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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday day I bought 3 golden occelatus. Set up:

20 gallon
Aragonite sand
Fluval 205 (full of mature media)
A few granite rocks
No shells yet but they are in the post

Fish were settling in. In the tank for about 36hours. Cautiously buzzing about the rocks, half an hour later. ALL DEAD.

About an hour before they all died i had done a 5ml does of prime. Although using mature media I thought there might have been some die off, and I thought a healthy dose of prime might help to knock any ammonia off as it is a new tank.

Now after finding them dead *** researched and found that Prime is a reducing agent and it will reduce oxygen in the tank if there's nothing else to reduce!!

I FEEL TERRIBLE!! I THINK I SUFFOCATED THE POOR LITTLE BUGGERSI was so excited to have my first shell dwellers and paid a small fortune for them (uni student budget).

Anyone had any experience with this sort of thing? I've been keeping fish for years and feel so disheartened :(
 

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I would lean more towards an acclimation issue rather than a Prime problem. With a mature filter, you really didn't need a dose of Prime, and it would take a very heavy dose, like 4-5x to affect O2 levels. Your home tank likely has parameters quite different than where the fish came from. Unless you are certain of origin water, a drip acclimation is always the way to go for new fish
 

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I don't like to use prime for just that reason. People don't really measure out exact doses, overdose, or dose to the tank size instead of the water replacement amount. They can even forget and double dose. People also don't oxygenate the water as much as they used to. A lot of people seem to get deaths for no reason when they change the water and I have to think a large number of them are because of this. It doesn't help that on most forums half the members mention Seachem Prime as if it is the holy grail in every post. Prime also gives you a false positive on ammonia, which is another giant annoyance.

That said it can just be coincidence. Fish should not die due to acclimatization after 36 hours, or really ever. For fish it's best to just net them out of the bag and dump them in the water. Drip acclimatization can be tricky especially for fish because they need constant oxygen. It can also wind up poisoning them due to changing ph. Even for much more delicate shrimp, these days I just put the bag in the water, let it sit 30 seconds, then open it up and dump them in. I'd take a certainly of a mild shock over the chance of total meltdown any time.

Other possibilities are some contaminant in the tank from the rocks or sand if you did not wash off the sand or the rocks are not aquarium rocks. It can just be the tank is not cycled and they died of ammonia spike, but if anything the prime should have detoxified the ammonia.
 

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Looks like the dosing for seachem prime is 3.3 ml for 200L which is 50 gallons. So even if the water was ALL chlorinated the dosage was too big, almost double. Since the tank is only 20 gallons, it was about 4-5x too big of a dose even if had any chlorine in there. For a 25% water change in reality the amount used should be very tiny.

So, considering this happened right after the dosing it would seem this was the issue. Don't blame yourself though. Any kind of additive that you can put in 5 ml and kill all your fish is very ridiculous to have on the pet store shelves as I am sure people do that kind of thing ALL THE TIME. Even worse when they brag about it neutralizing ammonia and thereby encourage people to overuse it, even use it when it is totally unneeded like in this case.

Seachem Prime is a terrible product and no one should use it. For typical water changes no dechlorinator is needed whatsoever. I keep freshwater shrimp which are about a million times more delicate and I never use it for typical water changes. For a full water change or 50% or more water change just get some regular API dechlorinator that doesn't have any fancy BS in it and ten you don't have to worry about all this.
 

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Cyphro, I love the passion but it sounds like the issue could have been avoided had the OP paid closer attention to the directions. Why blame the product for that kind of mistake? Either way, OP, sorry to hear you lost all of your fish. Hopefully the experience doesn't discourage you and your next group of fish works out.
 

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morrismorris said:
Cyphro, I love the passion but it sounds like the issue could have been avoided had the OP paid closer attention to the directions. Why blame the product for that kind of mistake? Either way, OP, sorry to hear you lost all of your fish. Hopefully the experience doesn't discourage you and your next group of fish works out.
Because it's irresponsible both to have a product where adding 5ml can kill your fish, and doubly so in marketing in such a way as to encourage exactly the kind of use the OP made and which apparently killed his fish. Those guys are about 25-30 bucks a pop, aside from the sad fact they are living beings who are now dead.
 

