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Aquatics: Product Review: Seachem's Prime

Updated on September 17, 2010

Honesty is My Policy

So, I've been looking at how to write a product review with the intention of a sale. And I've come to the conclusion that this is not my thing. This is why I made a terrible salesperson in retail (but an excellent go-to person for information, solutions, and what's essential).

And there's no boss to tell me how to do this, so I'm writing this product review MY way.

Which means that I'm not going to try to sell you something you don't need. I'm not going to try to sell you something that is harmful to your fish in any way, shape, or form. I'm not going to sell you the most expensive item I can find.

I am going to provide honest feedback on my favorite dechlorinator: Seachem's Prime.

This is the only chemical I consistently use in my personal tanks. I usually have anywhere from 3-10 tanks running at a time with plants and sensitive fish (including babies) that I wouldn't trust with any old product.

Seachem's Prime

Prime Advantages

-Removes chlorine and chloramines

-Detoxifies ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and heavy metals

-Safe to use up to 5x recommended dosage

-Encourages slime coat growth with electrolytes

-Extremely concentrated formula

-Safe to use with plants, invertebrates, saltwater fish, coral, and all freshwater fish

-Does not alter pH or water hardness

All About Prime

Seachem says:

"No other aquarium water conditioning product is required to make tap water safe. Prime removes chlorine and chloramine (even in high chloramine levels), and detoxifies ammonia and nitrite. Provides essential ions and stimulates natural slime coat. Prime also detoxifies any heavy metals found in the tap water at typical concentration levels.

When used during cycling, Prime enhances nitrate removal and does not cause a pH drop or overactivate protein skimmers. Great for setting up new aquariums, or when adding or changing water, or to remove nitrate.

Use 1 ml for each 10 gallons of water. For freshwater or saltwater use. 100 ml treats 1,000 gallons; 250 ml treats 2,500 gallons ; 500 ml treats 5,000 gallons; 2 liter treats 20,000 gallons."

Amazon says:

"Prime® is the complete and concentrated conditioner for both fresh and salt water. Prime® removes chlorine, chloramine and ammonia. Prime® converts ammonia into a safe, non-toxic form that is readily removed by the tanks biofilter. Prime® may be used during tank cycling to alleviate ammonia/nitrite toxicity. Prime® detoxifies nitrite and nitrate, allowing the biofilter to more efficiently remove them. It will also detoxify any heavy metals found in the tap water at typical concentration levels. Prime® also promotes the production and regeneration of the natural slime coat. Prime® is non-acidic and will not impact pH. Prime® will not overactivate skimmers. Use at start-up and whenever adding or replacing water.

Nearly all companies manufacture a product that removes chlorine. None of those, however, can compare in quality, concentration, or effectiveness to Seachems flagship product: Prime®. Prime® is the second most concentrated dechlorinator on the market after our own aquavitro alpha™. A single 100 mL bottle will treat 1000 US gallons of tap water.

Prime® will remove both chlorine and chloramines from municipal water supplies. Prime® also contains a binder which renders ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate non-toxic. It is very important to understand how those two functions work together. All dechlorinators operate through a chemical process known as reduction. In this process, toxic dissolved chlorine gas (Cl2) is converted into non-toxic chloride ions (Cl-). The reduction process also breaks the bonds between chlorine and nitrogen atoms in the chloramine molecule (NH2Cl), freeing the chlorine atoms and replacing them with hydrogen (H) to create ammonia (NH3). Typically, dechlorinators stop there, leaving an aquarium full of toxic ammonia! Seachem takes the necessary next step by including an ammonia binder to detoxify the ammonia produced in the reduction process."

Sensitive Fish: chocolate gouramis and dwarf cichlids

Chocolate gourami
Chocolate gourami
chocolate gourami
chocolate gourami
Dwarf rainbows
Dwarf rainbows
Dwarf cichlid
Dwarf cichlid
Dwarf cichlid
Dwarf cichlid

Why I Use and Recommend Prime

I've used a lot of different products. Working at a petstore for six years, I usually got first dibs on trying out new products on the market. I also got a lot of feedback as to which products worked well and which made a stinky mess of your tank. Prime consistently got good reviews and customers swearing they wouldn't use anything else.

So far I haven't found anything that compares to Prime (although Amquel Plus is a distant second).

My favorite reason for using Prime is that it is extremely ECONOMICAL. Since the product is so concentrated, it only takes 2 drops per gallon to work well. Aquasafe, for example, takes 7 drops per gallon. One big bottle of Prime generally lasts me for 6 months with multiple tanks and weekly water changes.

I also like Prime because it's very hard to overdose. I'm not a neat, concise measure. I tend to fill a bucket and give it a squirt of dechlorinator. You can use it up to 5x the recommended dose without any problems.

Some people even use Prime as an "emergency" aid. This means they're water quality is out of control and hazardous to fish for some reason. Since prime detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, it can be used to temporarily salvage water quality. I have used Prime with water changes to bring down excessively high nitrate with pleasing results (aka live fish and clear water).

Lastly, I like how safe Prime is. I have kept and bred several sensitive species, such as chocolate gouramis, rummynose rasboras and tetras, and dwarf cichlids, that I would have been devastated if I lost. Prime never caused any fish death or plant death in my tanks.

The Drawbacks to Prime

This wouldn't be a very honest review if I just gushed about how great Prime was and go buy some now!

Prime has two distinct drawbacks. They are not major drawbacks, but you need to be aware of them before using Prime.

First of all, Prime reeks. I'd say it smells, but that's an understatement. Since Prime is made of bisulfites and hydrosulfites, it had a rotten egg smell when you open it. Luckily, once it is placed in water and the cap is back on the bottle, the smell dissipates quickly. I tend to use the smallest size with the drop cap (and purchase the biggest containers to refill the small one)-- there is no smell when I use it.

Secondly, Prime must be used with high levels of oxygen if your tank is 80F+. The higher your water temperature, the lower the dissolved oxygen in the water (if you have a cooler tank this is not a problem). If you have a tank with warmer water make sure you use Prime with either an air pump or a filter of some kind to keep the dissolved oxygen high enough.

Amazon's prices are actually very good, and if you combine your order, the free $25 shipping makes it worth the investment. Just purchasing the littlest bottle only sets you back $3 and may introduce you to a great product for healthy, happy fish and fish tank.

Thank you for reading my spiel. If you found this hub helpful, please rate up or facebook like it so others can find it!


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