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Replacing AC with Purigen

1096 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  AbbeysDad
I'm setting up my planted aquarium after a move. It's 75 gallon cube, Marineland Magniflow 360 - starting from scratch. I have driftwood I plan to use in my aquascape. I did not use the driftwood in my previous setup because of the tea colored water. Many discussions here have recommended Purigen instead of AC to clear the water of the tannins released by the wood. In addition, it seems Purigen is also recommended over AC to maintain nutrients in the water for the plants. I used neither in my previous setup. The purigen bag is very small (4.5"x3"). How many bags of Purigen should I use?
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Depending on the type of wood, the tannins should eventually stop leeching into the water. Some wood takes longer than others.

What I do is soak the wood outside in a plastic bin, change the water every 2-3 days until it's clear, or mostly clear. Usually takes a couple weeks for Manzinita, Ive had Mopani take a couple months just to become...tolerable.

The instructions on Purigen say the 100ml bag treats 100 gallons, but Ive always found using more is better because more will last longer before needing to be recharged.

How long it lasts all depends on how much "stuff" is in the water - organic waste, tannins, whatever else it draws in.

I use two 100ml bags in a 50 gal, one in a 20, in my 75gal I have about 250-300ml in a Seachem "The Bag" bag.

If you are using the smaller 100ml bags, personally I'd go with four. Use two at a time and having two fresh ones to replace them with when it comes time to recharge. This is especially convenient if you are using a canister filter.

Or better yet get two "The Bag"s and 500ml of Purigen, and divide it between them. Use one in the filter and the other one to replace with.
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Thanks for the info. I'll pick up another one. I used the driftwood almost a year when I had only fish and the water was always tea colored but I did not use any Purigen. I have a feeling it will always leach so hopefully the purigen will filter faster than it leaches. It's a large piece, here's a picture. I'm going to let it sit for awhile to see how well the filter with purigen works before deciding to use it or not. I'll empty the water once I decide on my aquascape.


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Activated Carbon is great in a fish only tank as it adsorbs all sorts of impurities from the water. This is why it's used so much to purify drinking water. It gets a bad rep for aquarium use because depending on the water conditions, it's use life can be relatively short. You definitely don't want it in a planted tank because many of the 'impurities' it adsorbs, are nutrients the plants would use.
The Purigen resin has an affinity for organic compounds rather than chemical impurities so it may have benefit in your tannin situation. I tried using it for an extended period in the past, buying into the marketing hype that it would reduce nitrates by trapping nitrogenous compounds. Although it may make water a bit clearer, I did not find it to reduce nitrates for me, so I stopped using it.
The suggestion made to use more than recommended and to have another set recharging while using a set is a good one.
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