How much? Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Narwhal, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Narwhal Valued Member Member

    I have 3 questions:

    1: How much ammonia is harmful, how much is lethal
    2: How much nitrite is harmful, how much is lethal, can Prime stop it and how much
    3: How much nitrate is harmful, how much is lethal

    My pH is 7.4-7.6, if that matters.

  2. gef21 Valued Member Member

  3. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Hello Narwhal,

    Any amount of ammonia and nitrites can be fatal to your fish. Nitrates should be under 20 and most definitely under 40.

    Prime will detox ammonia, nitrites and nitrates but only for a 24 hour period. If you're having water quality issues then water changes are a must in addition to adding the Prime.


  4. Narwhal Valued Member Member

    I add Prime every day and do water changes once a week in the 20 gallon, and my fish don't look stressed at all.

  5. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    many members have recommended in other threads, and will continue to do so, to daily water changes.....just because you dont see stress with your fish, doesnt mean its not there...ammonia/nitrites are deadly...and it makes it very hard for the fish to breath.they need the daily fresh water to help with that..just dosing prime doesnt keep them safe without some new oxygen in the new water you use to change the tank....

  6. Narwhal Valued Member Member

    The filters make a good amount of air bubbles, does that help?
  7. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi Narwhal,
    I actually asked that question before, about adding Prime every day without doing the water change. Every single response I got was that this is not a good idea. I think that the oxygen is an issue, but also, here is my theory on why this isn't the best idea:

    Prime converts lethal ammonia to less harmful (but still somewhat harmful) ammonium. Water changes are the only way to actually reduce the amount of ammonia/ammonium in the water, unless you add even more chemicals. When you add Prime without doing the water change with it, you are converting the ammonia to ammonium, but every day, you are building up more and more ammonium into the tank, since none is being reduced. As the ammonium levels build, they are harming your fish, just not as much as the ammonia would.

    Shawnie is right that just because the fish are acting normal does not mean that all is well. Keep a close eye on things if you continue to do it your way. And remember, even though the water changes are a pain, your tank will finish the cycling faster if you do them. Letting the ammonia/um levels rise to bring them back down to 1/2 every week is going to take forever, versus actually reducing the amount every day.

    Just my 2 cents. :)
  8. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    you dont have ammonium which is less toxic, but still have pure ammonia.....and you have had it for one can tell you what to do with your tank, but the advice thats been given for some time, is still the same....they need the water changes....its just more humane......good luck either way!
  9. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Shawnie, I missed something... if OP is using Prime, then wouldn't it be ammonium? I thought the API test did not make a distinction between the two, and the Prime would convert the ammonia. I'm sorry if my theory isn't sound.
  10. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    Meenu I was going on the ph not the use of prime.....;) you were correct in your info :)
  11. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Ah, I get it... because if your pH goes lower than 7 (?) then ammonia converts to ammonium? Thanks. :;sl
  12. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    :) yes ...and im not sure where the info came that using prime turns ammonia to ammonium, I just know it detoxifies it...not sure what that means tho ....ammonium is still deadly so I dont think thats what prime does? but I could be wrong ;)
  13. Craig-D Valued Member Member

    Prime is a binder. It simply locks up the ammonia so it' s not lethal for 24 hours. I recommend Amquel+ instead. It doesn't work for just 24 hours. It's effect is permanent because it breaks the chemical bonds of the elements that make up the toxins and this process cannot be undone. The biofilter still consumes the remaining elements as if nothing happened, but the remaining elements are not harmful to fish. After Amquel is added, there will be no more ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate until the tank residents produce more. Thus daily water changes are not needed with Amquel.
  14. Narwhal Valued Member Member

    The guy at the LFS said not to do water changes every day... Most of their stuff is fish, some is for other pets, but I trust them, especially one employee. I'm going to buy Amquel+ at the fish store tomorrow. I couldn't stand losing a fish in the cycle. :( Thanks for the advice, Craig.
  15. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    As a Amquel+ user, let me give you a little heads up. The API ammonia (liquid) test is not compatable with Amquel+. There is some info about this on Kardon's (the maker of Amquel+) website. It can lead to a false positive reading for ammonia.

    I actually bought Kardon's powder based ammonia test kit since it is compatable. It appears the only place you can get it is thru their website.
  16. dvc_r Valued Member Member

    Totally Agree 100%!
    Let's put this in layman's terms or maybe a parable:
    "Well into the 1950s, the company was looking for a new image and in an attempt to capitalize on the phenomenon of the cowboy, the company introduced what would make them the leader of the worldwide cigarette market. Every man wanted to be him and every woman wanted to be with him, he was a cowboy and he smoked. The Marlboro Man!"

    Wayne McLaren definatly looked healthy in his early days... he died around 50 years old from lung cancer!

    There are a lot more examples and we can argue and start a new thread but my point is fish may look healthy for the next year but when it dies in two years, it may have been able to lived for 8-10 years. We being reasonable hobbyists should take all actions necessary to increase the odds for the longest and healthiest life possible. (sorry if that sound corny)
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  17. Narwhal Valued Member Member

    I bought Amquel+ and added a half-dose. My fish aren't breathing heavily and aren't near the top of the tank, they stay near the bottom. You can't even see them breathe, so I think they are getting enough oxygen. A LFS says that you can't always believe the internet... He has a lot of experience with fish, but so does everyone here. :\

    EDIT: Tested ammonia, it was around 0.9 instead of 1.3, added the other half of the dose. Once my tank is done with the ammonia stage of cycling, how much Amquel should I add per day, or should I add it every day? How much nitrite is considered high (could kill my fish in 2 days or less)?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  18. Craig-D Valued Member Member

    Your test kit is going to read the presence of ammonia, but it is not really in there anymore in a toxic form. You should add a full dose for the entire volume of your tank each time. How often you should add it depends on how much time it takes the bioload of your tank to produce more toxins. Keep in mind if you put in too much, it just sits in your tank inactive until more toxins emerge and then it takes them out too. I'd say a dose once evey other day or every 3 days is sufficient depending on your bioload. I was dosing twice a week when I used it and my fish were fine.

    Any amoung of nitrite is too much. A miniscule amount might not kill fish in the short term, but long term exposure will negatively affect their health. No worries though. You have Amquel now. There are no nitrites in your tank anymore as long as you use it.
  19. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    These products work because they detoxify without removing the ammonia and nitrites. Your tank still needs the ammonia so that nitrites can form, and it needs nitrites so that nitrates can form, completing the nitrogen cycle. The nitrites are technically there, available to the beneficial bacteria, but without damaging the fish. I use Prime, which is very similar to Amelquel+ - amazing products.
  20. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    if you test 24 hours or more after adding amquel+, (just recently started using it amquel+) its going to be fine with your api test kit :)
    narwhal...ive seen in more than 2 of your threads where you state "my LFS says....." if you trust them, (which from your information ive read, that probably isnt a good idea) then great!! but our members are trying very hard to help you so you can either trust them, or your LFS thats out to make money off you ....either way, we only want whats best for your fish and you and it wont cost you a dime :)
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010