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-   -   Does Prime affect nitrite/nitrate readings? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/does-prime-affect-nitrite-nitrate-readings-67942/)

whitecloud34 04-14-2011 12:16 PM

Does Prime affect nitrite/nitrate readings?
 
Had a nitrite reading last week at .25 but now it's back to 0 and still 0 for nitrates and 2.0 for ammonia so I'm wondering where the nitrites went and if Prime is the culprit. Thank you in advance!

DKRST 04-14-2011 03:23 PM

Could be the Prime, it will neutralize nitrates/nitrites, so it says. Do you have any plants? Are you doing water changes?

whitecloud34 04-14-2011 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DKRST (Post 648177)
Could be the Prime, it will neutralize nitrates/nitrites, so it says. Do you have any plants? Are you doing water changes?

No I don't have any plants but I'm considering them because I'm having a hard time with ammonia and getting this cycle started. I do 20% water changes like once a week and I use Prime with it because we have ammonia in our tap water like nearly 1ppm. But I can't figure out why I finally get a nitrite reading and then it goes back to 0 :-?

The thing is the API test kit for ammonia still reads for ammonia with Prime in it so I'm wondering if it still reads for nitrites/nitrates as well.

DKRST 04-14-2011 09:15 PM

The API kit absolutely gives incorrect ammonia readings (it gives combined ammonia) with Prime. I had the same problem. I kept up water changes and got Seachem's Ammonia Alert. It's a disk that mounts in the tank and is suppose to just detect the more toxic form of ammonia . It takes several days to equilibrate initially.

The nitrates/nitrites test should not be interfered with by Prime.
Are you getting a nitrate and a nitrite reading?
Nitrites will decline over time as bacteria work on them, I believe. Do you have Nitrite in your tapwater?

Mikaila31 04-14-2011 11:27 PM

Prime does not neutralize anything except chlorine and chlormaines. "Detoxify" is what it claimes. All it does is bind ammonia, nitrite and nitrate for a while. This lowers their toxicity, it does NOT make them nontoxic. Using prime does not at all interfere with the cycling process.

API will properly read all levels with the use of Prime. You have 2ppm ammonia, add prime, you still have 2ppm ammonia. Prime changes it only slightly, your test kit will still detect it. Prime does not bind it forever either. API kit detects both ammonia and ammonium. As well as nitrite while using prime. I don't see any point in testing for only ammonia (NH3). As I mentioned in another thread, both ammonia and ammonium get converted to nitrite. While ammonium is less toxic then ammonia, its NOT non-toxic, especially when it gets converted to nitrite.

Plants don't consume nitrite so they can't be the culprit.

What is the pH?

whitecloud34 04-15-2011 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DKRST (Post 648559)
The API kit absolutely gives incorrect ammonia readings (it gives combined ammonia) with Prime. I had the same problem. I kept up water changes and got Seachem's Ammonia Alert. It's a disk that mounts in the tank and is suppose to just detect the more toxic form of ammonia . It takes several days to equilibrate initially.

The nitrates/nitrites test should not be interfered with by Prime.
Are you getting a nitrate and a nitrite reading?
Nitrites will decline over time as bacteria work on them, I believe. Do you have Nitrite in your tapwater?

No, I'm still not gettinga nitrite/nitrate reading. Just had that one .25ppm nitrite reading before but like I said now it's back to 0. Hmm I never testedfor nitrite in the tapwater. I only tested for ammonia. I should probably test everything just to see what else is in there.

whitecloud34 04-15-2011 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikaila31 (Post 648730)
Prime does not neutralize anything except chlorine and chlormaines. "Detoxify" is what it claimes. All it does is bind ammonia, nitrite and nitrate for a while. This lowers their toxicity, it does NOT make them nontoxic. Using prime does not at all interfere with the cycling process.

API will properly read all levels with the use of Prime. You have 2ppm ammonia, add prime, you still have 2ppm ammonia. Prime changes it only slightly, your test kit will still detect it. Prime does not bind it forever either. API kit detects both ammonia and ammonium. As well as nitrite while using prime. I don't see any point in testing for only ammonia (NH3). As I mentioned in another thread, both ammonia and ammonium get converted to nitrite. While ammonium is less toxic then ammonia, its NOT non-toxic, especially when it gets converted to nitrite.

Plants don't consume nitrite so they can't be the culprit.

What is the pH?

Thank you for your input. I was wondering if the Prime is what making my nitrites disappear but sounds like it isn't. I'm still wondering what happened to my nitrites:-? but it's only been a little over 5 weeks so I probably just have to wait. Actually I'm having trouble with the pH recently. I keep doing 20% water changes and keep adding pH Up but the pH keeps dropping to 6.0! Our tap water is like 7.4 so I don't know what's going on. I read that established tanks get acidic naturally but since I have 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates I don't know what's going on. Luckily the fish are ok (2 comets, 2 paradise).

Byron 04-15-2011 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whitecloud34 (Post 648996)
Thank you for your input. I was wondering if the Prime is what making my nitrites disappear but sounds like it isn't. I'm still wondering what happened to my nitrites:-? but it's only been a little over 5 weeks so I probably just have to wait. Actually I'm having trouble with the pH recently. I keep doing 20% water changes and keep adding pH Up but the pH keeps dropping to 6.0! Our tap water is like 7.4 so I don't know what's going on. I read that established tanks get acidic naturally but since I have 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates I don't know what's going on. Luckily the fish are ok (2 comets, 2 paradise).

I'm picking up on the pH issue.

The pH is linked to the hardness of the source water. Carbonate hardness (expressed as KH) acts as a buffer to maintain a stable pH. The higher the KH the more it will buffer the pH to prevent changes.

Chemical pH adjusters may work temporarily, but then the KH reverts the pH back, and the result is fluctuating pH which is serious with fish in the tank. [Don't know if you do or don't have fish in this tank that is cycling, but if you do please do not use the pH adjuster.]

Other things can also affect pH, and yes, it will normally lower in an aquarium with fish and biological processes. The extent (how much and how fast) somewhat depends on the KH as well as the fish, bacteria, plants, and water volume. There is quite an involved biological process occurring in an aquarium.

If you can give us the GH (general hardness) and KH of your tap water we can probably provide a bit more. Rather than spending money for a hardness kit, contact your water supply people; many have websites with the water analysis posted, and hardness should be included.

Byron.

Mikaila31 04-15-2011 01:07 PM

Yeah I would get your pH up by increasing water hardness. This is a case where adding some crushed coral to a filter can actually help. A really low pH like that can inhibit the nitrogen cycle. After 5 weeks you should be fully cycled. From the sounds of it you have barely started. You should know GH and KH though before messing with your buffering, or in this case lack of....

DKRST 04-15-2011 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikaila31 (Post 648730)
Prime does not neutralize anything except chlorine and chlormaines. "Detoxify" is what it claimes. All it does is bind ammonia, nitrite and nitrate for a while. This lowers their toxicity, it does NOT make them nontoxic. Using prime does not at all interfere with the cycling process.

Ok, ok, I used the wrong word :-(. Point is, it helps some temporarily but you are correct as usual!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikaila31 (Post 648730)
API will properly read all levels with the use of Prime.

Assuming the API test is salacylate based(?), it reads total (ammonia + ammonium) and won't discriminate the more vs. less toxic form - yes, I know both are bad ;-)
I'll shut up now, but thanks for correcting my less than accurate statements. Precision is a good thing!


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