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Thread: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Reactor

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    Default Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Reactor

    Part 4 is divided into three sections. The first section discusses the basic philosophy of what is involved in designing a Purigen Reactor and how the design addresses these issues. The second section presents the reactor design and includes a parts list and pictures on how it is constructed. The third section presents the method of servicing the reactor with pictures.

    SECTION 1 - Design Considerations

    The design of a reactor for Purigen starts by understanding the make-up of the Purigen material.

    Characteristics of Purigen - Size. The Purigen beads are very small, about 0.030 inch in diameter. They are made small because this creates the maximum surface area. But this creates the problem that they can become compacted unless water flows upward thru them. When water flows thru them properly, the beads are said to be fluidized. But there is another problem with tiny beads: they can easily clog a filter.

    Characteristics of Purigen - Density. The Purigen beads are just SLIGHTLY more dense than water. (A small fraction of them are less dense than water and will float.) When water flows upward thru them, they will be thrust upwards, depending on the flow rate of the water. Thus a filter is necessary to keep the tiny beads from being carried into the aquarium. The beads are not harmful to the fish, but a tank full of tiny beads is not pleasing to the eye. The problem here is that the filter has to be sized properly so that it will operate sufficiently long with out getting plugged up with the tiny beads.

    The Challenge of Designing a Purigen Reactor. The challenge is to build a reactor that will fluidize the tiny beads properly, keep the beads out of the aquarium, provide a sufficient flow rate to accomplish the intended purpose, accommodate sufficient Purigen, and operate continuously for at least a month without requiring servicing. Servicing will be necessary to either replace the Purigen, or clean the filter due to clogging by the tiny beads, whichever occurs first. The design presented addresses each of these issues. Note "design presented" refers to my design.

    Amount of Purigen Necessary. My results indicate that 250 ml of new Purigen in the presented design is sufficient to provide filtration for 10 adult discus in a 100 g tank for at least one month. (I would guess that it might go for 6 weeks.) SeaChem claims that the effectiveness of Purigen is decreased about 10% each time it is regenerated.

    Flow Rate Thru Purigen. My results indicate that a flow rate of 0.5 to 1.0 gallon per minute in the presented design is sufficient to provide filtration for 10 adult discus in a 100 g tank. After measuring actual flow rate, and observing how high the Purigen beads "boil", future flow rate can then be estimated; thus, this can be used to indicate when the filter is becomming clogged.

    Getting the Reactor to Fluidize the Purigen Properly. In the design presented, water enters the vessel chamber at the bottom, and then flows up thru the baffle, and then the Purigen Platform. The baffle and Purigen Platform reduces water turbulence and presents even flow up thru the Purigen beads. Uneven water flow thru the Purigen would cause some beads to be thrust up higher than others. The higher the beads are lifted, the more likely they will be traped in the filter.

    Filter Size. The design presented permits use of a large pleated filter. The greater the filter area, the longer it will operate without clogging. If a sponge was used to accomplish this, it would probably not provide sufficient filtration area.

    Separation Between the Top Surface of the Purigen and The Filter. The greater the separation, the longer the filter will operate without clogging. The design presented permits a separation distance between 6 and 14 inches. (6 in to the bottom of the filter and 14 in to the top.) Close observation of the filter shows that the bottom of the filter becomes clogged first. Results with the design presented indicate that the filter will operate for at least a month without clogging, providing that the valve which regulates flow rate is turned on gradually. Thus, care must me taken when increasing the flow rate or the service life of the filter will be reduced. After removal and cleaning, the filter can be reused many times.

    SECTION 2 - Purigen Reactor Design and Construction.

    There are probably many ways to design a Purigen Reactor. My attempt here is by no means the only way, or not necessarily the best way to do it. But it does provide sufficient contact with the Purigen beads to provide the results claimed in Part 1, and it will work for at least one month without cleaning. Someone will come along and improve on the design, or perhaps come up with an entirely different approach. In the meantime the design presented will provide good service.

    The following link contains a parts list, where the parts may be obtained, a list of assembly details, how water flows thru the reactor, and assembly and sub-assembly details.

    http://s1219.photobucket.com/user/ps...actor%20Design

    Final Construction Detail. Now comes the interesting part of the building process: how to get the internal parts to fit properly when the cap is in place and tightned. This is accomplished by the "fit and try" method. First, remove all internal parts in the reactor except for those attached to the cap. Lubricate the reactor vessel O-ring, place the cap on the vessel and tighten the cap until it is snug (do not over tighten). Then scripe two marks, one on the cap and one on the vessel to indicate when the cap is on properly and seated.

    Second, refer to picture #3 in the link above that shows the Upper Internal Assembly. The length of the CPVC pipe (part 8) should be adjusted so that the filter is slightly compressed when parts 6 and 7 are brought together.

    Third, place the Lower Internal Assembly in the reactor vessel and press firmly in place as shown in picture #11.

    Fourth, place the Upper Internal Assembly and Cap on/into the vessel and begin to rotate the cap. When some resistance is felt, note how much material needs to removed from parts 5 (PVC Slip coupling) in order to get the cap to seat properly on the reactor vessel. Remove the Cap, dissemble the Lower Internal Assembly and remove material from any or all of the slip couplings (part 5). Continue this process until the filter is slightly compressed and the two o-rings on the Upper Internal Assembly are seated properly and the two scribe marks in the first step above line up. This takes a little time and patience, but be sure to do the job right, otherwise water will not flow properly thru the reactor.

