Ammonia and Prime - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Ammonia and Prime

3 days after setting up a new tank, Ammonia went up to 1.0 ppm so I did a triple dose of Prime.

Question is, after Prime is added and given a few hours to have time to detoxify the ammonia, will the test kit still show a high ammonia reading and the water be safe for fish?

I use a Aquarium Pharmaceuticals master test kit. I believe the test kit reading is close because it reads 0 or near 0 on my other 2 year old tank.

Thank you
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 12:02 AM
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Hi,

For new tank I don't think you should treat ammonia, just let it be because it's part of the cycling process. In fact, some people even add ammonia to new tank to feed the bacteria in to speed up the cycle. you should read more on Cycling a tank.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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See the new tank has a few fish in it so I don't want the ammonia to get to high to harm the fish. I now a little is ok but I would rather keep it down to under .5.
Anybody else like to add their thoughts?

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 12:52 AM
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A partial water change is more valuable than using prime. Prime will take out the nitrate/nitrates too... and too keep the cycle giong you need them.

A 20-40% daily change may make the cycle last longer but the conditions more suitable for fish. Do you have another tank? squeeze out the filter cartridge from it into your new tank. Or, take some bio media or substrate from another tank. It will help you tons and your fish will thank you.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 01:10 AM
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According to Seachem, Prime will only detoxify ammonia for 24 hours, so you can't use that instead of PWC. And it will give false ammonia readings because of the way that it binds the ammonia (never a chem major so that's all I understand so far LOL)

X2 on getting some established media or mulm from another tank into this tank to give the N-bacteria colony a boost.

Stuffing the tank with nutrient-hog plants like Hygrophila, hornwort, and bacopa could help, too.





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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post

X2 on getting some established media or mulm from another tank into this tank to give the N-bacteria colony a boost.
This is the best advice. The nitrifying cycle or I should say the colonization of nitrifying bacteria has to be established. Anything you add to remove ammonia is just prolonging the danger to your fish. Don't go crazy with the water changes either-bacteria are water borne too and need to get established on filter material. If your fish are not hardy enough put some of them in an established tank till the filter gets established. In the meantime stop using the Prime.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 02:11 AM
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Why stop using Prime? It's a great dechlor, and if there's no place else to relocate the fish (NOTE- I also think this would be the best solution for the fish if it's at all possible) then at least Prime should help keep the ammonia at tolerable levels for the fish without short circuiting the cycle the way I believe products like AmQuel and AmmoLock would...





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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 08:45 PM
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I think the important aspect is to keep doing partial water changes. If you can't get established media this is the only way to really protect your fish...
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Why stop using Prime? It's a great dechlor, and if there's no place else to relocate the fish (NOTE- I also think this would be the best solution for the fish if it's at all possible) then at least Prime should help keep the ammonia at tolerable levels for the fish without short circuiting the cycle the way I believe products like AmQuel and AmmoLock would...
Well, ok if there is no safe place to put the less hardy fish then there is not much choice. It's my belief that a tank needs an established ammonia and nitrite fixing colony that is able to quickly adjust to bio loads-adding ammonia removing chemicals prolongs the process-it can take a few weeks to grow a nitrite fixing colony. I guess that I'm of the school that adding no chemicals to your tank is best. If the only way to prevent fish from dying is to add chemicals then that persons process is flawed. What about fishless cycling? What about starting with a small number of hardy fish that can withstand the process? There are many people on this forum that do very large water changes using water right out of the facet (municipal) with out dechlorinating. I've topped off evaporation in my tank for years using chlorinated tap water with no ill effects (although I've stopped doing that to maintain a stable KH).


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 11:44 PM
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You might be getting false positive ammonia test results with your API freshwater Nessler based ammonia test kit when using Prime. http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...tkitfreshwater

Seachem has a good ammonia test kit:
http://www.seachem.com/products/prod...MTAmmonia.html
http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...moniafreetotal

"This kit measures total (NH3 and NH4+) and free ammonia (NH3 only) down to 0.05 mg/L and is virtually interference free in marine and fresh water. Free ammonia is the toxic form of ammonia (vs. ionized Ammonia NH4+ which is non-toxic) and thus it is much more important to keep an eye on the level of free ammonia in your system. This kit is based on the same gas exchange technology that is used in the Ammonia Alert™ and thus is the only kit on the market that can read levels of free ammonia while using ammonia removal products such as Prime™, Safe™, AmGuard™ and any similar competing products. The other kits (salicylate or Nessler based) determine the total ammonia by raising the pH of the test solution to 12 or greater. At this high pH all ammonia removal products will breakdown and rerelease the ammonia, thus giving you a false ammonia reading."

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 03:28 PM
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Mark- Seachem advertises that Prime is the best ammonia detox-er (I prolly just made up a new word there LOL) b/c the way it alters the ammonia still leaves it available for the N-bacteria to use.

This is very different from the way that most other ammonia detox products work, as I agree, those will short-circuit a tank's cycle.





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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, this morning my Columbia shark was dead. So I did a 25% water change. How I filled the tank back up was to fill a 5 gallon bucket with water at the same temp as the tank out of the tap and added just enough Prime to the bucket 1/2 mil to dechlorinate the 5 gallons of water and then pump the bucket water into the tank. I did this until the tank was full again.

Does this sound good or would that little bit of Prime be enough to alter the tank and slow down the process? Also how long does Prime take to stop working in the bucket?

Thanks again
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 09:35 PM
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Prime doesn't slow down your cycle. The ammonia is still present, just bound so that it doesn't hurt your fish. The bond breaks after 24 hrs, though, so then it becomes toxic again. I believe the API Master kit is not a Nessler. Does it use two reagents or one?

If you have fish in the tank, you may be in trouble.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Fishscale;

The API test kit for Ammonia is a 2 regent test.
If the ammonia is bound up by Prime, does the cycle still go on as usual?

I guess I am ignorant. I can go to Seachem and read all about it myself daaaa. There is a list of FAQ there too. I guess I am not real big on computers so I'll have to start using it.

Thanks again
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joetee View Post
Fishscale;

The API test kit for Ammonia is a 2 regent test.
If the ammonia is bound up by Prime, does the cycle still go on as usual?

I guess I am ignorant. I can go to Seachem and read all about it myself daaaa. There is a list of FAQ there too. I guess I am not real big on computers so I'll have to start using it.

Thanks again
Joe
Is your test kit the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Ammonia Test Kit Freshwater/Saltwater (Salicylate)?
http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...atersalicylate

Since you have two reagents, that's the one, I believe.

I was always told to use the Salicylate ammonia test kits if I used Prime, Ammo-Lock, Amquel, etc. until I read about Seachem's ammonia test kit. Using the Nessler based freshwater only test kits would yield false positives when you tested the water with this type of test kit.

I've read that Seachem's Ammonia test kit is better.

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