Seachem Prime vs API Tap Water Conditioner and Others - Page 2

mattgirl

And as this debate rages on I hope no fish will be harmed because some folks decided not to head recommendations in the use of Prime while doing a fish in cycle. I will continue recommending using it after water changes to get the ammonia down as low as possible first. May be just wishful thinking on my part but in my humble opinion it will help protect our water pets while doing fish in cycling. I base this on all the folks I've dealt with over the past 4 years. Fish are dying during a fish in cycle. Once Prime is added to their water change routine fish stop dying. It is hard to dismiss success.

Does it help with nitrites or nitrates. I am still on the fence about that so don't pass on that information. Even Seachem says that it is unexpected and they only added that information to the label after folks that use the product told them it helped. They don't know why it helps. That isn't enough proof for me and I feel it shouldn't have been added to the label.

Bottom line. Nothing will help more than keeping up with water changes. Prime is a band-aid to help get through the rough patches.
 

AvalancheDave

The only time I used Prime to control ammonia, the fish died.

I would like to see some formal experiments before drawing any conclusions though. The best would be to get 2-3 tanks of 9 or more similar fish, add the same amount of ammonia, and add Prime to only one.

I'm not that comfortable with testing on live animals but if I was a breeder that was culling anyway...
 

Cichlidude

Once Prime is added to their water change routine fish stop dying. It is hard to dismiss success.
And that is correct. You should always add a de-chlorinator, any de-chlorination product before a water change, proving that just a water change is the solution. In about 4-5 days magically your fish survive. How long? Months maybe depends on the length of time the fish where exposed. Everyone knows ammonia poisoning could take days, weeks or months to show up.
 

kcopper

The "testing period" only took about 30 minutes so I'm sure the water temp didn't change. I was starting a cycle on a ten gallon tank and used that af aan excuse to do the test with my new Salifert NH3 ammonia test kit. My tank temp was 78 t/o the last test I did a several years ago, and my pH had dropped from 8.2 to 7.8 for some reason during the test (it drops that much overnight still, but I don't know why it did it during the test). I can't explan why the Salifert test reacted the way it did. I need to check and see if they've changed their reagent. I did that last test around 2010, a year before my Cichlid tank blew up.
Here's another guy that got the Salifert NH3 test and had some problems even getting an ammonia reading.
Salifert NH3 test and Dr Tims Ammonium Chloride -
It may have been a crummy kit I got. I need to contact the manufacturer to ask some questions. I had only used the ammonia alert the previous times I did the test.
I haven't seen very many pharmaceutical, dog food, fish food, or household cleaning product companies etc. that "publish the results" of their research either". Did you actually ever do any research yourself for any company or even original research for a university? Apparently not. For profit companies make the most money on products that are unique to that company. That's why they get patents on their formulas and exactly why they don't publish their research or disclose their 'secrets'. It's unfortunate sometimes that that is the way this country works. Private information doesn't have to be shared, not even life saving information. Universities are the exception. Most academic research is published and shared. That way all the universities and even private companies can expand on that research.
So, companies use the term 'proprietary information' for a reason.
The laws in most developed countries require that certain chemicals and ingredients be disclosed in products the public uses, even unregulated industries (like animal feed and supplies), but not the way those ingredients are put together, the amounts that are used in the product or specific data or results of testing.
  1. A pharmaceutical company seeking FDA approval to sell a new prescription drug must complete a five-step process: discovery/concept, preclinical research, clinical research, FDA review and FDA post-market safety monitoring. - FDA Approval - Process of Approving Drugs & Medical Devices
  2. Enter any single drug name into google scholar and you will find endless studies
  3. Dog food - ingredients are published including a "Guaranteed Analysis"
  4. Fish food - ingredients are published including a "Guaranteed Analysis"
  5. Household cleaning products have detailed information on their MSDS. Additionally, type any cleaner into Google Scholar, and again, you will find a multitude of results.
  6. Studies and proof of efficacy do not require intellectual property to necessarily be shared. Your argument about "secrets" is completely unrelated to proof of efficacy.
  7. You honestly think it is unreasonable to expect a company to produce evidence that their product works as claimed? That really seems like a completely outlandish request to you? You sir, really need to become more critically aware of the world around you.
 

mattgirl

And that is correct. You should always add a de-chlorinator, any de-chlorination product before a water change, proving that just a water change is the solution. In about 4-5 days magically your fish survive. How long? Months maybe depends on the length of time the fish where exposed. Everyone knows ammonia poisoning could take days, weeks or months to show up.
I think you misunderstood what I said. Water changes were being done and a water conditioner was being used but all of the ammonia wasn't removed. It was low but there was still some left. Gotta have some to feed the cycle. Fish were dying or showing stress even after the water changes. Prime was added to the water changes and the fish stopped dying. Of course the folks I helped didn't come back to let me know if the fish lived long term so there is that.

