Can Prime Actually Kill Bacteria?

DaveyboyManc

I hope this is ok to be in the beginners section, as a lot of newcomers to this hobby are confused about this subject & using Prime during their cycle.

Does Prime kill BB during the cycling process? Some say it does, some say it doesn't.


After looking into what I can find on line, & speaking with the micro biologists where I work - it would seem that there's no reason why the first stage BB can't convert ammonium to nitrite, just the same as it does with the conversion of ammonia to nitrite.

If that's the case, I don't see why it's advisable NOT to use Prime in the initial stages of a 'bottled bacteria' fish-in cycle. If it can be used along with Stability, which is essentially BB - then why not other bottled bacteria products? They all contain the same 2 species of nitrifying bacteria, right? We all know Prime is a godsend for keeping our fish safe at certain times, so it would be really good to know when we should use it to be able to avoid messing up the cycle
 

Tanks and Plants

From what I have read and researched prime does not kill the beneficial bacteria. What it does is it locks up the “food” the beneficial bacteria needs to eat. That “food” is ammonia. The first type of B.B. you will get in a tank is the one that converts ammonia into Nitrites. And even according to Seachem when cycling a tank you should dose prime once every 48hrs if you need to.
When cycling a tank you need the ammonia and prime does what it is intended to do and that’s why some people have a hard time cycling their tanks. I have seen this over and over again and the most common denominator when people are having trouble cycling their tanks is Prime.
 

Eric360

I think Seachem Stability is specially formulated to work with Prime. That may be why you need the bigger bottle and frequent doses of Stability, whereas Tetra Safe Start is a different type and you can fully seed with just one bottle/dose.
Tetra safe start says to wait 24 hours after using Prime, to put in the TSS and then not to use Prime for ~2weeks or do a water change. Not sure what the specific instructions are for Stability, but I think it's more of a weekly dose type product.
I have heard that Prime and Purigen type products affect the anaerobic bacteria that convert nitrates to nitrogen which then just gases off and keeps nitrates low. You need a highly porous, with tiny pores, media like Seachem Matrix or Biohome to support anaerobic bacteria though. I don't think Prime affects the aerobic bacteria at all though (ammonia-nitrite-nitrate).
Not 100% on the anaerobic affected by Prime, but I'm testing it now. I've stopped using Prime and have always had high nitrates a few days after water changes so if in a month or so nitrates are low without water change that will be a pretty good pointer to Prime affecting anaerobic bacteria.
 

DaveyboyManc

From what I have read and researched prime does not kill the beneficial bacteria. What it does is it locks up the “food” the beneficial bacteria needs to eat. That “food” is ammonia. The first type of B.B. you will get in a tank is the one that converts ammonia into Nitrites. And even according to Seachem when cycling a tank you should dose prime once every 48hrs if you need to.
When cycling a tank you need the ammonia and prime does what it is intended to do and that’s why some people have a hard time cycling their tanks. I have seen this over and over again and the most common denominator when people are having trouble cycling their tanks is Prime.

This is what I'm saying though. Apparently, Prime converts ammonia to ammonium, which if true, would still be able to be used as the same beneficial food source. Ammonium is literally just an ionised version of ammonia. Then, 48hrs later, that extra hydrogen ion is released & turns back to ammonia.

So unless Prime does in fact just lock up the ammonia temporarily, then it doesn't make sense why it would mess up a cycle.
Has anyone ever asked Seachem if it locks it up or just converts it to a less toxic form? Id assume its the latter considering it is sold as an ammonia 'detoxifier'.

