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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used the old biospira in the past to set up and cycle my eheim canister. That was several years ago. Now back into the hobby and I see that tetra now owns the biospira. I bought a bottle of this safe start for my daughters goldfish tank, and after a week, i am still seeing high ammonia and no nitrites or nitrates. I called tetra care phone number and they said that the prime I used to condition the after before adding the safe start probably killed the bacteria. I find this hard to belieVe because wouldn't that mean that prime would always kill good bacteria? I have never had that problem before.

Maybe i am misunderstanding things here. Can someone please help?

Thanks
 

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My hunch is that they were referring to the fact that Prime binds ammonia, and thus - in theory - could lead to your bacteria starving. In practice, Prime binds only very little ammonia - about the amount that would come from any chloramine in your tap water. The chance that Prime would rob your bacteria of all their food is negligible. In your case you have shown that there is more than enough ammonia by measuring high ammonia levels. Unfortunately the people on the Tetra Care Line probably don't grasp the issue in that much detail :roll:

At any rate, just be patient. Ammonia will go down eventually. Is this your only tank right now? If you have others, you can use some of their filter media to seed the new tank with bacteria. That can speed up the cycling process tremendously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks everyone. Yes my only tank now - the 75 is waiting on fish and me to cycle with the safe start when they get here. I did it like that with Biospira 5 years ago and had immediate excellent results.

She said the Prime would alter the bacteria or something like that, and told me to let the tank sit 24 hours and try dosing again and then measuring ammonia levels a few times later in the day and the next few days. I just want to make sure I have a decent batch of the Safe Start. With 9 nice adult male Haps arriving Tuesday next week, I want to make sure I have something that is going to work - hence the try in my daughter's goldie tank.
 

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According to the makers of Prime, it binds up the ammonia, but leaves it available to the nitrifying bacteria.

From the Seachem site:

Q:I tested my tap water after using Prime and came up with an ammonia reading. Is this because of chloramine? Could you explain how this works in removing chloramine?

A: Prime works by removing chlorine from the water and then binds with ammonia until it can be consumed by your biological filtration (chloramine minus chlorine = ammonia). The bond is not reversible and ammonia is still available for your bacteria to consume. Prime will not halt your cycling process.


So, do we believe 'em? :D
 

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From a chemist's point of view, it doesn't seem difficult to make a compound that can bind ammonia in a way that makes it not toxic for fish, but leaves it still available for bacteria to consume. However, in that case the bond has to be reversible - that's the whole point. If the bond is not reversible (as stated in the Seachem answer), then the ammonia would not be available for bacteria to consume.

Assuming that the 'not' is a simple typo, I do believe 'em. Besides, Seachem is a reputable company that relies on science based solutions. I have not seen any snake-oil-salesman-talk on their web site. While we are at it, the same is true for Tetra in my opinion. They should just get some better paid folks for attend their Care Line :D
 

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I use the Tetra Safe Start with Prime all the time and never had issues. You may have gotten a bad bottle of Safe Start, I think the shelf life is about 6 month or a 1 year but must have been kept in stable temperatures, also if the bottle was exposed to very cold temperatures or very warm temperatures it would have killed all the bacteria in there.
 
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