Fitting Purigen In HOB? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Fitting Purigen In HOB?

I have been playing around with a HOB on a 3-gallon tank, trying to reconfigure the media to make space for Purigen. The filter is oversized for a 3-gallon and turned way down so that I had a larger HOB body for media. The bag of Purigen is rated for up to 100 gallons so it is much larger than needed...however after only 2 weeks it has discolored quite significantly so I can only imagine what would have happened if I only used 1/8 of it.

I feel the Purigen should be the last thing the water touches before returning to the tank, the filter floss should in theory make the Purigen last longer....but the majority of the free room is before the floss in the back of the unit. I have been thinking about removing the blue "cycle guard" plastic insert and just using the Purigen bag as a bacteria bank when floss gets changed. How much more do you think the blue plastic insert will do compared to a Purigen bag?


I did find a small media bag at PetSmart, and was thinking about emptying the Purigen bag into it which should allow me to spread the Purigen out thinner in front of the floss. What would you do?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 07:21 PM
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My two cents is that there is enough bacteria living in the substrate and throughout the tank that a "cycle guard" isn't needed. If removing that makes more room, I wouldn't hesitate to lose it. I also wouldn't be too concerned with what order the water hits various media in. Your situation is just too small to hot rod into chambers and the filter cartridge itself is mostly mechanical, probably with a little carbon added. Could you just put the Purigen directly into the cartridge? It's impossible to overdose Purigen, so you can use as much as you feel you need. 100 gallons worth would obviously be overkill on a 3 gallon, but I routinely use 100 gallon pouches on 20 gallon tanks.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 07:52 PM
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I have a similar filter on a 10 gallon tank. I put a prefilter sponge on for shrimp and wanted purigen because of tannins. No matter what I did I didn't have enough space, I tossed the filter floss and threw purigen in. The prefilter is finer than the filter floss anyway and something had to be done about the tannins. Prefilter will also house BB as well as any surface in the tank. So in essence all I have for a filter is the prefilter and the purigen. No problems thus far.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
My two cents is that there is enough bacteria living in the substrate and throughout the tank that a "cycle guard" isn't needed. If removing that makes more room, I wouldn't hesitate to lose it. I also wouldn't be too concerned with what order the water hits various media in. Your situation is just too small to hot rod into chambers and the filter cartridge itself is mostly mechanical, probably with a little carbon added. Could you just put the Purigen directly into the cartridge? It's impossible to overdose Purigen, so you can use as much as you feel you need. 100 gallons worth would obviously be overkill on a 3 gallon, but I routinely use 100 gallon pouches on 20 gallon tanks.
So a few things to note here, I believe the missing element in the rest of the tank surface for bacteria is oxygen...the filter is very close to the surface in a constant stream which "aerates" the area around the cycle guard insert promoting more bacteria exchange. The reason why it is important to have mechanical filtration before the Purigen is that if you don't, the Purigen will act as mechanical filtration and clog much faster than the floss...forcing you to remove and rinse it regularly. I am not worried about too much Purigen, but it takes up too much room in a stiff pouch. If I remember correctly it is also important that the Purigen is not free to move around and grind against each other releasing Purigen "dust" into the water column.


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Originally Posted by Newbie Tankard View Post
I have a similar filter on a 10 gallon tank. I put a prefilter sponge on for shrimp and wanted purigen because of tannins. No matter what I did I didn't have enough space, I tossed the filter floss and threw purigen in. The prefilter is finer than the filter floss anyway and something had to be done about the tannins. Prefilter will also house BB as well as any surface in the tank. So in essence all I have for a filter is the prefilter and the purigen. No problems thus far.
I tried this before and found the small surface area of a pre-filter to be way too much maintenance. It would clog very quickly and that got old real fast for me, however I am considering it again to slow down the flow even further. I am running a SilentStream 10 on a 3 gallon tank with the flow control all the way down as low as it will go but it is still a little strong for a 3 gallon with a Betta.

