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Author Topic: Seachem Purigen  (Read 3642 times)
azbev
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« on: January 29, 2016, 11:46:27 AM »

I am interested in experience and comments regarding the use of Seachem Purigen to clarify tank water.

Situation: I have a 20-gallon, freshwater, fully cycled tank with a Fluval 10-30 gallon filter with 1 Dwarf Gourami, 6 False Julii Corycats, 7 Neon Tetras. Fish are happy and healthy, parameters are always good. The water has been slightly cloudy/milky (but not densely so) for several weeks. I decided it was a bacterial bloom, yet after many water changes (about 33% per week), cutting back on feeding, not using any additives (discontinued StressCoat+ and just use a plain dechlorinator) , rinsing or changing carbon filter, rinsing sponge in dirty tank water, etc., the water remains somewhat cloudy.  (Water source: 3/4 local wells, 1/4 Colorado River, Ammonia 0, temperature 78F, pH 7.5, alkalinity 120, hardness 180, no unintentional spills, use of Windex, etc.)     I inadvertently may have started another cycle by rinsing the sponge in tap water, but that was 6 weeks ago ....) (The Fluval has ceramic rings called BIOMAX that are supposed to be the biological filter plus a carbon "pillow" (changed every month) and a thick sponge, which initially I thought was "just" for removing debris, but now I realize it may act as a biological filter as well. Fluval recommends changing these BIOMAX rings every 2 months, which does not make sense at all to me. They've been in use for two months now, but it would seem changing them could start another cycle again...???)

        I've read that Seachem Purigen is sort of a "miracle worker" in clarifying tank water; it is a filter media (not a liquid) which apparently can be used either in lieu of or in addition to carbon. I am concerned about adding anything to this tank and would really appreciate input regarding the use of this product. Or if you have any other ideas or suggestions they would be appreciated as well. BTW, I've seen utube videos with tank water more cloudy than mine, with no comment on the cloudiness.....so is some cloudiness common and usual? My goal is crystal clear water, if that's achievable. For now, I am practicing patience. :-) Thank you very much for your comments.
       

   
   
   

   
   


* IMG_0558a.JPG (94.95 KB, 800x600 - viewed 245 times.)
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 03:28:22 PM »

I personally would never add Purigen to my tank because it is just an unnecessary expense in my eyes.  A healthy tank does not need anything added except dechlorinator (if not using well water) and ferts for the plants.

If you feel that your water isn't as clear as you want it to be, I would increase the volume of the water changes to 50%. 

Just in case you don't know, carbon is not needed unless you are removing medication from the tank.  The life of carbon is just a couple of weeks once it is put unto the tank.  After that, it's not doing anything.

The ceramic rings do not have to be replaced.  There are people here who have had them for years and years.
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When in doubt, do a water change.
azbev
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2016, 06:30:11 PM »

Thank you for your response.  I hope others will add to the discussion. I appreciate knowing that those rings need not be replaced.  That is what I suspected.

I am unclear on this:  Is it normal to have some cloudiness? (please see photo in my first post)   My water is 3/4 well water and 1/4 Colorado River water, all treated by the city in which I live.  So, since it is largely well water, what else should I be doing to it besides adding the dechlorinator? 

What fertilizer do you recommend?  And wow, that's interesting about carbon.  I wonder why so many filters include it if it is virtually unnecessary ....

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Pat Mary
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2016, 07:55:27 PM »

I don't know how the heck I missed that picture of your tank  lol!

It sure looks like a bacterial bloom to me.  Normally, they are something that just has to be waited out.  But, I am curious as to why you are getting a bloom now.  Have you been tinkering with the filter at all?  I am thinking that somehow, you lost most of your bacteria and it is starting a new cycle..  That probably happened a lot less than 6 weeks ago.  Sometimes it is best to not overthink.  (At least for me it is)
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When in doubt, do a water change.
gunnered72
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Theres more water than air in here :P


« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2016, 06:36:09 AM »

Totally agree with PatMary....

The only thing a healthy tank needs is dechlorinator during water changes and if it is a planted tank ferts and maybe Co2! (injected or liquid)

Test Ammonia, NitrItes and NitrAtes (Use only an API Master Test Kit for this...The rest are garbage, especially any strips)

Never clean filter media under tap water....Squeeze and swish spunges and biorings(balls) in water taken from the aquarium only...

Carbon is an absolute waste of time unless you want to use it temporarily to remove left over medicine traces etc....In fact if left lying it will after time begin to leach out the nasty stuff it has absorbed back into the aquarium...

Water changes should be 50% weekly (no skipping) in my opinion...
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I love to hate Water Changes! :P
Pat Mary
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2016, 11:25:14 AM »


Carbon is an absolute waste of time unless you want to use it temporarily to remove left over medicine traces etc....In fact if left lying it will after time begin to leach out the nasty stuff it has absorbed back into the aquarium...


Russ has addressed this topic before:     Carbon will not release molecules that it has ADsorbed or ABsorbed.  The industrial process to do this would not be applicable to the home aquarium.

