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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I am planning to get a new aquarium filter and I was just about to purchase when I noticed this on the box "Pure Copper Motor". Would this be safe to use in an aquarium with shrimp in it? I know copper compounds and medications containing them are toxic to invertebrates but I am unsure as to whether this copper motor would leak copper into the tank. Does anyone have any experience with such motors?
 

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Ok I am planning to get a new aquarium filter and I was just about to purchase when I noticed this on the box "Pure Copper Motor". Would this be safe to use in an aquarium with shrimp in it? I know copper compounds and medications containing them are toxic to invertebrates but I am unsure as to whether this copper motor would leak copper into the tank. Does anyone have any experience with such motors?
This filter should be fine. Unless they are doing something unheard of, the motor is separate from the impeller or other rotary parts. Electricity and water don't mix, and there reference to copper is to the electrical efficacy/efficiency of the motor. I am no engineer (someone else can chime in here) but I am sure you are fine.
 

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This filter should be fine. Unless they are doing something unheard of, the motor is separate from the impeller or other rotary parts. Electricity and water don't mix, and there reference to copper is to the electrical efficacy/efficiency of the motor. I am no engineer (someone else can chime in here) but I am sure you are fine.
Engineer here.
No idea in the WORLD why they are saying "pure copper" motor. The typical alternative to copper is aluminum and you can't mix copper and aluminum wiring.


This is ABSOLUTELY SAFE and orhunterfisher is correct. Almost all wiring in your electrical components is copper. This is 100% normal and safe. They are only claiming a copper motor, not a copper impeller, so you are safe.

If you are worried that they used copper in some part of the non-electrical component, I wouldn't worry about this either. Copper is horrible about oxidizing and a relatively expensive material. There are copper impellers, but I seriously doubt you are looking at an industrial pump that went to the trouble of using a copper impeller. If you are still concerned, send me the link and I will look.

"Pure Copper Motor" is advertising. They are TRYING to say that it is a quality product by listing features that exist on ALL similar products. It would be like claiming your plumbing fixture is "100% safe to use with water" or that your cellphone is "capable of using radio waves to make phone calls".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This filter should be fine. Unless they are doing something unheard of, the motor is separate from the impeller or other rotary parts. Electricity and water don't mix, and there reference to copper is to the electrical efficacy/efficiency of the motor. I am no engineer (someone else can chime in here) but I am sure you are fine.
True that, the motor is separate from the impeller and not in contact with the water. Dunno why I didn't think about this before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Engineer here.
No idea in the WORLD why they are saying "pure copper" motor. The typical alternative to copper is aluminum and you can't mix copper and aluminum wiring.


This is ABSOLUTELY SAFE and orhunterfisher is correct. Almost all wiring in your electrical components is copper. This is 100% normal and safe. They are only claiming a copper motor, not a copper impeller, so you are safe.

If you are worried that they used copper in some part of the non-electrical component, I wouldn't worry about this either. Copper is horrible about oxidizing and a relatively expensive material. There are copper impellers, but I seriously doubt you are looking at an industrial pump that went to the trouble of using a copper impeller. If you are still concerned, send me the link and I will look.

"Pure Copper Motor" is advertising. They are TRYING to say that it is a quality product by listing features that exist on ALL similar products. It would be like claiming your plumbing fixture is "100% safe to use with water" or that your cellphone is "capable of using radio waves to make phone calls".
Hmm, yeah I should have thought of these too lol (am an engineer myself, though I am a little embarrassed atm for not having thought more comprehensively). When my fish or shrimp are concerned I can't think straight. I thought, "Internal filter, motor head is in the water, risk to my shrimp!"

I doubt that the impeller is made of copper; it is an internal filter and really quite affordable. What is your opinion? (can't take any chances)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your household water pipes are probably copper as well. I don't think a copper impeller would effect anything.
Hmm, yes this is true, but I usually treat water from household pipes with conditioner that (supposedly) among other things removes harmful metals. Therefore, I never looked at water from my pipes as dangerous.
 

