How to test Prime

angelcraze

I might get in trouble, mods, sorry if i'm rehashing something, but i'm confused how to test Prime to see if it actually detoxifies ammonia (or removes it as they state). Seachem explains Prime removes the ammonia, converting it to a salt, but our API test kits still register ammonia whether it is there in a replacement salt form or toxic ammonia. If I use a test kit that deciphers the difference between ammonium and ammonia, won't the ammonia transformed to salt still show up? I really don't know, that's why i'm asking. I just don't understand the salt thing, it is not ammonia, but a form of it?

Do we have to test on live subjects? I'm probably way off, just curious....
 

Sorg67

This issue has been discussed to great length in other threads. You can probably search and find several discussions.

There are some who are very skeptical about Seachem's claims. And some who have contacted Seachem asking for evidence and research supporting their claims.

I have not heard about the salt thing, but my understanding is that Prime temporarily binds small quantities of ammonia rendering it less harmful but leaving it detectable by API ammonia test and leaving it subject to processing by bacteria into nitrite. It is my understanding that this binding lasts for about 48 hours. I guess after that time it returns to unbound ammonia.

I do not understand the science. I am just relating what I have read in other threads.
 

angelcraze

This issue has been discussed to great length in other threads. You can probably search and find several discussions.

There are some who are very skeptical about Seachem's claims. And some who have contacted Seachem asking for evidence and research supporting their claims.

I have not heard about the salt thing, but my understanding is that Prime temporarily binds small quantities of ammonia rendering it less harmful but leaving it detectable by API ammonia test and leaving it subject to processing by bacteria into nitrite. It is my understanding that this binding lasts for about 48 hours. I guess after that time it returns to unbound ammonia.

I do not understand the science. I am just relating what I have read in other threads.
Thank you, but how do we test if it actually is removed (or held in a safe state for up to 48hrs) for those who are skeptical that wish to test their claims. Does a test kit that deciphers between NH3 and NH4+ or the ammonia alert still pick up the ammonia held in a safe state? I thought it might. So then does this mean we need to observe live subjects? Someone mentioned testing on daphnia in one of the recent Prime threads.

And sorry, I should say a salt. Hydrosulfite salts, not sodium chloride.
 

jake37

Don't think we can since apI test will detect it. I think the safe thing to do is that if you still measure ammonia in the water after 48 hours is to reapply prime. My understanding is that a dosage up to 4x or is it 5x recommended amount is still 'safe'. To a degree your question amounts to how can we determine if prime is harming the fish (not the same question but another hard to evaluate question). I wrote them a few emails once but the answers were pretty much hand waving. Perhaps a chemist might have a more accurate way to measure the molecule formed when prime binds with ammonia.

Thank you, but how do we test if it actually is removed (or held in a safe state for up to 48hrs). Does a test kit or the ammonia alert still pick up the ammonia held in a safe state? I thought it might. So then does this mean we need to observe live subjects? Someone mentioned testing on daphnia in one of the recent Prime threads.

And sorry, I should say a salt. Not sodium chloride.
 

angelcraze

I think there is a kit that can tell the difference, not API, but something else. Also the ammonia alert stickie thing can tell the difference for sure. But ammonia held in a safe state (converted temporarily to hydrosulfite salts) is not ammonium. So does it still register as ammonia? If bio filter does not remove the ammonia held in a safe state after 48hrs, the ammonia will return, or become toxic again, so it is never fully removed by Prime or not removed for good. It only keeps ammonia in a safe state so it will not harm our fish until the filter processes it by means of the nitrogen cycle for up to 48hrs.

Btw, I never see ammonia in my tanks, they are fully established for many years, so i'm not asking for that, i'm just merely asking how to test Seachem's claims that Prime detoxifies ammonia.

Personally I use Safe. It's the cheapest conditioner for me anyway, so I have no qualms, i'm just curious. Also, I def use it for QT and newly set up tanks with confidence about their ammonia claims. It's a question following a thread that is now closed. I just couldn't figure out how to test it?
 

AvalancheDave

The ammonia test raises pH and convert all ammonium to ammonia. It presumably frees most or all of any bound ammonia.

The tests using color-changing materials (Seneye and Seachem) can be used to test this, in theory. I believe they are pH sensors behind a coating permeable to gaseous ammonia only.

Ion selective electrodes use an electronic pH sensor behind a membrane permeable to the ion in question. In theory, this could also be used to test whether free ammonia is bound.

Ion chromatography can detect any changes in a molecule's mass or charge.

Toxicity testing on animals is probably the best option.

I started buying pasta sauce in small jars in anticipation of growing a Daphnia colony.
 

BettaNgold

This issue has been discussed to great length in other threads. You can probably search and find several discussions.

There are some who are very skeptical about Seachem's claims. And some who have contacted Seachem asking for evidence and research supporting their claims.

I have not heard about the salt thing, but my understanding is that Prime temporarily binds small quantities of ammonia rendering it less harmful but leaving it detectable by API ammonia test and leaving it subject to processing by bacteria into nitrite. It is my understanding that this binding lasts for about 48 hours. I guess after that time it returns to unbound ammonia.

I do not understand the science. I am just relating what I have read in other threads.
You are absolutely correct except the binding lasts between 24-48 hours. I wouldn’t trust 48.
 

angelcraze

The ammonia test raises pH and convert all ammonium to ammonia. It presumably frees most or all of any bound ammonia.

The tests using color-changing materials (Seneye and Seachem) can be used to test this, in theory. I believe they are pH sensors behind a coating permeable to gaseous ammonia only.

Ion selective electrodes use an electronic pH sensor behind a membrane permeable to the ion in question. In theory, this could also be used to test whether free ammonia is bound.

Ion chromatography can detect any changes in a molecule's mass or charge.

Toxicity testing on animals is probably the best option.

I started buying pasta sauce in small jars in anticipation of growing a Daphnia colony.
Thank you for this!!! So you are still planning to test it? I'm very curious what you find!

You are absolutely correct except the binding lasts between 24-48 hours. I wouldn’t trust 48.
Yep UP TO 48hrs. I personally wouldn't see ammonia for longer because I would add more seasoned media, but good to point out!
 

Cichlidude

Sorry to jump in here, but you can contact Seachem and they have a procedure, however it has proved not to work on a previous thread. What you can do is dose 2ppm of ammonia in a 5 gallon bucket, nothing else is needed (heater maybe), add water, add like 10 fish, and then dose prime for 2 ppm for 5 gallon is 10ml (2ml/gallon), if I'm not mistaken. Seachem says your fish will be safe it you continue to dose prime every 24-48 hours. No need to change any water like Seachem has said, it can be used without water changes. So every 24-48 hours just dose again with prime and you fish will stay ammonia free days or even weeks.

If your API ammonia test show ammonia, it is going through the fishes gills and they are breathing it. But Seachem says that's OK, no harm done. Might want to contact Seachem to see if that will prove fish will be just fine in a tank full of ammonia. I had the above that phone conversation with Seachem about 8 months ago and never posted that conversation. Seachem hung up on me.

I think you can see the problem here. So call Seachem to verify it is OK.
 

Coradee

Ok this stops now, this subject has been done to death, we are not here to continually bash Seachem or any other company at every opportunity.
Thread closed
 

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