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  • Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

    After having a few tetra deaths over the weekend, I had my water checked today by the LFS only to discover that the local tap water here is saturated with Nitrate so I purchased a bottle of Seachem Prime but I wanted to ask if the 5X emergency dose works for Nitrate too as the instructions seem to indicate its only Nitrite?

    Stuart.

  • #2
    Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

    Stuart,
    Yes, the 5X overdose of Prime will also work in emergency nitrate situations, provided you have sufficient biological filtration. The reason that we do not include this on the label is because nitrites are toxic at much lower levels than are nitrates.

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    • #3
      Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

      Thanks a lot for that, hopefully the rest of my fish will be OK now and as a precaution I will also order up some Seachem Purigen to replace the carbon in my external filter.

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      • #4
        Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

        You're very welcome! I'm sure that you will be pleased with the Purigen.

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        • #5
          Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

          I wonder if it is possible to frequently add prime to reduce nitrate levels to delay water changes.

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          • #6
            Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

            Theoretically, one could do that. However, we definitely do not recommend that practice. Please never underestimate the power and importance of regular water changes :-)

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            • #7
              Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

              Originally posted by madscientist View Post
              I wonder if it is possible to frequently add prime to reduce nitrate levels to delay water changes.
              Be far cheaper to simply add sugar surely?

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              • #8
                Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

                Originally posted by quatermass View Post
                Be far cheaper to simply add sugar surely?
                Which has no relevancy with this topic, because sugar doesn't lower nitrates and it is toxic to fish and biological filters.

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                • #9
                  Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

                  Originally posted by LabTest57 View Post
                  Which has no relevancy with this topic, because sugar doesn't lower nitrates and it is toxic to fish and biological filters.
                  Not strictly true.

                  Tetra's EasyBalance (a popular nitrate remover) is 98% sugar don't you know?

                  Plus I regularly add sugar to all my non planted tanks to remove the nitrate. Works like a charm.

                  I even tried in on a fishless cycled tank which had a 40ppm of nitrate after a 35 days cycle. I dumped in a measured amount of sugar and hey within 2 days - zero nitrate.

                  I'm not the only one either. Some people I've heard use Vodka.

                  Seemingly it promotes anaerobic bacteria which consumes the nitrate.

                  OK, you have to watch the level of sugar you put in or the lack of oxygen will kill the tank.

                  But the same can be said for any chemical you put into a tank surely?

                  1 gram per 15Litres if you're interested.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

                    I know of the consequential effects because I've tested this out before. It depends on the form of the sugar and type of sugar that is added, as well as the amount.

                    There are journals out there that explains all of this in more technical terms.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

                      Can you give me an example of types and a title of one of these Journals? I couldn't find any online references but the Internet is a big place.

                      I've used Fructose and Glucose successfully.

                      EasyBalance uses Glucose and I doubt Tetra would sell a harmful sugar.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

                        With my college term over I will be able to spend more time in these forums, learning and helping others.
                        __________________________________________________ ____

                        By "Journals" I meant resources and literature that can help you with your subject or show facts,etc.

                        My easiest resource is the internet:

                        http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/general-aquarium-plants-discussions/55857-sugar-aquarium-water.html

                        http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/seachem/2946-flourish-excel-pressurized-co2-2.html

                        http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plants/month.200005/msg00717.html
                        ________________________________________________

                        You know, after reading most of the info. in these sites, it seems like sugar can be added to an aqaurium, but you would need to add the right amounts and make sure your fish aren't stressed or that your aquarium doesn't smell like alcohol.

                        Anyway, the most interesting topic I found from one these sites is in these excerpts:

                        "Do a search for "polycycloglutaracetal" google or otherwise. The krib has a good little thread about it. Basically, part of the main ingreadient polycycloglutaracetal, the glutaracetal, is a sort of chelator, which is why excel halps reduce Fe to a more suluable state. This would be the same a having tannic acid in the tank, ie peat, lots of wood, blackwater extract, etc. Small amounts of this substance act as a tannin, large amount act as bactercide. I assume this is the mechanism by which BGA has been slowed. I have heard of peoples success using excel in larger dosing to battle BBA also. My theory, and it is mearly a threory be somone who is not all that great at chemistry is that as the excel glucose (complexed sugars/alcohol) break down, they release free H molecules, possible similar to apply H2O2 (peroxide) to the algae.

                        As for goverment regulations, many things can be sold for one porpose that may infact have other uses. I know there was a algecide a while back that got pulled becuase it was not officially listed as an algecide. Later, the compnay brought it back under a differnet name with a different "recommended" purpose.