I do agree that this is anecdotal evidence and really doesn't prove anything at all though. It is a lot like the anecdotal evidence about helping with nitrites and nitrates.

I completely agree that the water change are what had the most effect on the health of the fish.
 

kcopper

And as this debate rages on I hope no fish will be harmed because some folks decided not to head recommendations in the use of Prime while doing a fish in cycle. I will continue recommending using it after water changes to get the ammonia down as low as possible first. May be just wishful thinking on my part but in my humble opinion it will help protect our water pets while doing fish in cycling. I base this on all the folks I've dealt with over the past 4 years. Fish are dying during a fish in cycle. Once Prime is added to their water change routine fish stop dying. It is hard to dismiss success.

Does it help with nitrites or nitrates. I am still on the fence about that so don't pass on that information. Even Seachem says that it is unexpected and they only added that information to the label after folks that use the product told them it helped. They don't know why it helps. That isn't enough proof for me and I feel it shouldn't have been added to the label.

Bottom line. Nothing will help more than keeping up with water changes. Prime is a band-aid to help get through the rough patches.
You are simply describing a correlation, not a causation. Let me make up a hypothetis of why there may be this relationship.

Stage 1
  1. Person wants an aquarium
  2. Person goes to LFS picks up a starter kit and fish
  3. Goes home, fills aquarium, puts fish in.
  4. Feeds fish and has great sense of satisfaction
Stage 2
  1. Fish start acting odd
  2. Fish start dying
  3. Person becomes concerned
  4. Person starts research and discovers something called "the nitrogen cycle"
  5. Person reads that ammonia is killing fish and must start doing water changes and adding prime(because people post it all over forums)
Stage 3
  1. Person is now monitoring water parameters
  2. Fish are surviving
Possible conclusions
  1. Prime saved the fish by chemical magic
  2. A greater understanding of water chemistry and the effects on fish have enabled the owner to provide suitable water conditions that allow the fish to flourish.
I'm going with conclusion 2.
 

Cichlidude

I think you misunderstood what I said. Water changes were being done and a water conditioner was being used but all of the ammonia wasn't removed. It was low but there was still some left. Gotta have some to feed the cycle. Fish were dying or showing stress even after the water changes. Prime was added to the water changes and the fish stopped dying. Of course the folks I helped didn't come back to let me know if the fish lived long term so there is that.

I do agree that this is anecdotal evidence and really doesn't prove anything at all though. It is a lot like the anecdotal evidence about helping with nitrites and nitrates.

I completely agree that the water change are what had the most effect on the health of the fish.
Again I agree. After a 50% water change, your ammonia should go down by 50% leaving plenty for you bacteria to grow. If you think Prime removes all your ammonia, well then your bacteria would die, right?

Again, here is what happens...

This is how your issue, along with others, pans out over the next days. This happens quite a bit.

1. Assuming you have high ammonia like 8 ppm you start your water changes.
2. Since you are changing water you need to add a de-chlorinator. Any de-chlorinator will work.
3. You change 50% of the water, so now your ammonia is at 4 ppm.
4. Your filter media is trying hard to catch up to oxidize the ammonia.
5. The next day you change another 50% of water and add any de-chlorinator for the new water.
6. Your ammonia is now at 2 ppm, or maybe less as your filter media is still trying catch up.
7. The next day you change 50% of water and add any de-chlorinator for the new water.
8. Your ammonia is now at 1 ppm, or less as your filter media is still trying to catch up or maybe even working better now.
9. The next day you change 50% of water and add any de-chlorinator for the new water.
10. Your ammonia is now at 0.5 ppm, or less as your filter media is still trying to catch up.

After a few days things should be back to normal if your filter media is capable of oxidizing ammonia finally. However, if you have inefficient filter media or you cleaned your filter too thoroughly or too often it may take a while to oxidize the ammonia.

This is the natural progression as Prime and all other de-chlorinators do not oxidize any ammonia per test proven on the web. It just goes down naturally by changing the water.
 

bizaliz3

Why do people keep saying prime removes the ammonia, or controls the ammonia. It doesn’t claim to do those things. It claims to temporarily detoxify ammonia. Not remove it or keep in controlled.

