Came across this site( a lot of info)

nickelback

Member
This site has so much info its crazy, not sure how to process some of it cause it goes against a lot of what I have read about sechem Prim and Safe. I'm going to post a link to a small part of this sight about cycling and the use of sechem prim and safe with many test ran to show results.( let me know what y'all think). If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page there is many more links you can click on and then many inside that link. A bunch of info.
 

FishGirl115

Member
Huh. That's weird. Cause many people have proven that it works. They musta got a faulty bottle
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
There is a big debate on the forums every so often about just this, whether or not Prime REALLY detoxifies ammonia. I personally don't use it, partially because most of the media in my tanks is 2+ years old and partially because the smell. So i am very neutral in that debate.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
Like fishgirl said I wouldn’t believe that. They must have gotten a bad bottle because I would rather believe the thousands of people who use it and say it works than one person who says it doesn’t
 

FishGirl115

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
Like fishgirl said I wouldn’t believe that. They must have gotten a bad bottle because I would rather believe the thousands of people who use it and say it works than one person who says it doesn’t
Agreed. Sure works for me. It's gotten how many people through fish in cycles?
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
Betta'sAnonymous said:
There is a big debate on the forums every so often about just this, whether or not Prime REALLY detoxifies ammonia. I personally don't use it, partially because most of the media in my tanks is 2+ years old and partially because the smell. So i am very neutral in that debate.
I’m not against it but I don’t use it either because I don’t like gross smells lol
 

mattgirl

Member
This is one of the debates that pops up every now and then. I am one of the folks they are talking about. I will continue to recommend Prime when a fish in cycle is being done. I don't recommend it being used in place of doing a water change though. I recommend adding it while doing a water change to detox the ammonia left after getting it down with a water change.

Prime isn't a miracle in a bottle. It is a tool for protecting fish when ammonia is present during a fish in cycle. Any of the many water conditioners will work just as well when no ammonia is present or while doing a fishless cycle.
 

Quiche

Member
This gives me a pretty skeevy feel. On the home page, the author says he's a "degreed chemist" with 43 patents, but doesn't provide a C.V., and then proceeds to defend himself for not providing proof of his claim – something he's constantly calling out others for.
I don't want to discount him immediately, because if the test he conducted with Seachem Prime is true, then it's worth looking into. However, he doesn't seem like a very credible source.

Edit: It's not too hard with a little bit of googling to figure out who the author is. His patent number checks out, more or less – number's 42 – but they're all physical tech relating to veins, like stents and vascular grafts.
 
  • Thread Starter

nickelback

Member
he did test on many of them not just prime and safe, shows the test results and pretty much tells anyone to do the same, he is not hiding his results are how he got to those results.
 

Oriongal

Member
There are some things on that site that I have found useful, but I completely disagree with him about disease treatment. He may be a chemist, but he's clearly not a biologist. His contention that adding medications to the water is useless because 'fish don't drink' is just wrong.

All medications are not the same, something we know by the way we take medicines ourselves. Some internal medications will absorb through our skin, for example (scopolamine, L-dopa, nicotine can all be delivered via skin patch), while others will not. Some medications can be delivered via aerosol, breathed in via the lungs. Some are more effective injected than taken orally, and so on.

I agree that if you're treating an internal infection or internal parasites, it's going to be significantly more effective to deliver the medication internally, via food - but if the fish isn't eating, that won't help.

Also completely disagree with him about methylene blue. It's been used for external bacterial, fungal and parasite infections for decades before we had access to anything else - and it's still useful for people who don't have access to anything else. Also still used in commercial aquaculture in many places. It's cheap, doesn't really have an expiration date (so, easier to keep on-hand), and is a good first-line treatment for ammonia poisoning for fish received through the mail as well.
 
  • Thread Starter

nickelback

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
Like fishgirl said I wouldn’t believe that. They must have gotten a bad bottle because I would rather believe the thousands of people who use it and say it works than one person who says it doesn’t
he didn't just test prime but I understand what you are saying.

mattgirl said:
This is one of the debates that pops up every now and then. I am one of the folks they are talking about. I will continue to recommend Prime when a fish in cycle is being done. I don't recommend it being used in place of doing a water change though. I recommend adding it while doing a water change to detox the ammonia left after getting it down with a water change.

Prime isn't a miracle in a bottle. It is a tool for protecting fish when ammonia is present during a fish in cycle. Any of the many water conditioners will work just as well when no ammonia is present or while doing a fishless cycle.
I agree, I had to go through a fish in cycle and used prime. I was for sure that the prime had done its job( Detoxifies Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate ) and saved my fish through this process but, now I'm asking my self did it or did the daily water changes do it???
 

