Prime vs Tetra safestart and other water conditioners - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Prime vs Tetra safestart and other water conditioners

I use to use Prime but this past trip to my LFS I bought some Tetra Safestart (went with the cheaper price). I'm thinking it was the wrong move as I have lost 7 out of my 11 Apisto Caca fry and one of my Apisto Inka females after a water change. I went with my usual 25% WC in my fry tank yesterday and today I woke up to find two dead Caca fry. As the day went by they slowly started dropping like flies. I thought it was some parasite or something so I moved them all to a quarantine tank, cranked up the heat to above 88 degrees but they still kept dying. They showed no signs of disease on the outside so I assumed it was internal. It began with the fish moving to a corner, staying there, turning dark, then begins to breathe heavy, and finally they struggle for air and die. I asked a buddy and he said that during the winter there is a higher amount of chlorine in our water since it sits from not being used as much. In the summer more water is used so the amounts of chlorine aren't so high. When he began raising fish he had a bunch of Angels die around this time also. Said it was due to the high levels of chlorine. I'd be pretty pissed if that was the cause of their deaths. He said always use Prime, just a better over all water conditioner. Has anyone ever had this happen to them, is Prime really that good? Any help would be appreciated guys
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 12:54 AM
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Personally the only conditioner I use on my freshwater tanks is the Tetra Aquasafe "Safestart", and I've never once lost a fish because of it. I've even tried to overdose fish with it to see if they'd die, and didn't happen. The only time I'll use prime is for my saltwater tanks, and that's it.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 01:04 AM
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prime in my opinion is the best I buy in bulk though 2liters or more so in the end i'm paying less with something i've used and trust that will last a very long time
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 01:14 AM
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seachem makes a dry product called Safe.. it's probably one of the cheapest per gallon of treated water... when you buy liquid dechlor, you're paying mainly for water and plastic...


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 01:26 AM
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+1 on safe, low cost per usage. Snuffy317
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 01:40 AM
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I think your friend is missing some of the thinking on chlorine in water supply if you are on any type of regulated system. If this a private well which is not monitored by the state or a full fledged system serving more than a few houses? If it is a private system, there can be all kinds of weird people running it.
If it is a regulated system the chlorine will not vary far enough to kill fish if any dechlor product is used as directed.

Looking at the way chlorine works the opposite of what he is saying is true. Chlorine reacts with organics. The longer it sets in the pipes, the more it finds to react with, including the steel in pipes. The big worry when setting the amount of chlorine to use in vacation and summer use places is not that the chlorine will set and get too strong but that it will set and degrade as it reacts with things in the pipe, letting the remaining bacteria grow to dangerous levels.

I worked a community water system on a lake in SW Missouri which served many summer home lake places. In the early spring , we had to go around and drain water from dead-end pipes to make sure there was fresh chlorine brought in. If we didn't do this we would get bad water tests from those test points due to a lack of chlorine residual. If you let this happen, you get a few chances to shape up or be shut down.

Chlorine is often injected into the water as it is pumped using a small injector system. When "X" amount of water is pumped "Y" amount of chlorine is added. The pump settings are set by the state health department looking at the test water samples taken throughout the system.
If you are not on a private system, do a check for the required water quality report for your water company. It will tell you the average chlorine level as well as the highest reading and the top amount allowed.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I think your friend is missing some of the thinking on chlorine in water supply if you are on any type of regulated system. If this a private well which is not monitored by the state or a full fledged system serving more than a few houses? If it is a private system, there can be all kinds of weird people running it.
If it is a regulated system the chlorine will not vary far enough to kill fish if any dechlor product is used as directed.

Looking at the way chlorine works the opposite of what he is saying is true. Chlorine reacts with organics. The longer it sets in the pipes, the more it finds to react with, including the steel in pipes. The big worry when setting the amount of chlorine to use in vacation and summer use places is not that the chlorine will set and get too strong but that it will set and degrade as it reacts with things in the pipe, letting the remaining bacteria grow to dangerous levels.

I worked a community water system on a lake in SW Missouri which served many summer home lake places. In the early spring , we had to go around and drain water from dead-end pipes to make sure there was fresh chlorine brought in. If we didn't do this we would get bad water tests from those test points due to a lack of chlorine residual. If you let this happen, you get a few chances to shape up or be shut down.

