Dosing SeaChem Prime

Dan_P

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I do not believe that Prime does anything useful about nitrate. I know Seachem mentions it, but there's no basis to believe it.
The information I just read refers to detoxifying ammonia and nitrite. I understand the chemical possibilities around the first claim but not the second.
 
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Dan_P

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hmmm.....
I know that prime can be added during cycling, and the cycle will still proceed, but more slowly. Dr Tim warns that excess of prime etc can slow the nitrifiers


Both the ammonia and the heavy metal binding functions are said to degrade in a few days, but I haven't seen any data to verify.
I agree with your “hmmm”. I am working on an experiment design to look into this notion, but like Curly said, “I am trying to think but nothin’ is happening!”
 

Dan_P

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It's just a matter of time before Seachem starts claiming that Prime can resurrect dead fish.
They are pretty close to that with this:

FAQ: How fast does Seachem Prime® work?

Prime® removes chlorine and chloramine almost instantly upon being added to water, and will immediately detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The chlorine and chloramine is permanently removed (they are broken down into a form that will not re-associate in water) and the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate detoxification lasts for 48 hours. If you are dosing Prime® specifically to detoxify ammonia or nitrite, you should re-dose Prime® every 48 hours until the bacteria colonies in the tank are large and stable enough to consume these chemicals.
 

taricha

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this one is even better:


Q: How does Prime® make a difference in reducing nitrates?
A: The detoxification of nitrite and nitrate by Prime® (when used at elevated levels) is not well understood from a mechanistic standpoint. The most likely explanation is that the nitrite and nitrate is removed in a manner similar to the way ammonia is removed; i.e. it is bound and held in a inert state until such time that bacteria in the biological filter are able to take a hold of it, break it apart and use it. Two other possible scenarios are reduction to nitrogen (N2) gas or conversion into a benign organic nitrogen compound.

I wish we had some more "concrete" explanation, but the end result is the same, it does actually detoxify nitrite and nitrate. This was unexpected chemically and thus initially we were not even aware of this, however we received numerous reports from customers stating that when they overdosed with Prime® they were able to reduce or eliminate the high death rates they experienced when their nitrite and nitrate levels were high. We have received enough reports to date to ensure that this is no fluke and is in fact a verifiable function of the product.

That's actually more comedic than explanatory.
people told us it does - so we put it on the bottle!
 
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Dan_P

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this one is even better:




That's actually more comedic than explanatory.
people told us it does - so we put it on the bottle!
Is this answer for freshwater? Nitrites don’t pose a problem in saltwater.

And…how were NH3, NO2 and NO3 measured?

Oh well, buyer beware.
 

DaddyFish

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89-150ppm
Yeah that's a bit HIGH. First thing is increase your water change schedule and/or amounts. More frequent small water changes are better than less frequent larger ones. But water changes are your immediate solution to lowering those nitrates.

And add a refugium if you don't already have one, or add an algae scrubber, or add a biopellet reactor (assuming you also already have a good skimmer). Biopellets are useless without a good skimmer.
Point is, you're going to need some type of nitrate/nutrient export mechanism or the required water changes will become massive and frequent.

Personally, I've had the best luck in FOWLR tanks with algae scrubbers. That's my export mechanism of choice.
 
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Yeah that's a bit HIGH. First thing is increase your water change schedule and/or amounts. More frequent small water changes are better than less frequent larger ones. But water changes are your immediate solution to lowering those nitrates.

And add a refugium if you don't already have one, or add an algae scrubber, or add a biopellet reactor (assuming you also already have a good skimmer). Biopellets are useless without a good skimmer.
Point is, you're going to need some type of nitrate/nutrient export mechanism or the required water changes will become massive and frequent.

Personally, I've had the best luck in FOWLR tanks with algae scrubbers. That's my export mechanism of choice.
Thank you. I am dosing NoPox and I don’t know if it is working. Who makes the least intense and invasive yet good looking algae reactors?
 

DaddyFish

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Prime works by chemically binding ammonia. The bound ammonia is still available for bacteria to consume. I never thought about which bacteria can do this.

Question: does binding ammonia with Prime reroute the ammonia to bacteria that turn the bound ammonia into new bacteria cells instead of letting nitrifying bacteria turn ammonia into nitrate.

Before trying this, we would need to know how much Prime to add everyday, how much ammonia is produce per day, are there toxic limits for Prime, and does Prime accumulate or degrade.

Cool idea.


It makes the ammonia non toxic but bacteria can still process it. At least this is from my experience.
 

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To put numbers on it, Instant Ocean looks to be about $50 for 160g. So for a 100g tank you'd be looking at around $25/month to change out 80g/month.

No judgment either way! Just adding the data.


Keep in mind the amount of saltwater that it says it will make is not accurate. For example, a 50 gallon bag of reef crystals makes about 38-39 gallons at 1.026
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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The information I just read refers to detoxifying ammonia and nitrite. I understand the chemical possibilities around the first claim but not the second.

Seachem claims right on their main Prime page that it "detoxifies nitrate":

"Detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate"

As to nitrite, I do not know the chemistry behind that claim, if there is any.
 
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Dan_P

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Seachem claims right on their main Prime page that it "detoxifies nitrate":

"Detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate"

As to nitrite, I do not know the chemistry behind that claim, if there is any.
You are correct. They don’t know why it happens but that is what they are claiming.
 

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