AvalancheDave

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
Like fishgirl said I wouldn’t believe that. They must have gotten a bad bottle because I would rather believe the thousands of people who use it and say it works than one person who says it doesn’t
None of those people had control groups. The fish may have survived without Prime. People overestimate the toxicity of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and credit Prime for their fish surviving levels that were never toxic to begin with.

Oriongal said:
There are some things on that site that I have found useful, but I completely disagree with him about disease treatment. He may be a chemist, but he's clearly not a biologist. His contention that adding medications to the water is useless because 'fish don't drink' is just wrong.
There are enough studies that show certain drugs are absorbed from the water and others are not.

I don't agree with everything on that site but it gets more things right than other sites (American Aquarium Products, Fishlab, Spruce Pets, etc.).
 

MacZ

Member
I don't like many companies, but besides the fact how adamantly the text iterates again and again how wrong all the people are (which is extremely unscientific), the whole article actually contains little information and a lot of opinionmaking. That alone makes me wary if the test results are representative at all, then. I'm talking just about this article, nothing else on that site. I haven't looked at the rest.

I am completely out of the discussion as I don't use any conditioners whatsoever and neither Seachem nor API products are available here in my country.
 

UnknownUser

Member
I’m never going to tell someone to use Prime and ammonia all of a sudden becomes totally harmless... like someone else said, it’s not a miracle bottle. But whether it works or not, it’s cheap and we all need to have a conditioner anyway, so while doing a cycle - what’s the harm in using it just in case it helps, even a little?

I also agree with what others have said regarding this specific article (I didn’t look at any other part of the website). Opening up by saying “tons of people won’t believe me and everyone else is wrong” over and over and over again with the implication that he’s the smartest person alive and everyone else is stupid, just doesn’t feel right. No actual scientific article adds that many opinions and offensive statements... give me your facts and that’s it, thanks. I just personally don’t like this guy, whoever he is. Very unprofessional.
 

Oriongal

Member
AvalancheDave said:
There are enough studies that show certain drugs are absorbed from the water and others are not.

I don't agree with everything on that site but it gets more things right than other sites (American Aquarium Products, Fishlab, Spruce Pets, etc.).
But he doesn't make any distinctions between medications. He basically says that adding *any* medication to water is useless. I don't believe that is true.
 

John58ford

Member
So, this site, unless it has changed it's tone, does not list or cite references. I agree with allot of the things said on it but cannot and will not cite it by link until the work is properly cited at the source.

I would be very careful that no one let's their feelings get the best of them in this thread as this site and the stigma around it has ended in threads locking/deleting/and I think even the ban hammer has been brought out. Another (prior) member that was also into the crazy technical stuff like me stood on the aqscience hill in many posts, and is no longer with us here.

If we are going to get into debating science, using links and such, please post links to reputable public study, or manufacturer reference materials. I do agree that manufacturer reference materials are often junk, but, do not start a libel storm using non cited information.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Member
" Prime and Safe are reducing agents which react with strong oxidizing agents such as sodium hypochlorite. The yellow alert dot of the Seachem test using an oxidizing agent in the salicylate chemistry. So hydrogen peroxide was added to neutralize the reducing agent in the Prime and Safe."

Anyone with a chemistry background know why the author did this? Why did he add hydrogen peroxide to Prime and Safe?
 

UnknownUser

Member
Cherryshrimp420 said:
" Prime and Safe are reducing agents which react with strong oxidizing agents such as sodium hypochlorite. The yellow alert dot of the Seachem test using an oxidizing agent in the salicylate chemistry. So hydrogen peroxide was added to neutralize the reducing agent in the Prime and Safe."

Anyone with a chemistry background know why the author did this? Why did he add hydrogen peroxide to Prime and Safe?
Tbh by the time I got to this part I decided none of this makes sense to my biology-background brain and gave up. Lol

I feel like in fishkeeping we use a ton of internet sources (yes, including opinions). We don’t rely on just one website be it fishlore or aqproducts or whatever else; we look at all the data we can find and then do things based off of those options. And we learn what works for us personally and grow in our skills from there. There’s not very many solid answers here. And without a fish-specific veterinarian, there is absolutely no way for us to properly use medications without prescriptions.
 

coralbandit

Member
John58ford said:
So, this site, unless it has changed it's tone, does not list or cite references. I agree with allot of the things said on it but cannot and will not cite it by link until the work is properly cited at the source.

I would be very careful that no one let's their feelings get the best of them in this thread as this site and the stigma around it has ended in threads locking/deleting/and I think even the ban hammer has been brought out. Another (prior) member that was also into the crazy technical stuff like me stood on the aqscience hill in many posts, and is no longer with us here.