Chlorine is often injected into the water as it is pumped using a small injector system. When "X" amount of water is pumped "Y" amount of chlorine is added. The pump settings are set by the state health department looking at the test water samples taken throughout the system.
If you are not on a private system, do a check for the required water quality report for your water company. It will tell you the average chlorine level as well as the highest reading and the top amount allowed.
I will definitely have a look at the water report from our water company. Thanks for suggesting this.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 02:58 AM
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While my post was very long, the bottom line is that chlorine is often thought to be all wrong when fish die but it is often the one thing which is carefully monitored by the health departments. Not often understood is that drinking water is not just something that folks dump in all the chlorine they feel like. The water as we drink it still has lots of bacteria left living in it. We all know that chlorine is toxic. That is why it is monitored so closely. If we get too little we may have typhus, malaria or no telling what. But if we drink too much chlorine we all wind up killing the good bacteria not only in the tank but in our digestive tract. Lots of people kill that bacteria with a bit too much alcohol. That is not something we want to go through every time we take a drink of water!
When we have treated the water and fish die, there is likely to be another cause.
Most of the other factors in our tanks are less well managed than the chlorine.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 04:07 AM
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2 different products, for 2 different problems.

Tetra Safe Start is nitrifying bacteria. It is used at start up to quickly cycle the tank, or when you add fish to boost the bacteria population. It contains the actual species of bacteria that deal with the ammonia the fish produce. It does nothing about chlorine or chloramine in the water. There is no point in using it at every water change. Once the proper species of bacteria are established they thrive for a long time, years and years, when the tank is run correctly.

Prime is a dechlorinator. It splits the chlorine-ammonia bond when there is chloramine in the water, and it locks up chlorine and ammonia. It has no live bacteria.
It is used at every water change when the source water has either chlorine or chloramine. It can be dosed in emergency to deal with rising ammonia. It is good to use when cycling, it locks up the chlorine that can kill the nitrifying bacteria.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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2 different products, for 2 different problems.

Tetra Safe Start is nitrifying bacteria. It is used at start up to quickly cycle the tank, or when you add fish to boost the bacteria population. It contains the actual species of bacteria that deal with the ammonia the fish produce. It does nothing about chlorine or chloramine in the water. There is no point in using it at every water change. Once the proper species of bacteria are established they thrive for a long time, years and years, when the tank is run correctly.

Prime is a dechlorinator. It splits the chlorine-ammonia bond when there is chloramine in the water, and it locks up chlorine and ammonia. It has no live bacteria.
It is used at every water change when the source water has either chlorine or chloramine. It can be dosed in emergency to deal with rising ammonia. It is good to use when cycling, it locks up the chlorine that can kill the nitrifying bacteria.
Sorry I posted the wrong product. It's not Tetra Safestart I meant Tetra Aquasafe Plus.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 02:21 PM
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And I missed that you had listed the wrong product. Sometimes we miss the big deal while watching the small!
I think that is what happens with the chlorine question sometimes. We get into all kinds of questions about dealing with chlorine and when we understand how it is handled, there really isn't much to it when it gets to our faucet. All the high level work and monitoring is already done by the experts so all we need to do is follow the directions on our dechlor and not get off track on somebody's theory on changing the dosing. The only time the amount put in is changed is when their testing shows it is being used up too quickly. Chlorine is an expense to the water supplier and it just doesn't make sense to add more than needed.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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And I missed that you had listed the wrong product. Sometimes we miss the big deal while watching the small!
I think that is what happens with the chlorine question sometimes. We get into all kinds of questions about dealing with chlorine and when we understand how it is handled, there really isn't much to it when it gets to our faucet. All the high level work and monitoring is already done by the experts so all we need to do is follow the directions on our dechlor and not get off track on somebody's theory on changing the dosing. The only time the amount put in is changed is when their testing shows it is being used up too quickly. Chlorine is an expense to the water supplier and it just doesn't make sense to add more than needed.
That makes sense. Thanks again.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 06:12 AM
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I will be trying prime and see how it goes.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 06:44 AM
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I have no chloramine in my local tap water, but even then if I did, the pH of my aquarium would render it harmless until the plants use it. That said, I make my own dechlorinator out of sodium thiosulfate crystals and water. Kens sells it by the pound for $3-4 and 160 gm in 500 ml of water (yea that's a lot - saturated basically) neutralizes at 1 drop per gallon. So, you can buy Prime at the going rate - it's a great product for sure, but you can do what aquarists have done forever and use Hypo at a fraction of the price. 500 ml for $4...yea, I'll take that.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 03:34 PM
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From Tetra web site:
Quote:
AquaSafe® PLUS BioExtract formula contains seaweed extracts (natural biopolymers), which support the development of beneficial filter bacteria for healthy and clear water. The added ingredients help to reduce aquarium pollution by strengthening the bacterial bed. As always, Tetra's AquaSafe® PLUS water conditioner makes tap water safe for fish. Works in seconds to neutralize chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals present in tap water that can be harmful to fish. Provides a slime coating to help wounds heal and protect fish from abrasions. Unique colloid ingredients have been designed to protect fish’s delicate gills and membranes. Can be used with freshwater and marine fish. One teaspoon treats 10 gallons.
I skip all the fancy additives and use Clear Pond Chloramine Buster.
Breaks the chlorine-ammonia bond, locks up chlorine and ammonia.
Dose is so small I measure it out with an eye dropper.
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