View Full Version : Cupramine Success
I have a new 120 gallon salt water 5 week old tank and added 4 butterfly fish and 5 smaller clowns/wrasse's. 2 weeks later I noticed Ich spots on several fins. My local store did a good job of telling me what to do. I also emailed Seachem and got more detailed and acurate information. I started treatment with Cupramine and Methronizadol and my fish seem to have turned the corner. After 3 days the spots became worse. After 7 days of Almost all spots are gone, every one is healthy and eating. I'm exremly appreciative to Seachem and this website, along with my local store.
Tech Support JR
Great to hear of your success. I'm very happy that we were able to help out. What is the LFS BTW? They deserve some credit too, yes.
The store is Fish Central in Naples, Fl. The have been great to work with, they actually even came by my house to help me verify that it was an Ich problem.
I'm on the edge again though. Last night I saw a couple of spots re-occur on the tail of a Copperband that I have. She was the first one I origonaly noticed it on. I'm 10 days into the treatment. The more I read the more I learn, and now I'm worried that the newly hatched parasites are not dieing. Has anyone had a similar experiance? I also feel that the test kit I'm using is too close in colors to be certain of the amount of Cupramine I have in the system. I intend to get a different test kit today. I've been using a kit by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, and am always asking my wife for a second opinion on the color scale. I think my case is a good test for the product. The tank was new and the fish went in at one time, so there was no quarentine. Theres 100 lbs of live rock and lots of live sand. All of this might be causing trouble, but I didn't have a chioce and I ordered a quarentine tank right before the breakout. This was the only option other than asking the store to quarentine and treat the fish for me. I REALLY need this product to work. I'll post more as it evolves. Any advice would be appreciated. Guy
Tech Support JR
Cupramine should be readable by virtually all copper test kits. My best advice would simply be to make sure you are keeping the level up and to continue through the treatment or at least until there are no signs of parasites for a minimum of a week. Keep us posted on how matters progress and best of luck to you!
Kudos to Fish Central in Naples FL!!
Ok, Ich has a life cycle as I am sure you are aware. If it is in your main tank with live rock the only real alternative is to leave this tank fallow, (no fish) for at least 30 days. This will allow the trophants (baby ich) to all hatch out and starve to death with a lack of hosts. If you use a copper no matter what kind in your reef your live rock, live sand will bond with the copper and render it ineffective against ich. The best thing to do is to quar, your fish for 30 days while your tank is getting rid of the ick. I have seen to many tanks that have had the plauge, removed and healed up the fish, then put them back in and the cycle starts all over again. (I maintain reef tanks for a living) I learned the hard way a long time ago to quar. my fish and all that go into a reef. It is just to painful to try and fix it in the reef. I have been trying to help a friend who set up a 240 gallon, got ich in his 75 and became impaintent didnt wait the full time and moved the stuff to his new 240. The fish were clear for a while and now it is back. Just a few trophants will go unseen, grow up attach to the inside of the gills, and thousands of parisites in just a few days are in the tank again. Lying in wait in the sand and live rock for a host. I hate ich, very very very much. This is what works for me. Treat the fish in quar. and leave the tank fallow for 30 days. Prevention is the best treatment, quar. all fish for at least 3 weeks. I would rather lose it in quar, than lose all my fish and have a empty tank for a month. HTH Steve
I'm new to the hobby, but as most things I do, I worked hard at learning. This is my first tank, and the first batch of fish aadded to the tank. Nothing has been added since the day I put the first fish in. I believe QT's are the way to go, and it was always my plan to quarentine anything else added to the tank, but to buy the QT first was never mentioned by anyone. The only way I could have done what you recommend was to have bought a qaurentine tank as my very first tank, cycle it, then but my display tank and cycle that, then move the fish. And probably should have bought each fish one at a time and waited 1 month between each new fish. I did it the way evey bit of info out there said. Everything was bought from a reputable dealer.
I was just starting to set up a quarentine tank when this breakout started, but theres no way it'll be ready before in time. I read lots of good books and studied a lot of info in advance, and no where did I see it mentioned to buy your quarentine tank first.
