Spoke with Seachem today. I learned a few things which hopefully I can impart.
Purigen can either be a little damp or totally dry when it is received in its original, sealed, plastic bag. Both conditions are normal.
Salt, water softeners, chloride ions, and any other things brought up above have nothing to do with the issue. The tech I spoke with could not come up with any reason for the issue. The only thing that might have come up was a rapid PH change (which I didn't find), or overdosing of Prime (which also did not happen).
She did ask me about water hardness, but I informed her I did not have a test kit, and we moved on from there. There might be something to the hardness issue, but she did not dwell on it, and I didn't push the point.
Although not pertinent to my issue...Purigen should be kept under water (not moist, not damp, but totally surrounded with water) when stored in between uses. If it is allowed to dry out, it could become brittle and break down. I asked about storing it wet and possibilities of algae growth. She didn't seem to think it was an issue.
The rather quick color tranformation of my Purigen is most likely due to colorants/dyes/tannins in my water. The color change of the product is not due to organic nasties that it was pulling out of the water.
I also learned some things about Prime:
Prime locks onto the chlorine, chloramine , nitrates, nitites, metals and everything it's designed to lock onto, but for some of these items, it only locks onto them for a limited period of 24 to 48 hours. It is designed to allow certain beneficial products to slowly be released into the tank, where the filter or plants can make use of them.
I asked if there was something in the water that would make the bonds between Prime and the locked-up toxins break. Basically, I was asking if something could "shock" the Prime into letting go. I was figuring maybe it might act somewhat like carbon, such as when carbon is overloaded, it all of a sudden starts to leach toxins back into the water, but at much high rate than it originally absorbed(adsorbed?) them. I'm told that Prime cannot be shocked into releasing what it has locked onto (other than those beneficial items).
The final outcome....Seachem wants to see the Purigen I received, to test it. They are going to mail me a replacement, along with a return mailer for my use in returning my product. If nothing else, I will be sure that I have fresh, actual, non-contaminated product.
Last edited by andygold; 01-23-2013 at 05:31 PM..