I think Seachem Stability is specially formulated to work with Prime. That may be why you need the bigger bottle and frequent doses of Stability, whereas Tetra Safe Start is a different type and you can fully seed with just one bottle/dose.
Tetra safe start says to wait 24 hours after using Prime, to put in the TSS and then not to use Prime for ~2weeks or do a water change. Not sure what the specific instructions are for Stability, but I think it's more of a weekly dose type product.
I have heard that Prime and Purigen type products affect the anaerobic bacteria that convert nitrates to nitrogen which then just gases off and keeps nitrates low. You need a highly porous, with tiny pores, media like Seachem Matrix or Biohome to support anaerobic bacteria though. I don't think Prime affects the aerobic bacteria at all though (ammonia-nitrite-nitrate).
Not 100% on the anaerobic affected by Prime, but I'm testing it now. I've stopped using Prime and have always had high nitrates a few days after water changes so if in a month or so nitrates are low without water change that will be a pretty good pointer to Prime affecting anaerobic bacteria.

Id be interested to know the results once you're done. I just feel like there's too much wishy washy info surrounding how it actually works during a cycle. Tetra say don't use it for at least 7 days after using TSS. Seachem contradict that advice. Its way too confusing
 

Eric360

Stability is definitely a different type of stuff than TSS, because TSS you dump the entire bottle in and done. Stability is an initial dose followed by weekly doses.
I believe what Prime does is forces ammonia to become ammonium by forcing an additional hydrogen molecule onto it. I'm guessing there may be something about TSS bacteria needing the straight ammonia and not being able to use ammonium to get started. Once started though, fully cycled bacteria will eat ammonium the same as ammonia (that's why Prime doesn't mess with an established cycle), so has to be something with the TSS bacteria or how the bacteria is contained. It comes in the bottle, the bacteria is surrounded by a protective coating of some sort.
TSS won't work if Prime is in the tank though, to start a cycle, their special bacteria must not be able to process ammonium.

Once established, the beneficial bacteria will eat ammonium or ammonia both.
 

DaveyboyManc

Yea, I agree - and perhaps what we're missing is the affect on different species of BB. Which would go some way to explaining why there is generally a 'skip the ammonia to nitrite conversion' stage when using TSS. Maybe that contains a shed load more of nitrobacter & not as much nitrosomona. I still don't get why the general consensus though is that you can't use TSS until 24hrs after using Prime, yet Prime can do its job for 48hrs. That part is super contradictory
 

bgclarke

Stability is an initial dose followed by weekly doses.
You don't have to dose Stability weekly once your cycle is established.

Seachem, Tetra, and Hagen/Fluval all recommend adding their respective biological supplements after water changes.
 

Eric360

Water changes aside, Seachem Stability says to add one capful for each 10 gal on first day. Then add one capful for each 20 gal daily for 7 days. Nothing to do with a water change.
TSS just comes in a tank specific bottle that you dump the entire bottle in one time and done.

Yes, sorry I said I thought stability was a weekly dose, it is daily.
 

CanadianJoeh

No it doesn't.
 

Wraithen

I'm inclined to believe what actually happens is the protective "shell" for the bacteria becomes locked so the tss becomes unable to use it.

Neither company wants to really come out and say exactly what happens. It's like they have some secret to their respective products. ( I mean that seriously, as if they don't know exactly what the other company has and have no idea how to replicate it.)

I generally prefer seachem over anyone else, but tss just works too well for me. Now if only I could find a lfs that is close that stocks the ENTIRE aqua vitro line I would be even happier with seachem.
 

DaveyboyManc

I'm inclined to believe what actually happens is the protective "shell" for the bacteria becomes locked so the tss becomes unable to use it.

Neither company wants to really come out and say exactly what happens. It's like they have some secret to their respective products. ( I mean that seriously, as if they don't know exactly what the other company has and have no idea how to replicate it.)

I generally prefer seachem over anyone else, but tss just works too well for me. Now if only I could find a lfs that is close that stocks the ENTIRE aqua vitro line I would be even happier with seachem.
If true about the protective shell, should that not be the same at any stage? Tetra say not to use Prime for "at least 7 days" after using TSS. So what about after the 7 days then?
Like you say, maybe its about competition. Which is ridiculous when the health and well being of fish is concerned.
 

jdhef

Okay here's what I know (or at least what I think I know)...

