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Purigen Alternatives

Jul 23, 2023
87
241
Texas
Since I have a 350 gallon tank I've been searching for bulk purigen, or cheaper alternatives to it. I know carbon is good as well but I like the fact that I can regenerate purigen. I found this knock off on amazon with 715ml for $20USD. It looks like purigen, feels like purigen, and smells like purigen. I'm wondering how different it is from it. Purigen is $57USD for 1L. 20231127_212257.jpg
The package says 715ml treats 100 gallons which is a lot worse than purigen treating 100 gallons with only 100ml. If the packaging on these is true then purigen is still a lot cheaper. But I'm skeptical of both their claims. Anyone have any idea what purigen could be? Perhaps something that can be bought in bulk and is just rebranded like seachem matrix?

Also has anyone compared purigen in a reactor versus just sitting in a sump/filter? I know BRS did this with carbon and found carbon to be a lot more efficient in a reactor.
 
I recall reading somewhere that purigen does work better in a bubble reactor. I can’t find the forum at the moment though. Which makes sense, the more water contact through increased surface area in the reactor allows for better removal and even distribution of the organics in the resin.

Based on what it does, it’s most likely a strong base anion polyacrylic resin, Purolite A860 or something very similar. Finding it cheap in anything smaller than a 50 pound bag is going to very difficult. Finding small enough amounts to test out is going to be the real challenge though. I would be hard pressed to buy a 50 pound bag on a test, that’s a lot of resin beads!

Straight nitrate removal resins are easier to find but I’m assuming you’re going for organic removal not nitrate since we are trying to grow plants.
 
That makes sense I am going to try running it in a reactor. I've been reading some forum posts on this Purolite a860 and it does look pretty similar. Though the cost per liter of this amazon knock off is close enough to the 50lb bulk bags so I may just try buying some more of this. I have 500ml of Purigen that I will use to compare the two.
 
I spent probably 5 years religiously running purigen in every tank. I dont know why but plants do immensely better without it. Even back then if I ever went a week or two without it Id notice the tank almost immediately started pearling like crazy. But I was too pig headed to accept that it might be a bad thing. Anyway I finally scrapped all purigen and havent looked back.

Nowadays If I ever have stubborn bba or sometimes an unsolved issue, I'll run activated carbon for a week or two. But I never run that very long either.
 
I spent probably 5 years religiously running purigen in every tank. I dont know why but plants do immensely better without it. Even back then if I ever went a week or two without it Id notice the tank almost immediately started pearling like crazy. But I was too pig headed to accept that it might be a bad thing. Anyway I finally scrapped all purigen and havent looked back.

Nowadays If I ever have stubborn bba or sometimes an unsolved issue, I'll run activated carbon for a week or two. But I never run that very long either.
That is really interesting. I guess it makes sense it could be making the water too clean for the plants. May reconsider running it. Would be something less to worry about and might not improve water clarity as much as I'd like. I'm going to try experimenting with running it and not running it to see if it even makes a significant impact in water clarirty. If its not significant it may not be worth running if it could harm plant health.
 
I have it but it’s exhausted and I’m too lazy to take it out at the moment. My sump contains two Poret foam dividers at 10 and 20ppi, clarity is not an issue for me at all, but I guess everyone’s setup and mileage varies. I’m going to mirror Burr and just take it out.
 
I have it but it’s exhausted and I’m too lazy to take it out at the moment. My sump contains two Poret foam dividers at 10 and 20ppi, clarity is not an issue for me at all, but I guess everyone’s setup and mileage varies. I’m going to mirror Burr and just take it out.
I think im going to try some poret foam. This seems like the easiest way to beef up the mechanical filtration in the sump.
 
I could not imagine my water being clearer than it is on my high tech tank and thats with running very minimal mechanical filtration and zero chemical filtration. If your tank gets weekly water changes and it isn’t some specific biotope tank or something like that with lots of detritus in the water, the water should naturally be crystal clear if it’s well maintained tank IME. It’s one of the things guests always say about my tanks—how is your water so clear? Lol
 
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It's not too bad, I think small amounts of detritus builds up in the dense planting and fish stir it up and bring particulate in the water column. Could also be my bio media has a lot of detritus in it too which small amounts make it back to the display. I think I'll reduce the biomedia to keep a cleaner sump. I should also try to do a better job of siphoning this detritus during water changes its just a big tank so I miss spots. 20221221_131428.jpg
 
I spent probably 5 years religiously running purigen in every tank. I dont know why but plants do immensely better without it. Even back then if I ever went a week or two without it Id notice the tank almost immediately started pearling like crazy. But I was too pig headed to accept that it might be a bad thing. Anyway I finally scrapped all purigen and havent looked back.

Nowadays If I ever have stubborn bba or sometimes an unsolved issue, I'll run activated carbon for a week or two. But I never run that very long either.
Same experience as Joe for me. If I recall we were both running Purigen around the same time and saw about the same results.

After years of messing around with the stuff stopped using it and tank was better than ever.
 
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