Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I'm confused, In my 20g I change 3.5 gal once a week, In my 55g I change about 9 gal once a week. Both tanks test 0's for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate using API freshwater test kits, but my tap water tests 5 ppm nitrate. Where is the 5ppm going?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, they are cycled the 55 has been running for over 2 years, the 20 gallon a couple months. I was getting readings while the 20 was cycling, but now 0's , and as I said my tap water reads 5 ppm nitrate, so I don't think I have a bad test kit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I use prime, or aquasafe , no ammo chips , no live plants , I have a little algae in both tanks. I don't remove it from rocks or the back wall of the tanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Prime will definitely take care of the nitrates, and the algae also absorb it. So it's cool. What the prime doesn't get, the algae are using.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,011 Posts
This is what Seachem's website has to say about their product:
Q: How does Prime make a difference in reducing Nitrates?

A: The detoxification of nitrite and nitrate by Prime (when used at elevated levels) is not well understood from a mechanistic standpoint. The most likely explanation is that the nitrite and nitrate is removed in a manner similar to the way ammonia is removed; i.e. it is bound and held in a inert state until such time that bacteria in the biological filter are able to take a hold of it, break it apart and use it. Two other possible scenarios are reduction to nitrogen (N2) gas or conversion into a benign organic nitrogen compound.
I wish we had some more "concrete" explanation, but the end result is the same, it does actually detoxify nitrite and nitrate. This was unexpected chemically and thus initially we were not even aware of this, however we received numerous reports from customers stating that when they overdosed with Prime they were able to reduce or eliminate the high death rates they experienced when their nitrite and nitrate levels were high. We have received enough reports to date to ensure that this is no fluke and is in fact a verifiable function of the product.
Are you overdosing with Prime (the regular dose is one capful or 5 ml per 50 gallons)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Zimmy, I would not say I'm overdosing with prime. when I add water to my 20 gal tank it's 3.5 gal bucket and I'm using very little prime, it seems like a few drops. For that 3.5 gallon bucket I pretty much just cover the bottom of the inside of the cap of the prime bottle, dump it in, let it sit for a minute, then dump the bucket in the tank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,011 Posts
shellies215 said:
Zimmy, I would not say I'm overdosing with prime. when I add water to my 20 gal tank it's 3.5 gal bucket and I'm using very little prime, it seems like a few drops. For that 3.5 gallon bucket I pretty much just cover the bottom of the inside of the cap of the prime bottle, dump it in, let it sit for a minute, then dump the bucket in the tank
Despite using such a small amount of Prime it is still possible you are overdosing. Each thread in the cap represents 1 ml which is the recommended dose for 10 gallons. It sounds like that's the amount you are using if you just cover the bottom of the cap. If so, you're treating only about a third of the volume of water the dose is recommended for if you're adding it to each 3.5 gallon bucket you treat. It's hard to get a third of 1 ml unless you use a dropper or maybe a syringe (without the needle).

It would be an interesting experiment to try using a 10 gallon bucket for water changes and treat it with the same amount of Prime you are currently using. You might get nitrate readings on your tanks if you tried it.

What is the stocking level in your tanks?

I don't know if what you're encountering is necessarily a problem but it is curious and I'd really like to see if we can figure out why you're getting your nitrate readings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tanks are stocked pretty light. 20 gal. - 6 brevis 55 gal - 6 gold head compressiceps (juvi's at1.5") 1juli marleiri, 1 cylindricus, 1 pleco
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,345 Posts
Hi all,

I was under the impression that even though prime binds ammonia (and I guess in some cases nitrite & nitrate) to be non-toxic to fish, it still accurately shows readings on test kits.

Is this not the case?

Thanks,
Matt

I should have simply gone to primes website FQAs. Here is the answer http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/Prime.html

However, this still confuses me to how shellies215 is reading 0ppm on nitrates without live plants (I would not expect minimal algae to use up all the nitrates).

Primes website FQA (although it is addressing ammonia and not specifically nitrates) would seem to indicate that an error in the test kit reading would be too high, opposed to too low.

Thanks,
Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,011 Posts
mlancaster said:
I should have simply gone to primes website FQAs. Here is the answer http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/Prime.html

However, this still confuses me to how shellies215 is reading 0ppm on nitrates without live plants (I would not expect minimal algae to use up all the nitrates).

Primes website FQA (although it is addressing ammonia and not specifically nitrates) would seem to indicate that an error in the test kit reading would be too high, opposed to too low.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the link you've provided you'll see the quote I posted earlier in this thread regarding Seachem's explanation of Prime's effect on nitrates specifically. However, I now realize that I misread the quote as it states that "we received numerous reports from customers stating that when they overdosed with Prime they were able to reduce or eliminate the high death rates they experienced when their nitrite and nitrate levels were high," suggesting that only that the impact of high nitrate (and nitrite) levels was changed not the actual readings.

I looked up denitrification in Diana Walstad's "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium." There's an interesting section where she describes an experiment where she compared the addition of nitrates to a container with no plants and a substrate of soil and sand to one with no plants and no substrate. Nitrate readings dropped in the container with substrate in about seven days but remained high in the no substrate container. She suggests that bacteria in the anaerobic soil layer used up the nitrates.

Don't know if this is a red herring but maybe someone with more knowledge on the subject can expand or offer an alternate explanation. I'm assuming shellies215, that you don't have soil in your substrate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Okay. Time for an experiment! I'm going to set up a small tank with NO filtration, no plants and no fish, and sand substrate. I'll use drained tank water (containing ammonia, nitrites and nitrates) into it. I'll track the levels, and report back in a month.

Setup will be complete with aeration, heater, and light. We'll see...
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top