I am hard pressed to see how it can be proven to not work if it doesn’t remove ammonia. I thought ammonia would still be read in a test regardless if prime was used or not. So testing to see if prime removed ammonia doesn’t make sense. But I am not a scientist and I am trying to read all of this while at work and just struggle to follow what everyone is trying to say. Its getting too complicated for me. I am likely just not understanding the tests being run. So maybe try using layman's terms for me!!

All I know is, my tanks have zero ammonia and are well cared for. I have never used prime as a bandaid or added it to my tank when I was not adding new water. But my tap water has ammonia in it. So it gives me a feeling of relief knowing that while the BB eats up the ammonia (the BB takes like 18 hours to remove it) the prime is keeping the fish comfortable. The ammonia is still readable and still exists in the tank, it just isn’t as harmful to the fish.

I guess you can say I am blindly using prime, under the POTENTIALLY false impression that I am somehow keeping my fish more comfortable. But hey, whatever. If it is not doing anything to protect my fish from the .25-.5 ammonia in my tap…that stinks. But I haven’t seen them ever have an issue after adding 50% water with .5 ammonia in it. I haven’t done it without prime though. So I am not sure if using a different dechlorinator, that does not claim to detoxify ammonia, would cause the fish added stress. I am not willing to test it on my fish.

I am going to continue to use prime as my dechlorinator personally. It can't hurt.
 

kcopper

Stupid correlation scenario #2
Fact: People that come to fishlore.com have reduced ammonia levels in their tanks and lower mortality rates.
Conclusion: fishlore.com detoxifies ammonia

Whilst it is not clear how fishlore.com detoxifies ammonia, we suspect it has something to do with bi-apex-ionic-plormidification. We do not have any studies, science, research, or data to back up this claim, but I did hear a dude talking about it on the bus last week. This is proof enough for me, and should be proof enough for you. If you're willing to buy this story, then you are probably willing to buy our entire line of products! Please click the "buy all" button and proceed to our checkout.
 

Cichlidude

Why do people keep saying prime removes the ammonia, or controls the ammonia. It doesn’t claim to do those things. It claims to temporarily detoxify ammonia. Not remove it or keep in controlled.

I am going to continue to use prime as my dechlorinator personally. It can't hurt.
And that above is proved never to happen as it is impossible to have a reducing agent , like Prime and all others, perform the function of an oxidation process by going from ammonia, to nitrite to nitrate. A product cannot be a reducing agent and an oxidation agent at the same time. Never said not to use Prime, it is fine as a de-chlorinator, just like all others. Might want to re-read the first post.
 

AvalancheDave

If daphnia excrete ammonia via their gills the same way fish do I easily setup experiments.

I have far less of a problem risking invertebrate lives.
 

Cichlidude

Whilst it is not clear how fishlore.com detoxifies ammonia, we suspect it has something to do with bi-apex-ionic-plormidification.
Ah yes, but they used a Turboencabulator for the test. Don't forget that.
 

AvalancheDave

And that above is proved never to happen as it is impossible to have a reducing agent , like Prime and all others, perform the function of an oxidation process by going from ammonia, to nitrite to nitrate. A product cannot be a reducing agent and an oxidation agent at the same time. Never said not to use Prime, it is fine as a de-chlorinator, just like all others. Might want to re-read the first post.

Prime could have a second ingredient that binds ammonia. The Kuhns patent mentions that some other products use multiple ingredients to deal with chlorine and ammonia separately.

That being said, Safe looks pretty homogenous so I'm not sure if it can contain different ingredients.
 

Cichlidude

Prime could have a second ingredient that binds ammonia. The Kuhns patent mentions that some other products use multiple ingredients to deal with chlorine and ammonia separately.

That being said, Safe looks pretty homogenous so I'm not sure if it can contain different ingredients.
Ammonia is ammonia. Nothing binds it to make it safe for fish. Again, there is no Star Trek shield available to go around fish. If there was a magic second ingredient, they would have a patent and state the patent on the bottle. There is none.
 

bizaliz3

And that above is proved never to happen as it is impossible to have a reducing agent , like Prime and all others, perform the function of an oxidation process by going from ammonia, to nitrite to nitrate. A product cannot be a reducing agent and an oxidation agent at the same time. Never said not to use Prime, it is fine as a de-chlorinator, just like all others. Might want to re-read the first post.

