Prime and Cycling
Ok, my tank has been cycling for the past month. I ran out of De-chlorinator a couple of days ago and bough prime. I was reading ammonia above 4 and nitrites above (high, dark lavendar color on API fw kit). So I did a water change yesterday and tested this am and Both readings are 0...... so did my tank cycle or does the prime not let the ammonia or nitrites register on the API test?? I have a 50 gallon with 2 dwarf gouramis and 4 barbs (going to get 2 more barbs to finish out the herd if my tank is cycled). I also have a chinese algae eater (who would be banished to the watering trough if I could catch him.....he sooooo psycho!!!)
This is a direct quote from the Seachem website
When your nitrite readings were that high it was good that you did a water change. Did you by change get a reading on your nitrates?
Did you test and water change today? If not, test again for nitrite and nitrate.
My nitrates are 40-80 I cant tell the difference in the color. I just did another test and I get 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 40-80 nitrates. My ph is 7.4. I added two green barbs. I was just wondering if the Prime would prevent my API test from reading ammonia or nitrites.
No i did not do a water change today. I did it approximately 26 hours ago.
keep testing but it may very well be true bacteria can still feed off the binded ammonia so the cycle continues but better since bacteria do not thrive in a high ammonia enviroment so the removal of the toxicity would help the cycle
Test the water for a few days for both Ammonia and Nitrite, if you get any which you might with fish in now, hold off doing anything but keep testing.
If after 2-3 days you still get ammonia readings then your cycle is not completed correctly.
Ammonia should be fully converted to Nitrite - Nitrate within 24 hours in a completely cycled tank.
The readings so far are good though, by performing water changes you will have the nitrate numbers, aim for a level of ideally less than 20ppm, lower even better.
Keep us informed as to how things are going and we can offer assistance if anything is messed up in a few days.
I concur with what's been suggested, and am just responding to your direct question on Prime and tests. Prime detoxifies ammonia by changing it to ammonium which is basically harmless. The API test will read ammonium as "ammonia" so if either ammonia or ammonium is present it will show. Prime binds nitrite somehow, but here again tests will still show "nitrite" if nitrite is present as toxic or bonded form. Prime is effective for 36-48 hours according to Seachem. And the bacteria use either form of ammonia/ammonium or nitrite the same, so these have no effect on cycling. Live plants will assimilate ammonium or ammonia.
From your numbers I wold assume the cycle is established, but monitor this as has been suggested.
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