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Old 06-26-2013, 06:44 AM   #21 
peachii
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While Prime does fix the ammonia for a short amount of time, you shouldn't rely on it instead of water changes. The underlying cause of the ammonia is still there.

I see so many people recommending Prime because it detoxifies ammonia but I guess I don't understand why that is a good thing (unless you have ammonia in your tap water) instead of doing the water changes. Personally I dislike Prime because it leaves a nasty oily coating on top of the water that just grosses me out, it's to much like chemicals sitting on top of the water for me, even with the flow from the filter. So far it's the only water conditioner to leave that icky film.

If you do indeed have a fish in the tank while trying to cycle it, you can get some of the Safe Start bacteria to help jump start the cycle. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't in getting the cycle jump started.

Mainly just check the water everyday or every two days for the ammonia. When you stop seeing ammonia and start seeing nitrates, you have an established cycle and can go back to doing your once or twice weekly water changes.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:13 AM   #22 
Hallyx
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Point well taken, Peachii. I agree that Prime can be misused by the lazy or the uninformed. A concientious keeper will only treat sourcewater for its specific defects--- ammonia, heavy metals or chlorine--- so as to minimize TDS (total dissolved solids) and chemicals. For example, I use Prime to treat heavy metals in my tapwater, even though I have neither chlorine nor ammonia. If I knew of a conditioner that did only that, I'd probably use it instead.

I've never heard of Prime developing a film on the surface, especially if used at the recommended 2 drops/gal. That sounds like a protein film which has other causes.

Prime is a valuable safety measure if one is cycling with livestock in the tank. It's an excellent general water treatment, and a value at the price.

Although I've never used it, I've heard good things about TSS and others of the newer live nitrifying bacteria products. I recommend it when asked.

To aecraig: I believe Seachem suggests (the equivalent of) 2 drops per gal of tank capacity. I'd use that dose while cycling; ammonium reconverts back to ammonia in a higher pH environment. Some keepers, in order to minimize chemical usage, dose 2 drops/gal of refill water. Once you're cycled, you can go either way.

Last edited by Hallyx; 06-26-2013 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:39 AM   #23 
jaysee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peachii View Post
While Prime does fix the ammonia for a short amount of time, you shouldn't rely on it instead of water changes. The underlying cause of the ammonia is still there.

It's appropriate use is maintaining water quality between water changes (for people cycling with fish), not in place of them.

I see so many people recommending Prime because it detoxifies ammonia but I guess I don't understand why that is a good thing (unless you have ammonia in your tap water) instead of doing the water changes. Personally I dislike Prime because it leaves a nasty oily coating on top of the water that just grosses me out, it's to much like chemicals sitting on top of the water for me, even with the flow from the filter. So far it's the only water conditioner to leave that icky film.

Detoxifying ammonia and nitrites are a good thing because it protects the fish from being poisoned. While it may be very easy to just do a water change on a tiny betta container, it is not so easy to up and do a water change on larger tanks.

I have never experienced this film to which you are referring, and I've gone through countless bottles over the years.

If you do indeed have a fish in the tank while trying to cycle it, you can get some of the Safe Start bacteria to help jump start the cycle. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't in getting the cycle jump started.

Yes I agree, TSS is a good option. However, it is not a failsafe like you said. It has a shelf life and has parameters by which it must be kept to ensure the bacteria stays alive. Because of that it is possible to get a bad bottle.

Mainly just check the water everyday or every two days for the ammonia. When you stop seeing ammonia and start seeing nitrates, you have an established cycle and can go back to doing your once or twice weekly water changes.
Agreed, check every day or two. And if you have ammonia in the water but don't have time to take care of it that very moment, then adding prime to the tank will buy you time till you get home from work, or whatever. That is how it is supposed to be used, beyond conditioning new water for the tank. I don;t think I've ever seen someone suggest that water changes are not needed because of prime.
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