It never claimed to REDUCE ammonia though. This is where I'm getting confused.
 

AvalancheDave

Ammonia is ammonia. Nothing binds it to make it safe for fish. Again, there is no Star Trek shield available to go around fish. If there was a magic second ingredient, they would have a patent and state the patent on the bottle. There is none.

I think formaldehyde could bind it. There are probably other chemicals as well.

Seachem isn't obligated to patent the ingredients. They can opt to rely on trade secret protection.
 

mattgirl

Why do people keep saying prime removes the ammonia, or controls the ammonia. It doesn’t claim to do those things. It claims to temporarily detoxify ammonia. Not remove it or keep in controlled.

I am hard pressed to see how it can be proven to not work if it doesn’t remove ammonia. I thought ammonia would still be read in a test regardless if prime was used or not. So testing to see if prime removed ammonia doesn’t make sense. But I am not a scientist and I am trying to read all of this while at work and just struggle to follow what everyone is trying to say. Its getting too complicated for me. I am likely just not understanding the tests being run. So maybe try using layman's terms for me!!

All I know is, my tanks have zero ammonia and are well cared for. I have never used prime as a bandaid or added it to my tank when I was not adding new water. But my tap water has ammonia in it. So it gives me a feeling of relief knowing that while the BB eats up the ammonia (the BB takes like 18 hours to remove it) the prime is keeping the fish comfortable. The ammonia is still readable and still exists in the tank, it just isn’t as harmful to the fish.

I guess you can say I am blindly using prime, under the POTENTIALLY false impression that I am somehow keeping my fish more comfortable. But hey, whatever. If it is not doing anything to protect my fish from the .25-.5 ammonia in my tap…that stinks. But I haven’t seen them ever have an issue after adding 50% water with .5 ammonia in it. I haven’t done it without prime though. So I am not sure if using a different dechlorinator, that does not claim to detoxify ammonia, would cause the fish added stress. I am not willing to test it on my fish.

I am going to continue to use prime as my dechlorinator personally. It can't hurt.
Like you I don't know why folks say it removes ammonia. I have never said that. It doesn't claim to remove it. When running the apI ammonia test if there is ammonia in the tank it will still show up when the test is run. The ammonia is still there but in a safer form. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Folks can go back and forth from now on and minds will not be changed on this subject. I will still both use and recommend Prime.

When I said band-aid I just meant that like a band-aid it adds a layer of protection while the ammonia is being processed. I will always recommend water changes before anything else. Prime is an extra layer of protection to be added after a water change.
 

Cichlidude

kcopper

Ah yes, but they used a Turboencabulator for the test. Don't forget that.
This video brings me such great joy:
 

bizaliz3

Correct. If it can't reduce it to zero, ammonia is still there.

Right...it is...and seachem doesn't claim to remove it.....

So I'm still confused by your argument. We are not talking about removing ammonia.
 

Cichlidude

Right...it is...and seachem doesn't claim to remove it.....

So I'm still confused by your argument. We are not talking about removing ammonia.
But everybody says to add up to 5X Prime to save your fish if you have high ammonia!! It will shield them and they will not have any ammonia poisoning at all! That is the issue here.

It could be something other than formaldehyde...
And like I said, if it was magic, Seachem would have a patent on it. Seachem has no patents at all on ANY chemical.
 

mattgirl

But everybody says to add up to 5X Prime to save your fish if you have high ammonia!! It will shield them and they will not have any ammonia poisoning at all! That is the issue here.
Everybody? I have seen one person recommending that dosage when nitrites are high. I don't agree with it but that is their opinion so I let it go.
 

AvalancheDave

And like I said, if it was magic, Seachem would have a patent on it. Seachem has no patents at all on ANY chemical.

They only have to file a patent if they want patent protection. They can opt for trade secret protection instead.
 

bizaliz3

But everybody says to add up to 5X Prime to save your fish if you have high ammonia!! It will shield them and they will not have any ammonia poisoning at all! That is the issue here.

There is a difference between detoxifying and removing. You are going back and forth between calling it a "shield" and calling it a remover. Two very different things.

What exactly was your scientific test? Was it testing to see if ammonia was removed? Because obviously it won't be. No magic product will remove it. That's for sure.

And I personally would never recommend 5x the dose to protect fish. If the ammonia is THAT high, I recommend large water changes with a normal dose of prime. Not just throwing prime at the tank without changing water.

I agree that telling people to put a dose 5 times the normal dose will save peoples fish is not good advice. Its just silly. If the ammonia is that out of control...there is a problem that needs attention.
 

Cichlidude

They only have to file a patent if they want patent protection. They can opt for trade secret protection instead.
Ah yes, but there is no trade secret on an over the counter chemical as sodium dithionite.

There is a difference between detoxifying and removing. You are going back and forth between calling it a "shield" and calling it a remover. Two very different things.

What exactly was your scientific test? Was it testing to see if ammonia was removed? Because obviously it won't be. No magic product will remove it. That's for sure.
Read the first page of this thread for all test. And you just answer the jist of this thread. Detoxify says to make it safe for your fish, according to Seachem. But since it can't remove any ammonia how can it be safe for fish? Pretty easy.
 

AvalancheDave

What exactly was your scientific test? Was it testing to see if ammonia was removed? Because obviously it won't be. No magic product will remove it. That's for sure.

Most ammonia tests are total ammonia tests that raise pH very high. That converts all ammonium to ammonia and would probably convert any ammonia bound to Prime to ammonia as well.

Knowing that, people have tested using Seachem's ammonia test which uses a color change indicator presumably behind a layer of a hydrophobic substance. It's only permeable to gaseous ammonia.

Gills work the same way so Prime could bind to ammonia so it can no longer pass through gills.

One way to test this would be to use an ammonia ion selective electrode.

The other would be to use live animals.

Ah yes, but there is no trade secret on an over the counter chemical as sodium dithionite.

I don't think it has to be a novel secret ingredient. A novel application of a known substance would probably suffice.

And it could also be something other than dithionite.
 

Cichlidude

And just to prove again that Prime is a reducer and not an oxidizer.... here is the email exchange from Seachem.

I wrote:
***
Hello,

Quick question.

Is Prime a reducing agent or an oxidation agent? All I can find on the web sites is that it is a reducing agent.

Thank you.
***

Seachems reply:
***

HI there, thanks for reaching out!

Prime is a strong reducer.

Hope that clarifies!

Seachem Support 10304

****

There is the final answer.
 

bizaliz3

Read the first page of this thread for all test. And you just answer the jist of this thread. Detoxify says to make it safe for your fish, according to Seachem. But since it can't remove any ammonia how can it be safe for fish? Pretty easy.

How do you know that? How do those tests prove that its impossible to bind ammonia and temporarily make it safe? Or tolerable anyway? You admittedly don't know their ingredients.

I think you are making assumptions that their claims are false....just as others like myself as making assumptions that their claims are valid. Assumptions. From both sides.

Whether you are doing this intentionally or not....you are doing a good job implying people are dumb for not agreeing with you. Or being skeptical about your findings. Try and be a little less arrogant about it. People would be much more open to considering your link as fact if you weren't so pushy and harsh about it. Clearly you feel very passionate about this. And that's fine. But stop implying those who are skeptical are just stupid.
 

Cichlidude

How do you know that? How do those tests prove that its impossible to bind ammonia and temporarily make it safe? Or tolerable anyway? You admittedly don't know their ingredients.

I think you are making assumptions that their claims are false....just as others like myself as making assumptions that their claims are valid. Assumptions. From both sides.

Whether you are doing this intentionally or not....you are doing a good job implying people are dumb for not agreeing with you. Or being skeptical about your findings. Try and be a little less arrogant about it. People would be much more open to considering your link as fact if you weren't so pushy and harsh about it. Clearly you feel very passionate about this. And that's fine. But stop implying those who are skeptical are just stupid.
Please don't call people dumb. I have never said that and you know it. I think we are done with this thread after that comment.
 

bizaliz3

Please don't call people dumb. I have never said that and you know it. I think we are done with this thread after that comment.

Its the way you are speaking to people. I said you are implying they are dumb. I never said you CALLED anyone dumb.
 

mattgirl

And just to prove again that Prime is a reducer and not an oxidizer.... here is the email exchange from Seachem.

I wrote:
***
Hello,

Quick question.

Is Prime a reducing agent or an oxidation agent? All I can find on the web sites is that it is a reducing agent.

Thank you.
***

Seachems reply:
***

HI there, thanks for reaching out!

Prime is a strong reducer.

Hope that clarifies!

Seachem Support 10304


****

There is the final answer.
I don't want this to sound mean but you do seem to have a problem believing anything seachem claims but you do believe everything they say in an email and post it as proof of what you are saying. I don't know what to think.
 

Cichlidude

I don't want this to sound mean but you do seem to have a problem believing anything seachem claims but you do believe everything they say in an email and post it as proof of what you are saying. I don't know what to think.
Interesting when you read your statement above a few times . Yes, if Seachem (or any manufacturer) claims it does something, they should be able to prove it. So far, Seachem hasn't and can't by their own admission. Yes I go to the source and other places and do the research. Sorry.
 

bizaliz3

Here is where I stand on the matter:

There is no proof that it does what it claims. And there is no proof that it doesn’t do what it claims. So we really have nothing proven or disproven here. From what I am gathering.

I definitely feel like a sucker if their claims are just made up and not at all true. I wish there was a way to prove if the ammonia in our tank is non toxic, or binded in some way when prime is added. We CAN prove that ammonia isn’t removed by it….but how do we prove if its truly temporarily detoxified? Short of the fish’s behavior??? Genuine question!

I am not accusing you of being wrong. And I am also not going to jump all over your theory as fact just from one link. I use prime entirely as a dechlorinator. And I am going to choose to believe that by default, because of Seachem’s claims, it is also protecting my fish from the toxicity of the ammonia in my tap while the BB takes care of it. If it is not…then DARN. I guess my baby fish are more hardy then I thought they were? Or else, the prime is doing its job. I don’t know.

I will admit that your research does have me hesitant to tell people it detoxifies ammonia up to 1.0ppm if there is ANY chance it is false. I don’t want to continue to spread false info. But I feel like Seachem is a respectable company and I am going to choose to believe that they would not mislead people like that. But if they are…then that is really a bummer and I am a big fat sucker.
 

mattgirl

Interesting when you read your statement above a few times . Yes, if Seachem (or any manufacturer) claims it does something, they should be able to prove it. So far, Seachem hasn't and can't by their own admission. Yes I go to the source and other places and do the research. Sorry.
I am thinking the folks that are paid to answer all the questions presented to them on a daily basis are given a script. I doubt they know a great deal more than we do about the ingredients in the products they are asked about or how those products are supposed to work. The person on the other end of the line has been told just enough to satisfy the one asking the questions. In your case they don't have the answers you need to hear. Most folks don't dig as deep as you do. Digging deep is often a good thing but no company it going to share their trade secrets with the general public.

Although I have read through this thread and there has been some good discussions, until actually proven that Seachem has been lying to us all along and Prime is snake oil I will continue using and recommending it when I feel it is needed. Guess I will have to keep using it. I just bought another 500ml bottle of it.
 

Cichlidude

Although I have read through this thread and there has been some good discussions, until actually proven that Seachem has been lying to us all along and Prime is snake oil I will continue using and recommending it when I feel it is needed. Guess I will have to keep using it. I just bought another 500ml bottle of it.
And that is just fine! I have a bottle of Prime and I will use it until it's gone. All I'm saying is that you should use it when adding water to the tank to de-chlorinate it, that's all. Stating that it will protect your fish from ammonia poisoning is the issue. Funny that nobody here has emailed Seachem like I have, let alone call them (like I have too), to get their own information.

This discussion is not going to make a 'Hill of Beans' difference for anyone here. Will this affect Seachem sales? No. Will Seachem stay in business? Yes.

This thread will eventually die with less than 1000 views and nobody will be the wiser.
 

mattgirl

bizaliz3 I think it was Momgoose56 that used the seachem alert to test the effect of adding Prime. I have never used one but if I understand the way it works it only registers free ammonia. I am thinking she added Prime and the ammonia in the tank went from an ammonia reading down to safe level. That tells me that Prime does change the ammonia to ammonium or something quite like it.

I am sure she will correct me if I am mis-understanding the test she ran. I would run the test myself but I don't have any ammonia in my source water or in any of my tanks.
 

AvalancheDave

There is no proof that it does what it claims. And there is no proof that it doesn’t do what it claims. So we really have nothing proven or disproven here. From what I am gathering.

I think binding ammonia is plausible so I won't rule it out. The claims about nitrite and nitrate are unbelievable though and have several professional chemists scratching their heads. Nitrate is also not toxic enough to bother trying to detoxify chemically.

Kordon tried to make the nitrite/nitrate claim years ago and ion chromatography testing showed that it wasn't actually binding or removing anything. Since this already happened once before, we should be very suspicious if the claim emerges again.