If we are going to get into debating science, using links and such, please post links to reputable public study, or manufacturer reference materials. I do agree that manufacturer reference materials are often junk, but, do not start a libel storm using non cited information.
This 100% ...
A good member was banned for running with this site too much . He harrassed Seachem [a rather small operation for its market size ] to no end and took the they have no test to quanitify their claims to the limit also .
And like mentioned the author claims many titles but provides not one shred of proof ,results of 'clinical' test or whatever . Not all his info is bad but he is a 'seachem hater ' without one doubt .. One who knew a product does not work and has no proof would not continuously bad mouth it without providing proof , he would lead his readers to reach their own conclusion ...
If you all look hard enough you can find the author name and check him out yourself ..There is at least one other thread on this site about the link with lots of info ..

My last conversation with Seachem | Water Supplements Forum | 441338
 

John58ford

Member
Cherryshrimp420 said:
Anyone with a chemistry background know why the author did this? Why did he add hydrogen peroxide to Prime and Safe?
The funny thing is that the API test is a salicylate test, and as far as I can tell ammonia alert is not. The ammonia alert is a listed as a "reversible sensor" where a test that uses a salicylate reaction between two reagents would not be reversible once the color is set. Also salicylate tests test for total ammonia, where the alert only tests for free ammonia. Total ammonia is free ammonia (toxic) + ammonium (not toxic). The ratio of toxic vs non toxic in your liquid test findings is readily identified with a chart. (No, you don't need to freak out every time you get "trace ammonia" re the api test).

Here is a source of one such chart, using this type of data in combination with research of toxicity in certain species is how I have made my ammonia toxicity charts, when I reference "my chart" it is work I have done combined with research publicly available. "Do the Nessler and Salicylate methods detect ammonia or ammonium?"


Back to the why he would think he should kill the reducing agents:
Prime can give false readings for ammonia, on salicylate tests because sodium thiosulfate reacts with chloride reagents (the ones used in liquid tests). There are q and a on the seachem site where people are advised that using a little too much prime/safe or any other powder they produce could interfere with ammonia readings, but that the reducing agent should dissipate within 24 hours and testing will be valid again.
Reading the page on this, and the letter from them on performing the "simple test" if one were to think that there may be a reagent in the sensor, that prime for the same reason above would stop that sensor from working correctly. That would in the authors logic be the reason that it "releases ammonia" again a day or two later, when the other tests would again be "valid". He is trying to hint that the reducing agent invalidates the test the same way asprin (made of salicylate) would, and to prove it he "neutralizes" the agent. I do not believe his testing procedure was valid, but I also do not believe the test as they wrote it in the email would be valid without knowing the full make-up of the sensor.

Basically, by protecting the"trade secrets" of what is in their products they make 3rd party testing difficult, and illegal if performed by a competitor since any public study would have to release the full make up to have a field of peers review and validate their work. I cannot tell you how to test the product and prove it does or does not work with the education and resources I have. But I can tell you it's very hard to prove a negative, and harder to disprove a "fact" derived from people self confirming a negative. The only way to prove this with my resources is to get the same fish into 2 separate boxes, exposed to identical un cycled tanks, treat one with prime, and the other with a different conditioner add ammonia with a dropper and see who dies first. I'm not going to do that test. Welcome to Shrodinger's aquarium.

I will say, I generally fish-in cycle, use seeded media, and use no water conditioners as they aren't called for at my home. I have not lost a fish to ammonia poisoning. I will not say that my experience somehow proves prime does/does not work, just that I don't need it. It's a step you might not see me include in my advice, but I do not argue with others when they add it to the subject matter, it just exists.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Member
John58ford said:
The funny thing is that the API test is a salicylate test, and as far as I can tell ammonia alert is not. The ammonia alert is a listed as a "reversible sensor" where a test that uses a salicylate reaction between two reagents would not be reversible once the color is set. Also salicylate tests test for total ammonia, where the alert only tests for free ammonia. Total ammonia is free ammonia (toxic) + ammonium (not toxic). The ratio of toxic vs non toxic in your liquid test findings is readily identified with a chart. (No, you don't need to freak out every time you get "trace ammonia" re the api test).

Here is a source of one such chart, using this type of data in combination with research of toxicity in certain species is how I have made my ammonia toxicity charts, when I reference "my chart" it is work I have done combined with research publicly available. "Do the Nessler and Salicylate methods detect ammonia or ammonium?"


