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Old 10-21-2009, 08:34 AM   #41
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It's obvious to me that the presence of ammonia is due to the massive die off of the fish in the tank. That in conjunction with a bacterial colony that was undersized and couldn't process that amount of ammonia is why there is some in the tank.

Chlorine will never turn into ammonia. Chlorine is an element and ammonia is a molecule made up of the elements nitrogen and hydrogen. Elements can't be converted into other elements under normal circumstances. In a laboratory setting, possibly, but that would require massive pressures and temperatures to achieve.

Also, ammonia (NH3) is the harmful and unionized form and ammonium ion (NH4+) is the unharmful ionized form.

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Old 10-21-2009, 11:01 AM   #42
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I'm an engineer, so I took plenty of chemistry. What I was referring to is this quote from Seachem's website

Quote:
Primeģ also contains a binder which renders ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate non-toxic. It is very important to understand how those two functions work together. All dechlorinators operate through a chemical process known as reduction. In this process, toxic dissolved chlorine gas (Cl2) is converted into non-toxic chloride ions (Cl-). The reduction process also breaks the bonds between chlorine and nitrogen atoms in the chloramine molecule (NH2Cl), freeing the chlorine atoms and replacing them with hydrogen (H) to create ammonia (NH3).
Posted earlier. I guess I should have clarified that I meant Prime can turn Chloramine into ammonia because it can do that.

As for the bio-colony being undersized, I didn't ever have any ammonia in this tank even when I had 240 swordtail fry and 40 snails and was feeding 5 times a day. I had a sponge filter on the intake of the HOB (which also had well-estabilshed plastic bio-filter in it) and I cleaned that by squeezing in tank water about once a week to keep it free-flowing as it would clog up rather quickly with debris and algae. So I think I had a very strong bio-colony, which is why I think it survived.

I got the dead fish out of there right away, if they died quickly then they were there for only 12-14 hours, and I did so many PWCs that it just couldn't have been from that.

I'm thinking that Phrozian's explanation makes a lot of sense, the bio-colony was severely stunted but not eradicated, and after I cleaned it and re-arranged the filters (taking the sponge off the intake on the HOB increased it's flow by about 5-fold) I think it bounced back quickly. I will still do daily tests to verify.
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:34 PM   #43
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Ok, I think the emergency has passed. 4 days in a row with no ammonia, no nitrites, and Nitrates went from around 10 for the past 3 days to around 15 today. pH staying right around 7.4, which is what my 55 seems to stabilize at, as well as the water in all 3 stages of the experiment did.

So I guess I don't fully understand why the pH is so high in my water, and drops so agonizingly slowly even when agitated, it dropped from off-scale high to 8.0 in just over 22 hours. If only CO2-O2 is considered, then it's coming out of the tap oxygen rich and CO2 depleted. There must be enough buffer in there to keep it from dropping much below 7.4. The only time I've had that happen is when I had driftwood in there.

Still waiting on Seachem to give me results on their experiment.
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Old 10-25-2009, 07:09 PM   #44
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Tank emergency passed just in time, my Swordtail dropped about 40 fry yesterday (in the 10g) about half Painted and half Red Mickey Mouse.

No I'm going to use my experience to recharge one of the 250ml bags of Purigen that was in the canister on my 55. I'll be doing a little more research, but from what I've read most people skip the Acid Buffer step, so that's what I'll do and do my experiment after the Prime treatment step.

I will also be doing the bleaching and Prime treatment in a sterilized glass Ball jar this time.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:21 AM   #45
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That's great to hear Floyd!

Any further comments from Seachem so far?
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:25 AM   #46
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Seachem changing Purigen labeling

Yes, actually, very interesting news!

I got a personal call from Amanda at Seachem, we spoke for about 15 minutes. they did their experiment, and as it turns out, I was right, if you recharge the product according to their directions, it does exactly what it did in my tank! She also told me that no one had every informed them of such a problem in the past, and that they are in the process of changing their labeling on Purigen to reflect the need for further rinsing, etc.

Her best explanation was that the 100mL bag was for use in a 100g system, so the effects would have not been as drastic. The usage size of 1ml/gal, which is what they suggest on their website, is also not anywhere on the label, and I mentioned that also. I told her I was surprised that no one else had ever reported such a problem directly to them, since the 100mL bag probably gets used in all kinds of smaller systems than it is intended for, and there's probably other people like me that fill their canister with the stuff to avoid flow-around.

She profusely apologized and then had me list the products that I use in addition to some products I might be interested in using, and they're sending me a nice care package.

