Using Python/Aqueon Water changer and Prime

PNWBettas

So I recently got my python extended so it actually reaches my tank now. But this has also lead me to look into how I do water changes, and how much dechlorinator I use. The prime bottle says to dose for the total volume of the tank when adding your tap water directly to the tank. I'm not sure about other dechlorinators but that's what prime says. This seems weird to me and pretty unnecessary. I like to use a little in my tanks as possible. I know prime is safe to overdose but I don't see the point if I don't need to detoxify anything in my cycled well established tank. Do I really need to dose prime for the total tank volume every time to remove the chlorine from one water change?

For example on my 16 gal. If I change 5 gallons each water change, is it really necessary to add dechlorianor to treat the total 16 gallons, when 11 gallons of it was already dechlorinated. Does the new chlorinated water undo the previous dechlorinator?

Hope someone can help. Maybe this is something I buy chlorine test strips for and test myself. My science brain wants to find the answer.
 

mimo91088

I just follow the directions. I even overdose it without issues.
 
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Kitley

I as well follow the Prime directions
 
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PNWBettas

I just follow the directions. I even overdose it without issues.
I know you can overdose but again, I would prefer not to if I don't need too. Which is why I'm trying to find more info on wither or not its necessary.

I don't really hold many product directions in high value. Many of them have crappy recommendations, for example HOB media which say to change it out every two weeks, or other aquarium products that recommend water changes every 6 months.
 
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DrogJustDrog

I'd measure the negative space from what you removed and then use the aquarium calculator on this forum to figure out how many gallons you are replacing if you are still really concerned.
 
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PNWBettas

I'd measure the negative space from what you removed and then use the aquarium calculator on this forum to figure out how many gallons you are replacing if you are still really concerned.

Well that's what I have been doing. Only dosing my dechlorinate to the volume of what I replace.

I think I will actually be testing this by testing the amount of chlorine, I'm really curious. Ill post my findings here, hopefully later today
 
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mattgirl

If you can think of it this way you may be more comfortable adding enough to treat the full volume of your tank. We buy insurance of all kinds hoping we never have to use it. Who wants to get sick, have a car accident or flood our home if our tanks leak. We have insurance "just in case".

I consider the little bit of extra dechlorinator insurance against the possibility of harming my fish.
 
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PNWBettas

If you can think of it this way you may be more comfortable adding enough to treat the full volume of your tank. We buy insurance of all kinds hoping we never have to use it. Who wants to get sick, have a car accident or flood our home if our tanks leak. We have insurance "just in case".

I consider the little bit of extra dechlorinator insurance against the possibility of harming my fish.
Well dechlorinator doesn’t evaporate from the tank, does it? Isn’t it just slowly increasing the amount in the tank overtime? If I’m wrong and it does evaporate, then I understand that. But I don’t like overdosing things “just to be safe” especially when overdosing prime can reduce oxygen concentrations in the tank (straight from the Seachem website). That’s why I’m trying to find a more concrete answer then just doing things to be safe. It doesn’t really feel safe to me
 
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mimo91088

Well dechlorinator doesn’t evaporate from the tank, does it? Isn’t it just slowly increasing the amount in the tank overtime? If I’m wrong and it does evaporate, then I understand that. But I don’t like overdosing things “just to be safe” especially when overdosing prime can reduce oxygen concentrations in the tank (straight from the Seachem website). That’s why I’m trying to find a more concrete answer then just doing things to be safe. It doesn’t really feel safe to me
I understand your concern. But just because it doesn't sound safe doesn't mean it isn't. It's tried and true by many of us on this forum.
 
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mattgirl

Well dechlorinator doesn’t evaporate from the tank, does it? Isn’t it just slowly increasing the amount in the tank overtime? If I’m wrong and it does evaporate, then I understand that. But I don’t like overdosing things “just to be safe” especially when overdosing prime can reduce oxygen concentrations in the tank (straight from the Seachem website). That’s why I’m trying to find a more concrete answer then just doing things to be safe. It doesn’t really feel safe to me

One member, I think it was AvalancheDave experimented just to see how much prime it would take to affect the oxygen levels. If I am remembering correctly he was up to something like 40 mls in an either 10 or 20 gallon tank and still there was no affect on the oxygen level. I could be wrong on the actual amount but it was well above what we normally add to our tanks.

Water changes should prevent a buildup of anything unwanted in our tanks. I truly do understand your concern but I also don't think this is something to be concerned about. My concern would be not adding enough and all the chlorine/chloramines aren't neutralized. We each have to do what we are comfortable with though.
 