Back to the why he would think he should kill the reducing agents:
Prime can give false readings for ammonia, on salicylate tests because sodium thiosulfate reacts with chloride reagents (the ones used in liquid tests). There are q and a on the seachem site where people are advised that using a little too much prime/safe or any other powder they produce could interfere with ammonia readings, but that the reducing agent should dissipate within 24 hours and testing will be valid again.
Reading aquariumscience page on this, and the letter from them on performing the "simple test" if one were to think that there may be a reagent in the sensor, that prime for the same reason above would stop that sensor from working correctly. That would in the authors logic be the reason that it "releases ammonia" again a day or two later, when the other tests would again be "valid". He is trying to hint that the reducing agent invalidates the test the same way asprin (made of salicylate) would, and to prove it he "neutralizes" the agent. I do not believe his testing procedure was valid, but I also do not believe the test as they wrote it in the email would be valid without knowing the full make-up of the sensor.

Basically, by protecting the"trade secrets" of what is in their products they make 3rd party testing difficult, and illegal if performed by a competitor since any public study would have to release the full make up to have a field of peers review and validate their work. I cannot tell you how to test the product and prove it does or does not work with the education and resources I have. But I can tell you it's very hard to prove a negative, and harder to disprove a "fact" derived from people self confirming a negative. The only way to prove this with my resources is to get the same fish into 2 separate boxes, exposed to identical un cycled tanks, treat one with prime, and the other with a different conditioner add ammonia with a dropper and see who dies first. I'm not going to do that test. Welcome to Shrodinger's aquarium.

I will say, I generally fish-in cycle, use seeded media, and use no water conditioners as they aren't called for at my home. I have not lost a fish to ammonia poisoning. I will not say that my experience somehow proves prime does/does not work, just that I don't need it. It's a step you might not see me include in my advice, but I do not argue with others when they add it to the subject matter, it just exists.
Oooo thank you, very informative. The author also said he used 5x the recommended dose of Prime and Safe. I don't know the reasoning behind this...

On another note, how does he know the right amount of hydrogen peroxide to use with Prime and Safe?
 

Fishproblem

Member
MacZ said:
I don't like many companies, but besides the fact how adamantly the text iterates again and again how wrong all the people are (which is extremely unscientific), the whole article actually contains little information and a lot of opinionmaking. That alone makes me wary if the test results are representative at all, then. I'm talking just about this article, nothing else on that site. I haven't looked at the rest.

I am completely out of the discussion as I don't use any conditioners whatsoever and neither Seachem nor API products are available here in my country.
Right? I checked out at the following quote:

And 90% of the people on social media absolutely believe this to be good advice. And 90% of the people on social media are wrong. And 90% of the people on social media who read this article will not change their mind at all about Seachem Prime. They either will not believe the testing described below or they will find a perceived fault with the testing which, in their minds, invalidates the testing.
As far as I know that's not appropriate for an academic paper???
 

Cherryshrimp420

Member
Fishproblem said:
Right? I checked out at the following quote:



As far as I know that's not appropriate for an academic paper???
The link is not an academic paper though. It's just a home experiment, without any lab equipment. The author states its an easy experiment for everyone to do at home...but I'm still trying to understand his methodology lol
 

Pfrozen

Member
>mixes water conditioner with hydrogen peroxide
>LOL DOESNT WORK
 

Fishproblem

Member
Cherryshrimp420 said:
The link is not an academic paper though. It's just a home experiment, without any lab equipment. The author states its an easy experiment for everyone to do at home...but I'm still trying to understand his methodology lol
Idk man, he describes it as an article from the get go, and later says "At this point it is instructive to note the author is a degreed professional chemist. So this is his area of expertise."
Overall intolerable to read, regardless of methodology lol
 

Dippiedee

Member
That social media quote just seems so... immature to me. And arrogant. Like his superior intelligence simply cannot be challenged; if you do attempt to challenge it you are stupid and ignorant.
 

John58ford

Member
Cherryshrimp420 said:
Oooo thank you, very informative. The author also said he used 5x the recommended dose of Prime and Safe. I don't know the reasoning behind this...

On another note, how does he know the right amount of hydrogen peroxide to use with Prime and Safe?
If I knew the correct oxidizer or amount to use on the reducing agent to neutralize it, I would first have to know the full make up of the the reducing agent to know what biproduct will be left behind. I do not, and am not good enough to just guess, I need books for this stuff. I think he used h2o2 knowing that if it reduces a compound, it leaves excess oxygen, readily off gases, and if it oxidizes, it off gases hydrogen. Both of those biproduct are safe. The question I would have on his process is what he has oxidized (in theory), and if once oxidized, did it stop reducing the suspension and reduce (possible) effectiveness. Since the theory of prime (according to seachem) has to do with very specific salt bonds, I would not think that altering the suspension would leave the product adequately in tact for testing.