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I hear you but I have and use Prime and it is all fully disclosed how to properly use the product. I never got the impression that it is marketed in such a fashion that it could wipe out your tank. I am not looking at it now but I am pretty sure I read from them on their site to even be careful overdosing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input all.

Prime says it can be safely used up to 5x recommended dose in an emergency situation. I'm getting full water testing done today. I'm going to assume O ammonia and nitrite. So in being overzealous and precautionary and double dosing the prime in what wasn't an emergency. I think the oxygen depletion is likely. The time span just seems to close for it not to be a factor.

I think I've killed then from being to caring. Will be far more conservative in the future. Should have known not to go over the top without knowing exact water parameters :(
 

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A lot of us have been there and the fact that these are living animals makes it feel even worse. Try not to beat yourself up over it too much.
 

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Don't feel bad...there are hundreds, thousands of products out there. Very few of them will kill your fish no matter what an idiot you are. And I expect something like malachite green to kill your fish if you use it wrong, it pretty much screams out "BE CAREFUL" in neon flashing light. No one would logically think that a dechlorinator in a small amount could kill your fish. A double bummer since those are a beautiful and interesting species.

I am sure thousands if not tens of thousands have done the exact same thing. You probably just don't hear about it much because they assume it's due to nitrates or whatever other silly answer you get from a google search or typical users on beginner level fish forums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tested the water.

pH 7.8
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 3ppm
kH 4 degrees
gH 12 degrees

Why would the nitrite rocket to 3ppm within 36 hours and cycled filter media? The water is softer than I suspected. Would that cause a huge amount of stress if the pH was fine?

Given the nitrite level surely the Prime would've helped?

The granite rocks were from my mum's garden, I certainly hope she hasn't used pesticides on or near them as I didn't wash them super thoroughly!!!!! I'll have to ask!
 

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The nitrite seems likely to me. My fish start gasping at 0.05 ppm.

What is your nitrate?

How did you know the filter media was cycled and established? I would not expect it to go from 0ppm to 3ppm in 36 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
About 3 metric cups of ceramic media went from an established tank (years old) straight into the canister filter the day the fish were added.

Thought it unnecessary to test nitrate considering the water was all new
 

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TooManyChoices said:
About 3 metric cups of ceramic media went from an established tank (years old) straight into the canister filter the day the fish were added.

Thought it unnecessary to test nitrate considering the water was all new
I recently set up a 40 gallon breeder with a Fluval 70 HOB filter using media from an established filter on my 75 gallon tank; I filled it with 1 1/2 pounds of Biohome Ultimate. I began adding ammonia and testing daily to make sure it was cycled before adding fish. It took a month to get ammonia and nitrite to 0 ppm and get nitrate to start climbing. Even thought there was established media in the filter, there was not bacteria anywhere else in the tank. Until bacteria colonies established on the rocks, plants and substrate I was not cycled.
 

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No way whatsoever that it was the Prime. You dosed one cap full for a 20g tank.
When I do partial a w/c on a 5g fry tank containing parcyprichromis fry, I add half a cap full of Prime.
That is twice the amount that you used.
 

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Old Newbie said:
TooManyChoices said:
About 3 metric cups of ceramic media went from an established tank (years old) straight into the canister filter the day the fish were added.

Thought it unnecessary to test nitrate considering the water was all new
I recently set up a 40 gallon breeder with a Fluval 70 HOB filter using media from an established filter on my 75 gallon tank; I filled it with 1 1/2 pounds of Biohome Ultimate. I began adding ammonia and testing daily to make sure it was cycled before adding fish. It took a month to get ammonia and nitrite to 0 ppm and get nitrate to start climbing. Even thought there was established media in the filter, there was not bacteria anywhere else in the tank. Until bacteria colonies established on the rocks, plants and substrate I was not cycled.
I've recently been moving fish tanks out of the living room down to the new fish room.

The above (in bold) is why I have made sure to remove all the technical equipment, substrate, plants, and furniture and put it into a bucket of tank water and then drain the remainder of the water, move the tank and then immediately start filling it up with after I get it relocated.

:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm astounded that three, inch long fish could produce so much waste in such a short time span, even if bacteria hadn't colonised the sand
 

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I agree. That's why I asked about the nitrate. If you had 3ppm of nitrite, then maybe there is some nitrate as well.
 

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Once a fish dies the water quality readings don't mean anything any more, they will go up very quickly with dead fish in the water.
 
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