Rethinking Matrix/Purigen

Somail

Hi Everyone,

I recently completed my filtration system and I am starting to rethink the media I have placed in my various sumps. Threads like this one: Bio Media Comparison Information | Aquarium Filter Forum | 435695 are making me question my media choices. As of right now, I am relying on Eheim Substrat, Seachem Matrix and Purigen, and I am starting to see a lot of commentary that is saying these products are basically "hyped up" and everyday sponge/foam is king when it comes to biological filtration.

The tank is 50 Gallons and has 10 Serpae Tetras and 20 Cherry Barbs. I plan on adding 10 more tetra type fish in the future and 10 Amano Shrimp once the tank is more mature (only three weeks old as of this writing).

Attached are two pictures: 1) the system and 2) the flow of the system. Filtration and order of flow are as follows:

Sump 1: 4 inch 10 PPI Foam -> 2 inch 20 PPI Foam -> 2 inch 30 PPI Foam
In-line Pump (approx 5x turnover) - about 300-350 GPH. Pump is currently set to 60% flow.
In-line Heater
Sump 2: Eheim Mech and Eheim Substrat
Sump 3: Eheim Substrat and Seachem Matrix (I had a lot of Eheim stuff laying around, thus why the media is mixed)
Sump 4: C02 (not pictured) and Purigen Reactor. Also has 2 inch of 30 PPI sponge and 2 inch of polyfill (mainly to keep the Purigen in place).

Given what I have read, Sump 2 & 3 are considered inefficient given the claimed ratings of those medias, and the Purigen is nothing special (again, from what I have read). Rather than throw everything out (since the Mech, Substrat and Matrix are probably still okay, but just not great), I am wondering if I redo my Sump 4 to remove the Purigen and take one of these two routes:

1. Keep the 30 PPI foam and filter floss but replace the Purigen with K1 Micro media (fluidized) + C02
or
2. Just make the whole sump 30 PPI sponge with some filter floss + C02 (I am worried a full 30 PPI sump might impact flow)

My end goal is to have good filtration but also crystal clear water (Don't we all)

Of course I may be overthinking. At the end of the day, if I have zero Ammonia/Nitrite does it really matter.... That said, the Purigen reactor is a pain, as the balls are super small and they get everywhere if something goes wrong. Making one of the changes above would take me literally 10 minutes. So I guess the question is: Do I ditch the Purigen?

Thanks for any help and advice.
 

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mattgirl

Some folks swear by purigen but I decided it was more trouble than it was worth. I ditched it, replaced it with another piece of foam and topped it off with poly-fill to help polish my water. Instead of having to recharge a product i just replace the poly-fill as needed.
 
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Fisch

You have a heavy duty setup there....I am jealous
 
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86 ssinit

Well that is an interesting filter system. What you have looks like overkill to me. Yes sponge is probably the best product for bacteria. But I believe many of us over filter. Remember bacteria only grows to the waste that is created. With the load in your 50 even after adding the new fish your filter is fine to overkill. Remember as you add fish it will take a few days for new bacteria to grow to handle the new load. So add a few at a time. What happens if you were to add 10 more serpae tetras at once. Your filter will not be able to break down the waste and you may go through a mini cycle. But if you add 5 and than a few days later another 5 there will be no problem.
So as to the surface area of your media it will work fine. Yes these media’s (matrix,bio-home...) don’t hold as much bacteria as sponge but they will still hold enough for most peoples tanks. Now as to there whole breaking down nitrates... don’t believe it. Plants and water changes for nitrates.
 
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LilyPipeDreams

Hi Everyone,

I recently completed my filtration system and I am starting to rethink the media I have placed in my various sumps. Threads like this one: Bio Media Comparison Information | Aquarium Filter Forum | 435695 as well as some commentary are making me question my media choices. As of right now, I am relying on Eheim Substrat, Seachem Matrix and Purigen, and I am starting to see a lot of commentary that is saying these products are basically "hyped up" and everyday sponge/foam is king when it comes to biological filtration.

The tank is 50 Gallons and has 10 Serpae Tetras and 20 Cherry Barbs. I plan on adding 10 more tetra type fish in the future and 10 Amano Shrimp once the tank is more mature (only three weeks old as of this writing).

Attached are two pictures: 1) the system and 2) the flow of the system. Filtration and order of flow are as follows:

Sump 1: 4 inch 10 PPI Foam -> 2 inch 20 PPI Foam -> 2 inch 30 PPI Foam
In-line Pump (approx 5x turnover) - about 300-350 GPH. Pump is currently set to 60% flow.
In-line Heater
Sump 2: Eheim Mech and Eheim Substrat
Sump 3: Eheim Substrat and Seachem Matrix (I had a lot of Eheim stuff laying around, thus why the media is mixed)
Sump 4: C02 (not pictured) and Purigen Reactor. Also has 2 inch of 30 PPI sponge and 2 inch of polyfill (mainly to keep the Purigen in place).

Given what I have read, Sump 2 & 3 are considered inefficient given the claimed ratings of those medias, and the Purigen is nothing special (again, from what I have read). Rather than throw everything out (since the Mech, Substrat and Matrix are probably still okay, but just not great), I am wondering if I redo my Sump 4 to remove the Purigen and take one of these two routes:

1. Keep the 30 PPI foam and filter floss but replace the Purigen with K1 Micro media (fluidized) + C02
or
2. Just make the whole sump 30 PPI sponge with some filter floss + C02 (I am worried a full 30 PPI sump might impact flow)

My end goal is to have good filtration but also crystal clear water (Don't we all)

Of course I may be overthinking. At the end of the day, if I have zero Ammonia/Nitrite does it really matter.... That said, the Purigen reactor is a pain, as the balls are super small and they get everywhere if something goes wrong. Making one of the changes above would take me literally 10 minutes. So I guess the question is: Do I ditch the Purigen?

Thanks for any help and advice.
Lovely sump system.
 
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Pfrozen

Almost any bio media is more than enough:

Will bio media get full with beneficial bacteria? | Freshwater Aquarium Discussion Forum | 478283

I now choose media that's least likely to clog or deteriorate rather than by surface area.

100% agree. my preferred media is ceramic beads for that reason. they are porous but can be easily rinsed without any hassle. I was going to choose expensive sintered glass but how do you clean something like that? they do breakdown over time, but it is a very slow process and ceramic beads are so cheap you can just add a few once in awhile and be done with it
 
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Somail

Thank everyone for your feedback. It sounds like I should be good and changing anything at this time would likely be overkill. I think I will let the Purigen work for now and when it is time to recharge it I will switch to K1 Micro to see how it works in a system like mine (i.e. mini sumps).
 
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TClare

I recently cleaned out my filter and removed the purigen, mainly because it removes tannins and I wanted the benefit of almond leaves. I have not noticed any difference in parameters since removing it and the water is just as clear. I have sponge, matrix and white filter fibre in the filter. I have read that matrix has a much larger surface area for bacteria than sponge, but anyway it seems to work fine.
 
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