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Thread: high Zinc & copper levels

  1. #1
    Nisai
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    Nov 2008
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    high Zinc & copper levels

    A friend of mine was having problems with his koi, parasites and several koi with wounds which would not heal ( lowered immune system perhaps?) He eventulally got his water supply and pond water tested and found high levels of zinc and copper. As I live in the same area, I thought it might be a good idea if I did the same. I also had similar readings but not as high as my friend.When testing both tap & pond for Zinc My pond was 1ppm yet the tap was almost zero and I have put this down to using blanketweed prohibitors in the past. Also I found low levels of free copper and high levels of Total copper, 0.02ppm & 0.28ppm respectively. Are these figures anything I should be worried about bearing in mind that I too have very soft water with K.H. 1dh & G.H 4 d.h. With all the rain we have been having the past 12 months perhaps these levels of copper & zinc have become toxic. I too have had one or too issues with wounds not healing and the use of antibiotics has been needed. If perhaps anyone can also explain what is the difference between total & free copper and which one or both do I need to worry about
    Best Regards Dave

  2. #2
    Tategoi mtsklar's Avatar
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    Copper is toxic to koi and works on the nervous system among other things. Sodium Thiosulfate can help bind the free copper up. Long term try to identify the source. Pipes and valves are a good place to start. Change out any copper or brass pipe and fittings.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    As another recent thread mentioned, JNorth had a terrible time with koi health issues until it was discovered that copper was the cause. He uses Novaqua. There are also other water conditioners specifically made to detoxify copper and heavy metals generally.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    A few years ago Art Lembke had some problems with zinc in some of his gold fish aquaria. If I remember right he experienced problems that sound a lot like your friends so that may be a bigger issue than the trace copper levels. Jim did give solid advice on how to deal with the copper, but I don't know about detoxifying the zinc. Arts problem was easily removed by getting rid of the physical source, but if it is in the water supply that is a different issue.

  5. #5
    Nisai
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    Hello again and thanks for the replies,All of my pipework from the house to the pond is plastic with no copper or zinc, apart from what is in the house which I can,t do much about. However I have tried both RO and metals removal cartridges which was very expensive especially with the metals removal cartridges.
    I will do some searches and hopefully find the threads you are talking about and hopefully get some info there. I have also been looking at a product called Detox made by Lincolnshire Fish health and then perhaps get the guy back to test the water again but still wonder about total and free copper and what effect these conditioners will have on the readings. Not sure what I can do about the zinc levels if I am using blanketweed controlled products which use these metals in their make up.Best Regards Dave

  6. #6
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    There was quite a bit written a dozen or so years ago about the use of metals to control algae. The consensus conclusion was that there are better ways to deal with algae that did not place the koi at risk. Koi are more sensitive than a number of other fishes, and the negative impacts are more serious in soft water.

    Metals can be present through any number of sources. They can be in the source water. They can arise from pipes in the home. They can come from equipment used (such as heaters using copper). They can leach out of treated lumber used around the pond for decking or a pergola over the pond. One long nightmare written up in Niskikigoi International many years ago was traced to bricks used around the edge of a pond, which were leaching metals into the water. The impact on koi is serious and gives rise to all sorts of negative health conditions that will have folks thinking their filtration is inadequate, their water changes are insufficient, the dealer is selling unhealthy fish, etc., etc. Folks have given up on koi as a result, when the solution has been comparatively simple... get rid of the treated lumber, remove the brick, use a metals detox conditioner, get a heater that does not contain copper.

    Good luck!

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