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Old 02-01-2007, 05:47 PM   #1
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Seachem Prime & False Nitrite readings?

Greetings all. I purchased a bottle of Seachem Prime and used it for a PWC change yesterday. I just tested my levels again, and everything is perfect except I'm showing a Nitrite reading of 2.0+! I don't see how this is possible, it wasn't even half that high before the PWC.

The guy at the LFS, who is pretty knowledgeable, said that the Prime can give me a false Nitrite reading. Is this correct? Has this happened to anyone else?

Thanks,
David

Oh, it was ~50% water change if that helps any.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:13 PM   #2
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I've heard of stuff liek this happening, with products liek ammo lock, ammonia detox, etc. it will show readings of ammonia, usually on high scale, but the thing is its showing the converted form of ammonia which is non toxic, this could be happening with the nitrites too
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply tropicfishman. I hope that is what happening and I don't have a serious problem.
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:20 PM   #4
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Re: Seachem Prime & False Nitrite readings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David14259
Greetings all. I purchased a bottle of Seachem Prime and used it for a PWC change yesterday. I just tested my levels again, and everything is perfect except I'm showing a Nitrite reading of 2.0+! I don't see how this is possible, it wasn't even half that high before the PWC.

The guy at the LFS, who is pretty knowledgeable, said that the Prime can give me a false Nitrite reading. Is this correct? Has this happened to anyone else?

Thanks,
David

Oh, it was ~50% water change if that helps any.
I have not found anything to support that Prime shows higher than normal levels of NO2. What you may be seeing is chloramine that was converted to NH3 and then to NO2's.
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:22 PM   #5
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Re: Seachem Prime & False Nitrite readings?

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Originally Posted by rkilling1
I have not found anything to support that Prime shows higher than normal levels of NO2. What you may be seeing is chloramine that was converted to NH3 and then to NO2's.
Humm. Any idea's how I can check on this? Should I do another PWC? Thanks.
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:28 PM   #6
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If in fact it is because of the chloramine, then I don't think doing another PWC is going to help at this point. Prime is known to detoxify NO2's, so I would just monitor your levels at this point.

This is just a theory, so I wouldn't do anything based on this info. Sounds like you are in the middle of a cycle and the NH3 bacteria is already developed, but the NO2 bacteria is not.
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:44 PM   #7
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I haven't heard of it affecting Nitrite results either. But I guess anything is possible. What kind of test kit are you using? How old is it?
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishyfanatic
I haven't heard of it affecting Nitrite results either. But I guess anything is possible. What kind of test kit are you using? How old is it?
I'm using the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit, it is brand new.
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:20 AM   #9
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You have a 12 gallon tank. When in doubt do a water change. Smaller tanks like your's make it so easy to eliminate the change of a water quality issue in only a couple of minutes. I assume you have fish in there, so I'd do another 50-75% PWC (same temp water as tank and dechlor'd), wait 30min or so and retest.
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:54 PM   #10
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I've never had a false readings from Prime (either NH3 or NO2), and I used Prime for years. True, if you have high chloramine in your water, that will be changed into NH3, which would be bound to Prime. You would read that in a Nessler type test but not a salicylate one.

To sort out if Prime is the problem, just get some tap water, add the appropriate amount of Prime, & test. If you get a positive reading, then it would be a problem with either the test kit or the Prime itself. To really pin it on Prime, test tap water without Prime. If that tested negative, then you have your smoking gun.
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsoong
I've never had a false readings from Prime (either NH3 or NO2), and I used Prime for years. True, if you have high chloramine in your water, that will be changed into NH3, which would be bound to Prime. You would read that in a Nessler type test but not a salicylate one.

To sort out if Prime is the problem, just get some tap water, add the appropriate amount of Prime, & test. If you get a positive reading, then it would be a problem with either the test kit or the Prime itself. To really pin it on Prime, test tap water without Prime. If that tested negative, then you have your smoking gun.
Thanks for the tips! I'll try it out tomorrow.
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:18 AM   #12
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Shouldnt you wait at least a hour between doing a PWC and testing the water parameters? I'm sorry i didnt see the time lapsed between testing and the PWC.

-Pleco
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleco
Shouldnt you wait at least a hour between doing a PWC and testing the water parameters? I'm sorry i didnt see the time lapsed between testing and the PWC.

-Pleco
While I did test about half an hour after the PWC, I rested several hours later and the next morning just to be sure I wasn't getting bad test results.

Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleco
Shouldnt you wait at least a hour between doing a PWC and testing the water parameters? I'm sorry i didnt see the time lapsed between testing and the PWC.

-Pleco
For an accurate value yes, BUT, false readings shouldn't happen even if you test 1 minute after performing the PWC. It's very possible since the water hasn't completely mixed that your test sample is not accurate of the rest of the tank water, but a substance can't magically appear out of thin air either.

Also, there is no way in such a short time (30minutes) IMO that the bacteria can convert 2+ ppm of ammonia to nitrIte. That would send up warning signs to me right away. 0.25ppm, 0.5ppm MAYBE, and that's still pushing it IMO.
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