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Hmm, yes this is true, but I usually treat water from household pipes with conditioner that (supposedly) among other things removes harmful metals. Therefore, I never looked at water from my pipes as dangerous.
Here is the truth on copper. It is extremely dangerous for your shrimp. Some species are more or less resistant to it. Shrimp do however need small amounts of copper for cellular function which is why you see it listed in the ingredients of Hikari Shrimp Cuisine and some others. In improper doses it can be stressful and worse, lethal. In fact, if you are a fish keeper as well, copper is used as treatments for certain problems or control of pests infecting fish and/or tanks. Pennies have been recommended for the same purpose. Now, here is where it gets tricky. Warmer water carries more of the minerals and elements than does colder. Many people use copper pipes with water and never have a problem or never have a problem until they use the hot. I will also caution to be careful of some fish food (not specifically made for shrimp) that may have large amounts of copper...friends in Germany have told me horror stories about shrimp deaths...then again they swear that mopani wood kills shrimp as well; it does not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
It is just an odd marketing attempt to show off because since the motor is copper it is energy efficient (they really should just stick with showing off gallons per hour).

It should be safe to use since the motor will have no contact with the water.
Thanks. I never really understood the "GPH" term in filters, in the sense that, it is never accurate. So much so that I am trying to determine the best flow rate for my new 70L (20 Gallons) "El Natural" aka Walstad or "dirt" tank setup but I am not sure what flow rate I should use (based on the manufacturer's stated ratings). I have a choice from
550L/H (145GPH, uses 15W),
a 500L/H (130 GPH, uses 5W- more efficient?),
a 880L/H (230 GPH, uses 15W) and
a 300L/H (80 GPH, 3W),

and I know that these setups don't really need bio-filtration so much as the circulation and mechanical filtration. So I am really at a loss as to what I should do...
 

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The "pure copper motor" is most likely talking about the windings in the motor. The windings are what uses the electrical current to make the impeller spin. Like pucker said the alternative would be aluminum. Copper windings are better than aluminum as far as efficiency and will most likely last longer. Also like what has been stated the motor housing should never make contact with water so you are safe. I'm not an engineer, but I am an electrician.
 

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I am an electrical engineer and i agree with all of the above. Yes. The windings of the motor are made of copper. Passing current through the windings creates a magnetic field that passes through the plasitc housing to the impeller which is a magnet. The field synchronizes with the impeller which spins it. You are completely safe to use this. If the copper windings were to come in contact with the water that is being filtered you also have nothing to worry about, because at that stage the motor would not work anymore and you will have popped a circuit breaker. Like said above, it is a sales technique that is used. A lot of corporations put a lot of fancy talk into their packaging and description to sell things to people. For example, Are you likely to buy a steaming , rancid, pile of [censored][censored][censored][censored] or a 100% biodegradable, planet friendly, made in the USA, safe for flushing byproduct of a high end steak dinner. Lol.
 

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I am an electrical engineer and i agree with all of the above. Yes. The windings of the motor are made of copper. Passing current through the windings creates a magnetic field that passes through the plasitc housing to the impeller which is a magnet. The field synchronizes with the impeller which spins it..
Actually, I think you may be incorrect. In many magnetically coupled pumps the motor actually drives permanent magnets which are coupled with the permanent magnet motor.

I originally thought that electrically generated magnetic fields were spinning the rotor. However, I don't know if that is true in all cases. Many actually spin a set of magnets that spin the pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Actually, I think you may be incorrect. In many magnetically coupled pumps the motor actually drives permanent magnets which are coupled with the permanent magnet motor.

I originally thought that electrically generated magnetic fields were spinning the rotor. However, I don't know if that is true in all cases. Many actually spin a set of magnets that spin the pump.
Thank you, this is an interesting drawing and one that I have often wished to find myself.

so a question (diverging slightly from the original post here but), if the impeller started to slow down, would you be able to speed it up by increasing the magnetism of the impeller magnet?
 

