing.
- Skin contact: wash thoroughly with soap and water.
- If swallowed, contact a physician or Poison Control Center immediately.
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Aquarium Supplies
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (API) has been helping people take good care of ornamental fish for over 40 years. Their research and development scientists have advanced the care of fish with all-natural medications, stable bacteria for biological filtration, one-bottle test kits, consumer-friendly dosing caps and much more. They’ve received over 25 global patents for their breakthrough innovations in the aquatics industry. And they continue to look for ways to improve the fishkeeping experience for hobbyists. Research. Experience. Dedication to scientific, quality treatment for healthy fish. It’s what makes API the first choice of aquarium owners. API manufactures and sells hundreds of products across many different product categories, including aquarium and pond treatments, aquarium equipment, aquariums and fish nutrition.