I would just suffice it to say that the potency of carbon is reduced once it has be exposed to water.
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When in doubt, do a water change.
azbev
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2016, 12:25:04 PM »

Thank you for your comments.  Pat said:
> I personally would never add Purigen to my tank because it is just an unnecessary expense in my eyes.  A healthy tank does not need anything added except dechlorinator (if not using well water) and ferts for the plants.
> A healthy tank does not need anything added except dechlorinator (if not using well water) and ferts for the plants.

My water is 3/4 local well and 1/4 Colorado River water, treated by my city.  Your comment indicates well water should be treated differently.  Please clarify.  How so? So many people seem to love this Purigen stuff for clarifying their water, I'm curious, if you've never used it, why you are opposed to using it.  Also, by "healthy tank" do you refer to CLARITY OF WATER as well as parameters?

> The life of carbon is just a couple of weeks once it is put unto the tank.  After that, it's not doing anything.

So if you don't mind, may I ask what it is you all use for filter media?  And are your suggesting I remove the carbon?  Is it advisable to simply never insert the carbon in the first place?   (This Fluval 10-30 has the ceramic rings, carbon pillow, and sponge.)

> Have you been tinkering with the filter at all?  I am thinking that somehow, you lost most of your bacteria and it is starting a new cycle..  That probably happened a lot less than 6 weeks ago.  Sometimes it is best to not overthink.  (At least for me it is)

Other than changing the carbon two weeks ago and gently rinsing the sponge & ceramic rings in dirty tank water I've done nothing other than vacuum and water changes (and discontinue Stress+).   I had inadvertently added a bacterial supplement about 6 weeks ago, which was not necessary, and that is the main reason I think it's a bacterial bloom.  However, why, after 6 weeks, it is still cloudy  I just don't know.  I think it will clear up on its own with time.

Gunnered72:  You said:
> The only thing a healthy tank needs is dechlorinator during water changes and if it is a planted tank ferts and maybe Co2! (injected or liquid)

This tank has one Anubias Nana and one very small Windelov Java Fern - in the tank for about one month and seem to be okay so far.  What kind of fertilizer and/or Co2 do you recommend? I am completely unfamiliar with either of these in addition to plant care in the aquarium (although I know I will need to trim the plants now and then, be aware of dead/dying leaves, etc.)

> Never clean filter media under tap water.

Yes, I realize that now.  ... but that was 6 weeks ago.  (And others have told me it's just fine to rinse in tap water; however, now I realize that this sponge is not just for debris but also for the healthy bacteria.)

> Water changes should be 50% weekly (no skipping) in my opinion...

Some folks recommend 10%-15%; I've been doing about 33%, 2 gallons mid-week, 4 gallons on weekend. Perhaps I should do 6 (or 10) all at the same time?

As always, thank you very much for your ideas, comments and suggestions.
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TwoTankAmin
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2016, 12:39:37 PM »

Pat Mary is 100% correct about carbon not releasing things adsorbed back into a tank. However, I do not believe carbon absorbs anything it only adsorbs. These are not the same thing.

Quote
Does Activated Carbon Absorb or Adsorb?
Activated carbon adsorbs. The chemical process of absorption is commonly compared to a sponge soaking up water. The water is fully integrated into the sponge, not being limited to the surface area. Differently, adsorption is a process whereby molecules stick to the surface area only. As mentioned above, activated carbon has a large surface area due to being a porous material. The unwanted substance sticks to the surface area of the carbon particles.
from http://generalcarbon.com/facts-about-activated-carbon/activated-carbon-faq/

I would also bet dollars to donuts that Hach test strips are more accurate than API test kits. One clue is that Hach will tell you the degree of accuracy for their strips but try and find the same info for any API test kit. For example, a Hach nitrate test strip costs close to $1 per test. (25 tests for $21.39 plus delivery). The API Nitrate test cost about 7 cents (110 tests for $6.89 plus delivery). For any mission critical testing in my tanks I rely on digital testing. If you are a nut on nitrate levels, DrsFosterSmith.com has a clearance sale on the Hanna Nitrate Photometer. Is has been reduced from $210 to $140.63 (with fee shipping). Truly accurate testing costs way more than most hobbyists want to spend.
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“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Pat Mary
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2016, 02:31:12 PM »

Thank you for your comments.  Pat said:
> I personally would never add Purigen to my tank because it is just an unnecessary expense in my eyes.  A healthy tank does not need anything added except dechlorinator (if not using well water) and ferts for the plants.
> A healthy tank does not need anything added except dechlorinator (if not using well water) and ferts for the plants.

My water is 3/4 local well and 1/4 Colorado River water, treated by my city.  Your comment indicates well water should be treated differently.  Please clarify.  How so? So many people seem to love this Purigen stuff for clarifying their water, I'm curious, if you've never used it, why you are opposed to using it.  Also, by "healthy tank" do you refer to CLARITY OF WATER as well as parameters?  When I said "well water", I meant a private well but not a municipal well.  A municipality adds chlorine and/or chloramines to the water system.  A private well has neither added.  Yes, I have never used Purigen.  I also have never had a bacterial bloom.  That doesn't mean that I did something right or wrong but it means that I have never had one.   As I said in my previous post, the reason I would never use it is that I think it is just an unnecessary expense.  If you want to spend the money, go ahead but I prefer not to./color]

> The life of carbon is just a couple of weeks once it is put unto the tank.  After that, it's not doing anything.
 
