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Does Seachem Prime remove ammonia, nitrites and nitrates?

Seachem Prime is extremely helpful if your tank water contains ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. So, is this water conditioner actually capable of removing these toxic nitrogen compounds?

You can find out in this Aquarium Blueprints article.

Quick Summary

Seachem Prime won’t remove ammonia, nitrites and nitrates on its own as the water conditioner will only bind these nitrogen compounds to non-toxic forms for a maximum of 48 hours.

With that said, you can use Prime in conjunction with water changes in order to get your fish tank fully cycled.

Furthermore, you can use Seachem Prime with a live bacteria product such as Seachem Seed or Seachem Stability to quickly cycle your aquarium. To get rid of nitrates, you can also add Seachem De Nitrate or Seachem Matrix as these are made to provide surface area for the nitrate-consuming bacteria species.

What is the nitrogen cycle?

Before we begin, we would like to give a brief explanation of the nitrogen cycle.

As long as you have living creatures in your fish tank, then they will produce organic wastes.

The organic wastes will turn into ammonia. Beneficial bacteria colonies will convert ammonia to nitrites and then nitrites to nitrates. If your tank has surface areas that are devoid of oxygen, then you are also able to grow a special bacteria colony that will also remove nitrates from your tank water.

How Seachem Prime affects ammonia, nitrites and nitrates

Seachem Prime is designed to bind ammonia, nitrites and nitrates into non-toxic forms, which will make them safe for fish and your other aquatic pets. However, the binding only lasts for a maximum of 48 hours. After that, the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates will return to their toxic forms.

Does Prime remove ammonia, nitrites and nitrates?

As you can see above, Seachem prime doesn’t permanently remove ammonia, nitrites and nitrates from your fish tank. Instead, this water conditioner will temporarily make these nitrogen compounds safe for a short amount of time.

How to use Seachem Prime to remove ammonia, nitrites and nitrates

While Seachem Prime won’t remove ammonia, nitrites and nitrates on its own, you can use it in combination of other products and actions to help get rid of these nitrogen compounds.

For example, a water change will help dilute ammonia, nitrites and nitrates from your tank waters. Prime will help remove chlorine and chloramine, which can harm the beneficial bacteria colonies living in your tank, from tap water. Not to mention that Prime will detoxify the rest of your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. With water changes and Prime, you will be able to cycle your fish tank while keeping your fish safe at the same time.

To speed up the cycling process, you can also use Seachem Prime with Seachem Seed or Seachem Stability. Both Seed and Stability add live beneficial bacteria to your tank waters. You can also add Seachem De Nitrate or Seachem Matrix to the mix as these biological filter medias are designed to grow the beneficial bacteria that will help reduce nitrates, along with ammonia and nitrites, from the tank water.

To see how you can properly use Prime together with Stability, you can take a look at this guide.