• Amused
  • Angry
  • Annoyed
  • Awesome
  • Bemused
  • Cocky
  • Cool
  • Crazy
  • Crying
  • Depressed
  • Down
  • Drunk
  • Embarrased
  • Enraged
  • Friendly
  • Geeky
  • Godly
  • Happy
  • Hateful
  • Hungry
  • Innocent
  • Meh
  • Piratey
  • Poorly
  • Sad
  • Secret
  • Shy
  • Sneaky
  • Tired
  • Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
    Results 1 to 20 of 51

    Thread: Using copper pipe for heat exchanger

    1. #1
      hp is offline Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Nov 2016
      Location
      Seattle, WA
      Posts
      128

      Using copper pipe for heat exchanger

      I remember reading somewhere in here that copper is toxic for koi. A friend of mine uses copper pipe for heat exchanger to warm up his koi pond. We both talked about this potential risk but we are not sure if this occur at what conditions?

      1. In what condition would this create a toxic environment for koi (such as pH, kH level)?
      2. Is there a minimum level that starts to be toxic (ppm)?
      3. Is there a symptom that he should watch for?
      4. Is there a way to measure copper level?

      Any inputs for everyone is appreciated.

      Thanks,
      hp.

    2. #2
      kdh's Avatar
      kdh is online now Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Feb 2011
      Location
      redding.california
      Posts
      7,376

    3. #3
      KoiRun's Avatar
      KoiRun is offline Senior Member
      is ready for winter
       
      Feeling:
      Shy
       
      Join Date
      Nov 2015
      Location
      Mississauga, Ontario
      Posts
      1,014
      Good article from kdh above (as usual).
      Bacteria, algae, and higher life forms in your filter largely use copper as a cofactor for their enzyme activity.
      I sometimes use hot water during water changes in winter that can have copper levels anywhere from .4 to 1ppm (our cold water also contains copper). But I don't worry about it because I know my filters can adsorb/absorb it. I also use prime that can detoxify trace amounts of heavy metals. Occasionally I test my pond water for copper (should always read zero) and this is what I use:

      https://www.amazon.com/Industrial-Te...er+test+strips

      Edit: In terms of using a copper heat exchanger to heat up a pond - no comment (safe or not).
      Last edited by KoiRun; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:47 AM.

    4. #4
      kdh's Avatar
      kdh is online now Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Feb 2011
      Location
      redding.california
      Posts
      7,376
      Quote Originally Posted by KoiRun View Post
      Good article from kdh above (as usual).
      Bacteria, algae, and higher life forms in your filter largely use copper as a cofactor for their enzyme activity.
      I sometimes use hot water during water changes in winter that can have copper levels anywhere from .4 to 1ppm (our cold water also contains copper). But I don't worry about it because I know my filters can adsorb/absorb it. I also use prime that can detoxify trace amounts of heavy metals. Occasionally I test my pond water for copper (should always read zero) and this is what I use:

      https://www.amazon.com/Industrial-Te...er+test+strips
      This is a pretty good one on the subject from K.O.I

      https://koiorganisationinternational...ion-generation

    5. #5
      KoiRun's Avatar
      KoiRun is offline Senior Member
      is ready for winter
       
      Feeling:
      Shy
       
      Join Date
      Nov 2015
      Location
      Mississauga, Ontario
      Posts
      1,014
      Quote Originally Posted by kdh View Post
      This is a pretty good one on the subject from K.O.I

      https://koiorganisationinternational...ion-generation
      Yep pretty good article, but can someone explain this which is from that article "Alkalinity reduces (but does not neutralize) copper toxicity because alkalinity combines with copper to form less toxic compounds. "

    6. #6
      koiman1950's Avatar
      koiman1950 is offline Senior Member ~ Koi Health Care Committee Member
      is semi retired
       
      Feeling:
      Tired
       
      Join Date
      Feb 2008
      Location
      San Jose, Ca
      Posts
      19,472
      The simple answer is no and has been no for as long as I've been around the hobby. Do NOT use copper pipe coil in a heat exchanger in a fish pond. It can/will kill your fish!
      Mike

      check out our website at: http://www.pond-life.net



      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

    7. #7
      hp is offline Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Nov 2016
      Location
      Seattle, WA
      Posts
      128
      Thanks you everyone for the information and input!

      hp.

    8. #8
      BWG is online now Senior Member
      is 999875421235621456478541.1
       
      Feeling:
      Happy
       
      Join Date
      Mar 2013
      Location
      ZONE 5
      Posts
      2,572
      If you convert to plastic it takes 4 to 6 times more outside surface area of the plastic tube to equal the thermal conductivity of copper tube.

      Personally I would never use copper pipe in a koi pond just because of the unknown. If you look at published research it is debatable and inconsistent the effect of copper pipe exposure in pond water and koi health.