So if you don't mind, may I ask what it is you all use for filter media?  And are your suggesting I remove the carbon?  Is it advisable to simply never insert the carbon in the first place?   (This Fluval 10-30 has the ceramic rings, carbon pillow, and sponge.) I am suggesting that you keep carbon in storage so that you can use it to remove meds if needed.  Carbon is not part of my filter media.  I have a Penguin biowheel.  The biowheel is where the bacteria reside.  Then I have a cartridge which has floss (with carbon inside) for mechanical filtration.  I remove the carbon and just have the floss part in my tank.

> Have you been tinkering with the filter at all?  I am thinking that somehow, you lost most of your bacteria and it is starting a new cycle..  That probably happened a lot less than 6 weeks ago.  Sometimes it is best to not overthink.  (At least for me it is)

Other than changing the carbon two weeks ago and gently rinsing the sponge & ceramic rings in dirty tank water I've done nothing other than vacuum and water changes (and discontinue Stress+).   I had inadvertently added a bacterial supplement about 6 weeks ago, which was not necessary, and that is the main reason I think it's a bacterial bloom.  However, why, after 6 weeks, it is still cloudy  I just don't know.  I think it will clear up on its own with time.The bacteria in a "bacterial bloom" are not the same bacteria which are in your bacteria colony in the filter.  Two (or three) different bacteria.

Gunnered72:  You said:
> The only thing a healthy tank needs is dechlorinator during water changes and if it is a planted tank ferts and maybe Co2! (injected or liquid)

This tank has one Anubias Nana and one very small Windelov Java Fern - in the tank for about one month and seem to be okay so far.  What kind of fertilizer and/or Co2 do you recommend? I am completely unfamiliar with either of these in addition to plant care in the aquarium (although I know I will need to trim the plants now and then, be aware of dead/dying leaves, etc.)

> Never clean filter media under tap water.

Yes, I realize that now.  ... but that was 6 weeks ago.  (And others have told me it's just fine to rinse in tap water; however, now I realize that this sponge is not just for debris but also for the healthy bacteria.)

> Water changes should be 50% weekly (no skipping) in my opinion...

Some folks recommend 10%-15%; I've been doing about 33%, 2 gallons mid-week, 4 gallons on weekend. Perhaps I should do 6 (or 10) all at the same time?

As always, thank you very much for your ideas, comments and suggestions.

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When in doubt, do a water change.
azbev
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2016, 04:37:38 PM »

Hi Pat,

Thank you very much for the information and further clarification.  I appreciate your help.

>>The bacteria in a "bacterial bloom" are not the same bacteria which are in your bacteria colony in the filter.  Two (or three) different bacteria.

Well that's interesting.  Hopefully, I will be able to locate an article on this to find out more. 
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Gregg
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http://i1049.photobucket.com/albums/s392/lv2crp/Ca


« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2016, 07:34:37 PM »

I read this but I don't think I missed anyone discussing stress coat, or the other similar products.  I gave up on stress zyme, learning it is mostly water, but continue after every water change with stress coat. I understand using as few chemicals as possible, but this product seems like a good idea and my fish seem fine with it.  So, is it snake oil?

Gregg
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TwoTankAmin
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2016, 09:15:16 AM »

Just an fyi- I will never put aloe vera in any of my tanks. I can direct you to a research paper published in 2010 on water conditioners that contain a "slime coat additive":

Quote
A review of polymer-based water conditioners for reduction of handling-related injury

Conclusion


Water conditioners containing polymers may reduce external damage to fish held in containers during scientific experimentation, including surgical implantation of transmitters. However, there is a need to empirically test the effectiveness of water conditioners at preventing damage to and promoting healing of the mucus layer. It is unadvisable to use water additives that contain Aloe vera extract or CMC in closed holding systems due to the potential for these additional organic wastes to reduce water quality and oxygen levels. However, these organic materials likely do not have a negative effect on water quality or oxygen levels in open, flow-through holding or transport systems.
Full paper here https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alison_Colotelo/publication/226656472_A_review_of_polymer-based_water_conditioners_for_reduction_of_handling-related_injury/links/5598108e08ae99aa62ca1f6a.pdf

It is important to understand there is a huge difference between fish fed aloe vera extracts and having aloe vera in the water. The former appears to have beneficial results while the latter is a potential danger.

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“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Gregg
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2016, 10:26:14 AM »

That was very informative.  So, since in a typical water change with little or no contact with the fish it seems that it isn't needed except perhaps for the removal of chlorine and other chemicals. This addition though makes one feel better, (well, me) a better fish keeper I suppose.  I have heard much of Seachem Prime, and so I must ask you if you may have product that is beneficial.

And thank you, Gregg
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