Activflora with invertebrates? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Activflora with invertebrates?

I am starting a new planted 55 gallon tank and have been heavily looking into substrates. I'm really interested in Activflora Floracor Black. I like the look of it and though I cannot find a whole lot of feedback online, what I have read has been good in relation to plant growth. There seems to be a little controversy in whether or not you can use Activflora without hurting your inverts since one of the ingredients is copper. I've read where someone contacted the company and they claim there are only traces of natural copper and will not effect anything, others say copper is copper is will eventually kill inverts, and even that it will effect your shrimp but not snails?. So I am looking more so for people who actually use Activflora and what their personal experiences have been with it in relation to there inverts. Thank you.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-03-2015, 05:58 PM
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Hi OlRed07, welcome to TPT! I did a quick search on Activeflora regarding your question and didn't come up with much either. I have never used this product so I can't speak from experience as to how it may affect inverts but, I can give you some insight regarding copper:

Just because copper(Cu) is present does not mean it is in high enough levels to harm inverts. This being said inverts are adversely affected by Cu at lower levels than vertebrates are affected. However, there are different thresholds at which individual species are affected and to different extents. I'm about to overgeneralize this next part so bare with me.. basically at non-lethal levels inverts may not be killed by Cu, but it may prevent them from breeding. Do some research to find out what those levels are to the species you want.

Cu is more toxic at lower pH. At higher pH values Cu is chemically bound to Carbonates. This doesn't remove the Cu but basically keeps it busy. So, depending on the kh and pH of your tank you may want to rethink using this substrate.

Choose a water conditioner that binds("detoxifies") toxic metals. And do regular water changes for a while.. two-three a week. You can buy Cu water test kits. Also, filter media like carbon, peat and, poly-fiber remove(bind) Cu at a molecular level. This may be something for you to take into consideration.

Plants clean water in more ways than using ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. They also detoxify heavy metals. Cu is toxic to plants in high enough levels however, plants NEED Cu in very, very small levels(in the parts per billion range as opposed to parts per million). A healthy and heavily planted tank will use some of this. Do a search for aquatic plants and metal toxicity and I think you will feel better.

In short I wouldn't worry about it too much. Get your tank up and running and your plants healthy. Before adding inverts get a Cu test and see what it says. If nothing registers then get some test inverts. Ghost shrimp and pond snails.

Hope this has helped or at least given you some insight.

Stock lightly and carry a big filter. - I don't have aquariums. I have ecosystems in a glass box. - Hygrophilaholic and hoarder of Anubias.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-04-2015, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, thank you so much. That definitely makes me feel better. I will do some more research on the species and go from there. Very insightful!
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