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Copper in my rock?


May 20, 2007
I'm starting a octopus tank and i got some old rock from someone who used to have a fish only aquarium to use as base rock. The problem is that I'm pretty sure she used copper medicines in her aquarium. Does that mean the rock is pretty much unusable if I want a ceph in my aquarium? However its been on her back porch in buckets for the past five or six years and I've read that prolonged exposure to the elements can render the copper insoluble and/or leach it out. If not, is there any other way to "un-copper it"? If it's still water soluble, is there a way to expose the rock to enough water to leach out the bulk of what might be in there? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
If copper was used in the tank, the rock is unusable. It also was a waste of money for your friend if he bought it live because it would kill all the life on it. You can try putting it in a different cage for a while and see if any life grows on it (pods), the problem is this could take a while for them to be noticable, and you have to look close to see them usually.

Another way you could find out is by putting a snail or other cheap creature like that in with the rock for a while and see if they live. Most (if not all) invertebrates cannot tolerate any copper in the water, so if the snail dies copper could be the cause. You would probably have to try this with a few snails because some of them could just die naturally. This way is not however very humane to the snails if there is copper in the rocks.

If you expect copper do NOT put the rocks in the tank until you know for sure if they do or do not have copper. If they do have copper in them it will contaminate your tank and you will only be able to keep fish. There are some products that say they remove copper, but I wouldn't risk it and just buy new rock.

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