So much for the canned response.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:32 AM   #47
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That is excellent news! It probably has happened in the past but no one has ever tied the two together, or took the time to follow up with it as you have.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:06 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd R Turbo View Post
Yes, actually, very interesting news!

I got a personal call from Amanda at Seachem, we spoke for about 15 minutes. they did their experiment, and as it turns out, I was right, if you recharge the product according to their directions, it does exactly what it did in my tank! She also told me that no one had every informed them of such a problem in the past, and that they are in the process of changing their labeling on Purigen to reflect the need for further rinsing, etc....
So let me get this straight...

They do an experiment USING THEIR OWN RECHARGE INSTRUCTIONS and find something they never knew before???? Boy - if that doesn't give you a lot of trust in how well they test/understand their product...
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:35 AM   #49
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wow, iv just pulled my purigen bag out of my filter waiting for time to regenerate it.
spoke to the lovely people at my aquarium who use it, i think they said something along the lines of when they use the buffer they use lots and lots of water and the required amount of buffer for that amount of water.

Did you test the bag in water before you put it in?
Bleach to me is a very toxic chemical and the fact that it soaks in it for 24hrs is pretty crazy given that your gona put it back into your filter!!

I'm going to be super careful with regenerating now, im worried that itll kill my fish!!
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:37 AM   #50
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Yes, bleach is toxic, which is why you soak it in Prime for 24 hrs after bleaching. I've posted this info on a similar thread on theplantedtank.net and been told that several people skip the acid buffer step and soak in vinegar, etc. I've got 250ml soaking in Prime right now to go into my 55 (which already has 250ml in it) and this time I'm going to do about 1/4 of the acid buffer to a much higher volume of water in a 5g bucket and powerhead, then soak in plain water and monitor the pH for a significant drop.

Oh by the way, my care package for Seachem arrived:

1 500mL bottle Prime
1 500mL Flourish Comprehensive
1 500mL Excel
1 500mL Potassium
1 500mL Stability
40 pack of Root Tabs
3 - 100 mL bags of Purigen
3 - "The Bag"
1 250mL bottle Purigen

Which is over $150 worth of retail stuff. SWEET!
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:54 AM   #51
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Seachem overall has a great reputation in the hobby I do not work for them but I have been a hobbyist for over thirty years and also as a Medical physician was greatly impressed when Dr. Leo Morin started the company based on science and not speculation as many other companies have . Dr. Morin passed away a few years ago but after trying many other products in this hobby alot which were more HYpe then reality I use alot of their products including Purigen I trust their science and their products . Soory for the loss of fish but I believe Seachem to be a reputable company give them a chance to make it right. Best wishes!
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:44 PM   #52
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So, I just got done recharging a 250mL batch today. I took it out of the filter 3 weeks ago (that's my cleaning cycle) and have been pretty busy, so it wasn't exactly a textbook recharge, but here's what I did:

Soak in 50/50 bleach for about 48 hours or so.

Soaked in freshwater for several days. My water must have some nasty stuff in it because the water turned brownish and a scum developed on the surface. I noticed the same thing when soaking a piece of driftwood. The purigen kinda turned grey, so I rinsed it and added a little bleach, which perked it up. I let that sit for about a week.

Friday night I rinsed it and put it in a Prime solution (a lot of prime)

Last night (Saturday 11/14) I rinsed it several times and put it in 4 cups of water and 1 Tbsp Acid Buffer (1/4 the recommended dosage) and let sit from about 10pm until about 9am. I pour out the water and filled & drained several times (6-8) and then pour it into "The Bag" and rinsed some more.

At 10am, I put it in a 5g bucket with a power head, same as the 100mL bag. The pH was over 8.8.

At 3pm today, the pH was off the bottom of the scale - < 6.0!!!!

I changed the water. Start point, 8.8+ off scale

At 3:30 pm, it had dropped to 8.0-8.2 (brown with slight red tint on API High pH)

I have to stress to anyone recharging Purigen that you MUST go through these steps to ensure the Purigen is neutralized before re-introducing it into your tank.

To date, Seachem has not updated their website. Perhaps they are doing further testing to determine the proper steps and exonerate themselves from any possible liability.

More to come!!!
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:30 PM   #53
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Long time purigen user

I read this thread with some interest as I am a long time Purigen user and I have regenerated 100ml bags many times but have never checked PH afterwards when reusing them.

