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Prime


grain

I suddenly have a small amount of ammonia in my tank after a water change. My tap ammonia is 0, and I usually never have ammonia in my tank. The only thing that I can think of is that I used a little more prime than usual. Is prime known to cause a false ammonia reading?

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What type of test kits are you using? Is it the ammonia kit with two bottles or only one bottle?

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I'm glad you asked this, Grain. I, too, have been using a little extra prime in my tank while I am cycling it. Saturday, I did a 90% water change in my tank. I mean, there was barely enough water for the fish to swim in after I got finished taking the old water out.

I filled up my 5g bucket several times, and I have been doubling up on the Prime. After I was finished, I told my hubby that I was sure there was no ammonia in the tank (before I started, the ammonia was only at .25) and I tested the water. There was ammonia in there! I have no ammonia from my tap, either, as I checked that, as well. It is very strange... :unsure:

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check the expiary date on ur testkit, I too had that problem but realized something was seriously messed up with my teskit cause when I got a new one it gave me 0 every time! I've never had this happen, maybe theres some in the tank that the prime converted into a harmless form, it might still show up on the teskit, althoguh Nickie, after a 90% waterchange there should be very little left :blink:

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I agree. I just got my test kit right before I set up my tank, about two weeks ago. Where do you find the exp. date on them?

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API testkits dont have one, I bopught mine brand new too and it was expired, on the bottom it'll usually say when its made, if its more than 2 or 3 years old then that might be a problem, mine was made in 2003!

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I'm having this problem too. Have zero ammonia in the tank. Do a water change with prime and I have 0.25 ammonia.I think with Prime you can't test the water right away

you need to give it a few hours.

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Well, I have looked and I can't find an exp. date on my API test kit at all. :blink:

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well if your tap water has zero with your kit, and your tank water has 0.25. Then your kit must be working ok.

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Wow, thats an interesting question as I have had the same experience! I had .25 ammonia before I did a 50% water change yesterday, and still showed up with .25 after adding a double dose of Prime. I just got disgusted and figured that the test was reading wrong when I did a 25% on my tropical tank which never shows ammonia and got the same reading. I can't find an expi date on my API kit, but I haven't had it very long. Of course, that doesn't mean it wasn't old when I bought it. All the fish in both tanks seem fine, so I guess I won't worry about it. I'll get another test kit this weekend and see how it is.

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Remember that chloramine minus chlorine equals ammonia. So when the Prime releases the chlorine the ammonia remains behind and gives you a reading.

If you can get a Seachem multi-active test kit, this is a gas exchange based reading and it will give you a true reading and distinguish between any dangerous free ammonia and the ionized (or bound harmless) ammonia.

Salicylate type test kits (API two bottle test) will give you an accurate reading if it is taken shortly after using Prime (5 mins). This will give you a total ammonia reading. Providing the reading is moderate, eg. under 2.5ppm (imo) then it can be assumed that the ammonia is ionized and harmless by the Prime. If you get a radically high reading then it must be assumed that some of that ammonia is free and dangerous, so do another dose or two of Prime to be sure, to be sure.

Nessler type test kits (API single bottle test) will not give an accurate reading at all, they go a muddy brown colour and do not register with the scale.

Edited by Fishmerised

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ok, thank you! I was getting a reading of about .25 using the api test.

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I just got prime the other day. I was wondering do I add the amount of the water i put back in or do i add to the size of the tanks?

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When you change your water, you need to add the amount of Prime to the water you add back in. So if you add 10gals back in, you need to add the amount of prime to treat 10gals.

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If you treat the new tap water before you add it to the tank (ie. in buckets), then you don't need to treat the rest of the tank.

If you are adding the tap water directly into the tank before it has been treated with Prime then it probably is a good idea to treat the whole tank to be sure, to be sure. Although some members here never treat the whole tank and have never had a problem, so it's up to you which you prefer to do.

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If you can get a Seachem multi-active test kit, this is a gas exchange based reading and it will give you a true reading and distinguish between any dangerous free ammonia and the ionized (or bound harmless) ammonia.

I saw those the other day on the seachem website. Are they expensive? If so, do they last a long time for the money spent?

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I suddenly have a small amount of ammonia in my tank after a water change. My tap ammonia is 0, and I usually never have ammonia in my tank. The only thing that I can think of is that I used a little more prime than usual. Is prime known to cause a false ammonia reading?

Fishmerized already posted part of this, but here is a little more info in full context: (referring to the Seachem's Ammonia test kit)

This kit is based on the same gas exchange technology that is used in the Ammonia Alert and thus is the only kit on the market that can read levels of free ammonia while using ammonia removal products such as Prime, Safe, AmGuard and any similar competing products. The other kits (salicylate or Nessler based) determine the total ammonia by raising the pH of the test solution to 12 or greater. At this high pH all ammonia removal products will breakdown and rerelease the ammonia, thus giving you a false ammonia reading.

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http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_AquariumPage...ts_seachem.html

I don't know of anyone who has had experience with this product but apparently you use different amounts of the product for each different test, eg. free ammonia, total ammonia, etc. So I guess it would be difficult to say how many tests this kit will do.

Looks like it uses powder instead of liquid form, so maybe there is more product. I'd like to see more reviews before I try it though. Some people don't like the difficulty of having to mix the powder into the water.

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Ok guys I did some testing.

My tap water has chloramines in it. Straight out of the tap my readings are amm 0.5/ nitrites 0/ nitrates 0/ ph 8.2

Everytime I do a water change I am getting an ammonia reading of 0.25 to 0.5 with Prime. When I have zero in the

tank before the change. I am testing immediately. I've been taking about 15 to 18 gallons and putting it back and I am

using 2 cap fulls which I put in the first bucket of water I pour in. My tank is 29 gallons.

So I did some experimenting, and this is what I found with MY water.

I took one gallon of water from my tap added 10 drops and tested. Then I added increments of 5 more drops and kept testing till I had zero ammonia.

To one gallon of water, it takes 30 drops of prime to break the bind of chloramine that is in my water and have ZERO ammonia.

30 drops is = 1/4 teaspoon

1 teaspoon will do 4 gallons

1 tablespoon will do 12 gallons

(1/4 teaspoon x 4 = 1 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon x 3 = 1 tablespoon)

I believe 1 teaspoon is 5 ml.

If this is true, one tablespoon is approximately 15ml. So it takes 15 ml, (3 capfuls) for 12 gallons. A far cry from 10ml per 50 gallons .

My conclusion: When dealing with Chloramines, Prime is not so concentrate.

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I'm not so sure I understand what you mean. "It takes 30 drops of Prime to break the bind of chloramine that is in my water and have ZERO ammonia."

I can only imagine that 30 drops Prime in 1 gallon of water has somehow messed up your test kit results, it is 15 times the recommended dosage. When Prime breaks the bonds of chloramine, ammonia is supposed to be left behind. Chloramine minus chlorine = ammonia.

Edited by Fishmerised

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If it says it removes chloramines then it should remove chlorine and ammonia, it breaks the bond and should remove both. If it leaves ammonia behind in your system then you will end up with more nitrates. Which means more water changing. Who wants that? Ultimately its not removing the chloramine in my water at their recommended dose. False advertising. But with my water test it takes 1 teaspoon per gallon to get no ammonia reading. I use the API 2 bottle test.

Personally if I am changing my water out, I want no ammonia reading, doesn't matter if they say it's harmless ammonia.

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