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Extended use of Prime to neutralize high nitrate levels

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  • Extended use of Prime to neutralize high nitrate levels

    Hello....there have been some posts on this topic but they go back 7 years. So I hope you don't mine addressing the question again. I have an ongoing problems with high nitrate levels which I have tried to address with the addition of matrix 2 litres, Pond Matrix 2 litres, Pristine, and water changes. My tank is 90 gallons freshwater with a 35 gallon old style sump. I have excellent water flow through the sump at 600 gph, and through a Fluval 406 at 300 gph. . This might be the issue as there is no spot (except deep in the Matrix) for slow water flow and anaerobic bacteria to develop. I have Seachem DeNitrate on order to put in a different chamber. No doubt I have too fish and am too generous with food. Can Prime be used on a continuous basis year after year to neutralize nitrate without side effects?

  • #2
    Thanks for the post and we would be happy to address this question!

    One thing to keep in mind is that Nitrates are really not seriously toxic, even at elevated levels. Now of course, some of your more sensitive fish i.e Discus, may become stressed simply because they prefer such pure water and any level of nitrate can irritate them. However, it is good practice to keep them in a more manageable range (>20 preferably) to avoid potential algae issues. You can certainly continue adding Prime every other day for as long as you need, but the best option is to get to the root of the problem instead of putting a bandaid on it per se. There are only really 2 things that remove nitrates from an aquarium and those are water changes and beneficial bacteria. Are you performing water changes weekly? If so, how much? What do you feed the fish each day and how much? Is there a way to reduce the flow through the Matrix and de*nitrate?


    • #3
      Thank you so much for responding, and you raise great questions. Yes I have 6 mature discus in addition to a few neons, and rummy nosed tetras. The discus certainly aren't stressed as they have paired up recently and several have laid eggs in this community tank....but I am using Prime as directed because Nitrates remain in the 40 to 80 range. yes there may be a compartment in my sump where the pump is where the current flow appears to be less....I have not tried to place denitrate or Matrix there, but will try it.
      In terms of feeding I feed twice a day but only as much as they can eat in about three minutes. The discus get a sprinkling of Tetra Colour tropical Granules which they love, followed by two cubes of blood worms, followed by some small chunks of my homemade beefheart (which contains beef heart, spinach, peas, shrimp, tilapia, and spirulina powder). All this gets consumed in three minutes or less, and there is no residual anywhere in the tank in less than five minutes. The corys are great at cleaning up as well.
      I have to buy my water from a distributor due to high chlorine and water hardness in the local tap water. So I buy 5 gallon jugs of RO water. I buffer this a bit with your products to keep KH around 3. I change 10 gallons daily, sometimes a bit more.
      You are also correct about algae growth, and my phosphate level was 1.5 according to your phosphate multi test. This has slowed down since the introduction of Seachem Phosguard.
      My Nitrates remain around 40-80, ph 6.8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, TDS 425. I have used Stability from time to time, and Pristine weekly for the last several weeks.
      Anything I am missing?