Overdosing Seachem Prime, Oxygen depletion, and one huge rookie mistake
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:58 PM   #1
msawdey
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Overdosing Seachem Prime, Oxygen depletion, and one huge rookie mistake


(PS this may be better moved to general discussion)


So i recently started a new full time position that has definitely consumed most of my life, so naturally, my tanks have suffered.

I regularly change water every 2 weeks in my 50. I have tons of filtration on it with loads of bio so i can usually get away with no issues (i admit my tank is greatly overstocked, but i cant help myself sometimes). My 50 has gone over 4 weeks without a change

2 days ago, I noticed one of my SAEs developed dropsy. I haven't had dropsy in ages. When I tested nitrates, they were pretty high so I figured the next day i would change out 70% of my water.

Well, I got home, changed the water and put in prime. (this is where i went wrong) I remember not paying attention, as my gf was distracting me with her rabbit running around the apartment, so i just dosed a little of the Prime out of the bottle. When i did it, i realized too much went into the tank and just sloughed it off thinking it wouldnt be a big deal. The tank is only 50 gallons so i changed out probably 35 gallons of water. Thinking back now, I definitely over dosed

I woke this morning to find half of my fish dead and the other half gasping for air. The tank is all on timers and my co2 has a solenoid. I immediately went into panic mode and ran to get my python to pull water out purely on instinct.

Well, I figured out it was the prime that caused a massive oxygen depletion
http://www.seachem.com/support/forum...ead.php?t=2803

I cant believe i am even admitting to this idiotic mistake on this forum, but I want this to serve as an example for newcomers as a mistake to never make..

The water is oxygenating while i am at work all day, So hopefully the rest of the fish are good when i get home tonight

All in all I lost:
3 out of 6 angels (the 2 of the 3 that were alive this morning were my prized angels thank god)
3 out of 5 bolvian rams
4 out of 5 SAEs
and 1 out of 8 cories

most of these fish i have had for over 2 years with the only recent addition being 2 small angels
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
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That sucks, sorry for your loss.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:13 PM   #3
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The link you provided makes it seem unlikely that your fish died from a Prime overdose unless you really REALLY overdosed it. But you mentioned that the fish appeared to have "dropsy". If they did have dropsy (a bacterial infection), then changing the water alone would not save them, you would need antibiotics.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear that.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikinibottom View Post
The link you provided makes it seem unlikely that your fish died from a Prime overdose unless you really REALLY overdosed it. But you mentioned that the fish appeared to have "dropsy". If they did have dropsy (a bacterial infection), then changing the water alone would not save them, you would need antibiotics.
you are right that dropsy is a bacterial infection, which was caused by the poor water conditions, thus the water change. I run a UV filter so I am not too concerned about spread to others and when I saw that the (ONE)fish had it, I removed him immediately.

I do believe that I really did "over"dose. I truthfully did not even think twice last night when it happened. Its extremely embarrassing as I am in the health science field and have taken graduate level chem classes... i know better. But as the rep from seachem said, a high overdose can cause oxygen depletion. When I found them this morning, those that were alive were gasping for air. I of course put two and two together at that point.

I wanted my experience to serve as a warning for others. I will NEVER pour straight from the bottle again
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:03 PM   #6
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Really hard to OD prime. You could have added like 10x dosage and it would have been okay. Are you sure your tap water wasn't too cold?
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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Really hard to OD prime. You could have added like 10x dosage and it would have been okay. Are you sure your tap water wasn't too cold?
Prime website says 1 capful for every 50 gallons of water.... I poured from the bottle pretty much guaranteeing that I overdosed. (this is pointed at me... not you)

The fish were also gasping for air in the morning. Pretty good indication that there was no O2 in the water and that those that did die, it was from suffucation. The worst part for me besides being an idiot, is that I noticed my air pump went out and I didnt notice. So there was already reduced gas exchange compared to normal (what they are used to). So being that their was only water and prime placed into the tank during the water exchange, it lead me to my assumption about prime

I know the water couldnt have been too cold because I had my arm in the tank as it was filling, there was probably a 10 degree drop from 75 to 65 in the tank water to what was being filled, but that wouldnt kill my fish.

My girlfriend is at home today off work, so I have called her at leeast 4 times in the last 6 hours to see how they are. She is a marine biologist, so obviously knows her fish, and says that they all look 10 times better, so clearly the water oxygenation is working
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:10 PM   #8
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next day update:

I went home to find the rest of the inhabitants still alive and doing well again. I refilled the tank as I had taken water out of manually aerate the water.

Lesson definitely learned. I am still pretty devastated regarding two of the angels.... one was my constantly egg laying female (her big male is still alive) and the other was one of my males who did not have a pair.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:27 PM   #9
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I lost half my stock one day in a similar fashion - it was my tap (well) water. Good water (way low on all numbers, very soft) BUT it turns out that it is very high in Co2 and low O2. Did a more that 50% water change and fish started dropping.


I run an airstone during WC now and haven't had any issues since.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jbrady33 View Post
I lost half my stock one day in a similar fashion - it was my tap (well) water. Good water (way low on all numbers, very soft) BUT it turns out that it is very high in Co2 and low O2. Did a more that 50% water change and fish started dropping.


I run an airstone during WC now and haven't had any issues since.
ya... i considered this also, but i have very hard water (gotta love so cal).... but being that my air pump was out, I do think that if it had been running, i may have saved a few... im still sad
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:47 AM   #11
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70% is a really big change. There could have been high amounts of dissolved CO2 in that large amount of water . Sometimes there is a lot of dissolved O2 in tap water pending on conditions & how the distribution operates. Can explain massive pearling on plants right after water changes. But if there was too much dissolved CO2 + you were dosing CO2 & if it was later in the day or worse yet towards the tail end of dosing CO2 your levels could have gone over 40 -50 ppms of CO2 which could kill fish fast , but not all fish in all cases. The smarter ones could get enough O2 from the surface if they made it in time.
No my money is not on the Prime even though I do not like it. Its on CO2 overdose between fertilization & dissolved tap CO2. You probably would have noticed massive scratch & flashing going on if too much prime was the cause. Dropsy would kill your fish more slowly sometimes a little fast but 90% of the time they die very slowly, sometimes hanging on for weeks or even months.
You should keep your fish # down as well. its not fare to them being concentrated + they will produce even more CO2 into the water. My 2 cents
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:49 AM   #12
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I apparently am in the minority who thinks that Prime very well could have been the source of the problem, but also think you should very carefully go over all your CO2 equipment if you're also running CO2 on this tank.

Just to be on the safe side.

Sorry for all your losses :'(
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I apparently am in the minority who thinks that Prime very well could have been the source of the problem, but also think you should very carefully go over all your CO2 equipment if you're also running CO2 on this tank.

Just to be on the safe side.

Sorry for all your losses :'(
co2 was not on and the water change that was done was done with water that sat for at least a day...... it had to have been the prime. There are a few articles i googled on this very topic
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