All of that said, I do not believe that since you cannot test it, it is proven to work. I also do not believe that if you have always used it and not had an amonia poisoning it proves you needed it, or that if you have not used it and have not had a poisoning that it does not work.

With "trade secrets" the only viable testing is take 2 controlled groups of fish to the acute toxicity level, and treat one with prime, and the other gets nothing or a placebo conditioner. Issue I would have is it takes so much ammonia in low pH to kill a fish, my house would stink for a week, and I don't kill fish for fun. If you do, a very well researched species is the danio, they get killed off in labs left and right, it would be easy to find data on ammonia poisoning in danios.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Member
John58ford said:
If I knew the correct oxidizer or amount to use on the reducing agent to neutralize it, I would first have to know the full make up of the the reducing agent to know what biproduct will be left behind. I do not, and am not good enough to just guess, I need books for this stuff. I think he used h2o2 knowing that if it reduces a compound, it leaves excess oxygen, readily off gases, and if it oxidizes, it off gases hydrogen. Both of those biproduct are safe. The question I would have on his process is what he has oxidized (in theory), and if once oxidized, did it stop reducing the suspension and reduce (possible) effectiveness. Since the theory of prime (according to seachem) has to do with very specific salt bonds, I would not think that altering the suspension would leave the product adequately in tact for testing.

All of that said, I do not believe that since you cannot test it, it is proven to work. I also do not believe that if you have always used it and not had an amonia poisoning it proves you needed it, or that if you have not used it and have not had a poisoning that it does not work.

With "trade secrets" the only viable testing is take 2 controlled groups of fish to the acute toxicity level, and treat one with prime, and the other gets nothing or a placebo conditioner. Issue I would have is it takes so much ammonia in low pH to kill a fish, my house would stink for a week, and I don't kill fish for fun. If you do, a very well researched species is the danio, they get killed off in labs left and right, it would be easy to find data on ammonia poisoning in danios.
Hmm his use of hydrogen peroxide seems like circular reasoning...

This thread has got me down a rabbit hole of reading about ammonia detoxification

Interestingly, I found this patent from API on THEIR ammonia detoxifying chemical:

Seems like they use an alkalimetal formaldehyde-bisulfite, namely 2-methyl pentamethylene diamine.

The key here is it's an amine, which is interesting because its an ammonia derivative and I can't help but wonder if Seachem uses something similar??? And if so, how would it react with hydrogen peroxide? I'm not an expert in chemistry but like you said, it seems a possibility that the author messed with the product beyond it's effectiveness
 

AquaBaby

Member
As mentioned above by others, I don't understand adding hydrogen peroxide. I'm no chemist, but wouldn't ammonium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide become a reactive oxidizer? To claim you followed Seachem's instructions to test something, but admit you added something else... I just don't see how that's proper experimentation in an effort to prove/disprove the effectiveness of a product, or claim the manufacturer is making false claims.

Plus, doesn't prime say it only detoxifies so much ammonia? I didn't check, that's just from memory.

Anyhow

I don't use prime. But, I do check the date on the tiny bottle I keep for "just in case" and will replace it when expired.

Nothing beats proper maintenance and stocking levels in my opinion.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Member
AquaBaby said:
As mentioned above by others, I don't understand adding hydrogen peroxide. I'm no chemist, but wouldn't those become a reactive oxidizer? To claim you followed their instructions to test something, but admit you added something else... I just don't see how that's proper experimentation in an effort to prove/disprove the effectiveness of a product or claim the manufacturer is making false claims.

Plus, doesn't prime say it only detoxifies so much ammonia? I didn't check, that's just from memory.

Anyhow

I don't use prime. But, I do check the date on the tiny bottle I keep for "just in case" and will replace it when expired.

Nothing beats proper maintenance and stocking levels in my opinion.
Okay so, considering how many aquarium products are simply watered down API products, I would not be surprised if Seachem Prime is licensing that exact API patent or using another amine with similar properties.

With that said, so it seems like the site author is adding hydrogen perxoide to neutralize the dechlorinator part of Prime and Safe (which is sodium thiosulfate)

Here is the problem, he may very well have oxidized the amine used in Prime....rendering it useless.

Anyways, it's just unfortunate because there can be some valuable insight gained into the mechanisms of Prime and whether it actually detoxifies ammonia or just reduces pH or nullifies testing kits or something else but the author's methodology and poor attempt at isolating variables leaves a lot to be desired....
 

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