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Old 09-24-2009, 09:57 PM   #1
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API test kits are not accurate when using PRIME

Hi Guys
I've been doing some poking around regarding the use of Prime water conditioner and the API test kits that test for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate and found out a few interesting facts. When testing water treated with prime with API test kits for the above mentioned compounds the resulting color produced by the kit isn't an actual representation of the concentration in the water making it extremely difficult to identify what is causing a problem. IE a test for nitrates may yield a color identity of 0 ppm when there is actually 20 to 30 ppm of nitrates in your water. This same symptom also applies to the other tests ammonia and nitrites.
Was or is anyone aware of this?
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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Glad i don't use prime. Good catch though inferno. I know a couple people that mentioned prime before, so my take is that some of them do use it.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:56 PM   #3
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Does this apply to FW test kits as well? I haven't had any problems in my FW tanks, but I plan on getting into SW and it's a good thing to note
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:59 PM   #4
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I know that prime will "lock" ammonia, therefore showing none on a test. Hadnt heard about the nitrates though.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:32 PM   #5
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What do you know. Another good reason not to put chemicals in your saltwater aquarium. I know that it is cheaper to by an RO/DI system than buy water but has anyone ever thought to do a cost analysis on chemicals you must put in your tank if you do not use RO/DI. (PRIME, Phosphate remover, Nitrate remover, Carbon) Not to mention the health of the aquarium. you can get a 4 stage RO system from bulk reef supply for 123.99 or a 5 stage RO/DI for 159.99 (75 gal/day)
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:23 AM   #6
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Keith would you post the research you found stating this?
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:58 AM   #7
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tagging along on this one.
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd R Turbo View Post
Does this apply to FW test kits as well? I haven't had any problems in my FW tanks, but I plan on getting into SW and it's a good thing to note
Yes it also Applies to freshwater, This is where I found out about the problem. People who have fw planted tanks dose nitrates into their tanks and attempt to take readings with some whacky results.
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdaniel2882 View Post
What do you know. Another good reason not to put chemicals in your saltwater aquarium. I know that it is cheaper to by an RO/DI system than buy water but has anyone ever thought to do a cost analysis on chemicals you must put in your tank if you do not use RO/DI. (PRIME, Phosphate remover, Nitrate remover, Carbon) Not to mention the health of the aquarium. you can get a 4 stage RO system from bulk reef supply for 123.99 or a 5 stage RO/DI for 159.99 (75 gal/day)
I found it quite interesting myself. That's where I got my 5 stage unit and it works great but doesn't help you after the water has been put in the tank. This is where I get angry with the manufacturers because we rely on our test kits to check the health of our tanks and their product render them useless and don't even provide any warnings on the bottle about compatibility issues.

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Keith would you post the research you found stating this?
After work I'll go back and find the links and post them, here are few quick links 1 from the seachem site and the other from aquaticplantcentral.com. I found a lot more info on this topic but have back track when I get home from work.

Prime & Chloramine - Seachem Support Forums
NO3 test showed 0 right after 20ppm addition - General Aquarium Plants Discussions - Aquatic Plant Central

This kind of stuff bugs me
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:10 AM   #10
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Call me skeptical. Before I'd dump on a major manufacturer (or 2) I'd ask these questions.

1) Did you do the test correctly? The nitrate test above all the others has much more laborious instructions on preparing the two solutions. If not mixed properly over the course of using the test the solutions can become not mixed in the proper ratios (in each bottle) thus making all the tests going forward from that point suspect.

2) Has the test kit expired?

3) Are the test kit solutions still viable

4) Did you test known samples? 1 vial pure RO; 1 vial pure RO + a known quantity of nitrate ; 1 vial pure RO + a known quantity of nitrate + Prime and compare the results?

5) Did you dose the Prime correctly?

I also am not clear where you drew the generalization from ammonia and nitrite from. Prime 'locks' ammonia by changing it to ammonium (which is not toxic to fish). You would have to know if your test kit is testing for ammonia and ammonium or just ammonia to gauge your results based on that information.

The nitrite claim I've never heard.

Prime has been around for a very long time and has IMO an unsurpassed reputation in the hobby (I would venture to guess in the other disciplines as well)

Your link above seems to speak to Chloramine, which isn't ammonia nor ammonium.
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