I had a couple of recently regenerated 100ml bags of Purigen stored in a wet ziplock bag so I decided to see if they would effect water PH. I filled a 2.5 gallon bucket with faucet water and checked initial PH (7.8). I added a little Prime after that and checked PH again with no change (7.8).

I then dropped a 100ml Purigen in the bucket and checked 15 minutes later and PH had dropped just a bit (7.4). I put a running airstone in the bucket over night and had the same PH (7.4) in the morning.

So in my case the regenerated Purigen had very little impact on the pH of the bucket water (well within acceptable limits) and and I have never seen a problem in either my 30 gallon (1 - 100ml bag) or my 70 gallon (2- 100ml bags) tanks after Purigen regeneration.

I regenerate using a clear plastic shoebox sized storage box using 1.5 cups of bleach and 1.5 cups of water in the container and then tilt it so that the 100ml bag is entirely covered on one end of the box. This is the smallest amount of liquid that will completely cover the bag. I usually have to change the bleach/water mix after about 18 hours to totally regenerate the 100ml bag (otherwise there is still some black remaining as it seems that the bleach mixture gets saturated). I periodically prod the soaking bag and occassionaly flip it as well until it is completely regenerated.

I then soak in the Prime/water mix for at least 8 hours and then I soak in a Neutral Regulator/water (PH 7.0) mix for at least 4 hours.

I insert Neutral Regulator in both my tanks on every weekly water change and the water stays at a rock solid 7.0 PH.

So why it seems that regenerated Purigen may lower the PH somewhat in my case it has no overall effect because I want the PH even lower (to neutral) anyways.

I am guessing that in your case the PH lowering effect was way more pronounced because of the small size of your tank and the fact that you used Acid Buffer in the last regeneration step that buffers to a lower PH.

I would suggest (now that Seachem is saying the last Purigen regeneration buffer mix soak step is optional) that you redo your testing and right after the Prime mix soak step check what PH the regenerated 100ml bag is producing.

This would tell us if the Acid Buffer soak step is what is causing your low PH problem as Seachem claims the buffering step was inserted specifically to reduce the high PH of the bleach step.

Since you do not want your PH Acidic in the first place I would also have suggested a final buffer mix made with a more appropriate Seachem PH product like Neutral Regulator (PH 7.0) or Alkaline Regulator (PH 7.1 - 7.6). I would have only used Acid Regulator to buffer the Purigen for a situation where I had/wanted a acidic tank to begin with.

If the final (now optional) buffer soak is effecting the PH of the regenerated Purigen bag I am guessing that these other higher Seachem PH buffers would have less of a PH lowering effect.

I also checked one of my 100ml Purigen boxes and it specifically states on the side of the package that it treats 100 gallons of water. This means that you are using 10 times the recommended amount of Purigen for a 10 gallon tank.

While this has no problems initially as used out of the retail box it is greatly enhancing any PH changes the regenerated Purigen may be introducing in your small system.

It would seem that tanks that are larger and more in tune with the recommended Purigen dosage (100ml per 100 gallons) or that regenerate Purigen with a final higher PH buffer mix are much less prone to this PH altering effect (if they are effected at all).

I have been a long time user of Seachem products and have only high praise for all their products I use. Although Seachem could have included a warning about this specific situtation (vastly over dosages of regenerated low PH buffered Purigen) I am guessing that this situation does not effect the vast majority of users as they have larger tanks or use higher PH buffers.

Seachem could have been more explicit in their Purigen testing to point out possible side effects in these situations where small over dosed tanks are being used with regenerated Purigen (especially with low PH buffers or even recommending higher PH buffers).

Now that Seachem is saying the last regeneration buffer step is optional it might cause some tanks in similar situations to have the PH rise now instead of lower. I think the key here is for Seachem to state to buffer the regenerated Purigen closer to what what you want for a final tank PH value.

I do think that Seachem is terse in instructions for some of their products and that their instructions can be somewhat vague or possibly misinterpreted. I have suggested in their forums at Seachem.com that they modify some of them in the past and they have always seemed open to suggestions.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:14 PM   #54
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I agree with more of what you say, using the Neutral regulator is probably why you had no pH problems. The acid buffer step saturates the Purigen and it leeches the acid buffer back into the water.

You are correct, the instructions should say to soak in a buffer solution similar to the tank water it is being placed in, rather than leaving it optional.

I still maintain this is one of the best products out there, I use it in 2 customer SW tanks (1 reef 1 FOWLR) that are experiencing problems and it helps bring things under control. When used with good maintenance practices, it keeps the water in great condition. I will use for a long time!
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