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Questions about Prime

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  • Questions about Prime

    Hi everyone!

    My friends and I were talking about different aquarium products and we realised that we had differing information on "Prime".

    I understand that it removes chlorine and chloramines (conditions the water) - and detoxifies ammonia. It is also used for "binding up" and detoxifying nitrites and nitrates. Am I right here?

    I also understand that Prime works for 24 - 48 hours. While my friends and I were talking, a question arose as to which function of Prime lasts this time frame?

    To clarify, does Prime only work as a tap water conditioner for 24 - 48hrs? Does it only detoxify ammonia for the 24 - 48hrs? Or does it only bind up the nitrites and nitrates for the 24 - 48hrs? Etc!

    The reason I am asking is because my tap water contains 0.5ppm ammonia already and I would like to know how, and for how long Prime works - especially on ammonia - so that I can use it correctly.

    Also, I have read that even though Prime will detoxify ammonia or nitrite, etc, I will still get a reading for them when I test. If I put Prime into my tank which has a reading of 0.5ppm ammonia, will my test kit still show 0.5ppm ammonia or will it show less?

    How do I know when Prime is starting to "wear off"? Is it just a matter of testing and seeing if the result numbers start rising again?

    Also, is it right that one recommended dose of Prime will take care of 1ppm of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate? So if I have 2ppm of say, ammonia, then I can put in double the recommended dose? Will this be reflected in my test results?

    If anyone could give me any further information regarding the questions that I have asked, I would be very muchly appreciated!!

    I'm sorry for all of these questions but there seems to be so much information out there on other forums and most of it is conflicting!

    Thank you again,


  • #2
    Re: Questions about Prime

    I'm NO expert and am new to fish keeping but use allot of Seachem products. But with PRIME I would refer back to the product description page about it. I've never read anything about it's usefulness for 24 to 48hrs. However Chlorine will evaporate on it's own if left sitting, chloramines will not, if you do a water change and directly refill the tank then add Prime, I have just started to leaving a tub of conditioned water sit overnight with a heater in the tub then adding it to the aquarium the next day. My ammonia and nitrite is always at 0, nitrate usually around 20 and I'm working to get it down, but I only use Prime every water change. Again, I'm not the expert, not even close.


    • #3
      Re: Questions about Prime

      I just read a post on here, "prime why every other day", a moderator replied saying that prime will work up to 48hrs before dissipating, but I assume you can or should use it if you have water quality issues. Not over feeding, good filtration and water movement, cleaning media filter, vacuum substrate and water changes are the main key to great water.


      • #4
        Re: Questions about Prime

        Hi Nat,

        Thanks for your questions. You do understand correctly that Prime removes chlorine and chloramines; and it detoxifies ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. It detoxifies these nitrogenous compounds by binding them into a non-toxic form. They stay bound for about 24-48 hours and then are released back into their original form.

        In an established tank, your biological filter should remove ammonia and nitrite quickly. Prime will help keep it non-toxic until the bacteria can utilize it. Usually, small amounts of ammonia found in drinking water should be gone within the time that a conditioning dose of Prime remains effective, but if the ammonia persists, you can re-dose with Prime after 48 hours to keep the tank safe while the biological filter catches up.

        You are correct that one dose will treat about 1 mg/L of ammonia, so you can increase the dose accordingly up to 5 times the regular dose.

        Test kits will still show nitrites and nitrates even when treated with Prime. An ammonia test kit which shows total ammonia will also still measure the ammonia in the water. However, a kit that only tests for free ammonia (the more toxic form) will reflect a reduction in the free ammonia when Prime is used. Our Ammonia Alert ( ) goes in your tank and allows you to easily monitor free ammonia. With an Ammonia Alert in your tank, you can quickly know when the Prime has quit working and re-dose if there is still ammonia that needs treating. An Ammonia Alert is great when you are cycling a tank.

        Chlorine and Chloramines are removed permanently, so you don't have to worry about them after the initial treatment.

        I hope this helps.


        • #5
          Hi everyone!

          How long does Prime take to remove chlorine and chloramine from tap water?
          I usually wait for 24 hours to make sure water is safe for shrimps and fishes.



          • #6
            Thanks for the post, 3ehrouz!

            Prime works immediately to remove chlorine and chloramine from tap water. There is no need to wait 24 hours to use the water, as it is safe as soon as the Prime hits the water and given that you have used the proper amount according to the instructions and your tank size (2 drops per gallon or 1mL per 10 gallons).

            I hope this helps!