Seachem Prime Review: How to Use It, Dosage & more

Last Update:
using seachem prime water condition

If you’re an aquarist, you know the importance of keeping your aquarium water in top condition. That’s why we made a Seachem Prime review. The Seachem Prime is a water conditioner that removes chloramine from tap water and prevents ammonia from harming fish. It’s an effective medication for removing ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and chlorine. The Seachem Prime conditioner is a must-have for any fish keeper.

Many people believe that keeping fish is simple and that annual water changes are all it takes. However, there are almost as many things to think about in the world of fishkeeping as there are fish species. A water conditioner has the potential to have a significant influence on fish, therefore it must be handled with care and responsibility.

In this review, we’ll take a closer look at Seachem Prime, Seachem Safe, and find out why it’s one of the best water conditioners for aquariums.

Water Conditioner: Is It Really Necessary?

A water conditioner for fish tanks is a plumbing product that controls the number of hardness minerals in the water. The main purpose of a conditioner is to prevent these minerals from building up in your pipes. Calcium, magnesium, and silica are all healthy minerals for people, but they are also harmful to your plumbing system.

aquarium nitrogen cycle

The most important reason to use the best water conditioner is to reduce the amount of chlorine in your water.

A water conditioner may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it can make your water more palatable to your fish. Adding a water conditioner to your aquarium will improve the taste and smell of the water. Additionally, you can use a water conditioner in your pond to improve the water quality. Some people use it in ponds while others do not.

They might be pricey, but they are well worth the money. It’s important to know what you’re getting into when buying one. Some brands can clean the water as well as the tank itself, and some are more effective than others. It’s a great way to make sure that your aquarium is safe and chemical-free.

So after all, water conditioners are essential for the health of your aquarium. They are essential to prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from growing. Some conditioners are also used to treat water that has been treated with chemicals.

Although these products are helpful for your fish, you should be aware of the risks and benefits of using them. It’s better to use a product that is safe for your pets. And what better product than the Seachem Prime water conditioner.

Seachem Prime Overview

Many types of water conditioners have side effects effects on hard water. Seachem Prime water conditioner for example is a popular choice because of its versatility, safety, and ease of use. It can be used in either freshwater or saltwater tanks. Prime water conditioner is not toxic and it works immediately on a pre-established tank.

It’s concentrated, so a bottle will last a long time especially if you use it in a nano aquarium. A 500 ml bottle would be your best deal in value and size. To put it in perspective a 100ml bottle would probably last over 9 months for a 5-gallon tank.

What sets this one apart, is that not only does it remove the harmful things in tap water, but also neutralizes nitrate, nitrites, and harmful ammonia, which makes it especially useful when your nitrogen cycle tumbles.

This is certainly a short-term solution, however, if applied before problems arise, can help to avoid these types of problems altogether. The main negative about it would be the smell that can be overwhelming especially in enclosed spaces.

The sulfur smell can’t be avoided, however, it’s good to close the cap right away to not let the smell spread for a long time. Besides this, another inconvenience would be the lack of a correct measuring for dosing. Besides these, this product is really promising in many ways and is definitely one of its kind in all it promises to do and actually does.

Seachem Prime vs. Seachem Safe

Products from the same company tend to have the same approach to what they do. However, they obviously have their differences from pricing to effectiveness. When it comes to water conditioners, you need to be really careful with the dosing and quality in order to not compromise the ecosystem.

seachem safe water condition small bottle

Now, there are two kinds of water conditioners made by Seachem: Seachem Safe and Prime. Both of these products are excellent for treating hard water. They contain a proprietary ammonia binder, which renders nitrite, nitrate, and chlorine gas non-toxic. In addition, all dechlorinators function by breaking bonds between the nitrogen and chlorine atoms in a chloramine molecule.

Both of these compounds are toxic to aquatic life, so using a water conditioner that contains both can help protect your fish from harmful contamination.