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so a question (diverging slightly from the original post here but), if the impeller started to slow down, would you be able to speed it up by increasing the magnetism of the impeller magnet?
Are you asking "if I placed a stronger magnet on the impeller, would it speed up?" If so, the answer is no. The reason is that the slip in this configuration should be minimal. If the magnet still exhibits magnetism, you should be spinning it. Your impeller is probably slowing down because there is increased friction. The actual energy required to drive aquarium pumps in minimal. These centrifugal pumps are not particularly good at developing increased pressure, but they are relatively simple.

The speed of an AC motor is typically synchronous with the frequency of incoming power. You shouldn't see this degrade over time and any degradation typically is right before failure. DC motors are different, in that speed is dependent on voltage. Since any DC power in our pumps would probably be generated with a simple diode bridge rectifier, I doubt you would see a decrease in DC voltage over time either. If other words, if your pump is "slowing down" my assumption would be that ANYTHING but the speed of the motor was causing this degradation. Increased friction in the impeller cavity, reduced volume of the impeller housing, reduced inlet or outlet diameter, etc would all be much more likely.

As a side note, I do not believe that this motor construction is used on all pumps. It should be feasible to simply generate a magnetic field to spin a permanent magnet rotor. In fact, this is how many simple DC motors work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Are you asking "if I placed a stronger magnet on the impeller, would it speed up?" If so, the answer is no. The reason is that the slip in this configuration should be minimal. If the magnet still exhibits magnetism, you should be spinning it. Your impeller is probably slowing down because there is increased friction. The actual energy required to drive aquarium pumps in minimal. These centrifugal pumps are not particularly good at developing increased pressure, but they are relatively simple.

The speed of an AC motor is typically synchronous with the frequency of incoming power. You shouldn't see this degrade over time and any degradation typically is right before failure. DC motors are different, in that speed is dependent on voltage. Since any DC power in our pumps would probably be generated with a simple diode bridge rectifier, I doubt you would see a decrease in DC voltage over time either. If other words, if your pump is "slowing down" my assumption would be that ANYTHING but the speed of the motor was causing this degradation. Increased friction in the impeller cavity, reduced volume of the impeller housing, reduced inlet or outlet diameter, etc would all be much more likely.

As a side note, I do not believe that this motor construction is used on all pumps. It should be feasible to simply generate a magnetic field to spin a permanent magnet rotor. In fact, this is how many simple DC motors work.
Well, what I was trying to ask was would the slowing down of the motor be related to the weakening of the magnetism of the impeller and therefore, would manually increasing the magnetism (by realigning the poles through constant combing with a stronger magnet) solve the issue. I guess, however, that the answer would be no.

Another issue I am facing is the Watt ratings; would a motor with a rated flow of 550 L/H using 15W be much stronger (in terms of maintaining the flow at various heights in the aquarium) than one rated at 500 L/H using 5W? Or is the 5W one simply more efficient?

Judging by the cover pictures, the 15W one has a larger motor head (and perhaps more room in the impeller cavity?) than the 5W one. I simply cannot decide between the two though the price seems to indicate that the 5W one is of higher quality(?) as it is priced higher.
 

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Well, what I was trying to ask was would the slowing down of the motor be related to the weakening of the magnetism of the impeller and therefore, would manually increasing the magnetism (by realigning the poles through constant combing with a stronger magnet) solve the issue. I guess, however, that the answer would be no.

Another issue I am facing is the Watt ratings; would a motor with a rated flow of 550 L/H using 15W be much stronger (in terms of maintaining the flow at various heights in the aquarium) than one rated at 500 L/H using 5W? Or is the 5W one simply more efficient?

Judging by the cover pictures, the 15W one has a larger motor head (and perhaps more room in the impeller cavity?) than the 5W one. I simply cannot decide between the two though the price seems to indicate that the 5W one is of higher quality(?) as it is priced higher.
Sorry for the late reply.
The higher wattage motor probably has more lift. I can't be sure though. Their could be numerous factors such as motor type. Different types of motors have different efficiency, but the difference is typically minimal. Are they both the same type of pump?

Sent from my Moto X via Tapatalk
 
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