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Old 12-02-2011, 03:50 AM   #1
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Unhappy Does Prime affect test results?

(Taken from another thread)

Ammonia binders like Prime don't skew a TAN ammonia test like the API one since it reads both nh3 and nh4 together.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetajockey View Post
Ammonia binders like Prime don't skew a TAN ammonia test like the API one since it reads both nh3 and nh4 together.
Ah, but most dechlorinators can give false positives to liquid based tests for ~24 hours after application, especially if you're ODing on the prime.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:06 AM   #3
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Ah, but most dechlorinators can give false positives to liquid based tests for ~24 hours after application, especially if you're ODing on the prime.
I've heard that mentioned before. What do you mean by false positives?
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:08 AM   #4
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Detecting ammonia when there is not any actually present, free, bound, or otherwise.


Seachem. Prime FAQ
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aqua_chem View Post
Detecting ammonia when there is not any actually present, free, bound, or otherwise.


Seachem. Prime FAQ
I'm not really getting what they are saying in that FAQ as far as the ammonia-prime complex goes.

"Under the conditions of a salicylate kit the ammonia-Prime complex will be broken down eventually giving a false reading of ammonia (same as with other products like Primeģ), so the key with a salicylate kit is to take the reading right away."

The way I understand this is that it is talking about the actual test sample, to take the reading immediately rather than leave the test solution in with the water for too long.

I mean I've read in several places that you can get skewed results using a Nessler type test and dosing an ammonia binder, but not for the salicylate type.

Either way, I'm here to learn.

(And sorry for getting really deep on this, we can discuss further in PM if you'd like.)
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:38 AM   #6
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I believe salicylate kits are less affected, but still susceptible.

As far as that passage goes, I think that it's suggesting that the testing should go WC-test-prime rather than WC-prime-test. Additionally, because the indicator-ammonia complex is stronger than the prime-ammonia complex, going WC-prime-test will measure ammonia from fish poo + ammonia from chloramine breakdown, whereas WC-test-prime will measure only ammonia from poo, as I don't think chloramines are detected on the ammonia test.


(and go to bed Jeta)
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:49 AM   #7
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I am going to email the seachem reps and see if they can clarify, I am curious.

I've read things that go either way on different sites, but a lot of these sites are completely wrong. One claimed that the salicylate tests only read nh3 and not TAN, which is obviously wrong.

IFAS makes this claim here FA16/FA031: Ammonia in Aquatic Systems
Quote:
The other testing method is the ammonia salicylate method. This method is not affected by ammonia binding products or formalin treatments. The ammonia salicylate method is also more accurate than the Nessler's method when testing ammonia in seawater, and it does not require disposal of a hazardous waste.
WC-Test-Prime would mean that the tank is being subjected to untreated water, right? I don't think that's what they meant.
"Under the conditions of" tells me that the water is already in the test tube and the reagent is as well.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetajockey View Post
I've read things that go either way on different sites, but a lot of these sites are completely wrong. One claimed that the salicylate tests only read nh3 and not TAN, which is obviously wrong.
For liquid tests, I would agree that this is incorrect due to le chatelier's principle. I believe the only NH3 and not TAN test is the gas phase one.

Quote:
WC-Test-Prime would mean that the tank is being subjected to untreated water, right? I don't think that's what they meant.
"Under the conditions of" tells me that the water is already in the test tube and the reagent is as well.
"Under the conditions of a salicylate kit the ammonia-Prime complex will be broken down eventually giving a false reading of ammonia (same as with other products like Primeģ), so the key with a salicylate kit is to take the reading right away. "

I think what its saying is that under these conditions something bad happens, and therefore it should be avoided. Either than or it's saying WC-Prime-SuperfastTest. Either way, it's poorly worded. That and the smiley face a little bit later reek of unprofessional, IMO.



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Old 12-02-2011, 06:12 AM   #9
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I read it as WC-prime-super fast testing, I would assume the prime takes some time to work to a degree to affect the testing so, test quick!
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:10 AM   #10
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Is ammonia, even when made 'non-toxic' by prime, still going to show up as TAN? I have always been under the impression that prime converts NH3 to NH4+....which would still show up on a test kit, as it's still available to the biofilter.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516
Is ammonia, even when made 'non-toxic' by prime, still going to show up as TAN? I have always been under the impression that prime converts NH3 to NH4+....which would still show up on a test kit, as it's still available to the biofilter.
Why not take the vial after testing and add a drop of prime or two in there? Pretty fast way to see? That's what I did as a control with amquel and found out it does not effect my API ammonia kit.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 View Post
Is ammonia, even when made 'non-toxic' by prime, still going to show up as TAN? I have always been under the impression that prime converts NH3 to NH4+....which would still show up on a test kit, as it's still available to the biofilter.

