Does Prime alter NitrIte Test Results? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 22 Old 02-06-2014, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
NitrItes are still zero four full days after dosing my tank with Prime. If Prime's ability to bind up excess ammonia and nitrite does wear-off, I don't see any indication that residual concentrations of those compounds are in the tank. Maybe I'm cycled!

I did no water changes during this period, and I have made no additions or subtractions to the tank.

Day Minus 1: 5.0 ppm or higher
Day 0: 5.0 ppm (administered Prime)
Day 1: <0.25 ppm
Day 2: 0 ppm
Day 3: 0 ppm
Day 4: 0 ppm

Ammonia has been under 0.25 ppm the whole time. BTW... I think it's zero ppm, but my wife believes she still sees a little green hue in the test results. It is definitely lighter than the reference color for 0.25 ppm on the API kit.

NitrIte reading is unambiguous... zero.

NitrAte is between 20 ppm and 40 ppm.
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post #12 of 22 Old 02-06-2014, 11:38 AM
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I would say it's more likely you are cycled than Prime still locking things up.
My Nitrite would return to 5.0ppm 24 hours later, but I had a very messy Betta
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post #13 of 22 Old 02-14-2014, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
It's hard to tell from anything Seachem says whether the drop in nitrite is actual or the locking of the molecule (as it does with ammonia).
Just wrapping up... I wrote to Seachem on this issue back on Feb 3rd. They just now responded with this explanation:
Prime does not directly reduce nitrite levels, but rather binds them into a form that is non-toxic to your aquarium inhabitants. Due to the way they are chemically bound and due to the fact that nitrite tests kits do not have the ability to differentiate between toxic and non-toxic forms of nitrite levels in your system, it is likely an indication that your bio-filter has consumed/converted the nitrites.

As described in my prior post, I repeated nitrIte tests for several days following the precipitous drop. The level has remained zero, so I'm inclined to accept Seachem's claim.
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post #14 of 22 Old 02-14-2014, 10:13 AM
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Well all I know is what I observed. That if I tested the tank before and after the Prime, it went from 5 to 0ppm
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post #15 of 22 Old 02-14-2014, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
Well...causality aside, you gotta be happy with that outcome... as long as it stays at zero.
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post #16 of 22 Old 02-14-2014, 10:36 AM
that is because your tank likely just finished it's cycle. the bacteria took the nitrIte and converted it into nitrAte.

with the API test kit, even with dosing of prime, it will still get readings of ammonia and nitrite and nitrate. DiverDown is correct with his quote. The amounts in your tank would be detoxified for 24hours, but still read on the API test kit.

for example, i was dosing with ammonia to do a fish-less cycle. If i added prime and tested again, it would still show the ammonia i administered.

in short, no prime will not alter any of the API test kit readings.
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post #17 of 22 Old 02-15-2014, 09:50 AM
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My experience agrees with RCM's. Yet Remo and Diver both read a reduction in nitrite using Prime. Seachem's explanation still does not satisfy me. Replace every instance of the word "nitrite" with "ammonia" and their explanation is the same word-for-word.

I understand the chemical mechanism involved in locking ammonia. Their explanation for locking nitrite does not square with my understanding. EI: What is "...non-toxic forms of nitrite levels..."?

I understand protecting proprietary information. But Seachem's explanations for many things sometimes seem deliberately confusing and misleading.
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post #18 of 22 Old 02-15-2014, 09:58 PM
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Being completely new to fish keeping I've been researching like a mad man, and somewhere in the depths of Seachem's forums (sorry, I can't remember where) I came across a post by a Seachem employee to the effect that Prime's ability to detox nitrites was completely unexpected. They offered a couple of possible reasons why it might happen but admitted that they didn't really know the how, just that their tests showed it worked.

For what it's worth, from my experience in dealing with an off the charts nitrite spike in a small tank, Prime had no effect on the nitrite readings at all.
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post #19 of 22 Old 02-16-2014, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffk View Post
... a post by a Seachem employee to the effect that Prime's ability to detox nitrites was completely unexpected. They offered a couple of possible reasons why it might happen but admitted that they didn't really know the how, just that their tests showed it worked. ...
I've read that as well. We discussed it on TFK some years ago. When a company doesn't even know how their product works, any explanation is suspect.

Diver and Remo report a reduction in nitrite as read by the API kit. RCM and Jeff read nitrite as staying the same. Hallyx is too old and forgetful to remember what he observed...if he ever knew.

Be that as it may, observations by reliable members on this thread and elsewhere on this forum lead me to conclude that Prime, however mysteriously, deals with nitrite so as to protect livestock from its dangerous affects. Does that agree with everyone's conclusions?
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post #20 of 22 Old 02-16-2014, 02:43 AM
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I don't have enough experience to pretend anything I say is reliable but I can say that my betta spent 5 days in a high nitrite tank (so high the test tube liquid was more black than purple) with no signs of distress. I pulled the plug and moved him to a new tank but from what I could see, the Prime was certainly protecting him and at much higher levels than Seachem suggested it would.
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