    9. #9
      Russell Peters's Avatar
      Russell Peters is offline Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Dec 2007
      Location
      people vehemently defend their purchases and find it incredulous that anything could be better
      Posts
      24,755
      The problem with all of this is that none of these sources, nor anyone here, really know for sure if the copper in a heat exchanger really is toxic to Koi. Granted, copper is toxic to Koi but, is the copper in the heat exchanger toxic to Koi. Maybe...does it depend on water chemistry, does it depend on the time of day...I have NEVER seen any conclusive information on this from any source. I have read about lakes that have copper levels that should kill fish just by looking at it yet it doesn't. What is the right combination? I don't know. What I do know is this, I have been using copper heat exchangers, to heat my Koi ponds, for over 10 years. I have never had an issue.


      For every one that says they would never use a copper pipe in a Koi pond I say this, you are probably adding water to your pond from your house tap which is copper. Why are your Koi still alive?
      people like to vehemently defend their purchases and find it incredulous that anything could be better

    10. #10
      kevin32's Avatar
      kevin32 is online now Senior Member
      is chillin
       
      Feeling:
      Friendly
       
      Join Date
      Aug 2014
      Location
      brentwood ca. up north
      Posts
      4,550
      Quote Originally Posted by Russell Peters View Post
      The problem with all of this is that none of these sources, nor anyone here, really know for sure if the copper in a heat exchanger really is toxic to Koi. Granted, copper is toxic to Koi but, is the copper in the heat exchanger toxic to Koi. Maybe...does it depend on water chemistry, does it depend on the time of day...I have NEVER seen any conclusive information on this from any source. I have read about lakes that have copper levels that should kill fish just by looking at it yet it doesn't. What is the right combination? I don't know. What I do know is this, I have been using copper heat exchangers, to heat my Koi ponds, for over 10 years. I have never had an issue.


      For every one that says they would never use a copper pipe in a Koi pond I say this, you are probably adding water to your pond from your house tap which is copper. Why are your Koi still alive?
      i was going to going to chime in about your heater. yours did work very well. I guess i should also replace all my copper pipe in my house and switch to pex for my kois sake lol

    11. #11
      coolwon is online now Senior Member
      is Garfield is my name DIY is my
      game
       
      Feeling:
      Cool
       
      Join Date
      Feb 2016
      Location
      Durban South Africa
      Posts
      547
      Does water dissolve the inside of your copper plumbing pipes?

      With the right condition's it can corrode the outside.

      Garfield
      Find more about Weather in Durban, ZA

    12. #12
      Russell Peters's Avatar
      Russell Peters is offline Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Dec 2007
      Location
      people vehemently defend their purchases and find it incredulous that anything could be better
      Posts
      24,755
      Quote Originally Posted by coolwon View Post
      Does water dissolve the inside of your copper plumbing pipes?

      With the right condition's it can corrode the outside.

      Garfield
      I would assume, in very acidic water, it could corrode the inside of your pipes and become an issue but I would think the low pH would get to your fish before the copper does.
      people like to vehemently defend their purchases and find it incredulous that anything could be better

    13. #13
      hp is offline Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Nov 2016
      Location
      Seattle, WA
      Posts
      128
      Thanks Russ. It’s good not know there are people using copper for heat exchanger.

      What I get out from this thread, reference articles, and other reading is that coper can be toxic for koi at certain conditions/environments (which is still unknown). There are still a lot unknown and require more research. The question one should ask is do we want to take the risk?

      I did told him to check and keep the kH up to maintain the pH above 7.0 so that the water is not acidic. I’ll ask him to look into the prime for heavy metal. This should be easy to do and give him a peace of mind. It’s rainy and cold now, any major modification will probably have to wait until next year.

      He uses wood stove and I think this would be a good replacement for him. It requires initial investment.

      https://www.cedartubsdirect.com/wood...blf03jgmkje9j3

      Thanks,
      hp

    14. #14
      kdh's Avatar
      kdh is online now Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Feb 2011
      Location
      redding.california
      Posts
      7,376
      I found this on the internet.


      Top 9 Causes Of Copper Corrosion Problems

      Low pH (acid water less than 7.0)
      High pH (alkaline water greater than 8.5)
      High levels of dissolved oxygen
      High levels of salts dissolved in the water (total dissolved solids)
      Corrosion-causing bacteria such as sulfate or iron bacteria
      Electrochemical causes, such as improper grounding of electrical appliances to the copper piping, and/or lightning strikes through utility poles grounding wires
      High velocity of water, relative to size of piping, causing hydraulic wear on the piping, sometimes found in circulating hot water systems using pumps
      Sand, sediment or other grit in the water causing hydraulic wear on the piping
      Improper installation of copper piping by failure to properly de-burr or ream the ends of the pipe and/or the use of excessive acid flux when soldering the pipes.

      I remember reading an article of a koi health issue from a koi vet. I do not remember the symptoms of the koi but it was not good. The koi vet had a hard time figuring out what the problem was. They finally figured out that the koi keeper had used a few copper pipe elbows in his build. Problem solved.

    15. #15
      hp is offline Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Nov 2016
      Location
      Seattle, WA
      Posts
      128
      Quote Originally Posted by kdh View Post
      I found this on the internet.


