Seachem purigen in a planted tank?
I've read and seen great things about seachem purigen, a "supercharged" water clarifying filter medium, and I'd like to use it in my planted tank. Does anyone have any experience with it? Will it remove the nutrients that the plants need and/or the fertilizers (seachem flourish comprehensive and excel) I'm dosing? Would it effect plant growth in any way?
Works great, has no negative effects on the plants and does NOT pull out any of the good stuff you add to the water.
I have wondered this too. This is a new product for me. I haven't been keeping up with new techniques in the hobby since 04'. I have just maintained my tank sponge filters. But for the price they sell this stuff for, it better be perfect. I have heard good things though. The biggest plus is that its rechargeable. The worst I have heard is that you need a great media bag for it.
I must disagree here. I would not recommend this product for a planted tank.
First of all, live plants remove toxins from the water naturally, so let them get on with it. 100% natural, and no additional expense. Can't beat that combo.:-D
Second, according to Seachem's website data, this product "controls ammonia, nitrites and nitrates by removing nitrogenous organic waste that would otherwise release these harmful compounds." Here again, plants are removing ammonia so rapidly there is minimal nitrite and nitrate anyway, and what little there is, is essential to a healthy aquarium because bacteria in the substrate use nitrate. As for organics, these are essential as a natural source of nutrients, especially CO2. Which is why planted tank aquarists leave the substrate alone. You can read more on these issues in this article:
Third, Seachem admit there is an impact on trace elements. These may or may not occur in your tap water, and you are certainly adding them with Flourish. So why use something that is now going to remove them, even if "minimally" (and we don't know how "minimal" this may be)?
In a planted tank, nature is the best source of help.
Purigen removes organics. Most of the ferts we add are not organic therefore they are not removed. Natural is great but if you are looking for water so clear you'd swear there was none in the tank, try Purigen.
Seachem says Purigen will remove trace elements. That's all I need to know.
Messing with the natural biological equilibrium of an aquarium is not always wise. Nature has had millions of years to develop what works. I fail to see that we are going to improve upon that, whatever the product.
I will accept that this product may have a use in non-planted tanks. But even there, it has all the earmarks of being a short-cut, to cover for inadequate aquarium management. With a balanced fish load to water volume, regular partial water changes, and a community of compatible fish, there should be no need to resort to chemical concoctions.
I've also seen enough tanks with beautiful heavy plantings that have been running Purigen for a long time to convince me that there is no harm in using the product. I use it myself and I don't find there to be any deficiencies in my plants and in fact, before my last rescape, I had plants that were growing out of control.
Thank everyone for the thoughtful responses.
The reason I wanted to try purigen is the fact that I've seen examples of established, clean, and maintained natural tanks, and then examples of tanks that use purigen and there is still a big difference in the way it looks. It seems that no matter how well maintained the tank may be, there is still that ever-so-slight murky white tinge, especially visible right under the light.
Here is a video of a small tank in which the owner claims to use purigen.
The tank isn't planted, but it's still stunning. It's definitely in the "less is more" category. Please tell me if I'm missing something obvious here. The guy says all he does to keep it clear is normal maintenance and use purigen, but I suppose he could be dumping in water clarifiers by the bottle for all I know. Not even the likely chemical-laden tanks at the LFS are that clear.
Here is a video of an obviously well-maintained tank without the use of purigen exhibiting the slight cloudiness.
I suppose it's a matter of priority. Do you want to have a more or less self sustained ecosystem in a box with little to no maintenance outside of water changes, feedings, and an occasional filter cleaning (if a filter is used at all), or do you want your tank to look extraordinarily clean and clear while potentially slowing the growth of your plants and adding a little to your running cost? Lets face it, nowhere in nature is a body of water ever "crystal clear", so that attribute itself could be seen as unnatural. Nonetheless it's impressive and highly sought after in the aquarium hobby.
So I think you're absolutely correct in saying there is no need for products like this, and in most cases (when properly maintained) tanks are plenty clear enough to satisfy their owner's expectations. However, after seeing what is possible, I can't help but want to try it for myself.
I dont know what your saying but back when i was around 6-7 years old I remember going too lakes up here in Canada the water was so clear so clean you could go in the middle of the lake and see more then 12 feet underwater as clear as you watch trough a glass of water! now a days you go back to that same lake and you cannot see a feet in water and its undrinkable. so yes pure clean water does exist but its rare now a days ... and yes there was fish plants etc even muskies in that lake we used to watch then wait aside kelp patches for fishes hehe
anyways all that to say you can get crystal clear water with out purigen hehe
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