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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to establish my first aquarium (planted) and looking for the right water conditioner/dechorinator etc. Both Aqua Safe and Prime are huge sellers with hundreds of positive reviews. However, Prime in particular has about 1-2% who say their fish are dying within days of using the product. One issue I have with both products is the "slime" inducing element; I've seen some reviews by what appear to be experienced aquarium guys...say the "slime" production is actually caused by an irritant added to the product that causes the fish to produce the slime themselves as protection from this irritant.

One: What is the best water conditioner out there, the safest for your fish and effective in dechlorinating etc?
Two: Any of you have comments about the "slime" protection component of these products, is it or isn't it more harmful than good for the fish?

Thanks in advance for any responses!
 

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Aquarium startups (research "ammonia cycle") are typically very rough on fish. It can take days to weeks for beneficial nitrifying bacteria to colonize your substrate and begin the nitrogen process. Ammonia, being the first byproduct of organic material decay, is very toxic to fish. No matter what water conditioner you use, they won't stop its production.

Get a couple gallons of water from an established aquarium to "seed" your ammonia cycle after you've dechlorinated your initial water. Start checking the water quality daily. pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are the key parameters you need to keep tabs on.

Ammonia will spike, then fall as nitrites increase, then the same will happen into nitrates. Once this occurs, your tank is established with good bacteria and you should be good to stock it up, just not too fast as to overwhelm the bacteria either. They will adjust their population to the bioload of your system.
 

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I've used Prime and Safe (Seachem's powdered dechlorinator) for years, without problem. My guess is that the reports on problems with Prime are simply because Prime is the most commonly used dechlorinator, and the deaths had nothing to do with Prime.

I haven't used AquaSafe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To all...I appreciate your input and Prime looks like the general recommendation...that's good...because I've already ordered it. None of you commented on the "slime" issue though, I would have liked to get some comments on that issue, ie; is it a desirable element or is it an irritant to the fishas some have said in product reviews?
 

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I can't really see how the slime production is a good thing, but I think it may just be a byproduct of the chemical reactions associated with dechlorination.

I recently heard a talk on aquarium water, and the speaker advocated for using Vitamin C to dechlorinate the water. Unfortunately, he didn't give a lot of details on why Vitamin C is better, such as showing the chemical reactions for dechlorinazation. Perhaps Vitamin C would not cause slime production? (I think I'm too lazy to figure this out.)
 

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Another Prime user even though I don't need it because I have well water.

When reading reviews, be weary of what is being said. If people are using Prime and fully stocking a tank that isn't cycled, fish are going to die. Also people like to overdose with Prime which can also kill fish.

If you're looking for a humane way to cycle your tank, do a fishless cycle. Ammonia Instructions For A Fishless Cycle - 19627

You'll need pure ammonia and a couple of test kits. Whatever bacteria is in the water of a cycled tank is not enough to cycle a filter. Colonies of bacteria live on surfaces while the majority lives in the filter.
 
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