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I've been having ammonia issues in my new tank. I don't know if its because it is still cycling, or I'm having issues with my flow rate/oxygen levels. Do people use Seachem prime/safe as a preventative measure when rescaping? So that when you disturb the substrate and then change out the water, the prime/safe deals with the remaining spike in ammonia.

I'm just wondering if my fiddling with my tank is causing my algae issues and maybe I should do everything I can to keep ammonia from spiking.
 

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If you are using a product that contains sodium thiosulfate, it is only useful for chlorine removal. It will not affect ammonia levels.

It is normal to have an initial spike of ammonia. Filtration is important. In my 135-gallon tank, I have two filter systems - one for biological filtration (to maintain a beneficial bacterial colony) and mechanical filtration (to remove particulates). After the first two weeks, I have never recorded an ammonia level although there is minor amounts in my slow release root tabs.

Mike
 

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I would say it couldn't hurt. Obviously a water change would be in order with a rescape in which prime is an excellent dechlorinator. The safe seems like a bit of a stretch. Meaning it also treats for chlorine and "makes ammonia safe". I use stability along side the prime for water changes adding biofiltration which I would guess could help with ammonia spikes.


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wow there is a lot of bad info being thrown around in this thread.
@mredman: Prime and Safe (powdered concentrated version of Prime) market themselves as being something better than your average dechlorinator containing just sodium thiosulfate. The product specifically contains some kind of binder which renders ammonia, nitrite and nitrate non toxic for a period of time.
@DubDub: Seachem Stability is bottle bacteria. It wont remove ammonia. It simply provides some extra beneficial bacteria that theoretically "eats" the ammonia as part of the nitrogen cycle. Both prime and safe (which is just the concentrated powdered form of Prime) is a dechlorinator that removes chlorine and chloramine and as noted above also makes ammonia etc non toxic.
@benealing: Purigen does not remove ammonia. It does absolutely nothing to ammonia. It traps and removes organic material from the water column. If that organic material is not removed it can theoretically create ammonia but the product does nothing to remove ammonia.
@IUnknown: if you're seeing ammonia the tank is likely not cycled. Some substrates can contribute to this. But since you say the tank is new I think its a safe assumption that you're just not cycled yet. I wouldn't think of prime as anything more than a dechlorinator. While it does render ammonia non-toxic its not a solution to why you have ammonia to begin with. Have some patience and let the cycle finish rather than try to use something to mask the inevitable ammonia spike.
 

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I will respectfully disagree with you lksdrinker. If the only source of ammonia in this tank is the break down of fish food/plant material, that is exactly what Purigen will help with.

If the ammonia is being added directly to the tank, you are right, it will not help.
 

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From Seachem site.


Purigen
Product Description
Purigen® is a premium synthetic adsorbent that is unlike any other filtration product. It is not a mixture of ion exchangers or adsorbents, but a unique macro-porous synthetic polymer that removes soluble and insoluble impurities from water at a rate and capacity that exceeds all others by over 500%. Purigen® controls ammonia, nitrites and nitrates by removing nitrogenous organic waste that would otherwise release these harmful compounds. Purigen’s™ impact on trace elements is minimal. It significantly raises redox. It polishes water to unparalleled clarity. Purigen® darkens progressively as it exhausts, and is easily renewed by treating with bleach. Purigen® is designed for both marine and freshwater use.


An issue has been discussed here before for users of Prime.
After dosing a tank with Prime NH3 may show up to .25ppm
Once the water has aged during the week a repeat test will show 0ppm
I have no idea if a 5x dose of Prime for detoxification purposes will read a higher NH3 value, I have never tested.
If someone has please post a result.
 

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wow there is a lot of bad info being thrown around in this thread.

@mredman: Prime and Safe (powdered concentrated version of Prime) market themselves as being something better than your average dechlorinator containing just sodium thiosulfate. The product specifically contains some kind of binder which renders ammonia, nitrite and nitrate non toxic for a period of time.
My response:

I am from Missouri. Show me the data. What is the active ingredient in Prime that renders ammonia, nitrite and nitrate non-toxic? Also, please show data that demonstrate Prime is more effective than sodium thiosulfate, not supposition. Please don't use superfluous terms such as "some kind of binder" and "for a period of time". We should treat aquarium water chemistry as science rather than voodoo.

It is well known how sodium thiosulfate breaks down chlorine. If Prime was so effective reducing ammonia. nitrite and nitrate levels, everyone would use it for that purpose.

Mike
 

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I always wondered where the chlorine went when I used a dechlor.

IUnknown, if the tank is not fully cycled then you can increase the population of nitrifying bacteria with bottled bacteria. Look for products with Nitrospira on the label. This is one of the correct species of bacteria. If the bottle does not say Nitrospira, then do not waste your money.

If the tank is fully cycled, but you are stirring up the substrate, and this is leading to a rise in ammonia, then you can do a good sized water change right after the re-scape, and you can add a normal dose, or larger dose of Prime, or other dechlor that specifies that it deals with ammonia. The instructions should be on the label stating what dose will handle what level of ammonia. Transplanting a single (or just a few) plants can often be done by very slowly, gently easing the plant out of the substrate, then slowly digging enough of a hole to replant it. Works well for smaller plants, impossible with a giant plants with roots all over the tank.
If you are doing enough of a rescape to release too much ammonia (more than can be controlled with a water change) then I would move the fish to another tank for a few days while you concentrate on a few more big water changes. Only add the fish back when the ammonia is under control.
 

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Nitrification

wow there is a lot of bad info being thrown around in this thread.