      Top 9 Causes Of Copper Corrosion Problems

      Low pH (acid water less than 7.0)
      High pH (alkaline water greater than 8.5)
      High levels of dissolved oxygen
      High levels of salts dissolved in the water (total dissolved solids)
      Corrosion-causing bacteria such as sulfate or iron bacteria
      Electrochemical causes, such as improper grounding of electrical appliances to the copper piping, and/or lightning strikes through utility poles grounding wires
      High velocity of water, relative to size of piping, causing hydraulic wear on the piping, sometimes found in circulating hot water systems using pumps
      Sand, sediment or other grit in the water causing hydraulic wear on the piping
      Improper installation of copper piping by failure to properly de-burr or ream the ends of the pipe and/or the use of excessive acid flux when soldering the pipes.

      I remember reading an article of a koi health issue from a koi vet. I do not remember the symptoms of the koi but it was not good. The koi vet had a hard time figuring out what the problem was. They finally figured out that the koi keeper had used a few copper pipe elbows in his build. Problem solved.
      Thanks Kirk for the very good information. He uses around 50ft copper pipe for heat exchanger. That is a looooot more than a few elbows used for plumping.

      hp.

    16. #16
      koiman1950's Avatar
      koiman1950 is offline Senior Member ~ Koi Health Care Committee Member
      is semi retired
       
      Feeling:
      Tired
       
      Join Date
      Feb 2008
      Location
      San Jose, Ca
      Posts
      19,472
      Quote Originally Posted by kdh View Post
      I found this on the internet.


      Top 9 Causes Of Copper Corrosion Problems

      Low pH (acid water less than 7.0)
      High pH (alkaline water greater than 8.5)
      High levels of dissolved oxygen
      High levels of salts dissolved in the water (total dissolved solids)
      Corrosion-causing bacteria such as sulfate or iron bacteria
      Electrochemical causes, such as improper grounding of electrical appliances to the copper piping, and/or lightning strikes through utility poles grounding wires
      High velocity of water, relative to size of piping, causing hydraulic wear on the piping, sometimes found in circulating hot water systems using pumps
      Sand, sediment or other grit in the water causing hydraulic wear on the piping
      Improper installation of copper piping by failure to properly de-burr or ream the ends of the pipe and/or the use of excessive acid flux when soldering the pipes.

      I remember reading an article of a koi health issue from a koi vet. I do not remember the symptoms of the koi but it was not good. The koi vet had a hard time figuring out what the problem was. They finally figured out that the koi keeper had used a few copper pipe elbows in his build. Problem solved.
      Hmmm!
      Mike

      check out our website at: http://www.pond-life.net



      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

    17. #17
      kimini is online now Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Oct 2007
      Location
      SoCal
      Posts
      849
      Another thing that'll destroy copper pipes is if the bonehead builder didn't sleeve the pipes in/under the concrete foundation. The moisture and lime will destroy the pipes from the outside in. It'll take decades, but it's still doomed.

      As was briefly mentioned above, what about all the koi owners who top off their pond through a hose connected to the house (and therefore copper) piping and never have any issues. I think the issue likely has many components to it and isn't as simple as "copper = dead fish"

    18. #18
      montwila's Avatar
      montwila is offline Senior Member ~ Koi Health Care Committee Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Aug 2009
      Location
      Auburn, WA.
      Posts
      2,169
      The one instance that I know about where copper was the actual culprit was a single down spout drain from the gutters drained down a chain into a large koi pond. The fish always had problems that came and went. Eventually the water was tested and copper was found at readable levels. The down spout was diverted and the fish got better. This was in an area of the country that does not receive much rain.

      Yes, I have copper piping in my house. I have to believe that a single pass through the house is much different than multiple passes each day through 50' of copper coiling.
      On the flip side many people do make their own heating system. They often include some copper fittings and piping.

      I think it would come down to the husbandry skills of the pond and owner AND the amount of exposure. Weeks or years.
      However if you can measure any copper with an API kit I would suspect that is too much.
      Last edited by montwila; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:36 PM.

    19. #19
      BWG is online now Senior Member
      is 999875421235621456478541.1
       
      Feeling:
      Happy
       
      Join Date
      Mar 2013
      Location
      ZONE 5
      Posts
      2,572
      Any water from roof downspouts is a potential problem. Mineral roofs slowly leach materials and the roof collects whatever pollutants, debree and dust the wind brings in. Not an issue for a large body of water but concentrated in a small koi pond.

    20. #20
      kdh's Avatar
      kdh is online now Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Feb 2011
      Location
      redding.california
      Posts
      7,376
      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      Hmmm!
      Not here to argue or have you give your opinion on a issue you know nothing about. I have no skin in the game nor do I care. If you want to put copper in your pond. Go for it. If you like I well spend some time trying to find the article. Than you can argue with the koi vet.

      This story was written by a vet. It was based on a larger article of some of the complexities that can occur diagnosing fish issues. It was a very good article. It was also about asking the proper questions with issues of koi.

      Other articles about copper

      http://www.mankysanke.co.uk/html/copper_in_algeacides.

      html http://www.koifishponds.com/copper.htm

    Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •