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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was gonna post this as a reply to the invert killer thread, but I though I would just start a new thread and get some ideas:

There has been a running theme of Cu contamination around here lately. Has anyone ever read about treating a tank with EDTA or some other metal-chelating agent to get rid of any trace Cu that might be adhering to the tank? You would want to do it while the tank is empty of anything living, as EDTA will also chelate Ca and Mg and other "good" metal ions, but the thing about EDTA is that once it has chelated to the metal ion, you can just wash the EDTA-Cu complex away. And since reefers usually add PLENTY of calcium to a tank, it wouldn't really matter if there was a little left over in the tank, it would disappear after a few water changes.

The EDTA might also "draw" the Cu out of the glass and silicone etc, as it would bind up free Cu and then the equilibrium would reestablish itself, releasing more Cu from the glass/silicone etc into the water. I could imagine soaking a tank in a solution of EDTA (for days, possible changing the EDTA solution a couple of times?) as a way to clean the tank before setting it up.

There are also other metal chelators out there, EDTA is just the most common. It is used for lead poisoning (you actually drink a solution of EDTA, and the EDTA-Pb complex is excreted).

Am I nuts?
 

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wow that sounds awesome!! so i could potentially save all of the equipment on this 55? heck i'd be willign to try it, i'll have to move the 55 anyway once the 75 is ready to be setup.

wher would i find this miracle drug? and how much will it set me back?

as long as there would be no side effects, like it staying in the tank and then killing any future inhabs, i'd try it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Let me dig a bit

I don't know if you can buy EDTA in a store - I can check around. If not, I can order you some through my university contacts. EDTA is pretty innocuous on its own as far as I know. I'll double check on that too. You would definitely want to try to get rid of most of it before you put anything else live in the tank, because it would scavenge Ca and Mg. The good news is, it is stoichiometric (my $1.00 word for the day), so as long as you didn't continue adding EDTA to the tank, you would be fine. Even if you didn't get rid of it all, it would only soak up a certain tiny amount of Ca and Mg, and then it would be saturated.

It will work in theory...:) And it might save you from having to toss some good equipment...
 

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yeha let me knwo, that would be great.. but keep in mind, if it costs $12,546.00 per bottle, it will be cheaperto just buy new equipment :funny:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cheap would depend on how much you need, and I don't know how to figure that. At the most, it is $46.00 for 100 g. Our lab probably gets a discount.

I've also put in a request with an environmentalist water person friend of mine to see how copper contamination would be cleaned up in the "real world".
 

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The only way I've heard of for getting Copper out of a glass tank is with acid baths. Dangerous to say the least. I believe that Edta will only bind with metals that are in solution but since I'm not a chemist I can't say for sure.

If you really want to try it, you might be able to get the EDTA from "Hach". I know a 100 ml bottle of EDTA from Hach, for refills for the test kits , is about $9 - $10 a bottle. If you were looking for quantity or a dry form, (if it comes this way) so you could make your own solution, they might have it. Otherwise maybe Chris or Jerel will pick up on the thread and know the answer and where to get the chemicals.
 

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Banggai Mommy
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Not to introduce another drug and hence idea...

but penicillamine is the drug of choice for copper toxicity (in humans, at least). Or perhaps BAL is another alternative to consider.

Probably both a bit harder to get your hands on, but something to consider and run by our "own" organic chemists. :)

Danielle
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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How about a sledge hammer and $99 to buy a new 55 gallon.... :)

Nothing better than relieving stress and curing the problem of a Copper Riddled tank....
 

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Buzz_Hog said:
How about a sledge hammer and $99 to buy a new 55 gallon.... :)

Nothing better than relieving stress and curing the problem of a Copper Riddled tank....
This might very well be the easiest and cheapest way to go, especially in the long run... :eek: :funny:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
cyberchef said:
The only way I've heard of for getting Copper out of a glass tank is with acid baths. Dangerous to say the least. I believe that Edta will only bind with metals that are in solution but since I'm not a chemist I can't say for sure.
It does only bind in solution. My thought was that the EDTA would complex any free copper, and then the bound copper (in the glass, etc) would leach out into solution to reestablish the "equilibrium", and get complexed, causing more copper to leach out...etc. I can write out some chemical equations for this, but I don't want to be responsible for any seizures that could occur among unsuspecting readers.

;)

Which acid have you heard of using? Nitric would do it, but would probably cloud the glass in the process if you weren't careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Buzz_Hog said:
How about a sledge hammer and $99 to buy a new 55 gallon.... :)

Nothing better than relieving stress and curing the problem of a Copper Riddled tank....
Agreed. :beer:

I just got curious, being the geek that I am. It just seems a shame to toss good equipment when a bit of a soak might fix it. On the other hand, the sound of smashing glass is quite satisfying at the end of a particularly frustrating day...

Danielle - what is BAL??:confused:
 

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I also am interested in this as ive got a 55 that i would like to go reef with and im not sure of its coper status hey jay if you find anything out on this or try it let me know k
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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If it's leeching out by diffusion, one would only need so much as the equivelent of copper plauging the tank. As copper bonds with the EDTA, more would diffuse out to fill the void.

Quantifying the time requirements for treatment would be dependant upon the rate of difusion.

The troubling thing is, with difusion, are you ever going to be truly rid of the copper?

Before hypothesizing on a remedy, we need to define the process by which the copper is released into the water.
 

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those are some big words there buzz :)

as for tossing the equipment.. nah i wont do that, it seems safe enough for my fish, they are all doing greta, as is my star, cowrie, and peppermint. this tank my jsut remain a fowlr and i suppose i'll be content with that, since i'm getting the 75 anyway.

but i do relish the thought of a good hammer to the front glass. iwill say this. it does feel good, but the impending aftermath is not as good as it sounds. i did this once on a 30gal.. it was fun for exactly 1.032 seconds. then i got wet.
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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Somewhere behind my street slang and crude sense of humor I hide my IQ.... ;)

You mean you forgot to empty the tank before ya poked a hole ni it??? :eek: :funny:
 

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" If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening all over this tank"
 
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