Copper and other heavy metals VS Bacteria

Discussion in 'Advanced Topics' started by RiaanP, 6 Jun 2016.

  1. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    What is the impact of copper in our tanks? Plus some other heavy metals and their effect on the bacterial colony in our systems.

    We all know the importance of the bacterial colony and we rely heavily on bacteria to help and sustain our glass boxes. But do we really know what would be the impact on our bacterial colony when we add heavy metals, focusing on copper. We all know that copper have been promoted as one of the cures for whitespot. Some local fish store might have warnings up on their tanks that the tank is copper treated.

    The following are tests done to check the ability of bacteria to grow in heavy metal polluted waters. Although these experiments was done on freshwater, marine bacteria would react the same in most cases. Experiments were done on different solutions, 10 to the power of 0 is undiluted. 10^1 is tests done at a 10% dilution. The 10% dilution would help in the actual identification of the different bacteria and their counts as some colonies are lost during the dilution. The result set below are all at 2.5 milliMolar metal concentration. The full experiment was done on 1, 2.5 and 5mM. All the experiments were duplicated, so we got a double result set. This is only part of a much bigger experiment. We are only looking at one collection point and one set of tests. The following tests comes from the same sample of water.

    First Copper Cu
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Here all the bacteria growth is inhibited. One some other sites and on other dilution some growth were found, although in comparison to the other metals almost negligible.

    Iron Fe
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Some very nice bacterial growth. Interesting colors for those into this type of thing. A lot less growth on the diluted dish on the right.

    Lead Pb
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Again a lot of growth, two very nice colonies on the right.

    Zinc Zn
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Lots of growth on the undiluted dish.

    Out of these heavy metals it is rather obvious that copper does limit bacterial growth compared to the other metals.

    Just something to think about.
    What would happen to our biological filtration when we add a copper to treat for whitespot? Our bacteria colonies in our liverock and our DSB?
    Its obvious that the impact of the other metals differ a lot from copper.

    Petri_Cu_100.JPG

    Petri_Cu_101.JPG

    Petri_Fe_100.JPG

    Petri_Fe_101.JPG

    Petri_Pb_100.JPG

    Petri_Pb_101.JPG

    Petri_Zn_100.JPG

    Petri_Zn_101.JPG
     
    tekkengal, 2una, Asheen and 1 other person like this.
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  3. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    Some interesting food for thought... Tx for sharing
     
  4. CameL

    CameL

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    Last edited: 7 Jun 2016
  5. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead

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    Is there any benefit it trying to cycle a QT or maintain a biological filter in it if you going to copper it?
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    Now we are starting to think deeper. My question as well.
     
  7. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Thanks for sharing!
    I wonder how copper will affect the bacteria in a fish's gut when they are quarantined in a copper solution? Should they also then not need some sort of probiotic after a copper treatment?
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2016
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