Seachem Prime and Tank Cycling - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Seachem Prime and Tank Cycling

So I'm about a week and a half into my fishless cycle. I'm using the API Master Test Kit and my ammonia drops from 3ppm every 24 hours so that kind of bacteria seems to be developed. However, My Nitrite readings are the consistent vibrant magenta color. First of all, its hard to tell on the API Color Card what the Nitrite level is. I am using Seachem Prime as a dechlorinator. I recently heard that Prime can cause false positives/negatives for some of these water tests. How can I be certain what my levels are? Very frustrating. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 08:05 PM
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It's the ammonia that will give you a false reading. Pick up the seachem ammonia alert badge and stick it in your tank. It works up to a year and gives you an accurate reading when it comes to ammonia and using Prime.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well that should work, but man is that thing ugly. Any other alternatives that don't require me purchasing any more SeaChem products, or any other products for that matter?

Also, after reading more into the issue, I heard Prime is only active for 24-48 hours. Is that true? And if so, couldn't I just wait 48 hours for an accurate test? Or should I just use another water conditioner or will that yield false results as well?

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Last edited by SunDevil76; 08-15-2013 at 02:13 AM. Reason: additional question
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Bump

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 07:06 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about your ammonia readings quite yet, the nitrite stage usually takes the longest to complete and happens very suddenly when it does begin. Just keep doing partial water changes if your nitrite levels are too high.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't worry too much about your ammonia readings quite yet, the nitrite stage usually takes the longest to complete and happens very suddenly when it does begin. Just keep doing partial water changes if your nitrite levels are too high.
Okay I'll keep at it! Do you know if other water conditioners do false test results or is it just Seachem Prime? I don't know what to believe anymore haha.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 07:30 AM
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Well that should work, but man is that thing ugly. Any other alternatives that don't require me purchasing any more SeaChem products, or any other products for that matter?

Also, after reading more into the issue, I heard Prime is only active for 24-48 hours. Is that true? And if so, couldn't I just wait 48 hours for an accurate test? Or should I just use another water conditioner or will that yield false results as well?
You already have a ammo test kit that is more reliable.

Yes, prime is only active for so long. So you would only get false readings when its actually in the water, like after a water change.

Which are your friend right now
Keep up the w/c's and try to keep the nitrite ~5ppm or at least readable on the scale. Too much can stall the cycle as well, no point in trying to chew through a million ppm of nitrite! Always add your prime and dose the ammo back up after every w/c.

You'll be done before you know it!!


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:45 AM
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Many folks reduce the amount of ammonia they add by 1/2, once nitrites appear and this help's shorten the nitrite stage while still assuring the bacteria are being well fed.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Many folks reduce the amount of ammonia they add by 1/2, once nitrites appear and this help's shorten the nitrite stage while still assuring the bacteria are being well fed.
Okay i'll do that! I'll just start using the normal Aqueon Water Conditioner I have for the rest of the cycle

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 04:40 PM
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Are you doing a fishless cycle?

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Are you doing a fishless cycle?

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Yeah there's no fish at the moment. Just adding Ace Janitorial Strength Ammonia

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 05:14 PM
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Yeah there's no fish at the moment. Just adding Ace Janitorial Strength Ammonia
I would not worry about water changes or dechlors at the moment then. Now it is a waiting game. You can speed it up with tetra safestart, 10 days vs 4 weeks. Prime only gives a false positive of .25 ppm ammonia which is essentially zero anyhow in terms of cycling your tank (along with 0 nitrite and some nitrate) but that only lasts about 24 hours then your test is correct. Prime or safe are the ones you want to use when you have fish without a doubt.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 05:46 PM
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Yeah stick with prime, its a great product.

It leaves the ammonia available for your bb colony too, just converts it to a form safe for livestock.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 08:03 PM
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Are you on AAPE? Come join us, do a google search for "AAPE"

edit: BTW, go WILDCATS!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Are you on AAPE? Come join us, do a google search for "AAPE"

edit: BTW, go WILDCATS!
I think I stumbled upon that forum a couple weeks ago. I'll definitely join! I hope they accept newbies like me haha. You guys usually do meetings and stuff?

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