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Prime stopping nitrates from getting to zero?

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  • Prime stopping nitrates from getting to zero?

    As the title says!?! My tank has been going for years and I've been using prime for years to treat my water every water change, my water is crystal clear and all my fish are very healthy. Recently I mention to my LFS that I could never get my Nitrates down to 0 no matter what I do, they always sit between 10-20 on a API test. He asked what I use for water changes and as soon as I said Prime he said that is the problem, he pointed me to this on the web as well:

    "Some chemical treatments used commonly in aquariums have a very detrimental effect on bacteria so should be avoided if you want the filter to mature properly. Just avoid using any chemicals which claim to 'remove / detoxify or bind' ammonia, nitrite and nitrate if you want the bacteria to fully populate the filter without being starved."

    So could Prime be holding my Nitres back from hitting 0?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    *So could Prime be holding my Nitrates back from hitting 0?* even! :p

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    • #3
      Thanks for the post, Avo71!

      Prime does not prevent bacteria from consuming/processing nitrates. It merely binds with it for up to 48 hours making is less stressful on the fish and still leaves it available for bacteria. It is not uncommon for most tanks with a healthy population of inhabitants to have a low level of nitrates (<20ppm). Even with a good biological filtration such as Matrix or de*nitrate, it is possible to still have a low level of nitrates in a system. Nitrates are not at all toxic to fish or inverts at low levels, and even at higher levels (>40ppm), they are not necessarily "toxic", but can cause unnecessary stress on the fish.

      What size tank do you have?
      How many fish/inverts are in the system?
      What type of biological filtration do you have on this tank? How much?
      What type of filter?
      How often do you perform water changes? How much?

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      • #4
        Hi,
        Just an opinion based on experience with the test kit you mentioned Avo.
        We had reason to doubt the accuracy of the Nitrate test and took 2 samples of tank water to our LFS for an API spin test, and the two-part chemical test kit. The Spin test recorded much lower than our chemicals when tested by the staff in the LFS, confirming our doubts.
        We no longer use those nitrate tests.
        We wonder how widespread this over-measurment may be, given the reuslt drives much expenditure by us and we assume most hobbyists.
        You may find your actual levels closer to zero than you may imagine.
        Cheers, JD.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the input, Goldfishes!

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          • #6
            Sorry for the late reply, I've been mad busy!

            Originally posted by Tech Support AN View Post
            What size tank do you have? 240 litres
            How many fish/inverts are in the system? 25 fish: mix of rainbows, loaches, barbs.
            What type of biological filtration do you have on this tank? How much? In the original over head trickle filter, 4 times the weight/amount of what it came with, with a combination of seachem matrix, biohome gravel, biohome ultimate, it's 100% full up there!
            What type of filter? As above plus an internal Eheim Biopower filter, both filters combined = turn over 2,000 litres per hour.
            How often do you perform water changes? How much? Every week without fail, 30%
            Oh and yes I do clean the sponge filters etc out in the tank water that I remove.

            Originally posted by Goldfishes
            Hi,
            Just an opinion based on experience with the test kit you mentioned Avo.
            We had reason to doubt the accuracy of the Nitrate test and took 2 samples of tank water to our LFS for an API spin test, and the two-part chemical test kit. The Spin test recorded much lower than our chemicals when tested by the staff in the LFS, confirming our doubts.
            We no longer use those nitrate tests.
            We wonder how widespread this over-measurment may be, given the reuslt drives much expenditure by us and we assume most hobbyists.
            You may find your actual levels closer to zero than you may imagine.
            Cheers, JD.
            Thanks for that, I did wonder how good they were as my water is crystal clear, I don't over feed, clean the tank weekly and I have plenty of plants in there as well! Do you use any nitrate tests at home now? if so which one?

            Thanks guys and again sorry for the late reply :)






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            • #7
              Seachem makes a MultiTest Nitrite/Nitrate if you are interested. :)

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