Risks of Copper Medication to Treat Fish Disease
Unbeknown to many consumers, most tropical fish stores routinely use toxic Copper medications in their holding systems and display tanks, in an attempt to protect their inventory from harmful parasite infestation and to treat certain fish diseases. Though perhaps well intentioned, the fact is these medications can often do more harm than good. While they can help to keep fish free of parasites for short periods of time and, under the right circumstances, prevent disease, the long-term effects of prolonged exposure to Copper can adversely effect the health and life-span of your purchase long after the fish is out of the store and in your possession.
As you will see in the following article published by the University of Florida in 2009 and updated in 2013, Copper medications can be effective IF PROPERLY USED, AT THE CORRECT CONCENTRATION, FOR THE PROPER DURATION, ON A SPECIE-, AND IN SOME CASES, INDIVIDUAL ANIMAL-SPECIFIC BASIS. Unfortunately, there is no such care given in most establishments and the Copper is applied in one (usually wrong) concentration, across the board and on a continuous basis. While this may keep their livestock looking healthy in the short term, the long-term effects (after the purchase has been made) can be chronic and life-shortening.
Life Aquatic is proud to say that we NEVER use Copper medications in our systems. Instead we rely on superior filtration and maintenance procedures to keep our water quality pristine. This in turn reduces stress on our fish and allows their own immune system to be robust and able to fight of most opportunistic infections.
Before purchasing a fish from anyone, be sure to ask if they use Copper in their systems. If you aren’t certain, ask them for a water sample from their systems which you can have tested to be sure. After all, it’s your hard-earned money being spent on your livestock purchases and you are entitled to know how they have been collected, housed and cared for.
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