Ion exchange is considered to be one of the most cost effective methods if low cost ion exchangers such as natural zeolites are used in waste water treatment. In this study, a zeolitic tuff rich in clinoptilolite from Gordes Manisa Turkey was examined to evaluate its ion exchange performance for the removal of copper, nickel and cobalt ions from metal (II) nitrate solutions at various concentrations by performing both batch and packed column experiments. A clinoptilolite tuff with purity around 60% was used in ion exchange experiments. Copper, nickel and cobalt exchange capacities of the tuff were determined as 8.3 mg (0.26 meq) Cu(2+)/g, 6.6 mg (0.23 meq) Ni(2+)/g and 4.5 mg (0.15 meq) Co(2+)/g, respectively. The equilibrium behavior of the system was best described by classical Langmuir model. The experimental breakthrough curves from the column experiments were fitted to solid diffusion control model. The study showed that efficient metal ion removal can be done by using the local clinoptilolite rich tuff. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.