The main difference between these two products is the amount of sulfite added to each of them. Each of them uses sulfite to break down the chlorine gas into chloride and sulfate. Both products are in fact effective in removing ammonia. However, Prime for fish tanks has certain features that differentiate it from its counterpart.

seachem prime the best water condition for aquairums

The main feature would be the fact that it can detoxify heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, copper, etc. These metals can be really harmful to fish and other life in your aquarium, and therefore need to be taken care of to avoid the aforementioned problems.

Besides this really crucial feature, Seachem Prime can promote the production of natural slime coats. The latter is a mucus coat that surrounds their bodies due to the psychological reaction caused by the Seachem Prime. This mucus will guard your fish against infections.

Which is Better Seachem Prime or Safe?

The Prime water conditioner is simpler to dose and more accurate. The Seachem Safe on the other hand has better value. Meaning that a smaller bottle of Safe can treat way more gallons than the Prime, with up to a 50% difference.

The bottom line is if you want to treat bigger tanks, the Seachem Safe would be the optimal choice, however, for smaller tanks, the Seachem Prime is the better option due to the better dosage control and the other pros mentioned.

How to Use Seachem Prime Water Conditioner

Using the Seachem Prime Water Conditioner is no hard task. There are a few guidelines to base on when dealing with it. The main task when applying a conditioner is the dosing. Seachem Prime Dosing isn’t as complicated as it sounds. 

Although they don’t have a really convenient way of dosing their product (like a syringe for precise metering) the dosing is relatively easy to handle and understand.


The estimated number of drops per ml is around 20. That translates to around 5ml for every 50 gallons. However, the hardships of the Seachem Prime don’t lay in these simple numbers. It actually lies with the usage of tap water. If you add tap water directly to your aquarium the dosage needs to be adequate for the whole volume of the tank.

seachem safe water condition dosing table

Personally, I fill a container halfway with tap water and then add the Seachem Prime dosage. All I have to do now is treat for that volume (less than a gallon). Because the water has been treated, I may safely put it in my aquarium. This is probably the most effective way to go about it without much trouble.

Using Seachem Prime in Water Changes

For a larger amount of water change though, it’s better to add the water directly to the tank. You first need to add conditioner to the entire volume and then add the tap water. For a 5 gallon tank, when you perform a 30% water change, you’re going to add around 1 gallon and a half.

Putting tap water directly into the aquarium seems unusual, but by utilizing this approach you ensure the security of your fish.

seachem prime water condition for aquairums

When using a container for your water change I’ve noticed that tupperware is the best material to do it. As for overdosing, it’s safe to dose above the recommended dose up to 5 times. However, that will rarely happen since the recommended dosage is just fine for 99% of cases. Either way, just in case anything happens, a higher dosage won’t cause any problems.

TLDR: If you’re adding tap water directly dose for the entire volume of the tank. If you’re treating the water outside the tank, dose just for that volume. Golden rule: 5 ml for every 50 gallons.

Best Alternatives

Now, if the Saechem products don’t exactly razzle your dazzle, there are a few other choices you can go for that offer the same service with similar features. There are definitely certain differences between the products however, they all deliver similar results.

API TAP Water Conditioner

The API TAP water conditioner treatment allows you to reintroduce your fish right after a water change due to the instant toxin elimination. The process is fast, simple, and effective by allowing you to give your fish the clean and safe environment they deserve.

api tap water conditioner
API TAP Water Conditioner
Best Budget Water Conditioner

Best value


Different sizes

Great formula


The API works with both salt and freshwater and dechlorinates the water and detoxifies heavy metals similar to the Saechem Prime. An ounce of this product can treat up to 600 gallons, an incredible amount. This will guarantee that the product will last long and provide the same quality every time you use it.

As for dosing to detox heavy metals and eliminate chlorine 1 ml (1 milliliter) every 20 gallons (75.7 liters) of treated tap water. Otherwise, add 1 ml per 5 US gallons (18.9 L) of tap water to detoxify chloramines (break the chloramines bond).

