Been keeping an eye on this thread, as I also have the same questions about adding Prime to a cycling tank. Thanks for all the info here. . . I'm still feeling a bit skeptical about adding ANY extra chemicals to the tank, and am very worried about what happens after the 24 hour mark when the 'binding' on the nitrites and nitrates 'breaks' and the fish feel the true levels return very suddenly (as opposed to the slow building up of these toxins that allow their systems to somewhat adjust). I didn't realize that you have to dose at 5x the normal amount
in order for it to have an effect on anything other than ammonia, chlorine, and chloramine. This actually makes me feel better about the stuff, as I've never come close to dosing that high! I know that I read that nitrates and nitrites would still test positive after prime, which really worried me - I don't like not being able to trust my testing kit to show me accurately what the fish are feeling.
Originally Posted by Maxillius
When I used prime to detoxify nitrite it would show over limit on chart then after using prime it would indicate 0
I think I'll have to do an experiment on this, as my tank is cycling and I'm currently in the middle of a nitrAte spike. Tomorrow, if the numbers are still high, I'll separate 2 gallons of the dirty water when I do my water change, test it as a control, then do another test at 2.5 and again at 5x the two-drops-per-gallon amount called for in the directions. I'd really like to see this for myself! IF the numbers drop to zero, it will make me feel much more comfortable using this stuff, knowing that my API test IS still showing an accurate representation of whats in my tank. The problem with the muddy ammonia reading is a whole 'nother story, though.
The information they have on their FAQ didn't make me feel any better about using it - regarding the HOW aspect:
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.
Basically *shrug* they have no idea how it works. . . how is this to inspire confidence!?? Still, as an emergency measure, I think the stuff is good to have on-hand!
Much to think on in this thread. . . thanks again! I'll be lurking around to see if there is any more information gathered here on the stuff!