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Discussion Starter #1
One day after a 4x dose of Prime to my cycling tank, NitrIte levels dropped from between 2ppm and 5 ppm to near-zero. Coincidence (my level was pegged at 5+ ppm for about nine days)? Or does the manner in which Prime locks-up NitrItes alter the test results? I'm using API's Master Freshwater test kit.
 

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One day after a 4x dose of Prime to my cycling tank, NitrIte levels dropped from between 2ppm and 5 ppm to near-zero. Coincidence (my level was pegged at 5+ ppm for about nine days)? Or does the manner in which Prime locks-up NitrItes alter the test results? I'm using API's Master Freshwater test kit.

haven't heard is alters the nitrItes test.

But most ammoina test kits measure total ammonia which includes both the free and locked. As such Prime will throw off the ammonia test kits showing ammonia when all that ammonia is the locked safe(r) type.

my .02
 

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Thanks beaslbob. With respect to ammonia, I think I would be most interested in seeing the total ammonia but "knowing" that its toxicity is neutralized (i.e. by understanding the capabilities and limits of a conditioner like Prime). Seeing the total NH3, I expect, is a good indication of whether the biological filter is working adequately.
 

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I agree, Diver. Reading the total NH3/NH4 gives you a more accurate assessment of the cycle.

You can use this chart to determine how much of each is in your tank.
CNYKOI - Ammonia calculator


As far as I can determine, Prime does not alter the reading for nitrite or nitrate.
 

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I think I need to understand what you mean when you say "alter"

I DO know from my own adventures with Nitrite issues, because I did test it, that if you treat with the 5X dose of Prime, without a water change the Nitrite does read 0 on the API test kit.

I had to do that once due to no time to change the water, but I wanted to see what the Nitrite was in the tank after the treatment.
 

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Yeah... That's what I saw. And I'm wondering whether it indicates that my bio filter finally kicked-in. Or whether it is a "false negative" that reflects the chemical reaction between the nitrItes and the Prime.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

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It's hard to tell from anything Seachem says whether the drop in nitrite is actual or the locking of the molecule (as it does with ammonia). In either case a lower reading would indicate lowered toxicity. This has not been my experience.

However, facing two reports that contradict my opinion, I'm looking into changing my mind on this. By which I mean I'm going to seriously look into this. Thanks, Remo and Diver.

(Now I have to drag out an old tank and cycle it... just so I can play with nitrite <sigh>)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry to make work for you Hallyx. I'm very glad to have your insights, though. For what it's worth, I'm going to continue daily Ammonia and Nitrite testing to see whether there is an uptick in either one as the Prime wears off. I will post the results here in a few days or sooner if I see a rise. In the meantime, I'll keep other variables fixed... no new fish, no new plants, no increase in feedings, no water changes. I also submitted an inquiry with Seachem along these lines, and I will post their response.
 

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NitrItes are still zero four full days after dosing my tank with Prime. If Prime's ability to bind up excess ammonia and nitrite does wear-off, I don't see any indication that residual concentrations of those compounds are in the tank. Maybe I'm cycled!

I did no water changes during this period, and I have made no additions or subtractions to the tank.

Day Minus 1: 5.0 ppm or higher
Day 0: 5.0 ppm (administered Prime)
Day 1: <0.25 ppm
Day 2: 0 ppm
Day 3: 0 ppm
Day 4: 0 ppm

Ammonia has been under 0.25 ppm the whole time. BTW... I think it's zero ppm, but my wife believes she still sees a little green hue in the test results. It is definitely lighter than the reference color for 0.25 ppm on the API kit.

NitrIte reading is unambiguous... zero.

NitrAte is between 20 ppm and 40 ppm.
 

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I would say it's more likely you are cycled than Prime still locking things up.
My Nitrite would return to 5.0ppm 24 hours later, but I had a very messy Betta:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's hard to tell from anything Seachem says whether the drop in nitrite is actual or the locking of the molecule (as it does with ammonia).
Just wrapping up... I wrote to Seachem on this issue back on Feb 3rd. They just now responded with this explanation:
Prime does not directly reduce nitrite levels, but rather binds them into a form that is non-toxic to your aquarium inhabitants. Due to the way they are chemically bound and due to the fact that nitrite tests kits do not have the ability to differentiate between toxic and non-toxic forms of nitrite levels in your system, it is likely an indication that your bio-filter has consumed/converted the nitrites.

As described in my prior post, I repeated nitrIte tests for several days following the precipitous drop. The level has remained zero, so I'm inclined to accept Seachem's claim.
 

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that is because your tank likely just finished it's cycle. the bacteria took the nitrIte and converted it into nitrAte.

with the API test kit, even with dosing of prime, it will still get readings of ammonia and nitrite and nitrate. DiverDown is correct with his quote. The amounts in your tank would be detoxified for 24hours, but still read on the API test kit.

for example, i was dosing with ammonia to do a fish-less cycle. If i added prime and tested again, it would still show the ammonia i administered.

in short, no prime will not alter any of the API test kit readings.
 

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My experience agrees with RCM's. Yet Remo and Diver both read a reduction in nitrite using Prime. Seachem's explanation still does not satisfy me. Replace every instance of the word "nitrite" with "ammonia" and their explanation is the same word-for-word.

I understand the chemical mechanism involved in locking ammonia. Their explanation for locking nitrite does not square with my understanding. EI: What is "...non-toxic forms of nitrite levels..."?

I understand protecting proprietary information. But Seachem's explanations for many things sometimes seem deliberately confusing and misleading.
 

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Being completely new to fish keeping I've been researching like a mad man, and somewhere in the depths of Seachem's forums (sorry, I can't remember where) I came across a post by a Seachem employee to the effect that Prime's ability to detox nitrites was completely unexpected. They offered a couple of possible reasons why it might happen but admitted that they didn't really know the how, just that their tests showed it worked.

For what it's worth, from my experience in dealing with an off the charts nitrite spike in a small tank, Prime had no effect on the nitrite readings at all.
 

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... a post by a Seachem employee to the effect that Prime's ability to detox nitrites was completely unexpected. They offered a couple of possible reasons why it might happen but admitted that they didn't really know the how, just that their tests showed it worked. ...
I've read that as well. We discussed it on TFK some years ago. When a company doesn't even know how their product works, any explanation is suspect.

Diver and Remo report a reduction in nitrite as read by the API kit. RCM and Jeff read nitrite as staying the same. Hallyx is too old and forgetful to remember what he observed...if he ever knew.

Be that as it may, observations by reliable members on this thread and elsewhere on this forum lead me to conclude that Prime, however mysteriously, deals with nitrite so as to protect livestock from its dangerous affects. Does that agree with everyone's conclusions?
 

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I don't have enough experience to pretend anything I say is reliable but I can say that my betta spent 5 days in a high nitrite tank (so high the test tube liquid was more black than purple) with no signs of distress. I pulled the plug and moved him to a new tank but from what I could see, the Prime was certainly protecting him and at much higher levels than Seachem suggested it would.
 
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