The effect of Copper medication on my Clownfish brood stock

The effect of Copper medication on my Clownfish brood stock

Postby chaz » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:48 am

This is a brief over view of the after effects of Copper medication on my clown fish brood stock.

Back in January 2009 I had an outbreak of Whitespot in my systems, unfortunatly I had a kneejerk reaction and use T.M.C's Marine Cure ( copper based ) treatment to treat the infection. It worked, BUT the after effects are still being felt 10 months later.

I currently breed 3 types of clowns, true Percula, Commons, Ocellaris, and Black and Whites, Ocellaris ??

The after effects on the 3 types of clowns seem to be the same, only the time scale differs.

All pairs stopped spawning after the treatment, the true Percs were the 1st to start spawning after about 6 weeks, the B&W's after around 12 weeks, and the Commons after around 16 weeks.

The sequence of events seems to follow this patern,

The pairs start spawning, but only once a month, eggs would not hatch, only disappear during the incubation period.
When the pairs started to spawn every 2 weeks, some eggs would hatch, the larvae were small and would live for around 6-7 days, dying off around Meta.

Over the next few spawns, the larvae would get through Meta, but die off at around 12 days , then 15 days, until I could finally get them to around 20 days and ready to move into the Grow Out system.

Moving the juveniles into the Grow Out system brought another set of problems, my procedure for moving the juveniles has always been to link the Grow Out system via a 6mm air line, gravity feeding the water from the Grow Out system into the Larvae tank for a few days prior to netting the juveniles out and placing them in a tank in the Grow Out system, this system has worked for years.

Since using Copper, when moving the juveniles from the larvae tank into the Grow Out system using a net the fish would all die off in around 24 hours.
Not only would the new fish die, but any clowns that were already in that particular tank from a previous batch would also die !! Almost as if mass hysteria had broken out. Under the microscope all I could find was fraying of the edges of fins, no parasites were present. Emperor Cardinals were also placed in the tank with the affected clowns, they did not show any reaction at all, only the clowns in that tank would die, all the other tanks in the system would not be affected, not even a larvae tank directly linked by a 6mm syphon tube was affected.

I have found that I can move the juveniles by collecting them in a clear plastic tub and placing them into their new tank and they will survive .

It would appear that the Copper has affected the Immune system, or the Nervous system, or both.

Could this be why it is said that it is easier to breed off tank bred stock rather than wild caught stock, the tank bred fish may not have been exposed to any copper, or far less than wild stock held by importers and retailers who nearly all use copper in their holding systems ????

I hope my expereince will help others aviod these problems altogether, or help you through it.

Chaz.
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Re: The effect of Copper medication on my Clownfish brood stock

Postby FuEl » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:18 am

Hmm, have not experienced anything like this although I did use copper before. Just wondering, was the copper medication chelated or non-chelated?
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Re: The effect of Copper medication on my Clownfish brood stock

Postby larvalstage » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:45 pm

You might want to look into this article posted a while back in Advanced Aquarist. It examines the effects of copper on marine ornamentals

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/10/breeder
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Re: The effect of Copper medication on my Clownfish brood stock

Postby chaz » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:24 am

Hi,
We could do with a big sign up saying do not use copper on brood stock.

Chaz.
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Re: The effect of Copper medication on my Clownfish brood stock

Postby KathyL » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:36 am

My best broodstock pair were held in a copper treated tank at the store where I bought them. They did not spawn for about 2 years, because I did not ask them to. In other words, they were in my old display tank, and I was not looking to breed them, so they were sparsely fed. When I started to feed them massively, they started and have been reliably breeding for the past 3 or 4 years. So perhaps there is hope for copper treated fish, if you wait long enough.

Very interesting report, Chaz!
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Re: The effect of Copper medication on my Clownfish brood stock

Postby Luis A M » Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:03 pm

The paper sounds conclusive...
Only that most every breeder-hobbyist- wholesaler has been using copper for decades.and nobody noticed? :roll: Broodstock quitting spawning and pigmy angels dying?. :shock:
Even with that grain of salt,I will keep that in mind...
The best aproach is however to not need to use copper because we are serious with quarantine,etc.Because when you get a Amyloodinum outbreak,it is copper or all the fish dead.Reef tank keepers know how bad that is.
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