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Old 03-16-2006, 07:09 PM   #1
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Seachem Prime and the nitrogen cycle

How exactly does Seachem Prime work? I've been doing some research on here about which dechlors people consider to be the best, and decided to switch from using Stress Coat (which I have used for at least 3 years without problems, but know it's not the best) to Prime as my dechlor. This is also because Bio Spira did not turn out to be quite the miracle product that it was the last time I used it (I thought the tetras-- originally 12; we lost 2 shortly after bringing them back from petco-- and tiny angelfish would be enough of a bioload to keep the bacteria alive, which seemed to be a good estimate until I added the sizable loaches a week ago, since which time we have had nitrites persisisting at around 0.5) and know Prime detoxifies nitrites.

It says on the bottle that Prime removes ammonia, but this cannot be true, or else it would completely screw up the nitrogen cycle, correct? On the side label, it says that it converts the ammonia and nitrites to non-toxic forms readily removed by the biofilter, but I'm still not clear on this. I haven't found this exact question in past posts, but a few people said they got false ammonia readings while using Prime, and one person even said that Bio Spira should not be used with Prime, which is mainly what concerns me because it means that it must somehow mess with the development of beneficial bacteria. Anyway, I just put a capful in my tank and am now concerned it's going to delay the completion of the cycle or give me skewed test results. Can anyone tell me exactly how this product works, or about your experiences with it and cycling/ water tests?

TIA!
P.S. Do kudos still exist? I wanted to give people some on my last post, but could no longer find the place to do so! I hadn't been here in so long that I didn't remember where it was that you could donate them, but also think I remember it being a little more obvious... Please let me know if they do still exist and where to find them so I can give them to the deserving!
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Old 03-16-2006, 07:49 PM   #2
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I've never heard of having a false reading from using Prime. It is a great dechlorinator (it's all we use) and is very cheap. It will not harm your cycle

Kudo's no longer exist.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:02 PM   #3
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Hi Catalina,
I can't answer your question about Prime because I don't use it, but about the kudos; AA got a forum upgrade in February. Here's a direct quote from fishfreek:

Quote:
At this time kudos are not on the schedule to come back because the version of the system that kept track of kudos was very old and antiquated for the current version of the site. There is no modern feature that does what kudos did. All of them expand beyond simple point collection and giving.
I guess people will just have to be happy with a "thanks" now!
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:03 PM   #4
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Prime is a sulphur compound that will convert NH3 to NH4 and binds it. The binding is reversible .... so the nitrogen compounds are still available for your nitrifying bacteria. It does not interfer with the nitrogen cycle. I have used it for years.
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:32 AM   #5
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If you have a cheaper Nessler based ammonia test kit, it WILL read ammonium as ammonia. You need a salicylate ammonia test kit which can distinguish ammonia from ammonium and give you accurate results.

The Salicylate test has 2 reagent bottles, and takes 5 mins to develop the test results, while Nessler kits are 1 reagent, and instant results.


Kudos were an add-on mod to the phpBB software. The upgrade we did no longer allowed that outdated kudos add-on to work. It was unfortunate, but we gained a lot more functionality with the newer software, so it was worth the trade-off.
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Old 03-17-2006, 03:01 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the information-- highly interesting and informative-- and it seems that Prime really is a great product. I do think I have the Nessler test (this is the one where the presence of ammonia is shown by increasing shades of yellow, while no ammonia is clear, right?) and as of this morning, was getting the faintest yellow color in the test tube. But then I remembered the Prime, and think it's quite safe to say that there's no ammonia in the tank, but will look into getting the other test. Is it labelled as Salycilate on the box?
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catalina
Is it labelled as Salycilate on the box?
I have not seen it labeled on the box, but you can find the info in the fine prints in the instruction sheets. Salicylate tests are used in SW, so a SW ammonia test should be salicylate. Also, the salicylate test will have 2 different bottles of reagents and the the instructions will tell you to wait 5 minutes before reading results.
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