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mimo91088

My concern would be not adding enough and all the chlorine/chloramines aren't neutralized. We each have to do what we are comfortable with though.
Agree with this. We KNOW chlorine to be harmful. Why risk it on a "maybe"?
 
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Level99Fishing

I'm with the OP on this one. I'd say dosing to the volume you add in is sufficient. Doesn't make sense to dose to the whole volume of the tank when there is already dechlorinated water still remaining in there.

The only reason I can think of for why seachem states to dechlorinate the whole tank is so that your fish aren't exposed to the tap water for a longer than necessary time.

If you dechlorinate your water before adding it to the tank, you will have time to wait for the dechlorinator to evenly diffuse throughout the whole body of water to ensure all of it is dechlorinated before it goes into your tank. But if you add tap water into your tank directly, your fish will be swimming in the tap water for some time before the dechlorinator takes full effect. This is because the dechlorinator is effectively reduced in concentration when you add the same dose to your tank. However there is enough dechlorinator 'particles' (lack of a better word) to act on the tap water you are changing.

I do agree that seachem prime is safe though. I always add in an extra drop or two just to be sure all my water is fully dechlorinated (not because I add tap water directly to the tank). I doubt seachem would put information on their bottles that would lead to the death of fish. However, I think dosing to the water volume being replaced is sufficient and will save you money by not using so much prime.
 
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mimo91088

At the end of the day, I'd rather have too much prime in my tank than too much chlorine. Really that simple.
 
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Level99Fishing

I agree, too much prime is definitely better than too much chlorine, but you won't have too much chlorine. Here is an analogy:

Say you need to take 500mg of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor today. It doesn't matter if you take the pill with 1L of water or no water at all. At the end of the day, it's still 500mg of the antibiotic powder.

Same thing with seachem prime. 1 drop treats 2L of chlorinated tap water. Doesn't matter if this 2L of chlorinated water is mixed with dechlorinated tank water, 1 drop will still treat 2L of it. It will just take longer if you add it to a tank full of already dechlorinated water because it is harder for the seachem prime 'particles' to bump into the unchlorinated water.

Hope this helps!

Just want to prevent wasteful use of prime =D
 
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kansas

Distribution of the prime won't be even and dosing the lower amount increases the chance that there will be pockets of chlorine.

I'm not a chemist but sometimes I shoot off my mouth anyway,
 
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PNWBettas

My other questions then is, why is it just prime. Why is prime the only one that makes this recommendation for dosage during a water change?
One member, I think it was AvalancheDave experimented just to see how much prime it would take to affect the oxygen levels. If I am remembering correctly he was up to something like 40 mls in an either 10 or 20 gallon tank and still there was no affect on the oxygen level. I could be wrong on the actual amount but it was well above what we normally add to our tanks.

Water changes should prevent a buildup of anything unwanted in our tanks. I truly do understand your concern but I also don't think this is something to be concerned about. My concern would be not adding enough and all the chlorine/chloramines aren't neutralized. We each have to do what we are comfortable with though.
Water changes can’t prevent the build up of dechlorinator if your dosing 2-5x the normal dose every water change. Like I said, unless it is somehow evaporating from the tank, the concentration would increase each week if your dosing for the entire tank volume for a 20-50% change.
 
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bsimon615

So it seems to me that the real questions that should be asked, (and hopefully followed by logical scientific answers) are:

1) What exactly is SeaChem Prime (or equivalent from other manufacturers) and specifically how does it work and how fast does it work?

2) Personally when I do water changes and use the Aqueon Water Changer hooked directly to a faucet I only use the powered Aqueon syphon on my larger tanks and only to remove old water. I do not directly add new water to the tanks with the water changer working directly between the faucet and the tank. The smaller tanks use "old school" syphons. When I fill my tanks (my two largest are moderate in size - a 40 long and a 38) water is never via a faucet connected hose directly to the tank and then followed by Prime or equivalent added to the tank. I fill my transfer water change bucket (a 4 gallon) to the 3 gallon mark, add the appropriate amount of Prime to the filled bucket and then stir it well. I also try to temperature balance the water added to the bucket to the temperature of the water in the tank. Depending upon what is in the tank I adjust the ph, sometimes I want to raise or lower it slightly and sometimes I want to keep it the same. All of these measures are taken to eliminate or reduce the possibility of shocking the fish in some way.

3) Adding the Prime with my additional stirring has me wondering about just how fast it works as per my first question above. Is adding the Prime to the filled water change bucket and then stirring for a few seconds, is that enough to immediately neutralize the chlorine/chloramine in those few seconds, or should I let it sit for awhile, perhaps with aeration? If this is the case it seems that adding new tap water directly to a tank and then adding the dechlorinator is a dangerous proposition, especially with large water changes (40 to 50% or more at a time) and with delicate fish like german blue rams or discus.

