Water Conditioner: Prime Controversy

Gel0city

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A few members, including me, use Seachem Prime as a water dechlorinator. In my opinion Prime suits its claims pretty well, as it detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate for 24 hours, making it less toxic to fish. I would like to note that Prime does not make them disappear from your tank, you must do water changes. It can help when trying to fight off ammonia spikes, but otherwise does not give you an excuse to skip out on water changes. Prime lasts a good while too, and so far I have had only positive results with this product. I want to know what other dechlorinators you guys use, and if you have any opinions (beneficial or not) on Prime. I would love to hear all of them, just please remember to be respectful in the discussion.
 

goldface

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I think it's just a glorified dechlorinator. Most fish won't show visible signs of distress at 1ppm or less ammonia, regardless of adding Prime or not. And if anyone has ammonia just do a water change. Adding chemicals just for the sake of adding it doesn't make anyone Bill Nye the science guy or a chemist. I'm not entirely convinced Prime does what it claims to do, not enough to recommend it over another product, anyway; and certainly not enough to recommend it over a quick water change.
 

AquaCaitlin

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I used to use Ammonia Neutralizer from Aqueon, but switched to Seacham Prime once that ran out. I really haven’t noticed a difference. Same smell ( :hungover: ), same impact, imo.

It’s a good dechloriantor, sure, but as for the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate claims, I don’t know how it holds up as I’ve never really used it on a big spike.
 

Fisheye

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Weren 't the additives in other dechlorinators thought to contribute to bioload as they broke down? Perhaps the amount is negliglible, I don't know. But why not go plain-there must be a reason why most fish keepers use Prime.
 

mattgirl

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I both use it and recommend it. I use it instead of other water conditioners because it takes so little of it to do the same thing other conditioners do. The less of anything I have to add to my tanks the better I like it.

I recommend it when doing a fish in cycle but only in conjunction with water changes to get and keep the ammonia and nitrites down as low as possible. I am not convinced that it does anything for nitrites since even Seachem admits that it came as a surprise to them when folks started reporting that it detoxed them. According to Seachem something is added to Prime to detox the ammonia but nothing is added to do anything for nitrites or nitrates. I can't in good conscious tell someone that it will protect fish from nitrites but I will for ammonia.
 

flyinGourami

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I've had good success with it. I like it since its cheaper, does what its supposed to do, and lasts a long time.
Although I admit I have recommended it for a fish in cycle, I have yet to see solid evidence that it truly detoxifies ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Even if it did work i don't think its a substitute for water changes.
 

AvalancheDave

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I'm still planning on testing with daphnia or other methods if that doesn't work. COVID-19 threw a wrench in my plans but I'm going to get to the bottom of this one way or another.

Fisheye said:
Weren 't the additives in other dechlorinators thought to contribute to bioload as they broke down? Perhaps the amount is negliglible, I don't know. But why not go plain-there must be a reason why most fish keepers use Prime.

Marketing.
 

Dunk2

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AvalancheDave said:
Marketing.
Shouldn’t you actually prove (scientifically in this case) the ineffectiveness of a product before you question its effectiveness?

I’d guess you would appreciate that courtesy if it was your product?
 

AquaCaitlin

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Fisheye said:
Weren 't the additives in other dechlorinators thought to contribute to bioload as they broke down? Perhaps the amount is negliglible, I don't know. But why not go plain-there must be a reason why most fish keepers use Prime.
I think because it’s from a source many of us trust. I pay for it because I know it won’t hurt my fish, and really that’s what matters.
 

AvalancheDave

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Dunk2 said:
Shouldn’t you actually prove (scientifically in this case) the ineffectiveness of a product before you question its effectiveness?
Well, I hope I wouldn't make increasingly ridiculous marketing claims.

Seachem makes claims about nitrite and nitrate without offering any evidence.

The professional chemists (including the owner of a company that makes test kits) on reefcentral are all extremely skeptical.

John Kuhns (professional chemist and inventor of ClorAm-X, the ingredient used in AmQuel, Fritz ACCR, Hikari Ultimate, etc.) told me that nitrite/nitrate just aren't reactive enough at normal pH.

