Purigen still smells like bleach.

alexk77

It’s been over 48 hours since i started recharging my purigen. My tank was so full of tannins it only took a little over 24hrs for my purigen to turn black.
I followed the instructions very close. It soaked in half water half bleach for a little over 24 hours, approx 28 hours. I then rinsed it under tap water for 5 minutes, then soaked it in dechlorinated water for 8 hours, took it out, rinsed it in tap again, then soaked it in dechlorinated water for another 12 hours.
I made sure to toss the bag around as it soaked, trying to get all the beads exposed.
When i took the bag out this morning, it smelled roughly of fish and still a hint of chlorine smell lingered. So, i let it soak all day today and i took it out again just now and it smells the same.
I can barely detect the smell of bleach. I’m wondering if i did the entire process wrong, or if it’s my imagination. Is this supposed to be happening? is it okay to put the purigen back in my filter?
P.S. The bleach i used was indeed regular unscented household bleach. I know of a few instances of people using splashless, that wasn’t the case here.
 

StarGirl

If you smell it dont use it yet.

Purigen is great until its not....lol when you have to re charge it. Pain for sure.
 

alexk77

did you put a LOT of dechlorinator/Prime/Safe?

i've had the purigen cause a spike in my tank 2 different times. now i do 2 dechlorination soaks with a LOT of Safe. each time I put enough to dechlor about 150g of water in about a quart of water.


4 tablespoons of Prime®, or equivalent dechlorinator per cup of water.
https://seachem.zendesk.com/hc/en-u...nfo-Seachem-Purigen-Regeneration-Instructions
That is exactly what i used. 4 tbsp of Nutrafin aqua plus conditioner to 1 cup water. It was tinted yellow from the dechlorinator, since the conditioner itself has a yellow tint to it.
I could rinse it again and do another overnight soak.
Can anyone explain why it smells like fish as well? it was only in there for a day. Or does purigen just smell like that lol
 

jtjgg

gotta do some conversions

Nutrafin, info i found online, "10mL per 10 gallons"

Prime "Use 1 capful (5 mL) for each 200 L (50 US gallons)"

Nutrafin should be 1mL per 1 gallon, and Prime should be 1mL per 5 gallon or 1/5 mL per gallon. so you would need 5x more Nutrafin than if you were using Prime.

so the equivalent of 4 tbsp of Prime should be 20 tbsp of Nutrafin.

i'm saying "should" just in case my math is incorrect.

btw, its cheaper to buy a jar of Seachem Safe. I bought the 4Kg bucket of Safe b/c I went through bottles of Tetra Aqua Safe, then a bunch of the 16oz bottles of Prime, then the 1 gallon jugs of Prime.
 

alexk77

gotta do some conversions

Nutrafin, info i found online, "10mL per 10 gallons"

Prime "Use 1 capful (5 mL) for each 200 L (50 US gallons)"

Nutrafin should be 1mL per 1 gallon, and Prime should be 1mL per 5 gallon or 1/5 mL per gallon. so you would need 5x more Nutrafin than if you were using Prime.

so the equivalent of 4 tbsp of Prime should be 20 tbsp of Nutrafin.

i'm saying "should" just in case my math is incorrect.

btw, its cheaper to buy a jar of Seachem Safe. I bought the 4Kg bucket of Safe b/c I went through bottles of Tetra Aqua Safe, then a bunch of the 16oz bottles of Prime, then the 1 gallon jugs of Prime.
wow. That is quite the concentration difference. It’s a shame they don’t make it all the same. I just got a new bottle of nutrafin and i’m a little upset that i need to use 20 tablespoons of it everytime i recharge purigen :/
Will take note of the Safe you use, considering this bottle will probably be out very soon.
Thanks for the help and the math skills :)
To put that in perspective i’m using a 1 and 1/4 cups of nutrafin for one cup of water yikes.
 

GlennO

Ordinarily Purigen will last a couple of months. If you're using it to remove tannins and it's being exhausted within 24hrs you might want to try activated carbon (along with water changes) instead of Purigen. Might be cheaper, especially if you buy bulk, and it won't involve messing around with bleach and dechlorinators.
 

alexk77

I have heard of activating carbon being another way to remove tannins, in fact some my filer cartridges contains activated carbon. It sounds like a lot less work and cost, but i heard it doesn’t do nearly as good of a job as purigen.
That being said I may have to try it… Does amazon carry bulk activated carbon? what is your experience with activated carbon in removing tannins?
Also, which brand or type of bulk carbon do you recommend? I’ve thought about it and it’s really not worth the risk of me putting the purigen back in my filter. Still smells bad, not like bleach anymore though.
Do you have any links to any brands you recommend?
 