Prime detoxes ammonia. SeaChem claims that Prime puts ammonia into a form that is non-toxic to fish, but still a good food source for the ammonia converting bacteria. I don't think Prime converts ammonia into ammonium because...

If you have a pH below 7.0, ammonia starts turning into ammonium. By the time your pH gets down to 6.0, all ammonia has been converted into ammonium. The good news is that ammonium is far less toxic to fish than ammonia (some claim ammonium to non-toxic). The bad news is that ammonium is a terrible food source for the ammonia converting bacteria. If you are trying to cycle a tank with a pH in the low 6's, you'll probably never be able to get it cycled due to there being all ammonium and no ammonia.

The thing about water conditioners and Tetra SafeStart is that you cannot use any water conditioner that removes chloramines less than 24 hours before adding SafeStart to the tank. (and then you shouldn't add any water conditioner until after the tank cycled).

I believe the problem is that chloramine is a compound comprised of ammonia and chlorine. So to remove chloramine from the water, the water conditioner breaks the ammonia-chlorine bond, then removes the chlorine.

tetra claims SafeStart is packaged in "stabilized ammonia solution" (I assume so the bacteria can be fed while sitting on the store shelf). Apparently, whatever a water conditioner has to do to break the ammonia-chlorine bond causes some sort of problem with the "stabilized ammonia solution" that will cause SafeStart to fail.

So it would appear if you used a water conditioner that removed chlorine, but not chloramines, you would not have a 24 hours waiting period before you could add SafeStart. But to my knowledge all water conditioners being sold remove chloramines.
 

Wraithen

The shell is just protection until the bacteria escaped it, presumably by contact with water.
 

Tanks and Plants

DaveyboyManc , Eric360 , CanadianJoeh , Wraithen I want to say these are all really good takes on everyone’s views and I really like the fact that it was a good conversation and there was no rude undertones to this. I personally really enjoy good conversations like this which helps me learn new things.
This is my take on this.........

I think the reason why Stability and Prime works together is because Seachem has made it so that they can market the items together. It’s almist like how they market Prime and Purigen together also.

But in a scientific view what Wraithen and DaveyboyManc said about the “protective shell” got me thinking. I sell and use these Beneficial Bacteria Gel Balls. What I like about this product is that it’s almost like a time release capsule. It slowly releases the beneficial bacteria Into the water giving the beneficial bacteria to time latch onto the biological media and start growing. Products like stability, tss, dr. Tim’s, other liquid B.B. to me has a down side and that’s once you put the liquid B.B. into the water it activates. Now if the B.B. that you just put into the water doesn’t have a food source then after some time it will start to die. This is why I believe that when people are trying to cycle a new tank they run into problems. They are essentially taking away the food that B.B. needs to eat to grow.

Prime® also contains a binder which renders ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate non-toxic. This sentence is what makes me believe what I said has to hold some water to it. We do not want the ammonia to become non-toxic. There are 2 reason I believe that.

1- the B.B. needs the toxic form of ammonia to thrive that’s what their job is. Turning toxic ammonia into nitrite. When prime turns the ammonia into a non-toxic form then the B.B. cannot do it’s job. And without food it will start to die.

2- I believe that the protective shell that the bottled B.B. has is eaten away by the ammonia, thus releasing it into the water. In the bottle the B.B. is in a catatonic stage and water is what triggers it to come alive. And the shell is there to protect the B.B. in the bottle so that it can have a long shelf life.

I say this because the gel ball that I use works in the same way. When I place the gel balls into a cycled tank it usually takes about 2-3 days for it to become a very tiny bb. The ammonia is eating away at the Gel this releasing the B.B. into the water.

Now my brand new uncycled zebra pleco tank has the same gel balls but because the plecos are small they are not giving off a big bioload and the excess food is sucked up by me every morning isn’t having enough time to fully break down to release ammonia into the water. This is why the gel balls in this tank, which in a normally stocked tank would have shrunk down into tiny bb’s, is only slowly shrinking. This tank doesn’t have enough ammonia in it to eat away at the protective shell of the gel ball.

