Chlorine and Chloramines
Well I got real excited as I thought my tank was properly cycled but to my surprise I was mistaken. It seems the water conditioner(Stress Coat) only rids chlorine from water and not chloramines, turns out when I tested my water from the tap I got the same ammonia level as I did in the tank. I went out and bought prime I hope this stuff works as good as I hear its suppose to but since I haven't used it before my question is should I do a couple smaller water changes to start or do a 1/3 water change right away with prime treated water. My fish seem to be doing fine (None have died knock on wood)but I can tell at times they get stressed.
No need to do a water change after you use "Prime". But the recommended water change is 40 to 50% of tank volume each week. You can use it in new water or directly in the tank. Seachems preference is to dose it in new water first. The rate of dose is 5 ml per 50 gallons or 0.1 X your tank capacity. Its a chemical; so respect it and measure your dose. Its more economical to use it that way. I find that oral syringes are handy for measuring a dose. Prime also detoxifies heavy metals. So if you have copper in your water supply, it will take care of it.
Yeah I have an eye dropper to measure it out I was told its pretty strong stuff and to only use 2 drops per gallon I think Ill get a syringe as well in case the eye dropper breaks. I change about 60% of the water each week guess ill do a 15 gallon water change today Thanks for the advice.
An alternative to eye-droppers: take a spare test kit bottle (eg: the pH range you're not using). Remove the dropper part, carefully with pliers. It pops right out. Fill with Prime or whatever.
Prime removes chloramine by splitting it into chlorine and ammonia. It detoxifies the chlorine somehow, and turns the ammonia into harmless ammonium.
Scratch that. Further research indicatesthat Prime converts ammonia to aminomethanesulfinate, which Seachem refers to as Prime complex or Prime/ammonia complex. This is a harmless chemical, bit it begins to decay back to regular ammonia as soon as it's dosed. It takes 24 to 48 hours says Seachem.
So while Prime is decaying and losing its effectiveness, the livestock is producing more ammonia. As far as I know, there's no way to tell where you stand unless you use their test which can isolate harmful "free" ammonia.
Overdosing (up to 5x normal is safe) may extend Prime's effects. But that is unclear from Seachem's literature.
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