Seachem is very defensive and protective of their products. They probably felt they had to make the same claim or risk losing market share. It's the same thing with heavy metals. Once one manufacturer claims it the rest follow.

I definitely feel like a sucker if their claims are just made up and not at all true. I wish there was a way to prove if the ammonia in our tank is non toxic, or binded in some way when prime is added. We CAN prove that ammonia isn’t removed by it….but how do we prove if its truly temporarily detoxified? Short of the fish’s behavior??? Genuine question!

There are several possibilities:
  • Ion chromatography might be able to determine whether ammonia is bound or not as it would detect a change in mass or charge.
  • Ion selective electrode
  • Animal toxicity testing
I guess my baby fish are more hardy then I thought they were? Or else, the prime is doing its job. I don’t know.

That's why there needs to be a control group and why I don't take claims that Prime saved someone's fish seriously.

I will admit that your research does have me hesitant to tell people it detoxifies ammonia up to 1.0ppm if there is ANY chance it is false. I don’t want to continue to spread false info. But I feel like Seachem is a respectable company and I am going to choose to believe that they would not mislead people like that. But if they are…then that is really a bummer and I am a big fat sucker.

As of this moment, I won't rely on any dechlorinator to detoxify ammonia. If necessary, I have 20 lb box of clinotilolite in the basement. Its ability to adsorb ammonium is well studied. It will lower ammonia levels in a manner that can be detected with standard ammonia tests.

I was a Seachem fan for the first few years but my opinion of them changed over time due to some shady practices:
  • Selling low grade pumice as Matrix
  • Convincing people to put fish poison in their aquariums in the form of liquid carbon without first determining if the dose was safe
  • Claiming Kanaplex can treat fungal infections
  • Underdosing Kanaplex to the point where it rarely works
  • Underdosing Safe so it kills/injures fish
  • Marketing Metroplex as a treatment for anaerobic bacterial infections without mentioning that nearly all bacterial infections in fish are aerobic
Seachem's reputation is based entirely upon its marketing. They're great because they say so. People parrot their marketing and suddenly they have a good reputation.

bizaliz3 I think it was Momgoose56 that used the seachem alert to test the effect of adding Prime. I have never used one but if I understand the way it works it only registers free ammonia. I am thinking she added Prime and the ammonia in the tank went from an ammonia reading down to safe level. That tells me that Prime does change the ammonia to ammonium or something quite like it.

That's how I understand it. We have conflicting results using more or less the same method. Either more parties have to replicate the test or a better test conducted.

I think animal testing is the best method. Add the same amount of ammonia to two groups and only treat one group with Prime.
 

mattgirl

AvalancheDave
That's why there needs to be a control group and why I don't take claims that Prime saved someone's fish seriously.
I tried to stress that it was more the water changes that saved the remaining fish. I could just go by what the folks I was working with were telling me. Once I got them changing more water to get the ammonia levels down to safer levels and yes, adding Prime, by the time they dropped off the forum their remaining fish were still alive and well. I really wish folks would come back and let us know how things are going. It could very well be only the water changes that saved the fish but I guess we won't ever know for sure. I do know more than once fish were still showing signs of stress even though water changes were being done. Again, I just had to depend on what I was being told.
 

Morpheus1967

I want to see you guys start a discussion on the "bacteria in a bottle" claims. I'd buy tickets to that one.
 

AvalancheDave

I want to see you guys start a discussion on the "bacteria in a bottle" claims. I'd buy tickets to that one.

by experimentation.
 

Momgoose56

And those patents state: consisting of sodium formaldehydebisulfite and potassium formaldehydebisulfite.

Seachem has already stated that they do not use any formaldehyde at all. Information is on their web site.
But Seachem also stated they use something else that does the same the as formaldehyde. Maybe another aldehyde?
 

Cichlidude

I want to see you guys start a discussion on the "bacteria in a bottle" claims. I'd buy tickets to that one.
I dare you to start a new thread.
 

AvalancheDave

I forgot about Seachem Stability in my list of shady Seachem practices. There's been a fair amount of talk about what species of bacteria they use.

What I learned from that 80-page thread on reef2reef is that only a few brands use true nitrifying bacteria and that there are a lot of other types of bacteria placed in these products that can temporarily consume ammonia.