Seachem must know how long it takes for the ammonia to eat away at the protective shell in stability and that’s why they can promote the 2 items together.

I hope I did not offend anyone and if I did I am sorry.

This is my take on the subject Thanks you guys for having a GREAT conversation about this and I hope I made sense when trying to explain my point.

Thanks!
 

DaveyboyManc

Okay here's what I know (or at least what I think I know)...

Prime detoxes ammonia. SeaChem claims that Prime puts ammonia into a form that is non-toxic to fish, but still a good food source for the ammonia converting bacteria. I don't think Prime converts ammonia into ammonium because...

If you have a pH below 7.0, ammonia starts turning into ammonium. By the time your pH gets down to 6.0, all ammonia has been converted into ammonium. The good news is that ammonium is far less toxic to fish than ammonia (some claim ammonium to non-toxic). The bad news is that ammonium is a terrible food source for the ammonia converting bacteria. If you are trying to cycle a tank with a pH in the low 6's, you'll probably never be able to get it cycled due to there being all ammonium and no ammonia.

The thing about water conditioners and Tetra SafeStart is that you cannot use any water conditioner that removes chloramines less than 24 hours before adding SafeStart to the tank. (and then you shouldn't add any water conditioner until after the tank cycled).

I believe the problem is that chloramine is a compound comprised of ammonia and chlorine. So to remove chloramine from the water, the water conditioner breaks the ammonia-chlorine bond, then removes the chlorine.

tetra claims SafeStart is packaged in "stabilized ammonia solution" (I assume so the bacteria can be fed while sitting on the store shelf). Apparently, whatever a water conditioner has to do to break the ammonia-chlorine bond causes some sort of problem with the "stabilized ammonia solution" that will cause SafeStart to fail.

So it would appear if you used a water conditioner that removed chlorine, but not chloramines, you would not have a 24 hours waiting period before you could add SafeStart. But to my knowledge all water conditioners being sold remove chloramines.

Ok. So fish cells can't regulate ammonia but can regulate ammonium, right? So the end product of fish breaking down proteins & pooping, peeing, excreting - is ammonium. So how is ammonium not a good food source if that's what is released into the water coloumn? Am I missing something here? Do they produce ammonia too?
 

Tanks and Plants

Ok. So fish cells can't regulate ammonia but can regulate ammonium, right? So the end product of fish breaking down proteins & pooping, peeing, excreting - is ammonium. So how is ammonium not a good food source if that's what is released into the water coloumn? Am I missing something here? Do they produce ammonia too?

This is an excerpt from a page that describes the nitrogen cycle........I thInk it should answer your question.

Fish excrete urea, which contains ammonia.

That’s where the ammonia comes from.
 

Eric360

Fish waste produces ammonia, not ammonium. I believe ammonia only becomes non toxic ammonium if the water is acidic where there are an abundance of hydrogen molecules to bind to the ammonia. Prime turns ammonia into ammonium by force binding an additional hydrogen to the ammonia.
 

mattgirl

Very interesting discussion. Thank you for starting it. We are after all here to learn and this is an important subject.
 

DaveyboyManc

Fish waste produces ammonia, not ammonium. I believe ammonia only becomes non toxic ammonium if the water is acidic where there are an abundance of hydrogen molecules to bind to the ammonia. Prime turns ammonia into ammonium by force binding an additional hydrogen to the ammonia.
I'm getting confused now .
Fish produce ammonium as their cells cannot regulate ammonia. Or do they produce ammonia in poop & pee, & secrete ammonium? The higher the pH, the more toxic & prevalent the ammonia, the lesser the ammonium. The lower the pH, the less toxic the ammonia, the more prevalent the ammonium. Low pH means higher concentration of ammonium doesn't it?