I am considering going without the mechanical filter pouch and framework in favor of a simple sheet of floss tucked into the back of the filter...downside to this is all the flow hits the side edge of the floss and not the large surface area once again causing it to clog faster and increase maintenance.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 03:32 AM
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If you have dirt or Mopani wood, why fight tannins? I tried Purigen to clear my tannins before I knew any better, but I was back to stained water soon enough. I read up and found that tannin-stained water was not a problem.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 03:38 AM
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Hi

Quote:
he reason why it is important to have mechanical filtration before the Purigen is that if you don't, the Purigen will act as mechanical filtration and clog much faster than the floss
I agree with that and just want to add that if you also use Ceramic type media the water should run through a fine sponge or floss before it hits the media or it too can get dirty and clog.

The correct order in my opinion is Sponge or floss, then Media and finally Purigen and you will have crystal clear water.

What I would do is ditch that cartridge in the HOB and use a prefilter sponge on the intake half fill the HOB with good media, Without all that junk in the HOB you will have lots of room


About 2 dollars each

Now for the good bit.

Go out and buy a fine mesh bag similar to this.

They are about 2 dollars for 5.

Then cut open that bag of Purigen and pour some of the contents into the new bag tie off the top and pop it onto the media and you are set.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 04:07 AM
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I would think the bag around the Purigen would be more the mechanical filter, but obviously some gets through. That's the thing about Purigen though, you can recharge it. When in a pinch for for a cheap filter bag, I've had decent luck with no-run pantyhose. It's not terribly reusable but you can get 3-4 rinses out of them and just cut the length of the leg, pour in media and tie knots.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 05:03 AM
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One of main reasons I donít like filters that use pre-made cartridges.

Will take a good old Aquaclear with basic square basket that I can just put a bag in, set a small stone on it to hold it down and be done with it any day.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streetwise View Post
If you have dirt or Mopani wood, why fight tannins? I tried Purigen to clear my tannins before I knew any better, but I was back to stained water soon enough. I read up and found that tannin-stained water was not a problem.

Cheers
Cosmetic reasons, also the dirt does not release tannins if you are not using garden soil. I use Fluval stratum which is an alternative to ADA Amazonia, both do not release tannins. Who said I use Mopani wood anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HairyNoseWombat View Post
Hi



I agree with that and just want to add that if you also use Ceramic type media the water should run through a fine sponge or floss before it hits the media or it too can get dirty and clog.

The correct order in my opinion is Sponge or floss, then Media and finally Purigen and you will have crystal clear water.

What I would do is ditch that cartridge in the HOB and use a prefilter sponge on the intake half fill the HOB with good media, Without all that junk in the HOB you will have lots of room


About 2 dollars each

Now for the good bit.

Go out and buy a fine mesh bag similar to this.

They are about 2 dollars for 5.

Then cut open that bag of Purigen and pour some of the contents into the new bag tie off the top and pop it onto the media and you are set.
Again, this increases maintenance. Tiny surface area prefilters never last long enough then you have to stick your hand in the tank and pull the thing off...I would rather pull out an easily accessible floss pad, discard and be done. I also do not like the look of prefilters in such a small tank. I do not really see it necessary to run any filter media for biological filtration in such a small tank, it only has a Betta, a horned Nerite, and a few shrimp. The Purigen will double as my biological.

The bags in your photo reminded me that I had this green bag laying around that crystal gem stones came in, perfect size! The only thing is I am not sure how the green bag will hold up when it comes time to bleach the Purigen...or if the green dye will end up in my water column so I am not sure I want to use it yet. The Purigen did get discolored quite quickly (the entire 100 gallon bag) in about 2 weeks however this is a new tank so that may be why. Typically in the past it would remain lighter than this even after a few months had passed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
I would think the bag around the Purigen would be more the mechanical filter, but obviously some gets through. That's the thing about Purigen though, you can recharge it. When in a pinch for for a cheap filter bag, I've had decent luck with no-run pantyhose. It's not terribly reusable but you can get 3-4 rinses out of them and just cut the length of the leg, pour in media and tie knots.
Ehh, I don't agree with this. Nobody wants to rinse out mechanical filtration equivalents (aka Purigen bags) they want to throw mechanical filtration away and be done with it. The aftermarket bag is to reduce the size of the Purigen bag, not to add a layer to it. If you enjoy rinsing mechanical filtration be my guest, but I don't have time for that nonsense lol. Sure you eventually have to recharge Purigen due to tannins, but not due to particles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
One of main reasons I don’t like filters that use pre-made cartridges.

