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Re: Seachem Prime

Kirk M. wrote:

About a month ago, I switched dechlorination products.
I had previously been using Tetra Aqua. I am now
using Seachem Prime, and have noticed a few changes
and am wondering if the Prime has anything to do with
it. My plant growth has slowed markedly, and I was
wondering if the Prime is removing all of my
supplements as well as the chlorine/chloramine. I use
Seachem's Flourish Potassium, Iron, Trace, and Nitrogen
supplements. I was using regular Flourish as well, but,
it seems algae starts to take a foothold when I do use
it. I put either Jobe's plant sticks or flourish tabs
in the substrate every 2 months. Most noticeably, my
Amazon Swords are turning yellow, and I can even see a
SLIGHT twinge of yellow in the anubias. Everything else
has normal colors, but, are just growing very slowly now.
Any ideas? I have not changed the lighting schedule, the
CO2 injection rate, or anything else of that nature.

I've been using Prime for about 2.5 years now and have had no problems that I could associate with it. It neutralizes only a slight (~ppb or ppt) quantity of elements and should have no effect on a well fed tank. And just because elements are 'neutralized' does not necessarily mean that they become unavailable to plants.

Yellowing, in my experience, is most often due to chronically low levels of nitrate, though other factors may be involved. The slow down in growth could also be attributed to a lack of nitrate. Also, if you have much light, especially PC, VHO, or MH lighting, and are following label recommendations of the Seachem products, my bet would be that you are not adding enough. Could you provide some more details on the size of your tank and the amounts of ferts/traces you're adding?

And a word to the wise: Jobe's spikes contain ammonium (NH4+). Ammonium *will* cause algae to go nuts if it ever gets into the water column. IMO, it is not worth the risk. Take it from someone who has done a lot of (stupid) experimentation with terrestrial fertilizers...me! Stick to safer methods of substrate fertilization (i.e., something that does not contain ammonium).
Chuck Huffine
Knoxville, Tennessee