    SECTION 3 Purigen Reactor Servicing

    The method of servicing the reactor is shown in the link below. It takes about 20 minutes to accomplish.

    http://s1219.photobucket.com/user/ps...ctor%20Service

    Controlling Purigen During Servicing. Handling Purigen presents no problem at all. To transfer from one container to another, stirr and pour. To separate or rinse Purigen, let the beads settle (takes about a minute) and pour off excess water.

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Paul,

    Do you glue any of the pieces together inside the reactor or is it just a snug fit?

    Joe

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJoe View Post
    Paul,

    Do you glue any of the pieces together inside the reactor or is it just a snug fit?

    Joe
    Joe,

    You need to be able to service the reactor as shown in Section 3 of Part 4. This allows for cleaning the parts. So don't glue those parts that allow for cleaning. All of the parts require a snug fit when in the reactor.

    Paul
    Last edited by afriend; 09-06-2013 at 07:20 AM. Reason: clarify information

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Thank you again for sharing this series of articles. They are very clear and well-illustrated. I am going to upgrade aspects of my system using your findings and plans.

    Ron

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Quote Originally Posted by Fundulopanchax View Post
    Thank you again for sharing this series of articles. They are very clear and well-illustrated. I am going to upgrade aspects of my system using your findings and plans.

    Ron
    Ron,

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Good luck with your system.

    Paul

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    I'm just waiting on delivery of goods to start trying this, Thankyou so much for posting !

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Quote Originally Posted by musicmarn1 View Post
    I'm just waiting on delivery of goods to start trying this, Thankyou so much for posting !
    Would appreciate keeping me posted on your progress. If you encounter problems making or getting parts, I may be able to help. Just ask.

    Paul

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Paul,

    As soon as I get my large tank up which should be in two weeks time, I too am going to try your reactor.

    How long should I wait after the tank is cycled?

    Thanks,
    Joe

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJoe View Post
    Paul,

    As soon as I get my large tank up which should be in two weeks time, I too am going to try your reactor.

    How long should I wait after the tank is cycled?

    Thanks,
    Joe
    Joe,

    What method are you using to cycle your tank?

    Paul

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Paul,

    In the past i have used Prime and Stability by Seachem with fish, not discus. Am willing to try another way as soon as I set up a new tank. I am still trying to figure out the size, 90, 100 or 120. And if new or used. Since I removed the gravel in my current grow out tank, the fish are healthier, super mellow, and breathing easier. Even my girls have told me. I need to decide on a tank soon, I have great prices on any of the three new tank sizes until mid September.

    What method do you recommend to cycle a tank?

    Joe

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJoe View Post
    Paul,

    In the past i have used Prime and Stability by Seachem with fish, not discus. Am willing to try another way as soon as I set up a new tank. I am still trying to figure out the size, 90, 100 or 120. And if new or used. Since I removed the gravel in my current grow out tank, the fish are healthier, super mellow, and breathing easier. Even my girls have told me. I need to decide on a tank soon, I have great prices on any of the three new tank sizes until mid September.

    What method do you recommend to cycle a tank?

    Joe
    I use the fishless method using Stability. I know what SeaChem says about using Prime with fish, but I would not add fish (not discus anyway) until the cycle process is complete. I do believe that Stability helps to speed the cycle process somewhat, because I was able to complete the cycle process in about 2 weeks using Stability. Here's what I do. After getting the tank set up, add Stability and then add the ammonia drop by drop until I get 1ppm (record the number of drops). (It does no good to exceed that amount.) Add a very small amount of flake food. Then record ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate daily. As soon as nitrites begin to occur the ammonia should begin to drop, and add additional Stability If the ammonia drops below 0.5ppm, add enough drops of ammonia to keep it at 0.5ppm, the nitrites will then begin to increase and then decrease, and the tank will then begin to drop the ammonia from 0.5 to 0 overnight. When the tank will process 0.5ppm ammonia overnight, increase it to 1.0ppm until it will process that overnight. When the tank will process 2.0ppm ammonia overnight, do a large water change and you will have a cycled tank and you can add fish.

    Paul

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Just now notice this article... great read and thank you for the instructions... I will try this out in one of my tanks...

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Paul, I just found other products on the market that claim the same as your purigen, My question is, have you considered using your purigen with a powerhead powered sand filter instead of sand? Just using your perigen pellets? I have a sand filter and it might be an interesting experiment for me in the future.

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyplants View Post
    Paul, I just found other products on the market that claim the same as your purigen, My question is, have you considered using your purigen with a powerhead powered sand filter instead of sand? Just using your perigen pellets? I have a sand filter and it might be an interesting experiment for me in the future.
    It's funny you mention sand filters, I had this in mind today. I support a biosand project for the Rotary that delivers drinking water to people in the Dominican Republic. It obviously could be useful in an aquarium.

    Do you have pictures or diagrams
    of your sand filter?

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    Default Re: Getting the WOW Affect with Allot Less Work- Design and Servicing the Purigen Rea

    I have two old ones I used many years ago by life guard I think HOB clear sealed unit that uses a power head. They work just fine but sooner or later the sand will compact and it is difficult getting the sand out. It is built like a rock permanently sealed leaving only the in and the out of the unit for access. Once the sand is out can be replaced by any media.
    There is a very sealable one inch input and out put one on bottom and one on top. The one on top is where you would poor the media into it. It screws in tight and has o rings, for pressure to ensure no leaking. The main chamber has a compartment located on the top inside of it which has a special baffled top section and the same goes for the bottom section. This prevents the sand from being shot out of it and prevents the sand from clogging the bottom section. I have to find them but they might be found on the net also. I will take a look to see what is on the net. Maybe some diagrams. Diagrams better then my poor description.

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