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Old 02-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
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Prime and amonia

I am cycling a 100 gallon fw tank i do a Pwc everyday I use prime to treat the water. Prime lists it treats amonia. I have been using amonia dip sticks to check water daily it been reading about .5ppm I purchased a fw master test kit and when i checked the amonia level it read around 2 ppm which is significantly higher than the test strip. But here's the thing my water is chrystal clear and my fish seem really healthy and happy with no signs of distress, so my question is does prime just detoxify the amonia. Does the bacteria that feed on the amonia care that It's been detoxified?
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:28 PM   #2
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This is a great example of how inaccurate test strips are.

Yes, Prime does just detoxify the ammonia. No, the bacteria sees the ammonia the same way.

What is your pH?
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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yes your prime is detoxifying the ammonia, no, the bacteria that feed on it do not care - you are still feeding them.

but... you need to do more water changes to get that ammonia down - it is too high for your fish! how many /what fish do you have in your tank? what is your filtration?

I know about the difference between test strips and the API liquid kit! the liquid kit is much more accurate - as you just found out. when I started out my liquid kit read 6 or something crazy! I thought the kit was wrong because the test strips were telling me I was still safe. many water changes later... trust the liquid test, change that water and get your numbers down.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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Yes, you need to do some water changes to get your ammonia levels down. Prime detoxes ammonia by converting it to ammonium- it doesnt remove the amm, just converts it to make it less toxic up to levels of 2ppm. Your bb still use the ammonium the same as the ammonia. But, the issue is Prime is only effective for a period of 24-48hrs, after this, you still will have an ammonia problem. While ammonium is not as toxic as ammonia, its still not great for your fish. Some water changes will help until your tank is properly cycled. Good luck & dont hesitate to ask questions!
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