Are you saying they don't produce ammonium at all, & that they produce ammonia which is then converted into ammonium in the water?

I'm just trying to get my head around the whole chemistry of the situation
 

CanadianJoeh

What are the BB gel balls you use? Tanks and Plants

Also, we absolutely DO want ammonia to become non-toxic, and BB does not NEED the toxic form of ammonia to survive.

When working with clients I always recommend Prime when cycling. It is also the best water conditioner.
 

Wraithen

Ok. Fish produce urea. This isn't stable in the tank so it is turned into ammonia if the ph is above 6.? If the ph is below that threshold, the ammonia binds with a hydrogen molecule and becomes ammonium. It's easier to just think of ammonia and ammonium as the same thing, just with different properties depending on ph.
 

Eric360

Fish waste turns into ammonia. In acidic water, low PH (right?), ammonia becomes ammonium naturally, which isn't harmful to fish. In non acidic water it stays ammonia which is harmful to fish.
BB will turn both ammonium and ammonia into nitrite.
 

CanadianJoeh

Fish waste turns into ammonia. In acidic water, low PH (right?), ammonia becomes ammonium naturally, which isn't harmful to fish. In non acidic water it stays ammonia which is harmful to fish.
BB will turn both ammonium and ammonia into nitrite.
Prime will detoxify ammonia so that it doesn't harm fish but is still food for bacteria.

What is it we're debating? All I've heard so far is how the cycle works and what ammonia is...
 

Tanks and Plants

I understand that we want the ammonia to become non-toxic, but it should become non-toxic from the B.B. converting it into nitrites. Not the prime turning it into a non-toxic form.(this is when trying to cycle a tank)

And to thrive the B.B. needs the ammonia. To survive like sitting on the shelf they can be placed in a solution that contains food other than ammonia.

If you read when people are struggling to cycle their tanks the most common factor in it is prime. I have seen it over and over and over.
And even on seachems forum the Seachem mod did say prime should not be used within 48hrs of dosing a bottled B.B.

I’m not saying prime isn’t a great product in fact I do believe that it is a GREAT product. But for places like HawaiI where we do not use chloromines a simple water dechlorinator is all we need.
 

CanadianJoeh

I understand that we want the ammonia to become non-toxic, but it should become non-toxic from the B.B. converting it into nitrites. Not the prime turning it into a non-toxic form.(this is when trying to cycle a tank)

And to thrive the B.B. needs the ammonia. To survive like sitting on the shelf they can be placed in a solution that contains food other than ammonia.

If you read when people are struggling to cycle their tanks the most common factor in it is prime. I have seen it over and over and over.
And even on seachems forum the Seachem mod did say prime should not be used within 48hrs of dosing a bottled B.B.

I’m not saying prime isn’t a great product in fact I do believe that it is a GREAT product. But for places like HawaiI where we do not use chloromines a simple water dechlorinator is all we need.
I understand your point! I respectfully disagree with you, I am yet to hear of a cycle stalling because of Prime.

I have had my cycle stall because of Purigen before but I have and always will dose my tank with up to triple doses of Prime if for some odd reason I have ammonia in my tank, I.E. lost my cycle because of a power outage etc.

Seachem claims that Prime breaks down the ammonia and makes it easier for the BB to access it. So they are providing two very different and conflicting answers.

These big corporations are a headache
 

DaveyboyManc

Prime will detoxify ammonia so that it doesn't harm fish but is still food for bacteria.

What is it we're debating? All I've heard so far is how the cycle works and what ammonia is...

Yea, it's gone off on a bit of a tangent. My fault, so my apologies.

The initial point was if Prime kills the BB. I'm just trying to get educated
 

CanadianJoeh

Yea, it's gone off on a bit of a tangent. My fault, so my apologies.

The initial point was if Prime kills the BB. I'm just trying to get educated
Ah! So I think the consensus is that it doesn't, but there's a debate whether or not it can hinder your cycle in the early stages.
 

