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Can Purigen Strip down useful nutritients?

clone

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Hi, guys I was wondering if Purigen can affect negative in the nutritient balance in nano tank? I have tanins leech from drift wood and want to use purigen. Any experiences? How Purigen will affect Just the harmful N in the water column. What will happen with the balance and the N bacteria will outcompete the bacteria...any thoughts? In the web are many diferent opinions....which confuse me a bit.o_O
 

ceg4048

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Err..you need to forget about all of those arguments because it's all complete rubbish. If you can afford it then use it to help clarify the water. If you have tannins leaching from driftwood it might help to use activated carbon, or just continue to do frequent and large water changes until it clarifies.

Cheers,
 

clone

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Hi, and thanks for the answer, but.....I used to have it in my external filter and lead to awesome clear water and complete disaster and disbalance in my nano so I lost most of the plants and therefore removed it from the filter. I am not in doubt how good is the product, just to clarify my self what exactly happened in my tank......was it purigen fault or my dosing. Again.....Can Purigen strip NO3 so muct to lead to NO3/PO4 disbalance? What exactly removes purigen and did autcompete N bacteria in nitrogen cycle? How exactly Purigen can strip only the "harmful" amonia and NO2 but not NO3? Sachem says, doesnt affect traces but....is that true? I swear Purigen does clarify my water so much so I could not belive....at what price?!! lost nitrogen cycle and nutrificion disbalance.
Thanks in advance.
The thing is I am planning to use it again but try to collect as much as possible info;)
Cheers
 

ceg4048

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Purigen and all of these other so called nutrient removing resins simply attract and hold organic waste. That's all they do. The organic compounds are all constructed of Nitrogen and Phosphorus, as well as Carbon. These are the same organic compounds that we remove when we change our water, so you may as well have blamed your failure on water changes..

Inorganic nutrient addition is not affected by this product, so add as much of it as you like. It will neither guarantee success nor will it be responsible for failure.

When we have plant health issues we need to be careful in fault isolation. You did not specify the nature or symptoms of the problem, and neither have you specified what other actions you did or failed to do so it cannot be analyzed properly.

People have plant health issues all the time and blame the failure on every conceivable factor. If you were not adding nutrients to the tank, and if lighting were high, for example, then you should blame failure on too much light and insufficient nutrient addition.

We collectively have plenty of experience with Purigen, enough to know that there are no limitatios to it's use, other than cost. Therefore if you have a problem in the tank then you have to fix the root cause. All thes reports you are reading in The Matrix are fantasy rationalizations. If your plants are suffering Nitrogen failure then it's because YOU are not adding enough Nitrogen

Cheers
 

clone

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Hi, and thanks for the answer again that was really satisfying enugh. Yes you are right I did not explained the nature of the prblem or the symptms. So My light was too high, I did not add NO3, PO4 thinking that fish waste and food waste will be enough. My tank was after DSM so the plant mass was enormous, CO2 wasnt bottlenecking factor as well, so the nutritients was the problem. My HC turn to transperemt within 2-3 days diatom bloom even the tank was established. Hairgrass survived and hydrocotyle two kinds anubias as well. Actually only HC died but I as can see now is still there mixed with hairgrass two months after proper dosing and removed purigen:D Obviously most of the issues with diatoms, algae or plant helth are chemical disbalance or lack not light or CO2:( I belive that purigen is great product but some people including me dont know how to use it:p I will go again for it anyway, I was wondering do I have to increase NO3 in my dosing regime when add purigen?
Thanks for the reply again.
Regards,
Nikolas:)
 

clone

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Do you know the reason why end of the day my tank water looks thicker than normal, higher viscosity. Is it some not saturated gas issue or what? Thanks.
 

