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Old 01-03-2015, 04:43 PM   #1 
kjg1029
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prime=formaldehyde o.O?

(alright...sorry if this isnt the right section, but hey prime is an "accessory", its also maintenance...so if it needs moved then go ahead! lol)

So in my tiny town I have one...literally ONLY one LPS....the guy who runs it is a genuine aquarium hobbyist, and actually cares for his fish (his bettas Are in cups/vases though)

So I meet my aunt there to help her pick out a real tank heater, water conditioner ect for her betta, (it was in a bowl)

and when we get to the water conditioner and I was telling her that Seachem prime is the best for cycling her smaller 2 gallon, and its good for uncycled tanks too. well he store guy over hears us talking about it and butts in with "oh no, we dont use prime any more,we refuse to carry it, its nasty stuff. it deprives the water of oxygen, its formaldehyde" ect ect....
he loves the seachem brand stuff, just not prime I guess lol. he said he uses the other (pointed at a powdered conditioner) seachem stuff.

so ive done some looking around and it seems that unless it got really Hot, then its not going to actually form FOMaldehyde....so is there truth to this?

the stuff he was saying sounded seriously bad! but I doubt yall would suggest a bad brand of conditioner over and over again!

Last edited by kjg1029; 01-03-2015 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:13 PM   #2 
VivianKJean
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What he is saying is incorrect. I just double checked my bottle of Prime and there are not bad ingredients in it, and definitely no formaldehyde....

Prime does not remove oxygen from the water either. Prime does not effect the oxygen levels of the tank at all.

I've used Prime for at least 8 or so years now without any issues at all and I'm sure others have used it longer.

I'm not sure where your "fish guy" got his information but it is incorrect. Next time you are there ask to see real references to his information - meaning articles and studies. Bring in the full list of ingredients in Prime and ask him to explain to you exactly what ingredients are bad. I'm sure that will shut him up.

There are a lot of myths in the hobby that usually start by someone saying something and then other immediately thinking it is true.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:51 PM   #3 
charliegill110
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if he recommends keeping bettas in vases, take what he says with a grain of salt.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:00 PM   #4 
Tolak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VivianKJean View Post
There are a lot of myths in the hobby that usually start by someone saying something and then other immediately thinking it is true.
Boy if that isn't the truth. Don't even get me started on last night's club meeting, you'll get the yapper who just knows that salt prevents & cures everything, don't change too much water as you'll lose good bacteria, it's endless.

If Prime were in any way bad I'd have a thousand gallons of reeking death. If he was pointing to Seachem Safe, it's the same as Prime, in dry form.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:35 PM   #5 
Zhylis
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Originally Posted by kjg1029 View Post
and when we get to the water conditioner and I was telling her that Seachem prime is the best for cycling her smaller 2 gallon, and its good for uncycled tanks too. well he store guy over hears us talking about it and butts in with "oh no, we dont use prime any more,we refuse to carry it, its nasty stuff. it deprives the water of oxygen, its formaldehyde" ect ect....
he loves the seachem brand stuff, just not prime I guess lol. he said he uses the other (pointed at a powdered conditioner) seachem stuff.

so ive done some looking around and it seems that unless it got really Hot, then its not going to actually form FOMaldehyde....so is there truth to this?

the stuff he was saying sounded seriously bad! but I doubt yall would suggest a bad brand of conditioner over and over again!
I'm going to guess this was an older guy? Been in the hobby for a few decades? He's got some good info and some old info and some incorrect info. Sooooo, let's break it all down.

1. Seachem Prime deprives the water of oxygen.

This is technically true but partially wrong.

First, the true part.
Any dechlorinator can reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. If you read the fine print, Seachem Prime has the following usage instructions: "For exceptionally high chloramine concentrations, a double dose may be used safely. To detoxify nitrite in an emergency, up to 5 times normal dose may be used. If temperature is > 30 C (86 F) and chlorine or ammonia levels are low, use a half dose." Warm water holds less dissolved oxygen, and if there is little chlorine present, the leftover dechlorinator starts breaking up other things in the water, like ammonia and nitrite. And oxygen.

Now for the wrong part. Back in ye olde days of aquarium keeping, some dechlorinators were made with concentrated sodium bisulfite, which if you overdosed, you wrecked your pH and suffocated your fish. Today, any conditioner that claims to neutralize chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia all in one go is usually made from sodium formaldehyde bisulfite and diluted to the point where you'd have to really FUBAR the dosage. In the case of Seachem Prime, safely usable up to 5 times the regular dosage as long as you follow their instructions.

2. Seachem Prime contains formaldehyde.

Nope, that's a myth.

But there's formaldehyde in the name!

If you've ever smelled the chemical formaldehyde, you'll never, never, never mistake it for anything else. Here "formaldehyde" refers to the reactive group that's just one part of the entire chemical. Prime calls it their proprietary "complexed hydrosulfite salts", which is probably some variation of sodium formaldehyde bisulfite AKA hydroxymethane sulfonate, the same stuff in Kordon Amquel.

That's pretty stable stuff. You'd have to deliberately heat it to an absolutely ridiculous temperature to maybe(?) get it to breakdown into formaldehyde (something like 200-300deg Celcius?) Not likely to happen by accident, not even if you lived in Death Valley or the Sahara!

This myth probably sprang up from the fact that - chemically speaking - formaldehyde was used to neutralize ammonia. From Seachem's Ammonia Management pdf: "The classical reaction of ammonia with formaldehyde to form methenamine is the principal of most ammonia removing conditioners. It may be used either directly or as a bisulfite complex. ...Seachem has three conditioners formulated to remove ammonia: Safe, Prime, and AmGuard. All three remove ammonia by chemically converting it to a nontoxic cyclic amine ...While Safe and Prime are designed to handle the moderate ammonia concentrations found in municipal water systems, AmGuard is designed to handle much higher ammonia concentrations. ...Overdosing [with AmGuard] should be avoided, since excess will react with oxgyen if free ammonia is not available."
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Old 01-04-2015, 01:41 AM   #6 
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hes actualy maybe 20ish (really guessing lol)
hes had his store for maybe 5ish years now, but from talking to him, hes owned fish since he was atleast a teen.

Im not sure where he learned about the whole " formaldehyde thing" i really should have asked.

but really it was him and his mom against little ole me (only 17 and pretty clueless lol) So I just pretended to care and shrugged it off lol.

and yeah id imagine that it was the safe stuff, he said it was way more concentrated and thats all he will use now (dang me shoulda read the label!!im gonna go back and read it lol)...witch is hilarious! xD

you know ive never striaght up asked him "where/how to keep my betta" because he knows I have like a zillion, and I'm obviously knowledgeable about them, and well I dont want to not be able to go to the only pet shop in town because we get into "one of thoose conversations" lol. but he has about 5 poor miserable bettas in vase like containers with bamboo or whatever sticking out....:(

next time I go in though....its gonna get real....xD

thanks guys!:))
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:00 AM   #7 
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Terrific, well-written, accurate and informative post, Zhylis. Thank you.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:56 AM   #8 
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yes, thanks, you explained it very well!...and if you dont mind, im going to steal most of that lolxD
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:43 PM   #9 
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Go for it kjg =) and don't be worried about questioning someone's reasoning. The real enthusiasts will happily talk your ear off if you're curious (and not aggressive about it). Just get several opinions from different sources before deciding if something makes sense. There's usually a little nugget of truth in every myth.

Rofl, thanks Hallyx. We need a Aquarium Mythbusters show; if only we could sell it to the cable companies...
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:18 PM   #10 
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that would be genius! I bet it would help ALOT of people!
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