Tanks and Plants

I understand your point! I resrespectfully disagree with pectfully disagree with you, I am yet to hear of a cycle stalling because of Prime.

I have had my cycle stall because of Purigen before but I have and always will dose my tank with up to triple doses of Prime if for some odd reason I have ammonia in my tank, I.E. lost my cycle because of a power outage etc.

Seachem claims that Prime breaks down the ammonia and makes it easier for the BB to access it. So they are providing two very different and conflicting answers.

These big corporations are a headache

Thank you for respectfully disagreeing with me! I mean this is the most sincere way! I wish more debates on forums would be like this!
We both have our own different opinions and ideas and both of them are equally important. I think when it comes down to it, as they say every tank is different. What may work in your tank may not work in my tank and I think it all boils down to the company tying to make money by confusing the heck out of people. Thank you for your honest opinion and I fully respect what you believe.

I have to get going for now.....it’s 6:22am here in HawaiI and I have to get my 6y/o son ready for school.

Have a Great Day you guys!

Ah! So I think the consensus is that it doesn't, but there's a debate whether or not it can hinder your cycle in the early stages.

I’m sorry for going off the subject! I am the odd man out and I truly believe that in SOME cases not all, prime can hinder the cycling of a tank.
I also believe that prime does NOT kill your B.B. it’s the lack of food is what kills the B.B.
 

CanadianJoeh

Thank you for respectfully disagreeing with me! I mean this is the most sincere way! I wish more debates on forums would be like this!
We both have our own different opinions and ideas and both of them are equally important. I think when it comes down to it, as they say every tank is different. What may work in your tank may not work in my tank and I think it all boils down to the company tying to make money by confusing the heck out of people. Thank you for your honest opinion and I fully respect what you believe.

I have to get going for now.....it’s 6:22am here in HawaiI and I have to get my 6y/o son ready for school.

Have a Great Day you guys!
I agree with everything you said!

I got screamed at by someone in another thread for trying to explain that their fish were dying because they did not know of the nitrogen cycle. All I wanted to do was help! *sniff*

I wish there was more respect and kindness on fishlore! There's a good amount but there can always be more...
 

DaveyboyManc

I agree with everything you said!

I got screamed at by someone in another thread for trying to explain that their fish were dying because they did not know of the nitrogen cycle. All I wanted to do was help! *sniff*

I wish there was more respect and kindness on fishlore! There's a good amount but there can always be more...

I laughed at your *sniff* by the way. Not your situation

I don't understand why people come here to learn & then have a go at somebody for trying to educate them. Crazy!
 

CanadianJoeh

I laughed at your *sniff* by the way. Not your situation

I don't understand why people come here to learn & then have a go at somebody for trying to educate them. Crazy!
You can laugh at both! They're both funny

I agree. Although it wasn't someone asking for help, it was someone giving bad advice, argh! Even worse!
 

DaveyboyManc

You can laugh at both! They're both funny

I agree. Although it wasn't someone asking for help, it was someone giving bad advice, argh! Even worse!

I completely agree. I personally wouldn't give anyone advice if I didn't know what I was talking about. And if I did give someone unintentional wrong advice, i'd expect to be called out on it - but wouldn't have a go at them. We're all here for the same reason.. because we care about the hobby we're part of. I've been a watcher on forums for months before I got back into the hobby. My first attempt was a complete & utter disaster. But this forum is by far the best one out there IMO
 

jdhef

I'm getting confused now .
Fish produce ammonium as their cells cannot regulate ammonia. Or do they produce ammonia in poop & pee, & secrete ammonium? The higher the pH, the more toxic & prevalent the ammonia, the lesser the ammonium. The lower the pH, the less toxic the ammonia, the more prevalent the ammonium. Low pH means higher concentration of ammonium doesn't it?

Are you saying they don't produce ammonium at all, & that they produce ammonia which is then converted into ammonium in the water?