NatureBoy

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I've got purigen, AC and a UV running on my tank. The bogwood I'm using was leaching tannins like a cup of stewed tea when I presoaked, but have crystal clear water in tank with these products running. I reckon any one would do for removing tannins. Have not seen any nutrient deficiencies...think organic vs inorganic when dosing as Clive states (also where organics are collecting, bacteria will find them). Cannot comment on chelated traces as do not add these - my plants seem to get enough iron, etc most likely from the substrate. Mosses, ferns etc that get nutrients from water column are in good health so can only presume that these products aren't affecting water borne traces in the quantities required by these plants either. So chuck it in and keep on top of CO2, ferts, light - usual concerns and you should be alright.
 

ceg4048

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Hi, and thanks for the answer again that was really satisfying enugh. Yes you are right I did not explained the nature of the prblem or the symptms. So My light was too high, I did not add NO3, PO4 thinking that fish waste and food waste will be enough. My tank was after DSM so the plant mass was enormous, CO2 wasnt bottlenecking factor as well, so the nutritients was the problem. My HC turn to transperemt within 2-3 days diatom bloom even the tank was established. Hairgrass survived and hydrocotyle two kinds anubias as well. Actually only HC died but I as can see now is still there mixed with hairgrass two months after proper dosing and removed purigen:D Obviously most of the issues with diatoms, algae or plant helth are chemical disbalance or lack not light or CO2:( I belive that purigen is great product but some people including me dont know how to use it:p I will go again for it anyway, I was wondering do I have to increase NO3 in my dosing regime when add purigen?
Hi Nikolas,
Thanks for the additional data. As suspected, the symptoms you describe have nothing to do with Purigen. Part of the problem is that the maker of Purigen does not actually state what chemical product the Purigen is. The only scrap of bone they throw us is to tell us what Purigen is NOT. It is my general observation that when vendors refuse to state the chemical makeup of their products, or when they refuse to list the ingredients, then this is a sure sign that the material is something fairly easy to obtain for cheaper elsewhere. So, according to their website, Purigen is not a ion exchange resin and is not a form of carbon. It is described as "...macro-porous synthetic polymer that removes soluble and insoluble impurities from water..."

The paragraph goes on to dispense more meaningless techno babble, forcing us to deduce just what the heck this product is. What we know is that is is activated, which means it is porous and therefore has a high surface area to enhance it's effectiveness, and we know that it is basically a synthetic polymer. Finally, we know that it works though adsorption of organic molecules in a very similar way to carbon. So this automatically means that the target molecules are polar and that the product should be less effective at removing non-polar molecules.

So, in the same way that Flourish Excel is just an overpriced version of a commonly available disinfectant (gluteraldehyde), we can assume that Purigen is probably a commonly available polymeric adsorbent. There appears to be three general classes of this type of resins:
Styrenic adsorbent resin
Acrylic adsorbent resin
Phenolic adsorbent resin

Each of these classes is good at removing some specific classes of pollutants, so it's entirely possible that Purigen is some combination of these classes. Now, remember this is just a GUESS on my part. I really don't know for sure, but if you read the product sheets for these resins, they sound almost exactly like what the Purigen website talks evasively about. Also, if you notice, all of these resins are produced and probably patented by Dow Chemicals.

OK, so Purigen attracts and holds onto organic chemicals by adsorption, which means it is NOT ABSORBED into the structure of the resin, but is held by contact on the surface of the pores by INTERMOLECULAR BONDING - VAN DER WAALS FORCES

Also, you really need to understand the difference between organic molecules and inorganic molecules. Organic means that the compound was alive or was produced exclusively by something that was alive. Scientists have learned to synthesize some organic molecules but the basic definition is that the chemical is within the domain of living things.

Plant matter, food and fish waste are all organic material and they are constructed fundamentally from carbon atoms. So think about a Christmas tree where the Carbon forms the branches and the other elements such as Phosphorous, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Hydrogen are the decorations.

Most of these organic materials are composed of proteins, and proteins are an organic construct, like a Pyramid made up of organic blocks called Amino Acids. Without trying to blow your mind, here is a schematic of a generic amino acid architecture:
amino_acid.png


Can you see on this Christmas tree that there is a central single Carbon skeleton and that the main decoration (COOH) on the right, an unnamed chemical refereed to as "R" in the middle and an "Amino (NH2)" group on the left?

When this organic compound is separated from the plant or animal that it was attached to bacteria immediately attack, because they want to eat the Nitrogen and the Carbon, but they cannot just swallow the whole enchilada. They have to be clever about it, so they have special enzymes that cut the Christmas tree down and break it apart.

