Chemical Media - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Chemical Media

Is it common to run any chemical media in a tank? I have a reef tank with Renew, Purigen and Phosguard. Currently only running the coarse mechanical filter, some filter floss and the bio ceramics that came with my Fluval C4. Would adding something like Renew (artificial carbon substitute) be beneficial at all?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 02:38 PM
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Some people use carbon or purigen. If I was going to use anything it would be purigen. But I don't find the need. I just keep carbon on hand for just in case situations.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 03:20 PM
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Ditto on that, except I keep Purigen on hand. I just run bio and mechanical, and leave chemical filtration to fix issues as needed. If my water is less than crystal clear, Purigen is my go-to problem fixer. Carbon can remove good things, expires quickly, and cheaper brands seem to leach phosphates. I've never used Renew, so not sure on that one. Phosguard is a good product to have on hand if your tap water (or whatever source) has very high phosphates or they've spiked due from other products. If not, plants and water changes do a good job keeping it in check.

Can't say enough good things about Purigen though! It costs more initially, but can be recharged so it's more economical in the long run. And it just works wonders on water clarity when needed...

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Cool. Thanks for the replies. My water is very clear and I just wanted some peoples thoughts on it. I kinda just jumped head first into a planted tank a few months back without any research. Ive got all that stuff on hand for my reef so ill use it as needed.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 05:50 PM
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Ditto on that, except I keep Purigen on hand. I just run bio and mechanical, and leave chemical filtration to fix issues as needed. If my water is less than crystal clear, Purigen is my go-to problem fixer. Carbon can remove good things, expires quickly, and cheaper brands seem to leach phosphates. I've never used Renew, so not sure on that one. Phosguard is a good product to have on hand if your tap water (or whatever source) has very high phosphates or they've spiked due from other products. If not, plants and water changes do a good job keeping it in check.

Can't say enough good things about Purigen though! It costs more initially, but can be recharged so it's more economical in the long run. And it just works wonders on water clarity when needed...
Purigen is definitely the stuff to have especially if you're going to run it all the time since it's reusable. I had some but when I tore down all my tanks it just sat in my nasty dungeon of a basement for several years and although it looked ok...I was worried it might have absorbed some bad stuff so I tossed it. But I have all those charcoal packets that come with every new filter all still sealed so I know they are good. I'll probably end up grabbing some new Purigen at some point just to have.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by saltybuddha View Post
Is it common to run any chemical media in a tank? I have a reef tank with Renew, Purigen and Phosguard. Currently only running the coarse mechanical filter, some filter floss and the bio ceramics that came with my Fluval C4. Would adding something like Renew (artificial carbon substitute) be beneficial at all?
Purigen removes many types of organics, polishing the water in the process. So, it helps reduce organics that will turn into ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Seachem does not know if it will remove organic phosphate (before it becomes orthophosphate), but it will not remove orthophosphate.

Phosguard removes orthophosphate, only, not organic phosphate. However, in a planted tank, we want a certain level of PO4, so don't try to eliminate it. Use it for the plants. Try to keep it in the area of 2-5 ppm and get to know the EI (Estimative Index) method of fertilizer dosing. In fact, check this out: Planted Tank Guide You're in a new world now, moving out of the reef world, and will need to pay attention to light and CO2 issues as well as ferts.

Renew is a better than carbon and will remove heavy metals just the same way carbon does, although it will not have as high of a capacity. It is also different from carbon in that it won't release phosphates once filled. It will remove chelated products which we often need in our ferts. You shouldn't need Renew or carbon unless you are removing medications.

Stick with Purigen, which will help with the organics burden and almost guarantee crystal clear water. Technically, you don't need it, but it helps. I use it at half recommended dose and I also have no bio-media in my filter. My plants and substrate do all the nitrogen cycle work, but you have to build up to that. The only thing in my filter, other than the half-dose of Purigen, is the mechanical filter.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 07:07 PM
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Some Food for thought:

As I just pointed out in another thread, I tested Purigen for an extended period and at least in my tank it DID NOT reduce tank generated nitrates at all and the water clarity was no better than using polyester filter fiber in the last stage of filtration.

For crystal clear water, following tank maintenance and the water change, I use a Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Filter with the micron cartridge charged with diatomaceous earth. I let it run for a few hours, then remove. It works really well.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Lots of good info here. Ive been doing a lot more research on planted tanks. Ive got a new plan ahead and want to make a post later today to see what everyone thinks. Reefing is definitely a whole other world. I actually have nitrate deficiencies at this point so I'm I won't be adding Purigen at this time. Will keep it in mind for the future though.

My initial thought was, "my reef tank is doing great...how hard can a planted tank be?" Doing my research now. Better late than never.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by saltybuddha View Post
Lots of good info here. Ive been doing a lot more research on planted tanks. Ive got a new plan ahead and want to make a post later today to see what everyone thinks. Reefing is definitely a whole other world. I actually have nitrate deficiencies at this point so I'm I won't be adding Purigen at this time. Will keep it in mind for the future though.

My initial thought was, "my reef tank is doing great...how hard can a planted tank be?" Doing my research now. Better late than never.
In general there's a lot less filtration gear for planted tanks (compared to reef) because the water need not, and in fact should not, be so "clean". Plants need nitrates and phosphates, and even organics can provide a much needed CO2 source when used in moderation. I too keep carbon on hand for emergencies, but using it on a regular bases would be self-defeating.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 03:10 PM
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I also second the Magnum with the DE. For occasional problems it has been fantastic at getting the water clear for algae blooms when they have occurred. My rooms got too warm in summer sometimes and that made the issue get a bit out of hand. Just make sure the DE is done correctly and doesn't enter the tank for safety.
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