Copper Pipe in an Aquarium
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Copper Pipe in an Aquarium

This is a discussion on Copper Pipe in an Aquarium within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Well as the title says I have some cool ideas for structures in my new 5 gallon African Dwarf Frog and Plant tank that ...

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Copper Pipe in an Aquarium
Old 07-02-2014, 08:46 AM   #1
 
Copper Pipe in an Aquarium

Well as the title says I have some cool ideas for structures in my new 5 gallon African Dwarf Frog and Plant tank that involve putting copper pipe into a freshwater aquarium. So a few questions:
  • I'm assuming I cannot just put a copper pipe in the tank without any reprecussions.
  • If I am wrong about the above statement, pleasae let me know.
  • Would it be safer for the frogs and the plants if I sealed the copper pipe in some sort of non-toxic sealant?
  • Any other information you could give me would be great.
Thanks for your time and consideration.......Stacy
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:11 AM   #2
 
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Yeah, unfortunately you can't just do that. Copper can be very highly toxic, especially to inverts; snails and shrimp. I believe frogs are quite sensitive to it as well.

You could douse it in an Epoxy, just make sure it is completely sealed inside and out! I'm not sure how you'd get on the inside to seal completely but where there is a will, there is a way!
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:46 PM   #3
 
any reason u've not considered pvc pipe? just curious i know lots of ppl use that for eels and Pleco caves and tubes.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:10 AM   #4
 
I concur, no copper especial with a frog. Copper will also kill off plecos, corys and loaches. You can get black PVS and PVC joints to form structures.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:14 AM   #5
pop
 
hello;
I understand why you donít wish to use pvc but have you considered using ridged plex pipe or cpvc which are both approved for indoor use?

OH !! MY!!! my house has copper pipping ....
I changed the water yesterday .....
WOW who would believe the fish are still alive after surviving water provided from copper pipes. How did they overcome the toxicity of copper.

it must be a miracle

pop

ps black pvc is approved for waste water only not potable water.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:20 AM   #6
 
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I'm assuming the OP wants the piping for the aesthetics rather than functional use.

pop, generally our water conditioners take the hard/heavy metals out of the water which is why it doesn't bother the fish. Also the water usually doesn't sit in the copper piping very long unlike it would in an aquarium not being sealed.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:54 AM   #7
pop
 
Hello lilnaugrim:


I like the way you think , good reply.


I do not use water conditioners at all and the water is piped from the well a good 300 feet to the house. We use very little well water so the water sits in copper pipes for long periods.
We consume only bottled water in the house. Well water is used for partial water changes in the aquarium though.



Could dissolved copper ions be considered TDS.

pop
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:09 AM   #8
 
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Ah, yes I have well water too but too many heavy metals so I have to use a conditioner still otherwise my fish become extremely lethargic from the metals.

Here are some quotes I found that might be useful, it's mostly about copper and drinking water though, not geared quite for the aquarium but can still be used in regards to it.

"Copper does not get into the water unless the water is acid. 99% of all municipal and well water is alkaline. The mineral makeup that the body needs is complex and to a certain extent self-adjusting. An excess of one mineral can create and apparent deficiency in another."

and

"Copper works its way into the water by dissolving from copper pipes in the household plumbing. The longer the water has stood idle in the pipes, the more copper it is likely to have absorbed. Newer homes with copper pipes may be more likely to have a problem. Over time, a coating forms on the inside of the pipes and can insulate the water from the copper in the pipes. In newer homes, this coating has not yet had a chance to develop."

I'm not sure if it would be considered TDS or not.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:00 AM   #9
 
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If you are looking to use the copper piping for aesthetics, get some similarly-sized pvc and spray paint meant for plastic. I don't remember the brand but it is aquarium-safe. If you do a quick google-search, you should find the brand easily.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #10
 
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Krylon Fusion.
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The Following User Says Thank You to lilnaugrim For This Useful Post:
Flint (07-03-2014)
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