I'm just trying to get my head around the whole chemistry of the situation

I believe that fish release ammonia into the water, thru fish waste and I believe breathing. But it really doesn't matter whether they release ammonia or ammonium into the water. If the pH of the water is 7.0 or higher any ammonium that is released will turn into ammonia, and if the pH is below 7.0 any ammonia released will turn ammonium. (yes, I know this is a little simplified, and that there can be both ammonia and ammonium in the tank at the same time depending on the pH and water temperature). So basically whatever the fish release will turn into whatever the pH (and water temp) dictates.
 

Eric360

I agree with everything you said!

I got screamed at by someone in another thread for trying to explain that their fish were dying because they did not know of the nitrogen cycle. All I wanted to do was help! *sniff*

I wish there was more respect and kindness on fishlore! There's a good amount but there can always be more...

You aren't talking about me getting angry on the other thread when you said a fish in cycle with TSS is cruel and harmful, and called you PETA, are you? If so, I know all about the nitrogen cycle and that it's perfectly safe and harmless to fish to start with TSS.
Respect and kindness would be to not say someone is cruel and harmful to fish for using a proven method of cycling a tank.

If you're talking about a different thread, carry on.

Plus, how do you know they were screaming? Was it in all caps?
 

jdhef

I think I can answer for CanadianJoeh and say he was not referring to you in that other thread.
 

CanadianJoeh

You aren't talking about me getting angry on the other thread when you said a fish in cycle with TSS is cruel and harmful, and called you PETA, are you? If so, I know all about the nitrogen cycle and that it's perfectly safe and harmless to fish to start with TSS.
Respect and kindness would be to not say someone is cruel and harmful to fish for using a proven method of cycling a tank.

If you're talking about a different thread, carry on.

Plus, how do you know they were screaming? Was it in all caps?
I don't think that was me, someone has yet to call me PETA on fishlore....

Not to start a new argument, but it is not harmless to start a cycle with fish, even if you use TSS. Unless you use cycled media for an instant cycle, there will always be ammonia and it will always be harmful and painful for your fish.

That is why Prime is necessary if you care about your fish's well-being!

Cheers

PS. yes it was in all caps.
 

jdhef

There is a lot of debate over whether cycling with fish using TSS is harmful for fish or not.

I fall into the "it's not harmful" camp. But at the end of the day, it really comes down to what the user decides.
 

CanadianJoeh

There is a lot of debate over whether cycling with fish using TSS is harmful for fish or not.

I fall into the "it's not harmful" camp. But at the end of the day, it really comes down to what the user decides.
If there's not enough Beneficial Bacteria, then you will have an ammonia spike, correct? So you'd have to dose the heck out of your tank/filter media...

If you manage to keep your ammonia under 0.5 and it only takes place over a short period of time, then fine, no problem. But if you have an ammonia spike of 1 ppm or higher, I'm inclined to say that that is cruel and inhumane for your fish.

Just my two-cents
 

jdhef

That is correct, that's why you need to use the proper sized bottle of TSS, to ensure there will be enough bacteria added to the tank to keep the ammonia level low.
 

goldface

I don’t find fish-in cycling cruel at all, if done properly.

If Prime killed beneficial bacteria, then I wouldn’t be using it, but I do.
 

SegiDream

Hmph. I used to have a link directly to the seachem support site where a seachem tech said prime converts ammonia to ammonium and BB can still utilize it.... I don't think it has any truly harmful affect on the cycling process if both are applied correctly.

Let's face it. How many newbies start out trying to treat every symptom of the tank to clear the water or change the ph or medicate randomly. I think stuff like that is probably the more likely culprit than the use of prime in combination with tss.
 

DaveyboyManc

There is a lot of debate over whether cycling with fish using TSS is harmful for fish or not.

I fall into the "it's not harmful" camp. But at the end of the day, it really comes down to what the user decides.

I personally don't think it's "cruel".

However, if you don't know EXACTLY what you're doing, I think it can be risky.