I have heard this is what Prime has done as well. However they won't tell the "secret" of how it's done, so I'm not sure if it's true.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:48 PM   #13
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I have heard this is what Prime has done as well. However they won't tell the "secret" of how it's done, so I'm not sure if it's true.
Well it's not really a big secret, Prime and other ammonia binders all work basically the same. There's a chemical reaction, I've read a little about it, but honestly the technical stuff is over my head.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:44 PM   #14
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Here's the response from Seachem:

Hello David,

Thank you for your question. The reagents used in a salicylate test will eventually break the bond between Prime and the Ammonia. When this happens, the ammonia will be freed and show give a positive reading for toxic ammonia that is not free in the aquarium. When using a salicylate type test, one must take the reading before the reagents are able to break the bond to get an accurate reading of the free ammonia in the aquarium.

Essentially, this means that you should take your reading within the time frame given by the manufacturer instead of leaving the test for a longer duration of time. You will notice that, the longer you leave the test, after the recommended time frame, the higher the reading gets. This occurs as the reagents free the ammonia and the level of toxic ammonia increases in the sample.

I hope that I have given you a better understanding of this process. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

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Old 12-02-2011, 05:16 PM   #15
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I'm glad to hear this in a way...
I did a complete series of testing last night and noticed my ammo test was showing the slightest green tinge....and surprise I just started using prime a few days ago (in stead of another brand I used for the last few months) and did a water change before the testing. Im glad to hear im not in a min. cycle.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:28 PM   #16
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Okay, I asked for even more clarification and this is the response I got.

Quote:
I am sorry David, I got part of my reply backwards. Prime causes a false negative with salicylate tests. The salicylate tests rely on the reaction of ammonia with hypochlorite or chlorine, and, consequently, any aquarium product capable of removing chlorine (dechlorinators and bisulfite based ammonia condition- ers) can be expected to interfere with color development, even when ammonia is present.

Prime does bind with ammonia to render it harmless to your aquariums inhabitants, however, Prime is stronger than other products and is active for up to 48 hours.

I apologize for any confusion my previous email might have caused, I hope that you better understand now. Please let us know if you need more information.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Is ammonia, even when made 'non-toxic' by prime, still going to show up as TAN? I have always been under the impression that prime converts NH3 to NH4+....which would still show up on a test kit, as it's still available to the biofilter.
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Well it's not really a big secret, Prime and other ammonia binders all work basically the same. There's a chemical reaction, I've read a little about it, but honestly the technical stuff is over my head.
It's the technical bit that we would really need to know to say anything really meaningful. I don't think that locking NH3 in NH4+ really makes much sense, because NH4+ can't really react with anything, nor can it be bound to anything. There are several chemical reactions where something like this can occur (first the occurs to me is a metal-ammonia chelation rxn) without knowing any details, I couldn't speculate.


Getting a bet technical, I would bet that it's the lone pair of electrons on the ammonia that participates in whatever "binding" occurs. Ammonium has no lone pair, so it can't be bound in this way. It's very likely that these lone pairs also participate in the salicylate test kit reaction as well. Therefore, a single molecule of ammonia can either be bound to prime OR measured by the test kit. Any ammonium would quickly be converted into ammonia (le chatelier's principle) until all ammonia/ammonium is bound to either prime or the test kit's reagent.

So no, ammonia bound by prime will not show up on a TAN test kit, at least not initially (see seachem's response), and almost no NH4+ will be in solution at the time.


EDIT: Jeta's recent post kinda pokes some holes in this post, but I thought I would post it anyways.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:20 PM   #18
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So Prime can cause a false positive if used with chloramine water, or a false negative if used w/o chloamine water?


The chlorine dependence of the ammonia tests is certainly interesting. I didn't know that.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:21 PM   #19
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Yeah, their response just has me even more confused and now I don't even know where to begin so I'm leaving the topic alone for a while until I clear my head.


What I meant about the ammonia binding process to not be a big secret is that there are a dozen or more different ammonia binding products and I understand that they are all basically the same in form and function, so you'd think someone would explain the process somewhere, I just haven't found it (haven't looked either, though).
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