What can i use for nitrates i was under the impression that it "detoxifies nitrite and nitrates" but i probably have a misunderstanding of what this means...
Perhaps the only 100% fool proof way to reduce nitrAtes is doing water changes. I'm not exactly sure what they mean by 'detoxify' as it relates to nitrIte and nitrAte, but it does not mean that they are completely harmless, nor does it mean that they have magically left your tank. While I like Prime and have used it, IMO
it is going to be much easier to address the problem directly rather than search store shelves for some product...pretty much because you stand a good chance at finding one, but they are only band-aids which, in many cases, only mask problems. Or in other words, your goal is to maintain a high standard of water quality, not just get your test kits to tell you what you want to hear (or see).
I'm not familiar with your whole situation so pardon me if these are repeat questions that you have answered elsewhere...
How long has your tank been up and running?
~ Above and beyond the type of 'cycling' we speak about most of the time on forums like this one, SW
tanks also experience other types of 'cycles' that are very hard to avoid and/or control completely (this is usually why there is a distinction made between a cycled SW
tank and an established SW
tank). One of these other cycles is the highly annoying algaes that can pop up from seemingly no where so if your tank is new or even new-ish, this may be somewhat normal.
Do you have a phosphate test kit?
~ While nitrates certainly contribute to algae problems, phosphate is also a key factor and it is also pretty hard to avoid since even the food you feed your fish will contain at least some. Like nitrates though, you can control phosphate via water changes.
Are you using Prime because you use tap water?
~ If so, I highly suggest looking into using a much more pure source of water such as RO
water, or even distilled since the salt mix you are using already contains the appropriate levels of most major and minor trace elements. Additionally, it is very possible that you are adding nitrate and phosphates during water changes because it could be in your tap water. IMHO
, even if a series of test performed on your tap water shows nothing, using RO
, or another type of nearly pure water is the only way we can be certain that we are starting off with the best foot forward and from someone who has tried to go otherwise, there is a very noticeable difference.