Aqueon Water Conditioner

The Aqueon Water Conditioner neutralizes chloramines and cholines right away and can be used on fresh, salt, and tap water. This product can assist in the restoration of a fish’s slime coat, detoxifying heavy metals and ammonia and overall reducing the amount of stress that fish tend to get in a new environment.

aqueon water conditioner
Aqueon Water Conditioner
Best water conditioner for Betta

Instant results

Dosage cap included


Reduce stress


Contains a dosage cap with the recommended usage being 5mL (1 tsp) per 10 gallons of water. Very similar to the Saechem Prime, this one is a great affordable alternative that can provide good performance for a great price.

Fluval Water Conditioner for Aquariums

From the reputable Fluval brand, comes the Fluval Water Conditioner at its full glory. Working best while setting up new tanks and changing the water offers incredible value. Toxic heavy metals are neutralized, and harmful chlorine and chloramine are removed, making simple tap water safe and friendly for fish.

fluval water conditioner for aquariums
Fluval Water Conditioner for Aquariums
Best water conditioner for Betta

Instant results

Dosage cap included


Reduce stress


It has a proprietary stress-relieving composition and works to prevent scales and fins from inflammation and infection caused by scrapes and abrasions.

The recommended dosing is just like the Aqueon: 5ml for 10 gallons for chlorine removal. A 120 ml bottle would be ideal for 240 gallons and for chloramine removal and scale and fin protection, it’s recommended to treat 10 gallons by 10 ml of product.


In the end, we suggest you go for a water conditioner that does well with your setup. Each product performs best under certain conditions, so evaluate your ecosystem correctly, to get the best product for it.

Our team reviewed each product carefully and after some time of trials and tests we came up with these results. To summarize, the Saechem Prime is one of the best water conditioners for aquariums on the market, with a great price and value.

For bigger tanks, we couldn’t recommend the Saechem Safe enough, as it can be used safely on tanks with over 600 gallons of water. This product claims to be able to detoxify ammonia in a short period of time, but this is just snake oil marketing hype. Both products are ineffective in removing ammonia.

A great alternative to Seachem would be the Aqueon Water Conditioner that performs similarly to the Prime and is also very affordable in case you’re on the budget. As we said earlier, it totally depends on your own setup, so as long as it fits that well, you have nothing else to worry about.


Using a water conditioner for the first time is hard if you don’t do a lot of research. That’s why in this Seachem Prime review we made sure to include everything you need to know, from dosing to alternatives. In this section, we have answered some of the most common questions about Seachem Prime.

Q: What is Seachem Prime used for?

Seachem Prime is used to remove chlorine and chloramines from water, in order to provide your fish with clean fresh water. Seachem Prime also provides an effective barrier against Ammonia spikes due to the release of ammonia by nitrifying bacteria.

Seachem Prime allows you to bypass the waiting period required when cycling a new aquarium before introducing fish.

Q: Does Seachem Prime work instantly?

Seachem Prime will detoxify 0.5ppm ammonia/nitrite in 20 minutes and 1ppm ammonia/nitrite in 60 minutes. Seachem Prime is not an instant solution to cycle a new tank or heal fish of diseases, Seachem Prime will make the water safe for fish by binding things like chlorine, chloramines, and ammonia to a non-toxic form.

Q: How often should I use Seachem Prime?

Seachem Prime is best used daily. Seachem Prime should be used with every water change or at least weekly depending on how much Seachem prime you use (5 drops for each gallon of water).

Q: Is Seachem Prime necessary?

All Seachem Products are necessary. Seachem Prime is a water conditioner for fish tanks that helps to detoxify your water and make it safe for fish by binding ammonia, chlorine, and chloramines into a non-toxic form.

Taping water used may harm your fish if you don’t use Seachem Prime while doing water changes. Seachem Prime is great for making tap water safe quickly.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

I am Mario, a experienced fish keepr and the editor-in-chief of Epic Aquarium.

At Epic Aquarium, we take our commitment to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews very seriously. Our team carefully reviews each product, and we only recommend the very best in terms of quality. We also consult with leading fish keeper experts to ensure that each article is based on the most reliable and up-to-date information available.

Disclosure: participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.