@DubDub: Seachem Stability is bottle bacteria. It wont remove ammonia. It simply provides some extra beneficial bacteria that theoretically "eats" the ammonia as part of the nitrogen cycle. Both prime and safe (which is just the concentrated powdered form of Prime) is a dechlorinator that removes chlorine and chloramine and as noted above also makes ammonia etc non toxic.
Nitrification is not a "theory", it is proven fact. Nitrification is an aerobic oxidation process. There is no eating or similar mechanism of action; it is oxidation caused primarily by nitrosomas that convert ammonia to nitrate and nitrobacter that further oxidizes nitrites into nitrate.

Mike
 

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Actually, Nitrospira and related organisms are currently understood to oxidize nitrite to nitrate. This information has been around for 18 years, so is not exactly new.
The scientists are still trying to figure out which organisms are responsible for ammonia to nitrite.

Nitrite -> nitrate:
Scientific Papers

Ammonia -> nitrite:
This is the first link I came to, might not be the best (might not link these findings to aquariums). Find more, do your own research using the term Ammonia Oxidizing Archaea. This particular link has a date of 2012.
An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie
 

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My response:

I am from Missouri. Show me the data.

Mike
It is widely known how prime works, and people use it, and AmGaurd to bind ammonia and nitrite all the time.

Prime questions... - Seachem Support Forums
Seachem. Prime


Prime® also contains a binder which renders ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate non-toxic. It is very important to understand how those two functions work together. All dechlorinators operate through a chemical process known as reduction. In this process, toxic dissolved chlorine gas (Cl2) is converted into non-toxic chloride ions (Cl-). The reduction process also breaks the bonds between chlorine and nitrogen atoms in the chloramine molecule (NH2Cl), freeing the chlorine atoms and replacing them with hydrogen (H) to create ammonia (NH3).

Typically, dechlorinators stop there, leaving an aquarium full of toxic ammonia! Seachem takes the necessary next step by including an ammonia binder to detoxify the ammonia produced in the reduction process.



I can tell you that it does bind ammonia into ammonium, how do I know this? Well it all comes down to the seachem ammonia test, which will test for both free ammonia NH3 and total ammonia(ammonium NH4+).

Right now there is a lot of new data on beneficial bacteria including some that point to only one bacteria responsible for it all.
 

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Nitrification

Actually, Nitrospira and related organisms are currently understood to oxidize nitrite to nitrate. This information has been around for 18 years, so is not exactly new.
The scientists are still trying to figure out which organisms are responsible for ammonia to nitrite.

Nitrite -> nitrate:
Scientific Papers

Ammonia -> nitrite:
This is the first link I came to, might not be the best (might not link these findings to aquariums). Find more, do your own research using the term Ammonia Oxidizing Archaea. This particular link has a date of 2012.
An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie
Diana, I am in agreement with you that both bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) play a role in the oxidation of ammonia. Thank you for referencing the articles. There has been some discussion among scientists whether the same bacteria is responsible for nitrification in water versus soil.

Mike
 

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In other words, you have no data either. My point is water chemistry is science, not voodoo. If you read the entire thread, you might notice I was attached first by lksdrinker. It does not matter how long someone has been on this site, it matters whether someone is disclosing scientific fact or just bloviating random thoughts.
He pointed out you are wrong and you took it as a personal attack. He was just saying that Prime does in fact market itself as an ammonia binder, of which I provided such proof. I gave you a way to do the test to see that it works as I do not have the time to write a scolarly article, get it peer reviewed, and published. Anyways I have data, and I provided it, you choosing to ignore it, that is on you.

Also his part about purigen, well it does not remove ammonia, only controls the stuff that does, Maryland Guppy backed that up.

And the bacteria in Stability is not the same stuff we have in our tanks, so yes he is right saying theoretically. He was not attacking the nitrogen cycle, just stating that Stability is theoretically supposed to add bacteria that helps the nitrogen cycle get started, but in reality it is a useless product, as it contains the non aquatic versions of nitrifying bacteria, when compared to those that have nitrospira etc.

From Seachem
Seachem Support Forums - View Single Post - Seachem Prime and false positives

Proof people use it to reduce the toxicity of ammonia for a period of time. As for Nitrate no one really uses it for that even if seachem claims it will reduce it.
How much Seachem Prime to detoxify Ammonia + Nitrite? [Archive] - Aquarium Forum

Now I request you please provide your data.
 

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My response:

I am from Missouri. Show me the data. What is the active ingredient in Prime that renders ammonia, nitrite and nitrate non-toxic? Also, please show data that demonstrate Prime is more effective than sodium thiosulfate, not supposition. Please don't use superfluous terms such as "some kind of binder" and "for a period of time". We should treat aquarium water chemistry as science rather than voodoo.

It is well known how sodium thiosulfate breaks down chlorine. If Prime was so effective reducing ammonia. nitrite and nitrate levels, everyone would use it for that purpose.

Mike
What does being from Missouri have to do with this? The data is directly from Seachem Seachem. Prime

I honestly did not know that sodium thiosulfate breaks down chlorine. I did however know that prime is sold as a dechlorniator that not only removes cholrine but renders ammonia etc non toxic in an aquarium.

Nitrification is not a "theory", it is proven fact. Nitrification is an aerobic oxidation process. There is no eating or similar mechanism of action; it is oxidation caused primarily by nitrosomas that convert ammonia to nitrate and nitrobacter that further oxidizes nitrites into nitrate.

Mike
I wasn't implying that nitrification was a theory. I said that bottled bacteria theoretically "eats" ammonia. I say it that way because its an easy way to term it rather than trying to explain how it actually works; and because not all bottled bacteria is made equally. Of the few that are known to work not all do either because they expired or the bacteria already died before the end user purchased it. So in theory bottled bacteria can aid in the colonization of the proper bacteria. In real world practice it does not always work out that way.
 
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