I found a difference in test kits. The Aquarium Pharmacueticals kit showed my copper at .5 ppm, so I thought it was at the proper level, but started to suspect the readings. So, I took the 40 mile drive to buy a SeaChem test kit, and sure enough, the copper is way low. I verifed the reading with the sample water test that came with the kit (what a great idea), and it was very low, so I'll bring the level up today and see what happens. Guy
Steve, I thought more about your note. I also had a good phone call with Seachem. I'm still stuck at the moment as the QT isn't set up yet. I'm actually waiting on the stand because I had to have a certain type of wood. Seems ridiculous now. Anyway, I'm going to have to continue on this road, but when my QT is set up I'm going to move the fish to it, then fallow the big tank and replace the LR and sand, then put the fish back in it after 4 weeks. I will do everything I can to aviod Ich in my tank in the future. What a way to get started! Thankyou for your advice, Guy
Your very very welcome. The only reason I know is I went through the same thing when I first started myself. LOL Sometimes I think it is the best time, so that 5 yrs down the road with no quar. tank, 1000s$ worth of coral and fish, then getting ick when adding a 12 cardnial fish. I hate that it happened to you. You will recover and have a great system, paitence is the best friend you can have in reef keeping. Thanks for responding. This place is very nice, and I will continue to come here. Something you may consider is the forum www.reeffrontiers.com. I am only a member there, we have several 100 well informed reefers and info galore. SEACHEM is one of our new sponsors and that is how I found this page. It have a amazing amount of information on fish, coral, amenone, clams and anything else you want to know. Hope that helps Steve
I'm at day 15 now and things seem to be going very well. I did see a second outbreak of spots, but they were not as many as the first round, and the fish have dropped most of those already. I believe the fish are the only ones that don't know they’re sick! This would be my only argument against moving them to a quarantine tank. They only had two weeks to get used to the tank, the food, the routine and me. By staying consistent, I believe they were better equipped to deal with it. The stress of moving them might have changed things. I plan to continue treatment for 2 more weeks and will post the results.
Does anyone have experience with different test kits for copper? I believe I've learned more than I expected to on this point. After the second round of spots I suspected my test kit was not accurate and wanted to verify it. I now have three kits, and they all indicate different things. They are as follows: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals reads .8ppm, Red Sea reads .3 ppm and Seachem reads about .1 (this one really doesn't seem to be working properly, with my water). If anyone can give me some advice I would appreciate it. The folks at SeaChem have be great, and sent me extra test water and are sending a new bottle of regent, and have been on the phone a couple of times with me. Thanks, Guy
Tech Support JR
Hey Guy, you can confirm how all of the kits are working by using the reference in the SC kit. If you ever have a problem getting a good reading out of the SC kit using the reference, then simply let us know and we'll get you working reagents. So, try the reference out with the SC kit and remember the procedure is slightly different testing the reference. If you get a good reading then you know you can trust the test kit well.
I could use some good advice now. Today makes three weeks of Cupramine treatment. The fish look healthy and happy and eat VERY well. Here's wher I need advice. They still show the slightest and smallest white spots on thier fins. I can count three spots on a LN Butterfly's tail and two spots on my Copperband. I also see a spot on the side fin of my Ariga Butterfly. She was the worst as far as flashing, but is normal now. I'm assuming I should keep the Cupramine in another week, but I'm worried that I wont eradicat the virus in my tank and that it mught show up again later. I want to do everything I can to kill all of the parasites. My most chalenging problem has been measuring the amount of copper in the tank. I've been using three test kits, Seachems, Aquarium Pharmaceuticles and Red Sea. I've also used Seachems test water to verify the accuracy of each test kit. Cupramine calls for treatment at .5 ppm. Seachems kit has never shown any copper in the tests, but the test water shows the correct color. Red Sea shows 2.5 ppm with the test water and shows 3,0 ppm on my water. AP shows .5 ppm on the test water and shows .8 on my water. So it breaks down like this: Seachem test says to add a lot more Cupramine, RedSea doesn't make any sense as thier gauge only goes to .4, when Cupramine needs to be .5 (but the test water shows .25), and AP says I am high at .8 and should not add another drop of Cupramine. Can anyone help me with this?