GlennO

I don’t use carbon personally but it is very commonly used to clear tannin coloured water. Try it out.
 

SotaAquatics

It will still smell a bit, but it should be more of a fishy smell rather than a bleach smell once its ready to go back. I usually find that I have to soak it 2-3 days in dechlorinater until I feel comfortable putting it back in. Make sure you swish it around from time to time, it helps making sure there is some water movement going through the entire bag, otherwise its only really dechlorinating the outside pellets.
 

alexk77

The purigen is clean so i might as well put it to use once more
I’m still quite skeptical because i know how many people have lost their fish due to incorrectly cleaning their purigen
That being said, the purigen has been soaking in the *correct* amount of dechlorinator for well over a day. It doesn’t smell like chlorine. The fishy smell is quite potent though.
Do you think it’ll be okay? It’s for my betta tank and he’s such a lovely fish. I would hate to lose him.
In a bit of a rush for right now, as my water is very dark again and not enough light is getting to my plants (the tannins are leaching from my mopani wood which is known to leach tannins forever lol). The plants are melting due to them being new, but lack of light will only make that worse.
 

jtjgg

yeah, it smells fishy. it should be fine.

i forgot to mention this earlier. but during the bleaching soak, and the dechlorinating soak, agitate the purigen. the liquid needs to move through the purigen otherwise the middle of it won't get clean/dechlorinated, especially if you use a large bag of it like i do.

but just to be sure, you might want to test the water a few hours after putting the purigen back in. and maybe test the next day too.
 

alexk77

yeah, it smells fishy. it should be fine.

i forgot to mention this earlier. but during the bleaching soak, and the dechlorinating soak, agitate the purigen. the liquid needs to move through the purigen otherwise the middle of it won't get clean/dechlorinated, especially if you use a large bag of it like i do.

but just to be sure, you might want to test the water a few hours after putting the purigen back in. and maybe test the next day too.
I tossed the bag around in the water lots, but thanks for mentioning it! I’ve actually decided to dry out the purigen. It’s close to being dry and it hasn’t gotten crumbly which is a good sign.
I don’t have a chlorine test, but i have the API master test kit. I could test the water it soaked in for ammonia and high pH if that would give me any indications
 

alexk77

My instincts were right. Thankfully I noticed the inflamed gills very early… I am now in a state of emergency. Never using purigen again. I am very ashamed that I even went against my gut that it might be unsafe. Luckily, i have another 50 gallon so i’ve put my betta in a container with that water. I will stick to using carbon. But now, i need tips on what i should do. The ammonia is spiked high. I’m going to drain as much water as i can, then add water to from other aquarium to dilute the ammonia levels from all the decor. I’ve spent so much time growing bacteria in the tank i really want to try to not rinse it out with tap water. Very upset with myself.
I’ve decided what i’m doing. I drained the ammonia water, added the RO water i use for my 50gallon because they come in giant jugs of which i have plenty of. Drained that out, so the ammonia has been diluted double. Now i’m adding the water that is in my 50gal aquarium with fish. Will test the water after adding for any ammonia. If it’s okay for him then i will put him back
 

GenF211

Well you’ve just talked me into buying brand new Purigen when the time comes to change it. I’m really feeling for you right now. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to save your fish! I hope it all works out.
 

alexk77

Well you’ve just talked me into buying brand new Purigen when the time comes to change it. I’m really feeling for you right now. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to save your fish! I hope it all works out.
Thank you. I think it will. So happy i have another cycled tank that is the same temperature as the one my betta is used to. This minimized the amount of shock he experienced in 100% new water. Gills are still inflamed in the container he is currently in as i’m fixing this mess but I’m going to assume that will take some time to go down. Praying it did minimal damage to him as i’ve only had him for a week. I think overall he will be alright, but if I didnt catch this now I would’ve woken up to a dead fish. :(
Also praying my nerite snails are okay. I didn’t transfer them with my betta because i can’t find them anywhere in my tank. Also hoping they haven’t escaped on me as i have a hob filter so the lid of my tank has an open spot. Should probably cover it. oops.
I’d like to note that he was in toxic water for about 45mins- 1hr. Goes to show truly how dangerous ammonia is and how fast it affects fish
Sorry for such a long post. this was scary. Ammonia reads back at 0 in his tank so i’m going to move him back. Expecting the tank to go through a mini cycle though.
Here’s the king. His name is Loki. Almost positive the white spots on his head are just colour, but was going to post a separate thread about it just in case. Hopefully you can see his gills, hard to get a clear picture since they’re so dark.
 

