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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone know the copper toxicity/copper LD50 for Amano shrimp? I want to make sure I won't kill them with my ferts!

I read somewhere that copper LD50 is 0.07ppm but not sure how accurate that is
 

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There is a lot of tolerance variability between species of fish and shrimp. I looked into this some time ago and came to the conclusion that a value above 35ppb (Parts Per Billion). is pushing it for fish and shrimp. but others have come across data with LD 50 values above this. I have not seen any aquarium fertilizer with more than 10ppb of copper in it. Most have less than 3ppb. Some fertilizers don't have it at all even though plants will not grow without it.

However all that said you shouldn't be worrying about your fertilizer. You should be worried about your tap water. Legally the maximum copper level allowed in US drinking water is 1.3ppm. 90% of the copper in drinking water comes from the corrosion of copper pipes in homes. I have always used RO water in my aquariums. But recently I did test my tap water and found I have 50ppb in my tap water. Copper piping has been standard in homes for at least 50 years. Given that most aquariums are filled with tap water it is likely that shrimp can handle more copper than most people expect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
However all that said you shouldn't be worrying about your fertilizer. You should be worried about your tap water. Legally the maximum copper level allowed in US drinking water is 1.3ppm. 90% of the copper in drinking water comes from the corrosion of copper pipes in homes. I have always used RO water in my aquariums. But recently I did test my tap water and found I have 50ppb in my tap water. Copper piping has been standard in homes for at least 50 years. Given that most aquariums are filled with tap water it is likely that shrimp can handle more copper than most people expect.
Was the test of your tap a commercial thing (i.e sending it to a company for testing) or some kit that you can use at home? I could test my tap and tank with something like the API copper test kit but I have no idea how accurate that would be especially since we are dealing with ppb. I wouldn't expect a hobby grade kit to measure anywhere near that precisely!

Update: Upon further research, the api kit only measures .25ppm as the lowest value! lol
 

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I decided to start making my own macros and purchased Hanna instraments HI747 color I meter. I wanted to verify the amount I was adding. It has an accuracy of +/-5% of reading +/-10ppb. It uses a sensor to measure the color and produces a digital readout. Overall its probably not much better than the API test. Hanna does have other color I meters and I really like the ammonia, phosphate, and alkalinity color I meters. But they cost more than traditional aquarium test kits.

All you really need to do is to verfy your levels are excessively high. If you use a API test kit and it shows the minimum number you are probably OK. If you get a reading of 50ppb or more I would be concerned. But there is no way to know for sure what level the shrimp can handle.
 

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The .07 could have been from this site... although personally, I believe that amanos could probably handle higher amounts of copper.

Aquarium Calculators | Copper Toxicity for invertebrates and fish in a planted aquarium
Yeah, I think I read it there

All you really need to do is to verfy your levels are excessively high. If you use a API test kit and it shows the minimum number you are probably OK. If you get a reading of 50ppb or more I would be concerned. But there is no way to know for sure what level the shrimp can handle.
Would you consider 0.015ppm copper 3x per week an excessive amount? I'm still struggling with my swords showing an iron deficiency yet I'm dosing 0.5ppm iron 3x per week. I will have to keep upping the micro dose until the swords show signs of good health but this will also increase copper :( Maybe I should use a trace with less copper to start with.
 
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