How to Regenerate Purigen (7 Quick and Easy Steps)

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Filter media

Purigen is a synthetic polymer that is unlike any other filter media. This is because it is rechargeable.

Yes, you read that right. Just like rechargeable batteries, you can recharge your purigen and reuse it. Before you learn how to regenerate your purigen, it is essential you first know what exactly purigen regeneration is.

What is purigen regeneration?

Purigen is a synthetic resin that removes nitrogenous organic waste from your aquarium water. When this filter media gets worn out after extended use, it is required to be regenerated to clean out all the waste that has accumulated in it.

>> If you don’t know what purigen is, click here to learn more about it.

Why do we need to recharge it?

Purigen can absorb and trap the organic nitrogen compounds in your tank before they release ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Your purigen can reach its absorptive capacity, and this will lower its performance. Instead of having to buy a new one when this happens, you can recharge your purigen and reuse it.

It is essential you know the right steps to follow when regenerating your purigen in order to avoid damaging this filter media.

How to regenerate purigen

Below are the ingredients needed for purigen regeneration:

  • Common household cleaning bleach
  • Non-metallic container
  • Seachem Prime or an equivalent dechlorinator
  • Tap water
  • The dirty purigen
  • A buffer or neutral regulator

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients it is time to start the regeneration process

Step 1: Mix bleach and tap water in equal parts into a non-metallic container. Simply put, ½ cup of bleach should be mixed with ½ cup of water.

Step 2: Remove your purigen from the filter and submerge it in your mixture.

Step 3: Place the container in a well-ventilated area and away from children and pets. Let it sit for 24 hours, and occasionally flip the purigen to ensure all the contents inside the bag are exposed to the bleach.

Step 4: At the expiration of the 24 hours, remove your purigen and rinse it under running water.

Step 5: Rinse out your container and fill it with a cup of water and 4 tablespoons of Seachem Prime. Then place your purigen into this mixture and let it sit for 8 hours.

Step 6: At the expiration of the 8 hours, remove your purigen from the container and rinse it thoroughly under running water to remove any chlorine residue.

Step 7: For freshwater use, soak the purigen for another 4 hours in a solution containing 2 tablespoons of buffer per cup of water.

>> Click here to read on Seachem Prime and other water conditioners.

How much time does it take to recharge purigen?

It takes a total of 36 hours to regenerate your purigen. That is, it takes 24 hours to first soak your purigen in bleach and another 8 hours to soak it in a solution containing Seachem Prime and water. Lastly, if the purigen is used in a freshwater aquarium, you need to soak it in a buffer or an aquarium neutral regulator for 4 hours.

However, it is advisable you own 2 bags of purigen so that when one bag is being regenerated, your aquarium will not be left without purigen. Owning two bags of purigen will allow you regenerate one, and still have another one to place in your filter.

How should we store this product?

Purigen, when not in use and, if stored properly, can last for an extended period of time. All you have to do is place your purigen in a ziplock bag or sealed container and add RO or DI water to keep it moist and prevent mold from growing.

When do we need to regenerate it?

You don’t need to pay close attention to your filter media to know when to regenerate it. Your purigen changes color from white to a glaring shade of brown or black. This color change is an indicator that your purigen needs to be regenerated.

How many times can we recharge it?

Recharging purigen is simply letting bleach burn off the organic waste that has been absorbed by the purigen. However, purigen cannot last forever but can be recharged up to 10 times.

Warning when recharging it

When regenerating purigen, it should be taken into account that some slime coat products may permanently follow purigen and render regeneration difficult.

Also, do not reuse your purigen if the odor of bleach or chlorine is detectable. When in doubt, you can soak the purigen in water and test for residual chlorine with a chlorine test kit.

>> For more information on water test kits, follow our guide here!

It is also necessary to purchase aquarium buffer or aquarium neutral regulator alongside purigen. These products are essential for your regeneration process.

Purchasing these products can only be cost-effective if you have to regenerate your purigen every six months. But if you have to go through the regeneration process more frequently, this can increase the cost. So you have to determine if getting purigen is worth it.

Are there any problems if we forget to regenerate purigen?

Failure to regenerate your purigen after it has turned brown or black can have no direct adverse effect on your aquarium water. However, not regenerating your purigen when required can negatively affect its performance, which can then prevent it from properly cleaning out your tank.

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