For example, I did mine with 3 Platys & 3 Neon Tetras. In trying to increase my kh & gh to the right levels where it would suit both my types of fish (because I stupidly added both species not realising their needs), I didn't realise I was raising the pH at the same time to a point where the low ammonia actually became highly toxic to them all. It all but destroyed my fish & now I'm struggling with the aftermath. Yea it was more to do with not knowing about ammonia toxicity as oposed to TSS - but wouldnt have happened if I knew what I was doing with using fish for a cycle.

I think if you're gonna go that route, do your research first so you're certain you're doing the utmost best for your fish
 

goldface

People have kept fish for a thousand years. Hundreds of varieties of goldfish and bettas were created without filtration, and the concept of the nitrogen cycle was nonexistant. That’s how I see it.

So is ammonia bad? Sure. Is .25-.5ppm of it going to be a problem during a fish-in cycle? From my experience, probably not. In fact, at those levels, I haven’t seen any ill effects. I even had fish breed, the eggs hatch, and the fry live and grow in those conditions. It’s why total newbs who don’t know what they’re doing get away with a neglected tank for months without a water change and they think they must be doing something right.
 

CanadianJoeh

That is correct, that's why you need to use the proper sized bottle of TSS, to ensure there will be enough bacteria added to the tank to keep the ammonia level low.
I don’t find fish-in cycling cruel at all, if done properly.

If Prime killed beneficial bacteria, then I wouldn’t be using it, but I do.
IF there is enough BB from the bacteria in a bottle, then it is not cruel because it's almost as if you're doing an instant cycle. If you follow the dosing instructions that the company gives, however, I find that you will often have a dangerous ammonia spike. That's why I recommend dosing more BB than on the instructions

This has been a great conversation, though, thank you to everyone who has contributed!
 

Tanks and Plants

IF there is enough BB from the bacteria in a bottle, then it is not cruel because it's almost as if you're doing an instant cycle. If you follow the dosing instructions that the company gives, however, I find that you will often have a dangerous ammonia spike. That's why I recommend dosing more BB than on the instructions

This has been a great conversation, though, thank you to everyone who has contributed!

I agree, I alway use more B.B. than what is recommended. Right now I have a brand new uncycled tank for 5 of my new zebra plecos. I had no choice in the matter and I have been cycling my tank this way. I have been watching my ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates . My tank is slowly cycling and my fish seems happy. They are eating and getting bigger. I haven’t had any ammonia spikes but I know my tank is cycling and my fishes are healthy. I suspect that if something was wrong they wouldn’t be eating or growing and dying, THANKFULLY nothing like that is happening and while I would have rather have done a fishless cycle, but I believe that, if you know what you are doing and are aware of what’s happening in your tank it can be done safely
 

jscott

I hope this is ok to be in the beginners section, as a lot of newcomers to this hobby are confused about this subject & using Prime during their cycle.

Does Prime kill BB during the cycling process? Some say it does, some say it doesn't.


After looking into what I can find on line, & speaking with the micro biologists where I work - it would seem that there's no reason why the first stage BB can't convert ammonium to nitrite, just the same as it does with the conversion of ammonia to nitrite.

If that's the case, I don't see why it's advisable NOT to use Prime in the initial stages of a 'bottled bacteria' fish-in cycle. If it can be used along with Stability, which is essentially BB - then why not other bottled bacteria products? They all contain the same 2 species of nitrifying bacteria, right? We all know Prime is a godsend for keeping our fish safe at certain times, so it would be really good to know when we should use it to be able to avoid messing up the cycle
It will help your cycle, not hurt it. It will detoxify the ammonia, making it easier for the BB to digest, according to Seachem. Excel can kill bacteria in a cycling tank but Prime is only going to help.
 

Christopher J. Candel

New guy here.....Good conversation here.... my question is does prime/safe or hikarI ultimate inhibit or damage the growth and or stability of the anaerobic bacteria ( denitrifing) we're all trying to grow in our tanks and media when we're doing water changes?
 

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