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Ammonia sensor and Prime

Discussion in 'Advance Water Quality' started by Silverphish, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. Silverphish

    Silverphish Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    I just recently picked up a Seachem Free Ammonia tester to monitor my ammonia levels. I test with API and always have a reading of 0 - 0.25 ppm total ammonia, but the seachem reader is reporting 0.05 ppm free ammonia or the "alert" level. I just did a 100% water change last night and double dosed my tank with Prime. My tap water has an ammonia reading of 2.0 ppm.

    The tank is fully cycled and had been running for a month with 0 nitrite and 20 nitrate. I know the prime binds ammonia into the less toxic form for 24 hours, so should I continue to dose the tank daily until the sensor reads zero. Is it possible to over dose with prime? The directions say that you can use 5 times the dose in an emergency, but I don't want to stress them by adding it every day.

    It is a 40 gal breeder with three fantails, about and inch long each. I vacuum the bottom twice a week (this usually drains 10 to 15 gal and I treat the replacement water at double dose too). There is a Ex70 filter with regular charcoal media and an Ex20 filter full of ceramic bio-media and a mechanical fine mesh filter sponge thing.
     
  2. chocky

    chocky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Location:
    WA, Australia
    you may need to add an extra filter for biological filtration, and i'd remove the charcoal media and replace that with more ceramic noodles or similar.
    check your water provider, they may be using chloramines (rather than just chlorine) to treat your water. its very common especially if you live in rural areas.
    if they are using chloramines, check the prime bottle and dose as direction
     
  3. Silverphish

    Silverphish Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    They are using chlormaine, no regular chlorine at all. I have ordered more bio-media, it should be here at the end of the week. The directions say to double dose if chloramine concentration is high, which I have done. It just says to add to water before mixing in the tank, not if it should be used as a daily ammonia control until the bacteria can break it down. I'm hoping the extra bio-media will help.
     
  4. Fishheadz

    Fishheadz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Location:
    Moffat, CO.
    First things first, Chloramine is two chemicals, Chlorine and Ammonia (I'm unsure of the ratio cities use). So, to say your city uses no (regular)Chlorine is false, the (regular)Chlorine is contained within the Chloramine. (also, some cities switch from Summer -Winter, Chloramine - Straight Chlorine. Cities that switch back and forth, usually use Chloramine in the warmer months, as more bacteria can be present in the water in the warmer temperatures.)

    Secondly, Prime remains active for 24-48 hours, so I wouldn't be overly concerned with dosing Prime exactly every 24 hours, so long as you get it in within 48 hrs, you should be fine.

    Third, 1 dose of prime treats up to 1PPM Ammonia(for up to 48 hours), so if your tap is @ 2PPM, a double dose would be the correct dosage to use.
    Prime will not delay the growth of either bacteria, and you should be ok to dose every other day, until the bacteria can become fully established.
    With that said, I don't really think you need to do a double dose every other day. I would use a double dose at water change, check parameters within 48 hrs, I would only use a double dose if the Ammonia reading is above 1PPM.
     
  5. Silverphish

    Silverphish Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    I'll try dosing every other day.
    Also, I should have said that the city doesn't use straight chlorine (instead of regular) it uses chloramine year round. At least that's what the treatment plant closest to me said.

    Thanks again for the advice
     

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