This is what the terms "rot" and "decay" actually mean. The bacterial enzymes sever the connection between those groups and then more enzymes either combine the severed parts with different chemicals or they break the severed parts into even smaller molecules. Each bacteria has it's own strategy and it's own arsenal of enzymes which function to either build or destroy. There are some enzymes that convert the NH2 (Amino) into NH3 (Ammonia). Can you see that the words are very similar? It's for a very good reason. They are related and that's why plants will risk the toxicity of NH3, because they can easily, with their arsenal of enzymes, turn it into NH2 and make amino acids, which they then easily turn into proteins.

When plants and animals respire, many of the organic processes involve the consumption of amino acids and the metabolic waste is ammonia. This is the cycle of life. Cells that burn sugar eject CO2. When we exhale we are ridding our bodies of the CO2 produced when our cells have eaten sugar. Plants take this CO2 and turn it into sugar.

So when the Purigen website talks about how the resin removes only the "bad Nitrogen compounds" it's really propaganda because what the product does is to capture organic compounds and prevents the products of decay from entering the water column. Purigen has nothing to do with the NO3 that you add from KNO3 dosing. The product has no affinity for NO3, only an affinity for the organic compounds which are being ejected from the plants and animals in the tank. So really, there is no relationship between your dosing program and the performance of the Purigen. Dose as you would do normally and forget about the effect of Purigen in that regard.

The question that I cannot answer is, once the organic molecule is captured and is adsorbed onto the surface of the resin, does the decay continue as normal or is it modified, and are the constituent components of the original molecules still trapped within the Purigen particles? We know that activated carbon and zeolite adsorb and hold the chemicals, then, if left in the water, bacteria colonize the pores and feed on the nutrients still adsorbed on the surface. I don't know the answer to this because without knowing what polymer it is, it's a difficult thing to study.


Do you know the reason why end of the day my tank water looks thicker than normal, higher viscosity. Is it some not saturated gas issue or what?
Sorry, I have no idea what this means. I do not understand how water can look thicker or have a higher viscosity unless there are pollutants dissolved in the water. You'll have to clarify with photos or with a better description.

Cheers,
 

lurch1000

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Very good hypothesis on Purigen. Just a case of trying each of the Dow products to see if it works now! Might have a look see what protection Seachem have on Purigen. Depending on the licence, if there is one, they may have to acknowledge Dow.

Again, brilliant post.
 
B

BIN578

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So when the Purigen website talks about how the resin removes only the "bad Nitrogen compounds" it's really propaganda because what the product does is to capture organic compounds and prevents the products of decay from entering the water column. Purigen has nothing to do with the NO3 that you add from KNO3 dosing. The product has no affinity for NO3, only an affinity for the organic compounds which are being ejected from the plants and animals in the tank

Sorry to quote just one part of your main post, and I hope this does not place my question out of context, but does the above mean that by removing organic compounds produced by the fish, Purigen is essentially preventing the bacterial side of your filter from working to its full potential ? IE is it essentially over riding that function of the filter ?

Also, how does it "polish" the water as I have seen referred to on here ? I have used it and it does seem to do a good job but why is that ? Because I always used to think "polishing" the water was something that filter floss did by removing fine suspended particles ?

It would be useful to know a bit more about the science of this product.
 

clone

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Thanks for the answer now I realise Purigen doesnt absorb anything like frtilisers just removes the organics from the watercolumn so the ntrobacteria may suffer in the tank, but anyway the good thing those bacterias will colonise your filter;) You bring me back to school man in my favourite Biology lessons big thanks for the help. I clearly understand the cycle of life or photosintesis wasn exactly sure how purigen works. I will try to figure out what is higher viscosity water.....I think there must be relation ship between Viscosity, density, pH and gas consistence. Here what I found: Gas bubble formation in water columns is called cavitation. As temperatures rise and tension in the water column increases, more gases will fall out of solution and form small bubbles. These tiny bubbles may gather and coalesce, "snapping" the water column. As temperatures decrease, water can hold more dissolved gasses until it freezes. Freezing allows gases to escape and potentially cavitates water conducting tissue when thawed. Trees do have some limited means to reduce these cavitation faults. My water looks charged and ticker at the end of the light period and full of tiny bubbles may be too much CO2.
 

