Originally Posted by Etunes
That is crazy, i have never used it before and now probably never will.
In defense of this product, take a look at this search link from the Planted Aquarium forum.
The Planted Tank Forum - Search Results
I have to agree that it is one of the best products on the market, and this issue I had with recharging it is just a bad experience that probably could have been avoided had I done a little research on the subject. That doesn't exonerate Seachem from having some level of responsibility in making it better known about any potential issues that can arise from the recharging process, but I have received several non-canned responses to this issue. Here is a continuation of the e-mail conversation I've had with them:
My response to theirs (post #8)
> Please allow us to ask a few questions to help try and figure out what may have happened:
> how much Acid Buffer did you use?
I followed the directions for recharging to a T. I soaked in a 50/50 bleach solution for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. I rinsed and soaked in 2 cups of water and 4 Tbsp Prime for 8 hours. I rinsed and soaked in 2 cups water and 2 Tbsp Acid Buffer for 4 hours. I rinsed thoroughly and soaked in RO
water for several hours and tested for residual chlorine, which came back zero.
> What instrument/test kit are you using to test the pH of your tank?
> Was anything else added to the tank at within that time span?
It appears from online advice I have received that my KH
was too low which allowed for a rapid drop in pH.
My biggest question to you right now is what is the purpose soaking in the acid buffer solution. I thought there was some reason for it, or else it would not have been on the instructions. I would like an explanation of the purpose of this additional step for FW
use. I did not expect the resin beads to release the acid buffer back into my tank water, precipitating the severe pH drop. I expected the resin would be neutralized and would work exactly the same way as if it was new out of the box. This was definitely not the case. It has taken several 10-15% water changes over a 24 hour period to get the pH reading back on the scale. I only hope that my nitrogen cycle wasn't stalled out to the point of killing off the bacterial colony in this tank.
As for your offer for trying other Seachem products, I will have to think about it before I consider using any more Seachem products.
This comes at a particularly bad time for you. I was helping out a friend with his 120g saltwater setup and was considering using some Seachem products to help lower Nitrates in his system, like Purigen, Matrix, or de*Nitrate but I'm going to have to reconsider.
Unless you can explain what happened and what to do to avoid this, and then consider posting that information on your website so that others don't encounter this again, I've lost a lot of faith in your products, which I did have a lot of faith in up until now.
By the way, I'm not the only one who has experienced this. I found several other instances on google that revealed the exact same issue. It blows me away that it is not mentioned anywhere on your website, there is nothing to allude to the requirement for additional testing or steps beyond residual chlorine testing to ensure that your product, when recharged according to the directions, doesn't cause a pH system crash. That's a serious oversight!! How many people have lost entire systems due to your lack of proper instructions?
And a second e-mail to them before they could respond
This is in addition to my last reply of this morning. I decided to test for Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. It appears my tank is now cycling again. I have had zero ammonia in this tank since the beginning of March, even at a time when it contained over 200 fry. That's two hundred. It now reads 0.25ppm Ammonia. It looks like your inadequate directions and lack of any kind of warning have led
to annihilation of my entire bacterial colony in addition to half of the fish.
Still waiting for an explanation.
And their response
We understand that you are frustrated and we are very
sorry that this has happened, but many people, including
us, regenerate Purigen on a regular basis with the use of
Acid Buffer and have had no problems. I can assure you
that we would never put instructions on the label of any
of our products that could potentially cause harm in your
aquarium, as we are all hobbyist here too and use the
products in all of our systems. Since bleach has such a
high pH, we recommend soaking it in a solution of Acid
Buffer, Neutral Regulator, or Discus Buffer in order to
bring the pH down into an acceptable range for a
freshwater environment. We really want to figure out what
could have caused this to happen and are not just putting
this aside. So with that being said, we would like to
perform the test here at Seachem exactly the way you did
and see if our results are the same. We will do the
soak in a 50/50 bleach solution for 24 hours, stirring
occasionally. Rinse and soak in 2 cups of water and 4
Tbsp Prime for 8 hours. Rinse and soak in 2 cups water
and 2 Tbsp Acid Buffer for 4 hours. Rinse thoroughly and
soak in RO
water for several hours
Please allow us time to do this test and we will get back
to you with our results. We want to get to the bottom of
this as much as you do and we do not want to lose you as a
customer. We appreciate your patience in this situation
and will get back to you shortly.
And my response to them
I would think you would not need to run this experiment. I don't know what you intend to accomplish, you should know exactly how your product works, shouldn't you?
My tap water comes out at well over 8.8, off the scale on the high pH test kit, but in my tanks, after about a week, it settles down to around 7.6-7.8. Before recharging, that's where it was, about 7.6. I use softened water, so it has very low KH
(maybe 3 at the highest) and GH
around 2. It is a 10 gallon tank. I hope that's enough information for you to replicate the scenario. The filter I use is a Whisper EX20, and I take out the carbon/filter cartridge because of the plants and just drop the 100ml bag of Purigen in there. It took less than 12 hours to drop the pH off the bottom end of the scale, I'm guessing it took about 15 minutes actually 'cause those fish were dead as a doornail
END OF EMAILS
So we will see how this one pans out.
All that being said, I still think the product works fantastically, I've never had systems stay as stable and clear with little effort. I just can't comprehend that they wouldn't explain the recharging process a little more accurately on the label or on the website so it could be tailored to each individual's needs.