                        I do not know if this is the case, nor do I really care. Flourish excel's best and primairy use is as a complexed (not avaliable to algae but to plants) carbon source. "

                        "This is the best description of polycyclogluteralacetal I have come upon yet, although my searcing talents are somewhat lacking.

                        A search for the root "acetal" returns a lot of info. Remember folks that when bound to other things, compounds change so they may not be as bad as a whole. Acetal's molecular formula: C6H14O2 [ Structural: CH3CH(OC2H5)2 ]. As acetal breaks down, it, I believe, will form peroxides, a caustic solution based on O2 molecules. This is why hydroden perixide can be used as a general purpose cleaner and algae dissinfectant in our tanks. I have also heard of its (hydrogen peroxide) use to treat ich as the cuastic nature causes the ich to fall form the host were it will die. Anyway..... I assume this caustic nature is the resaon recommended not to overdose Excel and why overdosing can effect algae.

                        Please, do not be alarmed by all this folks. I know words lkie caustic, peroxide, dissinfectant, etc make this product sound harsh but its obviously safe for flora and fauna in the aquarium and I am sure the reccommended dosing is QUITE safe. Other wise, a fine company like Seachem would not market it. I have heard and experienced way to many good things from this company to think otherswise.

                        I would say oerdose at your own risk as to high of a dose could cause two things. First, high doses "might"(and remember this is all speculation on my part, I build furniture remember ) have a caustic effect, much like doseing hydrogen peroxide to weaken algae before doing a water change. Second, Flourish is complexed, meaning the "sugar" (basically any CxHxOx based compound, including alcohols) is bound with things to make it less useable by the bacteria and algae spores in the aquaruim. Higher doses of Excel might cause a greater increase of avaliable un-complexed sugars (formed as the product breaks down in the water column) the may not be used fast enough by the higher macrophytes, thus making them more avaliable to algae and bacteria, causeing a bloom. Much like a the results of spike in ammonia/NH4 due to poor plant growth."

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                        • #13
                          Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

                          Thanks for sharing your experience, quartermass.

                          LabTest57--once again, thanks for the helpful post :-)

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                          • #14
                            Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

                            For anyone thinking about adding sugar to your aqaurium, you shouldn't. Generally you can at your own risk, however, if you haven't visited those sites and read any of the info.etc., you shouldn't proceed with the "sugar" method.

                            Adding sugar in the form of glucose, fructose, sucrose, or vodka (practically ethanol), is extremely risky. If you have experience in this, know how well cycled your tank is, and know the proper dosing for sugar, then your free to do so.

                            Consequences: Huge bacterial bloom (cloudiness) w/ milky film that causes oxygen levels to drop to a dangerous level that can kill all inhabitants; CO2 and/or ethanol are by-products that can rise to dangerous levels as well. Ethanol toxicity (especially from Vodka), can kill all inhabitants. Sugar can lower nitrates and algae, but that is from aerobic and anaerobic bacteria utilizing the sugar, growing and colonizing at an incredible rate (outcompeting the algae); however, eventually (especially if you stop dosing) most of the will die and nitrate levels will rise again (sometimes more than before).
                            Last edited by LabTest57; 07-28-2009, 10:39.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Prime Dosage for Nitrate Removal

                              Originally posted by LabTest57 View Post
                              For anyone thinking about adding sugar to your aqaurium, you shouldn't. Generally you can at your own risk, however, if you haven't visited those sites and read any of the info.etc., you shouldn't proceed with the "sugar" method.
                              Some of the sites you quoted appear to be more concerned with using sugar to increase plant growth.

                              Like I said, if Tetra, a respectable aquarium product producer sells sugar products, why can't the rest of us?


                              Originally posted by LabTest57 View Post
                              Adding sugar in the form of glucose, fructose, sucrose, or vodka (practically ethanol), is extremely risky. If you have experience in this, know how well cycled your tank is, and know the proper dosing for sugar, then your free to do so.
                              Well exactly my point. Adding anything is risky.

                              Some people add nitrate to their planted tanks to feed them. A risky business if they get the dosage wrong.

                              Adding a whitespot treatment is risky as it is probably malachite green or Formaldehyde and both are highly dangerous if overdosed.

                              People add Excel to Planted tanks in high dosages to kill algae. A very dangerous chemical if overdosed!

                              By my experiments I've found a safe dosage to add sugar (see earlier posting). But I do recommend aeration as does Tetra for their product.

                              Let's not be _totally_ put off trying new things. The aquarium hobby was originally build by people trying things. I see no reason to stop trying. ;-)

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