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Copper to get rid of snails? - Will it harm the fish?
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Destany
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: 2005.05.01(Sun)8:05    Post subject: Copper to get rid of snails? - Will it harm the fish? Reply with quote

I'm tired of seeing these disgusting hitchhiker snails in my big tank. They get into the filter, they eat up all my plants and they're a real eyesore all over the sides of my tank.
I've been picking them off every morning by hand and feeding them to my crayfish - in a plantless tank. But he can't even keep up with them and they're back to covering the walls again by noon.
I've read using copper will kill the snails, but I'm concerned about any adverse affects it could have for my fish. Gouramis are pretty hearty, but still, I don't want to cause them any stress.
Here's my stock:
1 - opaline gourami
2 - 3 spot gouramis
2 - pearl gouramis
2 - moonlight gouramis
2 - redfin sharks
1 - freshwater crab - which I can move to another tank if necessary.

Once dead, I'll vaccum out as many of the dead snails as I can find and do a partial water change every day to prevent an ammonia spike, but is there anything else I should know before I do this? I don't want to solve one problem and create a disaster!
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Josh Hansen
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Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Location: Dayboro, Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.05.01(Sun)8:18    Post subject: Copper Reply with quote

I have seen copper in fish medicine at aquariium shops with copper in them but I do not know by my evidence that they kill fish. Have you used an alternative method instead of copper like loaches or are they incompatible with redtail shark or do you have a lack of space in relation to the loaches. Maybe there are other wild aquatic insects from the local area that you can put in the tank to kill the snails. Another question you need to ask will there be copper residual left when you put the snail and the crab back in the fish tank.

Good Luck

from Josh
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Destany
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: 2005.05.01(Sun)8:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as getting other critters to eat the snails, it's a lack of space. Aside from that, this tank is a "themed" tank, so I'm really picky about what I put in it. I'm stocked as far as I'm willing to go.
Also, I wouldn't put the crab back into the tank. He's very small, and you never get to see him but maybe once a month. I'd keep him in one of then gallons. I don't have any other snails in the tank that I'd like to keep, I have an apple snail and a ramshorn snail (and ramshorn fry) in a ten gallon with a bunch of platy fry so they're not even an issue.
My only concern is the affects of copper on the gouramis and the redfin sharks.

Thanks for the advise!
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M249spence
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Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Location: arkansas

PostPosted: 2005.05.02(Mon)13:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked in a farm feed and plant nursery during college. the weed/algae treatment we sold for people's ponds always killed some of the fish in thier ponds, and the main active ingredient was copper sulfate. I know that copper sulfate is sold as an aquarium medication, but I would not use it. I'd be careful using copper in any tank. initially it could wipe out a lot of your bacterial flora. then it'll dissolve into the water, eventually ending up into your substrate. then as a micronutrient it can facilitate algal and bacterial blooms at least in ponds. here's a link about it's use in agriculture. you may find it useful you may not.
http://www.agr.gc.ca/pfra/water/copper_e.htm
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