Seachem Prime--Does it make testing Nitrate levels impossible? Also, how long - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Seachem Prime--Does it make testing Nitrate levels impossible? Also, how long

do you usually wait after adding ferts (nitrate & phos specifically) before the amount will show in a test?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 12:45 AM
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no problem

If I am testing, I test my tank before I do a water change, so I know how much water to change if it is a fish only tank or how much nitrate to add if it is a planted tank.

I don't ever bother to test after the addition, once I know I mixed the formula correctly. So, when I was first mixing the phosphates I did test after, to check my numbers, but never after that.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 01:01 AM
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What specific in Prime makes testing NO3 hard? Not sure I understand this part.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalu
What specific in Prime makes testing NO3 hard? Not sure I understand this part.
B/c Prime "detoxifies ... Nitrate" according to their marketing materials.

It also detoxifies ammonia into ammonium, rendering it unmeasurable in an ammonia test.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 03:38 AM
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You have to add a lot of Prime to a tank to impact the nitrate. When used at normal dosing levels it doesn't affect nitrates.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John P.
B/c Prime "detoxifies ... Nitrate" according to their marketing materials.

It also detoxifies ammonia into ammonium, rendering it unmeasurable in an ammonia test.
That depends on the sort of ammonia test, Salicylate tests (2 bottles of reagent) will show only the "harmful" ammonia, Nessler tests (1 bottle of reagent) will show total ammonia.

I don't know if nitrate tests are similar, with a total number or just an "available" number.

Should be easy to test, but I suspect that it will show a total, mostly because there has never been any discussion of this on APD or the Krib that I've read, so it is probably not an issue at all. Based on that, I say forgettaboutit.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 03:34 PM
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Yeah, I don't have a bottle of Prime in front of me, since i'm at work, but I think you have to dose Prime at 5x the 'normal' dose to detoxify nitrates and heavy metals.
So if you're only dosing Prime at 1mL per 10gallons, it shouldn't have much of an effect on your nitrate levels.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 04:26 PM
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Sunday night starting about 9pm, I did a 30% water change, refilled, then added an entire tank volume dose of prime. Then did a full test of the tank and dosed nitrates, some K and phosphates accordingly. My Sunday test I had about 5 ppm nitrates and between 0 and .5 ppm phosphates after the water change. My Friday test values were inline with the Sunday test. When I tested Monday morning 7am, everything was within my expected post dose values. So I feel that I did not see any Prime realted change to my values.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 02:06 AM
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nitrate?

Dude read the bottle again it says it detoxes Nitrites not Nitrates at a 5x dose. It works very well in emergencies but you need a seachem test kit for ammonia it will cause bizarre readings with some other brands of tst kits epecially tetra.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 04:05 AM
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Well, the instrucitons on Prime are pretty weird. It says to use 1 mL per 10 gallons of water. Then it says you can use 5x the normal dose to detoxify nitrite in an emergency. HOWEVER, then it says you should always use a half dose if you have low ammonia levels and the water temperature is above 86°F / 30°C.

I e-mailed them asking them to confirm/clarify this, and they replied, "I recommend to use a half dose of the original instructions (1 ml per 10 gallons). Half of that would be 1 ml per 20 gallons. Prime is broken down and biologically consumed in a 24 hour period so it is safe to dose every 24 hours. The half dose listed above is enough to detoxify small amounts of nitrite in emergency situations and offer a 24 hour window to allow for more permanent actions (like performing enough partial water exchanges to correct the situation)."

According to their FAQ, they say that they don't know the exact scientific theory on how Prime is able to detoxify nitrite and nitrate. They hadn't actually planned on Prime being able to do this, but they base the fact that it does detoxify nitrite and nitrate on multiple confirmed reports and from their own testing that fishs' stress "seems aleviated" after dosing in the range of up to 5x the recommended level.

http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/Prime_faq.html

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 06:48 PM
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FYI: its half dose above 86F, not below 80F

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2006, 11:50 AM
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I know this is an old thread - but wanted to post my observation of this from last night.

I did a NO3 test before my 50% waterchange - 10ppm. After the water change I dosed 15ppm of nitrate (per chuck's calculator). A few minutes latter I did another no3 test, -0- ppm. I dosed 5cc of prime. I had dosed most of that from a solution - I tested the solution - it was blood red (I dosed the correct bottle )

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2006, 01:53 PM
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Was wondering about this. Can't accurately measure nitrates using the Nutrafin test kit for about a day after a water change with Prime. Color development starts without even adding the third reagent. I'd always just assumed it was the Prime that was causing the problem but never bothered to check.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2006, 02:39 PM
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I am just a little worried about a second issue - I do not know how prime works, but I fear I have been effectivly nutralizing a lot of my prime with NO3. I have had several shrimp kills that were unexplained - but feared they were PO4 of cholrine related. This might explaine why an otherwise effective dose of prime was not enough.

Easy fix though, I will no longer fertilze as part of my water change. I will wait for a minimum of several hrs (more likely to the next morning) from now on.

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