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Old 03-01-2013, 07:03 AM   #1 
Juditko
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Question about Prime Conditioner in a New Tank

My new tank is almost cycled, it seems, and will be ready for its first "nearly cycled" water change soon. My question is this: I'm using the Prime conditioner well reputed on this forum. Should I let that new treated water sit out in a bucket for a full day before doing the water change? I don't want to upset my good bacteria that has grown.

Currently the ammonia is at .25, nitrites 0, nitrates 10 to 20
with temp at 80. The inhabitants are five harlequin rasboras.

I know a water change will help bring ammonia to 0, and I'll watch it from there. Prime will certainly take the ammonia to 0, but I don't want it to zero out those nitrates.

I was thinking of a 20 % water change to keep from overwhelming the good bacteria?

Thoughts, please. Thanks. This is my first time to do this, so take it easy on the newbie!
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:04 AM   #2 
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The tank is a ten gallon...FYI.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:46 AM   #3 
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You don't have to let the water sit out for a day. Prime will work instantly. As to your concern of Prime affecting your ammonia and nitrates, rest easy. In order for Prime to detoxify them, you'd have to overdose your tank, 5 times the amount of prime.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:49 AM   #4 
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Freyja's got it right (and beat me by 3 minutes...LoL)

Prime conditioner won't take the ammonia to 0.0ppm. It will convert the ammonia to harmless ammonium which your bacteria will also use as food. Your API (?) test kit can't tell the difference, so you readings will be the same.

For the safety of your stock, ammonia and nitrite should be kept below 0.25ppm. (What is your nitrite reading?) Change water to achieve this. Dose Prime 2-drops per gallon of tank capacity while cycling. Nitrate can be allowed up to 40ppm before it will slow your cycle or affect your stock.

Do your big post-cycle water change only when ammonia and nitrite are at 0.0ppm for several days. During this time nitrate should increase. That's how you know your cycle is complete.

Last edited by Hallyx; 03-01-2013 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:16 PM   #5 
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.25 ammonia / 0 nitrites / 10 nitrates as of today. Been at that about 3 days.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:37 PM   #6 
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+1 to what Hallyx said.. but I wanted to add that chloramines in your tap water will also be converted to ammonium by prime which will be handled by the tank's bio filter... but that ammonium will also show up as ammonia on the API test.

I have such high chloramines in my tap that I have tested 4ppm "ammonia" in freshly treated tap water... so I can't rely on the API ammonia test at all when I'm cycling a tank and doing water changes often. I use seachem ammonia alerts in my tanks, which have proven very accurate so far (in terms of showing ammonia in cycling tanks, and holding at 0 in my cycled tanks).
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:06 AM   #7 
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Good point, Sarah. Thanks for reminding us about that.

Those Seachem Alert things. Are those the stick-on devices you install inside your tank? You find them accurate enough?

Seachem also makes liquid test kits that can tell the difference between ammonia and ammonium.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:29 PM   #8 
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Okay, so 30 percent water change today (was going to do 20 but worked out to about a 30 due to evaporation etc.).

Here is my regular tap water with prime added:
[IMG]http://www.bettafish.com/picture.php?albumid=5465&pictureid=35580[/IMG

Here is a water test after this morning's 30 percent water change:


Yesterday BEFORE the water change, the ammonia was less and nitrates more (probably by a half to a full shade of color). The tank has gravel substrate, sponge filter, silk plants and two moss balls, five rasboras, and maintained at 80.

Now what? Give it a little time and test again tonight or
Tomorrow? Help, please.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:33 PM   #9 
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Okay, let me try to load that regular tap water treated with
Prime pic again:

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Old 03-02-2013, 02:38 PM   #10 
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Oh and thanks so much for the help,by the way. My betta is hanging out on hold in his 2.5 gallon until the ten gallon is ready. I just want to make sure it's good before adding him...even though he's pretty bored in a bare tank!
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