Will take a good old Aquaclear with basic square basket that I can just put a bag in, set a small stone on it to hold it down and be done with it any day.
I replaced the premade filter that had floss stamped onto a plastic frame with carbon sealed inside with a plastic frame and floss bag. I would put the Purigen bag inside the floss bag but I would rather the water pass through both layers/sides of the floss bag before going through my Purigen.

I bought a 12-pack pretty cheap and removed the carbon. I then cut the center bridge support/carbon divider out to make room for more floss (hopefully it slows the flow down a bit). The floss pad was actually a universal fit air filter from Walmart. The entire assembly then slides into the floss bag providing excellent mechanical filtration. The carbon is useless it generally only lasts a week where the floss is good for about a month.



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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 07:32 AM
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I will agree there is always a way to rig something up. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve rigged up something like what you’ve done over last few decades. PVC gutter screen and pvc solvent are my best friends. But simple truth is with Aquaclear I simply don’t have to worry about building any of that.

I’ve got routers etc at home and a endless supply of free poly from work where we print on all kinds of 1/16-1/8” sintra and poly substrates.

Can even supply a plot file and have whatever I want cut out of whatever stock I want for a modest price on scrap they have laying around. But for some reason I like just hand cutting, scoring, snapping pieces apart and glueing them together whenever a inspiration hits me. Straight edge, razor cutter, coping saw, heat gun, a few files and pvc solvent are alll I need.
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Last edited by DaveKS; 01-15-2020 at 07:57 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 07:38 AM
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Hi

Quote:

The bags in your photo reminded me that I had this green bag laying around that crystal gem stones came in, perfect size! The only thing is I am not sure how the green bag will hold up when it comes time to bleach the Purigen...or if the green dye will end up in my water column
I would not use a green bag, they are also avoidable in white, The bags I have have been trough 5 or 6 bleach cycles and are still fine.

Quote:
The aftermarket bag is to reduce the size of the Purigen bag, not to add a layer to it
That is correct

Quote:
Nobody wants to rinse out mechanical filtration equivalents (aka Purigen bags) they want to throw mechanical filtration away and be done with it
Been in the hobby a number of years and I have never thrown out mechanical filtration like sponges and I reuse the floss several times, The only thing I throw away is purigen after its been recharged in bleach about 10 times or it stays discolored.

A bag of purigen like the one in the photo is worth $30 where I come from.

Quote:
I also do not like the look of prefilters in such a small tank. I do not really see it necessary to run any filter media for biological filtration in such a small tank, it only has a Betta, a horned Nerite, and a few shrimp. The Purigen will double as my biological.
Makes sense to me, if your tank is not overstocked, you do not overfeed, has a few plants including some floating ones and you do regular water changes you actually dont need any of that the plants and beneficial bacteria present in the tank can do the job all you really need is something to create a little current.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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I will agree there is always a way to rig something up....But simple truth is with Aquaclear I simply donít have to worry about building any of that.
Yes, but you will never get your Aquaclear as close to the wall as this HOB. It would make my tank sit substantially farther off the wall which is a major factor in my tank placement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HairyNoseWombat View Post
A bag of purigen like the one in the photo is worth $30 where I come from.

Makes sense to me, if your tank is not overstocked, you do not overfeed, has a few plants including some floating ones and you do regular water changes you actually dont need any of that the plants and beneficial bacteria present in the tank can do the job all you really need is something to create a little current.
WOW! This bag costs $8 on Amazon! Sounds like you have a LFS monopoly going on, I support local stores but not a monopoly.

I do feed lightly, and it is heavily planted so I can not keep natural nitrates in the water column but I do minimal water changes based on TDS. I am still not sure if nitrifying bacteria thrives as well in the tank itself as it does in the oxygen rich filter body.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Everything seemed to work out great, the filter flatted out on the front making just enough space to slide the original Purigen bag in without cutting it. Its just barely tall enough to fit under the filter lid, and the rear of the floss has just enough room around its bulge to get maximum surface exposure so I am happy with the way this turned out. I removed the Purigen and shook it in a container of water and was surprised at how much small debris it was holding....so it works as a great final stage filter catching the particles that made it through the floss. I also keep my thermometer in there as well so that I dont have to see it in such a small tank, I just slide it up every once and a while to check the temp.





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