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GenF211

He’s gorgeous and your tank is awesome! I can’t see his gills but he looks good! Great on you for reacting so fast! I’m pretty new at all this, but another take away for me, with your near disaster, is I’m going to buy a second tank for emergencies like this.
 

Trekker1125

I know for the purigen if you use any stress reducer or slime coat stuff in your tank, then it basically coats the purigen and the purigen can't be regenerated because the chlorine will get trapped in it and won't come out with the dechlorinator. With that information, I'm not confident enough to attempt the regeneration even if I haven't used those things. Mine usually lasts a couple months though, so I just buy a new one as needed.
Did you soak the Mopani in warm/hot water for a few days or so before adding to your tank? If it's leaching that much tannins into the water, trying to keep up with purigen will be an expensive adventure. I think water changes would be your best bet, but I would highly recommend taking the mopani out and soaking it in hot water for a few days to reduce the amount of water changes you will need to do. I just put it in a container with hot water and change out the water once or twice a day until I'm satisfied with the amount of tannins, which is usually 3-7 days depending on the wood. I don't recommend boiling unless you have a pot you don't mind throwing away afterwards, and you will have to change out the boiling water a few times (or more), which is a messy hassle in itself.
 

alexk77

I know for the purigen if you use any stress reducer or slime coat stuff in your tank, then it basically coats the purigen and the purigen can't be regenerated because the chlorine will get trapped in it and won't come out with the dechlorinator. With that information, I'm not confident enough to attempt the regeneration even if I haven't used those things. Mine usually lasts a couple months though, so I just buy a new one as needed.
Did you soak the Mopani in warm/hot water for a few days or so before adding to your tank? If it's leaching that much tannins into the water, trying to keep up with purigen will be an expensive adventure. I think water changes would be your best bet, but I would highly recommend taking the mopani out and soaking it in hot water for a few days to reduce the amount of water changes you will need to do. I just put it in a container with hot water and change out the water once or twice a day until I'm satisfied with the amount of tannins, which is usually 3-7 days depending on the wood. I don't recommend boiling unless you have a pot you don't mind throwing away afterwards, and you will have to change out the boiling water a few times (or more), which is a messy hassle in itself.
I actually had never experienced having real wood in tanks before, so i never knew i should have soaked my mopani wood until it was all set up in my tank. Since I added all new water, the activated carbon seems to have been able to keep up as my water hasn’t turned brown yet. If i notice it starts to get expensive and annoying down the road, I will definitely take your recommendation. I’m just very iffy about getting rid of beneficial bacteria unless absolutely necessary. And honestly, a little tannins don’t bother me too much as long as my water isn’t so dark that it harms my plants. Thanks for your valuable info!
 

GenF211

The Mopani will get white slime growing out of it in the lighter places. It won’t hurt anything, and will disappear in a month or so. Non toxic! I boiled and soaked mine for a month and it still happened. No biggie. Apparently it’s carbohydrates. Just incase you didn’t know. :)
 

alexk77

The Mopani will get white slime growing out of it in the lighter places. It won’t hurt anything, and will disappear in a month or so. Non toxic! I boiled and soaked mine for a month and it still happened. No biggie. Apparently it’s carbohydrates. Just incase you didn’t know. :)
Yes, mine has been producing a LOT of biofilm. I expected that though, i knew a little bit about wood going in to buying except for the soaking/boiling part of it :) My snails love it, and apparently so does the bacteria ;) they like carbs almost as much as I do.
 

GenF211

Yes, mine has been producing a LOT of biofilm. I expected that though, i knew a little bit about wood going in to buying except for the soaking/boiling part of it :) My snails love it, and apparently so does the bacteria ;) they like carbs almost as much as I do.
Hahaha! Got to get some snails!
 

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