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Do I need to use Prime when triple medicating tank?


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Hi all!


I'm treating a 75g aquarium (3 small plecos [1.5-3 in], 4 loaches, a couple snails, several anubias and java fern) with the ACO triple medication, following this blog: https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/how-to-treat-sick-aquarium-fish


Because the medication kills bacteria, I'm assuming that my cycle is shot. Indeed, the water got cloudy the day after medicating.


My current water measurements are:

  • pH: 8.2
  • ammonia: 0.5
  • nitrite: 0
  • nitrate: 15
  • temperature: 81


The first week of treatment ends on Wednesday. I was wondering if I should add Seachem Prime to take care of this ammonia spike ... any thoughts or suggestions? I have not fed my fish at all since I started treatment. I'm worried that the spike could kill the fish, or that my cycle not restart right away (though, I do have a bottle of Stability that I'll start using once I do a 30% water change, which will hopefully dilute the medications).


p.s. My tap water has ammonia in it (1 ppm), so I usually add a bit of prime whenever I do a water change or top the tank off.

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29 minutes ago, Cory said:

You still use dechlorinator when changing water.  Also medication doesn't always kill bacteria.

Wow, a reply from the man himself! I’m a huge fan of your channel and products. I’ve spent the past couple months enjoying getting back into the hobby after a 15 year break, and you and your colleagues have contributed significantly to that enjoyment! 

back to the matter at hand ...


I always use dechlorinator during a water change/ top-off; I’m interested in Prime because it says it detoxifies ammonia and nitrite, not because of its effect of chlorine and chloramine. I should have been clearer about that.  

When you say medications don’t always kill bacteria, do you mean that Maracyn doesn’t always break the tank’s nitrogen cycle? That’d be pretty cool if it didn’t! 

Regardless of cause, it seems that my cycle fell apart (evidence: ammonia spike, cloudy water, maybe inferred effect of Maracyn). So that’s my concern (via ammonia).

Is there any reason to *not* use prime during the treatment process described in the blog post? I’m following the guidance there very strictly.  I haven’t fed at all, but I don’t want my fish to die/ suffer needlessly from the ammonia spike. 

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