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prime question

This is a discussion on prime question within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I use prime when I treat my water when I do water changes. My nitrates have been high and have been doing 10% daily ...

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Old 04-26-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
 
prime question

I use prime when I treat my water when I do water changes. My nitrates have been high and have been doing 10% daily for the last 7 days. The Nitrates are still high. My question about prime is, does it give a false reading like it does with ammonia? If not, should I increase the percentage in my water changes? Read my profile and will tell you what I have in my tanks. Thanks for taking time to read.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:57 PM   #2
 
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Interesting question about the Prime. It doesn't give "false" readings, though I know what you mean. Prime detoxifies ammonia by coverting it to ammonium, so when you test for "ammonia" with most test kits you will still see the "ammonia" even though it may be in the relatively harmless form of ammonium. According to the info on their website (Seachem's), Prime contains a binder that renders nitrite and nitrate non-toxic, allowing the bio-filter to more efficiently remove them. This suggests to me that they are still there though in non-toxic form. Which seems realistic.

Assuming you are using the API nitrate test, be advised that the test will not read accurately unless the second regent bottle is shaken very thoroughly for 2 minutes. The instructions say 30 seconds, but it takes 2+ minutes of shaking to ensure the Regent #2 is mixed. Those who do this have reported significantly lower nitrate readings afterwards. And Seachem have stated in writing that this is the case, as we have gone into previously in a couple of other threads here.

Nitrates will be higher in non-planted tanks than in planted, all else being equal. And "planted" means well-planted, not just one plant in a 10g and three plants in a 50g, although they will help especially as they are swords that assimilate a lot of nutrients. But before we can advise on this, we need to know the number for nitrate? "High" can mean different things to different aquarists. Bearing in mind the above on the API test, try it again and post the number.

One other thought, Prime's detoxifying does not last more than 24 hours (also according to Seachem in response to my direct question) so if the source of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate is within the aquarium, or the biological bacteria cannot process the ammonia or nitrite sufficient to keep up, it may again become toxic. However, as we seem to be concerned only with nitrate, and assuming the ammonia and nitrite are OK, this is not so critical. But that again depends upon how "high" it actually is; different fish have different tolerance levels.

Byron.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:07 AM   #3
 
An interesting article in TFH

I believe it was Nov and Dec/09 that TFH magazine ran two articles on water changes. To make a long story short, it is presumed better to do the one big water change a week than 10% daily, which kind of makes sense if you think about it. A 10% change becomes diluted into the "polluted" tank, so that 10% daily is removing less of the "pollutants" than a large change. I'll link you to the discussion to these articles at TFH, but I'm suggesting you might be better off to do one large 75% change to get your tank back to a low nitrate "stasis."

In this article follow up links where provided as the thread starts out not really discussing the issue so at first you might be confused, but keep reading:

http://forums.tfhmagazine.com/viewto...26400&start=15
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:27 AM   #4
 
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Back when that article came out it was referenced by me in a couple of threads, and I certainly agree in principle; Ihave always done, and still do, water changes of 50%+ every week. There is one thing though, and that is the chemistry of the actual water. Some other members here brought this point out at the time, and it is well taken; large partial water changes work but one does have to be careful over water quality and parameters. If the large pwc is altering the chemistry of the water to too great an extent there can be serious harm to the fish, as David points out in that article.

I think we need to know the exact nitrate number for Foster16's aquarium. He says the nitrate is "high" but before we advocate measures to reduce it we need to know exactly what it is.

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Old 04-27-2010, 10:16 PM   #5
 
Thanks for helping me out. My nitrate reading is 140 ppm. Yes I use api test. But I only shake the 2nd bottle for 30 seconds. I'll do 2 mins for my next test. My ammonia and nitrite are 0. What percent water change should I do. Any help would be great. Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:19 PM   #6
 
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Shaking that test tube two minutes versus 30 seconds is going to yield some very different results. When you do, post them, as I'm very interested!!

PS. Jeaninel likes to say "shake the bejesus out of it". Doing that resulted in a very different result for me.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:07 PM   #7
 
Hi and thanks again for the advise. I did shake bottle 2 for 2 mins. My nitrate is a lil better but at 80 ppm. Any advise to get reduced will greatly appreciated Thank you.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:24 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foster16 View Post
Hi and thanks again for the advise. I did shake bottle 2 for 2 mins. My nitrate is a lil better but at 80 ppm. Any advise to get reduced will greatly appreciated Thank you.
80ppm versus 140ppm, big difference. I wonder what you can do other than continual W/Cs or to seriously stuff it with plants to get this reading down?
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:36 PM   #9
 
Right now I do 10% daily w/c. should I increase the percentage?
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:55 AM   #10
 
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How big is the tank and what fish are you keeping in it?

I would do some big water changes, say 40% or so, every other day until the nitrate level is down where you want it to be. Plants definitely do help keep nitrate under control but if you don't want plants you can always adjust your water change routine to keep your nitrate levels down. What's the nitrate reading of your tap water? Sometimes that can be pretty high, too.
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