IIRC, Fritz, ATM, and Dr. Tim's were real nitrifiers while the rest were likely not and performed poorly. Fritz TurboStart (the refrigrated stuff) blew away everything else.
 

kcopper

There is a financial incentive for Seachem(or any other manufacturer) to make bogus and exaggerated claims about their products. This is why I put the burden of truth on them - there is a massive conflict of interest. Does anyone trust the used car salesman to give honest advice about a car? Of course not.

All that being said, I still use Prime as my conditioner and I have a Tidal 110. I think they make a lot of quality products, but a person needs to critically think about their claims.
 

david1978

I'm almost out of popcorn.
 

mattgirl

I am surprised that it took this long for you to read the back of the label. That is one of the first things I do when I get a new product. My first recommendation is to ALWAYS do a water change FIRST and then add Prime to DETOX the low amount of ammonia left AFTER the WATER CHANGE.

Notice I didn't say remove I said detox. Prime does not remove the ammonia. That is one of the first things I say when I recommend Prime. I am no scientist so I can't totally understand or explain the chemical reactions when one is added to another. Can you at least consider what is added to Prime has a chemical reaction to ammonia thus changing the chemical composition of ammonia to a safer form?

I agree and often say if there is no ammonia any of the many water conditioners will work just fine but if we are dealing with an ammonia problem I will always recommend Prime until the problem is resolved.
 

Cichlidude

I am surprised that it took this long for you to read the back of the label. That is one of the first things I do when I get a new product. My first recommendation is to ALWAYS do a water change FIRST and then add Prime to DETOX the low amount of ammonia left AFTER the WATER CHANGE.
Yes, I agree. I had to read the label, oh well. Remember, 50% water change removes 50% of ammonia so now it's not as bad as it was.
 

flyinGourami

I'm sorry if my post annoys anyone. Also, I have not really read everything here, but this is just my thought on seachem prime.
The only thing that is annoying(fromt the company itself) is that they don't have proof, although this could just be because I am a human and humans are like that.
However, I have never had any problems with their conditioner. I do think the whole ammonia binding thing works, but again I'm not really a chemist or whatever so I cannot say. The reason I say this is just because others have reported success and for me it worked. I did a fish in cycle with high ammounts of ammonia(since I was an idiot and poured in way too much fish food srry fishes), and I used the conditioner when I did daily water changes. Yes, prime never removed the ammonia, but I do believe it "bound it" into ammonium, which is why during the cycle my fish never showed any signs of ammonia poisoning even though there was pretty high levels i'm sure. However, one thing is please don't overdose. First of all, I'm pretty sure it depletes oxygen levels (I got this claim or fact from one of corys videos), and you are just wasting your money. If ammonia REALLY is a huge problem in your tank and you feel the need to dose 5x the ammount recommended, then you shouldn't be relying on a product. You should be doing water changes and getting your tank cycled. A lot of products in the aquarium products(well,most actually) are for the hobbyists "ease", and not for the fish. Fish don't need all this stuff, they don't have it in the wild. The glass boxes are so the owner can look at the fish. The de chlorinater is there because most don't have access to non-chlorinated water that is safe for their fish. The pellets and flakes are there because no one has time to go out into the wild and get their fishes natural food, or create an environment for the fish to live in comfortably. Test kits are there because people want to be sure of their water parameters. Filters are there because most tanks don't have a proper setup for there not to be(but filters aren't really necessary, it is only for the hobbyists convinience). I know I've kinda gotten off topic, but a dechlorinater is a dechlorinater. If you believe that prime can detoxify ammonia, that's awesome. If you don't, that's also fine. Because in my opinion, in the end of the day it doesn't really matter if you make sure that your tank can handle the ammonia. To be honest you really shouldn't just depend on something to help you, you must put in the work. If prime really does workt to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates, including other things, that's great. But as people here have said, there isn't enough evidence. So , you should probably just research the water quality of the water that you are using and take measures to detoxify it. Ammonia in your water? You can use prime if it works, or you can have plants and a cycled tank. Heavy metals in the water? Get some duckweed or try to switch sources. Okay yeah again I'm sorry if this was confusing or people got offended reading this. I don't really even know why I spent so much time writing this lol.
P.S. do wanna add tho, I do still like seachem just cuz when I was a beginner, I knew nothing about my water source quality. I used seachem because it was the cheapest conditioner they had at petco haha. Now, I know that the water quality here is pretty crappy, not gonna lie. However, my fish have always been fine(lol the water here has some pretty interesting things in it and has even been reported to kill fish i'm pretty sure....) so although seachem may be a little "sketchy", I still trust their water conditioner. Just my opinion.
 

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