ceg4048

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does the above mean that by removing organic compounds produced by the fish, Purigen is essentially preventing the bacterial side of your filter from working to its full potential ? IE is it essentially over riding that function of the filter ?
Not really because first of all the resin is not capable of removing every organic compound. Resins have an affinity for certain types of compounds, but there are many others that they have less affinity for and which can still break down. So, for example it may not have an affinity for urine, which is typically converted to NH4+ by another bacterial enzyme called "Urease". There are plenty of Urease producing bacteria in the sediment and filter of a mature tank. Secondly, the resin does not have access to all the water all the time and cannot instantly process all the compounds. Ammonia is constantly being produced in a tank. Hobbyists love to talk about how they measured ammonia with some goofy test kit which reads zero, but that is just a default indicator when the ammonia concentration level is below the ability of the kit to register.

Folks need to realize that organic compounds in the tank are what causes most of our problems. In natural systems the volume of water is so large that the concentration of complex organic molecules is very low. In our tank these molecules adhere to surfaces, are attacked by bacteria and many of the resulting products, like ammonia are toxic to fish. An entire world develops with these compounds as a base. They are not healthy for plants or for fish so we need to get them out of the tank as often and as effectively as possible. People who worry about the fact that these molecules are removed, and that their bacteria will "suffer" have the cart before the horse. It's perfectly OK if the bacterial populations are reduced as a result of the removal of these compounds because removal of the compounds is why we needed to have the nitrifying bacteria in the first place. So the prime directive is to clean the tank, not to have bacteria for bacteria's sake. Please remember that in order to do their job, aerobic bacteria steal Oxygen from the water to process the organic compounds and to oxidize ammonia to NO3, so there is a price to pay for having lots of your favorite bacteria. Oxygen is THE most precious commodity in the tank, and if you can find a way to remove the compounds without paying the Oxygen tax then DO IT and stop worrying about how the poor bacteria will have nothing to eat, because this is actually a GOOD thing.

Also, how does it "polish" the water as I have seen referred to on here ? I have used it and it does seem to do a good job but why is that ? Because I always used to think "polishing" the water was something that filter floss did by removing fine suspended particles ?
One of the things that causes murky or tinted water are large organic molecules which may be dissolved or undissolved. One can either remove the large molecules from the water column or shatter them into tiny bits. When the molecule is broken up, the smaller molecules are more transparent.

If the resin adsorbs the molecules they are prevented from re-entering the water column, so instead of their floating around they are held by the resin. The term "polish" is just a marketing phrase. Again, doing frequent massive water changes does essentially what Purigen does. Having high CO2 produces high Oxygen content in the water column which feeds the aerobic bacteria and those bacteria attack the large organic molecules with enzymes to shatter them.

Marine reefers sometimes use Ozone (O3), which is in the category of highly toxic chemicals called "Reactive Oxygen Species". Another R.O.S for example is Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2). When Ozone is dissolved in the water it also attacks complex organic molecules and breaks them apart to form smaller molecules. This makes it easier for the skimmer to remove them and since the smaller molecules are transparent, the result is that it seemingly "clarifies" the water.


Here what I found: Gas bubble formation in water columns is called cavitation. As temperatures rise and tension in the water column increases, more gases will fall out of solution and form small bubbles. These tiny bubbles may gather and coalesce, "snapping" the water column. As temperatures decrease, water can hold more dissolved gasses until it freezes. Freezing allows gases to escape and potentially cavitates water conducting tissue when thawed. Trees do have some limited means to reduce these cavitation faults. My water looks charged and ticker at the end of the light period and full of tiny bubbles may be too much
I think you might be misinterpreting your observations. If there are lots of bubbles in the water column by the end of the day then in all likelihood these are oxygen bubbles produced by the plants. This just sounds like what we call pearling. Is that what you mean? This is not something to worry about at all, obviously if we are talking about Oxygen bubbles. I might have misunderstood, but if you have an image we can take a closer look.

Cheers,
 
B

BIN578

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Thanks CEG thats the best explaination i could have hoped for.
 

t.doyle

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9 Mar 2013
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If only I was allowed to use the chromatography/mass spec instruments for my use where I study and I could compare purigen with the polymers that Clive has previously mentioned to see which would be most/exact similar?

Anyone who works with chromatography/ mass spectrometry able to use it for own use?
 
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