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Thread: Nitrate Levels and Prime
02-22-2013, 04:27 PM #1Member Platy
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
- Laurinburg, NC
Nitrate Levels and Prime
My tanks got somewhat out of whack when I was battling ick, first in one, then the other. I had to transfer some loaches out temporarily to a small aquarium. The heat/salt worked. Now, however, except for my oscar tank, I am getting a little nitrite and a lot of nitrate when I test. I have been doing partial changes and using Prime.....doing readings every day. Does the Prime obscure the readings---the fish seem okay---I just don't know what to do about nitrate???? The nitrite is very minimal, no ammonia, and ph is fine? I read somewhere on here not to use products to reduce nitrates. I still have the temp elevated in the tanks to about 80-82 to make sure the ick is gone. I just don't get it Prime makes it safer--but it does not remove it???? How do you tell where you are with actual nitrate? Thanks so much---Shirley
02-22-2013, 04:35 PM #2Senior Member Red tailed catfish
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
02-22-2013, 04:50 PM #3
Prime only works for up to 48 hours, the fish continually produce ammonia which then gets converted to nitrite then nitrate, but after the 48 hours the nitrite and nitrate produced in the tank have nothing to detoxify them. I have never heard that it affects test readings. Make sure you are performing the tests correctly and shaking the nitrate reagent bottle very well. If the tests still show you have high nitrates the best thing to remove them is water changes. Be sure to clean the substrate and gently clean your filters during the water change because dirty gravel and filters can cause high nitrates.
Last edited by mommy1; 02-22-2013 at 04:57 PM.When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
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I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
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02-22-2013, 05:31 PM #4
Prime binds ammonia and converts it to ammonium for up to 48 hours. After that period, if the bacteria has not consumed the ammonium, it will turn back into ammonia.
Prime has salts in it, and with the presence of those salts, fish will take in the salt instead of the poisonous nitrite.
If the temperature of your tank is higher than normal, which it sounds like since you meantioned that the temps are elevated, you will have more ammonia > more nitrites > nitrates than before.