Tech Support JR
I would use the Seachem kit. If a test of the reference is showing accurate results using the Seachem kit then the reagents are functioning properly. The reference is simply an amount of copper in DI water. If the other kits do not read this properly then they are not providing accurate results in all testing otherwise. So, it is likely you have insufficient levels of copper and thus the lack of results with treatment thus far. At this stage the treatment should be complete with no visible spots on any of the fish. So, I would work to get the levels of copper up slowly and continue treatment with the Cupramine at the proper level. You should see rapid response to the increase in the Cupramine in the system. Have faith in the reference - it makes a big difference in confirming which test kit is working! :) Good luck and keep me posted.
Oh, and on the email, use the contact section or simply post here on the forum. I was just out yesterday and so only go the message on you post today. Sorry for that.
The water sample that you sent to me (Thankyou) showed that the Aquairium Pharmacuticals test kit was reading properly. When I used your water it read .5ppm, and when I tested my tank water it reads a little above .5, closer to the .8 I mentioned earlier. With your water showing .5 in that test kit, there was no way I could be comfortable putting a lot more Cupramine into my tank. Even the Red Sea kit showed .25 with your water and .3 with mine. It was only the Seachem kit that wouldn't register any color other than a murky white. So with two kits and your water compared to my tank water, both showing that I had a little more that the sample test color, I was too afraid to put more Cupramine in. I wonder if something in my tank is throwing your test kit off. Thankfully the Ich problem has gone away and the Cupramine did it's job very well and I very appreciative of your product, but I still wonder why I couldn't get the Seachem kit to read. It would be nice to know the answer. I hope I never see Ich again, but if I do, I'll use Cupramine, and having confidence it the test kit would be comforting. Thanks, Guy
Tech Support JR
Good to speak with you on the phone Guy. Let me know how the experiment works out. Good luck with it and thanks very much.
Hi Jim, I wasn't able to test the old water after my first water change, (don't ask why, but does salt water harm persian rugs?), but I did change a third of the water. I checked the copper right after the change and found that the copper was very low, so I added 9 ml of Cupramine. I tested the water again the next morning and the Seachem kit read it perfectly and the levels were perfect. The other two kits also read properly and all three agreed, though the Red sea showed .25ppm, but thats what it reads with the sample water too. I'll tell you the history of the tank, since it seems like that is where the difference was, in the water. This was a fast tank. I put water with synthetic salt in on Dec 30th. I put 120 lbs of LR three days later. I put fish in two weeks after that. Then in less than 2 weeks I had to add the Cupramine. I don't know of this is helpfull. The Seachem kit has worked for two days now and the Cupramine level stayed the same for those two days.
Should I continue the treatment and if so how long? It has been three weeks so far, but I want to be sure that I wont have another breakout later. I have read that some say up to fourty days. I see two spots on one fish's tail and one on another. All the fish are very healty.
I thank you guy's so much for all of your help, you guy's are great. Guy
I have found that the only problem I had was that the original reagent that came with the test kit was probably not reading properly. The second reagent that Seachem was so kind to send to me worked perfectly. There is no more visible Ich in my tank and I will remove the Cupramine in a week. I know we're not supposed to treat fish in a display tank, but I can state from experience now that it works. The fish, 12 in all, came through great, and I believe this was easier on the fish than many of the alternatives that were recommended to me. Beyond any doubt, Cupramine work perfectly for me, and I recommend it to anyone that has to deal with Ich. Thanks, Guy
Tech Support JR
Good to hear that everything worked out so well Guy. Excellent!! Thanks for the input and patience with the test kit. Let us know if we can help further at anytime.
After 6 weeks of Cupramine in my display tank, I thought the Ich was gone. I used Cuprasorb to take out the Cupramine. Two day later my Tang showed spots again. I believe the parasite was still living in the gills of some of the fish or that the parasite was saturated in the 120 lbs of LR and all the sand. I am switching to hyposalinity in my display tank and have removed all the LR and a lot ot the sand. My question is, can Cupramine be used during hyposalinity at 1.009? is this safe? Is it harder on the fish? Would the qauntity change due to the reduced salinity?
Tech Support RB
It can be safe to use Cupramine during a hyposalinity treatment. Keep in mind that some fish may be sensitive to hyposalinity treatments and some fish may be sensitive to copper based remedies. Cupramine is still effective as low as .2 mg/l if you wish to keep it on the lower end of it's effective range during a hyposalinity treatment to avoid any additional stress on this particular fish (although I have successfully used it at .4 - .5 mg/l concentration during a hyposalinity treatment).