Copper in the aquarium - is there any danger?

If copper is dissolved in tap water, it is considered poison. Since it is not dangerous for humans because of the small amount, the risk is easily underestimated. But for some of our Aquarians, the copper from the aqueduct is highly toxic. Even some plants can not survive in a high copper aquarium. What danger actually exists, we show here.

Seawater aquarium very sensitive

Even if the fish in the saltwater aquarium do not die immediately, their growth is greatly hampered by the copper. Most fish stay very small and snails or even crabs can not develop properly.

Hot water pipe

Naturally, the water in the hot water pipe is much longer. So you should not use the warm water from the pipe when changing the water. You may need to pretreat this water first. Often it has been found in private households to be sufficient if the water is heated in a stainless steel pot instead of taking it from the hot water pipe.

Snails in freshwater aquarium

Particularly sensitive are some species of snails in the aquarium. So if you do not want to keep an eye on the copper value in the water, you should not let these snails move in:

  • apple snails
  • Ramshorn snails

Trace element copper

However, copper is also a necessary trace element needed in very low doses by all plants and animals. It should therefore be carefully considered which inhabitants in your aquarium need what amounts of copper. For example, in some red crayfish the color is not formed by iron but by copper.

You can regulate the copper content in your aquarium very well by certain aquarium fertilizers, because in which copper is also often added. However, as already mentioned, it always depends on which animals or plants live in your aquarium.

Tips & Tricks

If you have freshwater polyps in the tank, a copper pot that you put into the water for some time can completely eliminate it. Delicate fish and snails should of course be relocated for the time of treatment. Then you make a big water change, so that the copper comes out again. Only then may the desired animals move in again.

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