2nd hand tank (fresh water)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. 1160 views

  • Posts: 3
  • Liked: 0
  • Thanks Given: 0
  • Received: 0
  • Location: Perth

I have a freshwater tropical tank and i am looking to give marines a go. I have a decent sized used tank (used for fresh). Guy in the local shop tells me it is a huge risk to use this tank if it has had copper in it in its past. The copper will be from treatments used in the tank over the years. Guy told me it can come off the glass and leach out of the silicon.

How big a risk is this before I get started?



  • Tim
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 2,659
  • Liked: 704
  • Thanks Given: 359
  • Received: 587
  • Location: Camberley
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/tims-first-and-last-upgrade/msg42396/#msg42396

Reply #1

Hi if it has had a lot of copper treatments over the years then I could be a risk to inverts and corals.

You could fill it with salt water, heater and circulation pump for a month or 2 and the get a copper test kit to see if it has leached.



  • Andy
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 1,510
  • Liked: 585
  • Thanks Given: 204
  • Received: 359
  • Problems: 99
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/andy's-85l-nano/new/#new

Reply #2

Good advice from Tim there, another option is to get an ICP test,  generally they can read to a lower level more accurately than a test kit.

For example, the lethal copper level for coral is between 10 and 100 PPB depending on the coral. This is right at the limit of detection for the Seachem Copper kit I have.


  • AbyssWare.eu
  • Posts: 30
  • Liked: 37
  • Thanks Given: 11
  • Received: 3

Reply #3

I dont think copper can be absorbed by glass - actually glass is chemically neutral and is the main reason is used to store all kind of crazy chemicals :)

Silicone is another story and this can; But exposed silicone in a tank is minimal. Consider also cycle of tank and all huge water changes will come until you will add really sensitive creatures;
My first saltwater tank was also my old freshwater and never had any issue;

If is really a concern, before adding sps in it can send a water sample to Triton or such labs to have a really accurate test
Tank : Red Sea Reefer 350
Skimmer : Bubble Magus Curve 7
Light : AbyssWare OrionX-90
Flow -


  • Graeme
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 6,440
  • Liked: 1868
  • Thanks Given: 489
  • Received: 1561
  • Location: Newcastle
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/graeme's-6x2x2-840l/

Reply #4

I wonder if this is an old wives tale, or whether it has any evidence behind it?  I really don't know.  I have used an old freshwater tank that I used copper in, but I use it as a quarantine tank for fish, so it's a benefit if anything.
Have we helped you? Want to help the site keep on running? Donate to the running of ReefBase


  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 2,081
  • Liked: 553
  • Thanks Given: 771
  • Received: 412
  • Location: Highlands
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/gav's-aqua-oak/

Reply #5

I had freshwater setup in my own tank , I washed the tank thoroughly with RO water and filled , left to sit overnight and rinsed out with RO after washing , I bought a copper test kit and tested throughout the cycle and still test every so often . I
The test has always been 0 .
I used the salifert test kit as it tests to very low levels


Related Topics

4 Replies
Last post Nov 6, 2015 1:32:37 pm
by Mike
7 Replies
Last post Dec 24, 2015 9:03:45 pm
by Mike
15 Replies
Last post Mar 22, 2016 11:47:12 pm
by BigShort
7 Replies
Last post Jun 29, 2016 12:10:29 pm
by romperstomper
11 Replies
Last post May 22, 2019 3:21:22 pm
by MarineMed

Donate towards the running of ReefBase

Donate £1.00 Donate £2.50 Donate £5.00 Donate £10.00 Donate £20.00 Donate another value