copper in food - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-28-2012, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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copper in food

I have read that copper in fish food is very bad for shrimp. I have already thrown out some of the food I had when I added RCS to my tank because it contained copper sulfate.

I need to find a micro pellet to feed Celetial Pearl Danios that does not contain copper. The ones that I have checked out all contain copper. Anyone have any suggestions?
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-28-2012, 08:03 AM
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From my understanding through general reading, copper is a natural element found in every body of water that sustains life - and it is actually a necessary element to all life forms. . . they need it in small quantities in order for their bodies to work they way they're supposed to. I believe that with shrimp, copper has something to do with the way oxygen travels through their blood-stream.

Of course, we're talking trace levels of copper here - like what is found in fish food. We know that copper in excess can and will kill the critters, but I'm not so sure that you have to be overly concerned with the minute amounts found in - as far as I know - every brand of fish-food on the market. . .

Further research is needed here - I'm not sure what amounts can cause harm, or if there is a copper-free food out there. I just wanted to give you a starting point, since I have recently read a few articles on copper and other metals in the aquarium. . . Hopefully someone with more experience as a shrimp keeper can chime in here and help you out - I've never kept shrimp - so I wouldn't want to steer you wrong! Good luck!

ETA: It *looks* like Ocean Nutrition Shrimp Wafers do not contain additional copper. . .

Last edited by Chesh; 08-28-2012 at 08:16 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-28-2012, 11:53 AM
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True, copper is in all fish foods because fish need it. As do live plants. But these are trace amounts. With all the aquarists today keeping various shrimps in with their fish, and feeding all the basic fish foods, I am sure we would know if the copper in these foods affects shrimp, so clearly it does not.

Even the copper in plant fertilizers does not harm shrimp, unless of course it is overdosed. The level of copper in some medications may be high enough, and the label usually tells you not to use with invertebrates or at half strength.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-28-2012, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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