Cleaning used tank that had copper in it

corw314

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I myself would not take the risk of getting attached and then watching an octopus die prematurely due to copper poisoning. They are difficult enough without using a known toxin and wondering if all the treatments suggested would even be enough. For me it would be simpler, and safer to just purchase a new tank.
My :twocents:
 

robind

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I have a tank that I'm setting up to hopefully use for a ceph in the next few months. It is a used tank. Is it correct that there's really no way to tell if the tank will be safe or not? I could do tests, but as esquid said above, tests aren't sensitive enough to detect the ld50.
 

Hayek

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I have read the previous posts. I've been lurking this forum obsessively for a couple of weeks which is why I was so disappointed that I found out the tank had copper based medications used at one point.

I realize that copper tests probably aren't going to pick up a level of copper toxic to octopuses, I was not planning on relying on them.


You make a good point that the pet shop owner is not likely to know the lethal dose of ionic copper it takes to kill an octopus. Do you? Are there any invertebrates with similar aversions to ionic copper that I could use to test the tank out?

I'm looking for a solution and could do without the acerbic sarcasm.
 

Hayek

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You know, this may be a big fuss about nothing. I don't think the medications used actually contained copper. I'm looking at them now and they are:

-wardley essentials ick away
active ingredient: malachite green

-melafix
active ingredient: melaleuca

I thought I had seen one with copper in the title, but I can't seem to find it now. I don't see copper mentioned anywhere on any of the chemicals used.

I'm assuming they aren't the copper based medications that will ruin a tank. Am I correct?
 

cthulhu77

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I do believe that Malachite Green is typically a metal in suspension.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malachite_green

I agree, there is no need for any mudslinging here. Let's all play nice, o.k.?

I think that trying to use a tank that had been treated for copper, and sacrificing animals just to see if it is safe, is rather a bad move. Ethically and financially, it would be just as cheap to buy a new tank and not worry about it.

In the multiple keepers of cephs that I have talked to, the consensus is always the same. New tank for cephs. Always. These people have been breeding octopus and the like for years, and know their stuff. Listen to them, please. Yeah, I know most octos don't live very long, but it is our place as animal keepers to make sure that they get at least some sort of a fruitful life, isn't it?

Another Point: I don't know any invert keeper who uses copper piping at all. Our water comes straight from the distillery, and is only handled by PVC. (which has its own set of issues, I know)
 

Hayek

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cthulhu77 - Are you saying that with copper piping i would be unable to keep a cephalopod or that it would be better if the water didn't go through copper piping?

I know that I am not going to be able to provide the absolute best living conditions for an octopus. I'm a college student and have a limited budget. I have a decent amount of money to spend, but by no means will I have the best stuff.

Since it looks like I am going to be investing $600 or more on this tank, I might as well just get a new tank.
 

cthulhu77

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I only use water that is treated at a bottling plant that does not use any copper/lead piping at all.

Agreed, for the cost, it is easier to just get a new tank and avoid all of the drama.

Check with a local R/O supplier, and see what their specs are. The one out here let me tour the plant.
 

Scrounger

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Hayek, is there a fish store near you from which you could buy water? I get my saltwater premixed from my LFS. The stores around here sell RO/DI saltwater for $1.00 to $1.50 per gallon. RO/DI freshwater for top-offs would be cheaper, of course. It may be an option, if the cost is managable.
 

Hayek

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I recently spoke to several extremely intelligent people who have owned octopuses (engineering Ph.Ds), and from what they have told me, many on this forum go a bit overboard. Three things that conflicted with what I have read here are:

1. RO isn't necessary - they kept octopuses without using RO water.
2. It isn't necessary to cycle the tank for 3 months prior to adding the octo, though one should wait a month until ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels fall off after the initial live rock die off.
3. You can keep an octo without a protein skimmer.
4. The tank that had one ick treatment with a substance that had malachite green in it sometime during the last 3 years is probably OK to use as long as it wasn't recent or a repetitive treatment and the other equipment is new.

Once again, this is from people who have successfully kept octopuses in the past. In light of new information, I'm going to try a dwarf in the tank I cleaned, if only so future used tank purchasers have some empirical evidence on which to base a decision.

I know many of you will frown on this and tell me that I am being cruel to the octopus, but the worst case scenario is that it gets a toxic dose of a heavy metal and dies. In the wild, octopuses have thousands of babies and the vast majority of them don't live full lives. I don't see all that much of a difference. They kill themselves after a year anyway.

Regardless of whether I start getting hateful replies, I'll post the results.

edit: also, I'm a student and just don't have $X,XXX lying around to invest in a state of the art octo setup. I've spent over six hundred dollars already....
 
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Very few people do have $X,XXX lying around. I had an octopus as a high school student last year. I was a freshman/sophomore. I took it slow, rather than going out and buying everything up at once, which let my tank have time to cycle.

And octopods do not "kill themselves" after a year. Do humans "just kill themselves" after 80 or so years? No. Go look up "lifespan" in the dictionary. That is a terrible attitude to have towards animals.

"Since an animal doesn't live very long, why shouldn't we just subject them to poisonous conditions, possibly ending their already short lives that much earlier."

You posted a question, asking for advice. A few people gave you very good, experienced answers. One person (who has 1 post by the way) tells you the answer you want, and you jump at it. If you're not going to give your cephalopod your 100% all, then don't get one. If you can't afford the setup, then you can't afford the octopus. Plain and simple. Maybe try a goldfish, or a betta.

Brock Fluharty
 

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