API Freshwater/Saltwater Copper Test Kit, Test kit of 90 tests

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Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, API, MARS Fishcare

Test reads 0 to 4 mg/L or parts per million (ppm) of copper. Helps to maintain a healthy aquarium or pond for fish by ensuring that copper (a common treatment for many parisitic infections) levels are within the healthy range. Test kit of 90 tests.

Importance of Testing for Copper
Copper is often used to treat many parasitic infections on fresh and saltwater fish. To be effective, the copper concentration in the aquarium must be maintained at the therapeutic level for several weeks. Frequent testing is required to monitor the copper level in the aquarium. Some fish species are very sensitive to copper treatments. Therefore, follow the copper treatment manufacturer’s directions carefully.

Copper should not be used or evident in aquariums with invertebrates, including snails, shrimp, crayfish and corals, as well as in freshwater aquariums or ponds with plants. Tap water may contain copper leached from pipes and, ultimately, it can accumulate in the aquarium.

Testing Tips
The Copper Test Kit reads the total copper level in parts per million (ppm) which are equivalent to milligrams per liter (mg/L) from 0 ppm (mg/L) to 4.0 ppm (mg/L). The Copper Test Kit works in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. The color chart provided with this test kit should be used to test for copper levels in fresh and saltwater aquariums and ponds.

Directions for Testing Copper Levels:

  • Read thoroughly before testing. Do not allow Test Solution to get into aquarium.
  • To remove childproof safety cap: With one hand, push red tab left with thumb while unscrewing cap with free hand.
    • Fill a clean test tube with 5 ml of water to be tested (to the line on the tube).
    • Add 10 drops of Copper Test Solution, holding dropper bottle upside down in a completely vertical position to assure uniformity of drops added to the water sample.
    • Cap the test tube and shake the tube for 5 seconds. Do not hold finger over the open end of the tube, as this may affect test results.
    • Wait one minute for the color to develop.
    • Remove the cap. Hold the test tube upright over the white area on the color chart and view the color of the solution by looking down from above (through the tube from top to bottom). Compare the color of the sample with the printed colors. Even a very faint color indicates the presence of copper.
    • The closest color match on the Copper Test Color Chart indicates the total ppm (mg/L) of total copper (free and chelated) in the water sample. Rinse the test tube with clean water after each use.
What the Results Mean
This kit measures the concentration of both free and chelated copper. Chelated copper compounds are very stable and will remain in solution for long periods of time. Free copper levels will decline rapidly and must be tested daily. If using copper as a medication, maintain the copper level recommended on the product label.

Reducing Copper Levels
To reduce the copper level, first conduct a partial water change and then add Bio-Chem Zorb®, (a combination of scavenger resins, ion exchange resins, and carbon adsorbents in a convenient pouch), to completely remove any residual copper left in the aquarium. If copper comes into the aquarium from your tap water, use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Tap Water Filter to remove all unwanted copper ions before adding water to your aquarium.

  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Eye contact: gently flush with water for at least 15 minutes. Remove contact lens, if present, after the first 5 minutes, then continue rinsing.
  • Skin contact: wash thoroughly with soap and water.
  • If swallowed, contact a physician or Poison Control Center immediately.

Manufacturer Info

Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Aquarium Supplies
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (API) has been helping people take good care of ornamental fish for over 40 years. Their research and development scientists have advanced the care of fish with all-natural medications, stable bacteria for biological filtration, one-bottle test kits, consumer-friendly dosing caps and much more. They’ve received over 25 global patents for their breakthrough innovations in the aquatics industry. And they continue to look for ways to improve the fishkeeping experience for hobbyists. Research. Experience. Dedication to scientific, quality treatment for healthy fish. It’s what makes API the first choice of aquarium owners. API manufactures and sells hundreds of products across many different product categories, including aquarium and pond treatments, aquarium equipment, aquariums and fish nutrition.



Experience Level: Intermediate

read the instructions

I also got the .5 reading after following the directions for coppersafe. I was only using the quick instructions on the color chart and looking at the side of the tube. The full instructions specify to remove the cap and look straight down. The test kit is accurate if used correctly.

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Experience Level: Intermediate

test kit

This test will detect copper but it is very tough to distinguish the colors. There is no way to use this test kit and get a messurment of the ideal copper level.

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Don't Waste Your Money

If you want anything near an accurate reading of copper, buy a different brand of test kit. Don't waste your money on this junk. I use API test kits for PH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate and after seeing how off this copper test kit is, I really have to wonder at the accuracy of API's other test kits as well. After dosing with Mardel's Copper Safe, exactly following their directions - 1 tsp. to 4 gals. of water, I tested my water. Dose should have given me 1.5 - 2.0 ppm copper. Test kit results read 0.5 ppm. To be sure that it wasn't my dosing, I filled a bucket that is marked for 2 gals. and added 1/2 tsp. Sure enough, instead of the 1.5-2.0 ppm that I should have had, the test kit again read 0.5 ppm. A big discrepancy, one that could kill your fish.

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Experience Level: Expert


When I need to test for copper, I use this API and Salifert in conjunction...just to be sure. I do wish the scale was easier to read but after several tests, you get the hang of it. I have successfully treated many fish in my QT using copper (Cupramine) thanks to this test kit.

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DBdataplus from

No a good choice

This is one kit tests both ionic and chelated copper, but the color chart is too washed out for ionic copper and the chelated copper tests at 2ppm and then 4ppm when 2.5ppm is needed :(

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