Kordon was busted for making the same claims.

Seachem claims Kanaplex can treat fungal infections.

Seachem almost certainly overstates ParaGuard's ability to treat bacterial and viral infections.

Seachem says that Metroplex can treat anaerobic bacterial infections but conveniently fails to mention that almost all bacterial infections of fish are aerobic.

Seachem sells garden variety pumice as Matrix.

Seachem published a paper using some esoteric method showing that Matrix had the most surface area but conveniently fails to mention that 1) any bio media has more than enough surface area for even a heavily stocked tank and 2) fine pores quickly clog so only the exterior of porous bio media will be used by aerobic bacteria.

I bought Prime when I was new to the hobby and the only claim they made was being more concentrated (and maybe detoxifying ammonia). Something changed over the years and now they're willing to make any marketing claim no matter how ridiculous. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow they claimed Prime could raise your fish from the dead.
 

Dunk2

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AvalancheDave said:
Well, I hope I wouldn't make increasingly ridiculous marketing claims.

Seachem makes claims about nitrite and nitrate without offering any evidence.

The professional chemists (including the owner of a company that makes test kits) on reefcentral are all extremely skeptical.

John Kuhns (professional chemist and inventor of ClorAm-X, the ingredient used in AmQuel, Fritz ACCR, Hikari Ultimate, etc.) told me that nitrite/nitrate just aren't reactive enough at normal pH.

Kordon was busted for making the same claims.

Seachem claims Kanaplex can treat fungal infections.

Seachem almost certainly overstates ParaGuard's ability to treat bacterial and viral infections.

Seachem says that Metroplex can treat anaerobic bacterial infections but conveniently fails to mention that almost all bacterial infections of fish are aerobic.

Seachem sells garden variety pumice as Matrix.

Seachem published a paper using some esoteric method showing that Matrix had the most surface area but conveniently fails to mention that 1) any bio media has more than enough surface area for even a heavily stocked tank and 2) fine pores quickly clog so only the exterior of porous bio media will be used by aerobic bacteria.

I bought Prime when I was new to the hobby and the only claim they made was being more concentrated (and maybe detoxifying ammonia). Something changed over the years and now they're willing to make any marketing claim no matter how ridiculous. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow they claimed Prime could raise your fish from the dead.
So prove them wrong using scientifically-based evidence!
 

AvalancheDave

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Dunk2 said:
So prove them wrong using scientifically-based evidence!
Why don't they release their data? Or at least the ingredients? Why is the burden on the consumer, who has fewer resources, to conduct their own experiments?

A lot of this (Kanaplex treating fungal infections, Matrix as pumice, etc.) doesn't need further verification and is enough to show they have shady marketing practices.
 

Dunk2

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AvalancheDave said:
Why don't they release their data? Or at least the ingredients? Why is the burden on the consumer, who has fewer resources, to conduct their own experiments?

A lot of this (Kanaplex treating fungal infections, Matrix as pumice, etc.) doesn't need further verification and is enough to show they have shady marketing practices.
Possibly because it’s considered proprietary information. Just like you’d want your information if you were to develop a unique product, formula, whatever.
 
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Gel0city

Gel0city

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I think Prime has its own benefits, since they do what they claim they do (at least in my opinion). I've found that Prime can do what other dechlorinators do but for cheaper, and it's pretty popular in my opinion. If it works and is cheap, it works for me and my fish.
 

UnknownUser

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Honestly, I don’t mind their marketing strategies. Everyone over-exaggerates and over-markets their products. Yes, maybe I could use something super cheap instead of a fish-marketed product (ie you said pumice works as well as matrix), but I wouldn’t try it unless I didn’t care about my stock. Maybe if I ran a fish shop and was looking for cheaper ways of keeping fish to maximize profits, it’d be worth looking into options that aren’t Seachem. But most of us, I think, aren’t fish shops. We love our fish and our babies and want the best for them all. I get attached to my fish in, I swear, one single day. And since Seachem has a good reputation, none of their products have harmed my fish, they have quick and knowledgable customer service, and their products have always done what I need them to do (from what I can tell), I will stay loyal to the company I trust.
 

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