What I do works for me and I am not going to risk adding raw water to any tank without treating it first. I do recognize that some here have large tanks and plenty of them and that doing large volume water changes and then treating the water after it has been introduced to the tank is the practical way to do it. May I wish you continued good luck.

Barry Simon
 
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mimo91088

We're all nerds here. I'd literally be amazed if there's not someone here with a chemistry degree. I'm interested to hear what someone with that knowledge would chime in with!
 
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mattgirl

So it seems to me that the real questions that should be asked, (and hopefully followed by logical scientific answers) are:

3) Adding the Prime with my additional stirring has me wondering about just how fast it works as per my first question above. Is adding the Prime to the filled water change bucket and then stirring for a few seconds, is that enough to immediately neutralize the chlorine/chloramine in those few seconds, or should I let it sit for awhile, perhaps with aeration? If this is the case it seems that adding new tap water directly to a tank and then adding the dechlorinator is a dangerous proposition, especially with large water changes (40 to 50% or more at a time) and with delicate fish like german blue rams or discus.
Barry Simon
My nose tells me that Prime or any of the many water conditioners work immediately. Lots of times I can smell the chlorine coming out of the tap. I add my water conditioner as the bucket fills. As soon as I add Prime to the bucket the chlorine smell is gone. That alone convinces me that it works as soon as it hits the water.

I still do all of my water changes with buckets but am considering hooking up a hose to refill now. Lugging to the tank and lifting the fresh water buckets is starting to get difficult for me. When I start refilling with a hose I will add enough dechlorinator to the tank BEFORE I start refilling to treat the full volume of the tank.

I am a stickler about never putting any untreated water in any of my tanks even if it is just a small top off. Switching over to refilling with a hose is going to be nerve wracking for me the first time. Folks have been doing it for years without harm though so eventually I will just bite the bullet and do it.
 
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mimo91088

My nose tells me that Prime or any of the many water conditioners work immediately. Lots of times I can smell the chlorine coming out of the tap. I add my water conditioner as the bucket fills. As soon as I add Prime to the bucket the chlorine smell is gone. That alone convinces me that it works as soon as it hits the water.

I still do all of my water changes with buckets but am considering hooking up a hose to refill now. Lugging to the tank and lifting the fresh water buckets is starting to get difficult for me. When I start refilling with a hose I will add enough dechlorinator to the tank BEFORE I start refilling to treat the full volume of the tank.

I am a stickler about never putting any untreated water in any of my tanks even if it is just a small top off. Switching over to refilling with a hose is going to be nerve wracking for me the first time. Folks have been doing it for years without harm though so eventually I will just bite the bullet and do it.
I was just as apprehensive the first time I filled with the hose for similar reasons. It's been working out well though.
 
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AvalancheDave

There are few studies on dechlorination kinetics. The reactions are fast but not necessarily instantaneous. The higher the concentration of dechlorinator the faster the reaction. When I use Prime I dose it at 5 mL / 10 gal.
 

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bsimon615

The reactions are fast but not necessarily instantaneous. The higher the concentration of dechlorinator the faster the reaction. When I use Prime I dose it at 5 mL / 10 gal.

So what are your reason(s) for using Prime over anything else? What other products have you tried (and possibly rejected)? Any thoughts on the heavy metal/ammonia detoxification of any of these products including Prime?

Barry Simon
 
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AvalancheDave

So what are your reason(s) for using Prime over anything else? What other products have you tried (and possibly rejected)? Any thoughts on the heavy metal/ammonia detoxification of any of these products including Prime?

I used to use Prime. These days I Use Fritz ACCR or ClorAm-X powder. I believe they, Hikari Ultimate, AmQuel, and some Microbelift product use the same main ingredient.

I'm not convinced that any water conditioner detoxifies more than chlorine/chloramine. API did release some data on Ammo Lock and ammonia detoxification.

I think it's a coin toss whether any other product detoxifies ammonia and zero chance any detoxifies nitrite. Nitrate doesn't need to be detoxified. Hikari Ultimate does contain chloride which will make nitrite less toxic but I don't know if the dose is high enough. I'm also reluctant to give it credit for detoxifying nitrite since it's not actually binding the nitrite.

One day I hope to have the time to test with daphnia or something.

As for heavy metal detoxification, Seachem has stated that Prime can handle typical tap water levels (which are already low). It's unclear if they add chelating agents like EDTA as Hikari Ultimate does. Sounds good but EDTA has its own issues. I don't think you have to worry about heavy metals unless you're on a well or have a whole house RO filter and are running RO water through copper or iron pipes.
 
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