Re: Prime/Purigen Question
Welcome to the hobby! :-)
To be honest, we do not have a specific number of nitrates that are removed/detoxified with one dose of Prime. Prime will detoxify nitrates for up to 48 hours until your biological filter can remove/consume them. Here is a quote from our FAQ page on Prime and nitrates:
Q: How does Prime make a difference in reducing Nitrates?
A: The detoxification of nitrite and nitrate by Prime (when used at elevated levels) is not well understood from a mechanistic standpoint. The most likely explanation is that the nitrite and nitrate is removed in a manner similar to the way ammonia is removed; i.e. it is bound and held in a inert state until such time that bacteria in the biological filter are able to take a hold of it, break it apart and use it. Two other possible scenarios are reduction to nitrogen (N2) gas or conversion into a benign organic nitrogen compound.
I wish we had some more "concrete" explanation, but the end result is the same, it does actually detoxify nitrite and nitrate. This was unexpected chemically and thus initially we were not even aware of this, however we received numerous reports from customers stating that when they overdosed with Prime they were able to reduce or eliminate the high death rates they experienced when their nitrite and nitrate levels were high. We have received enough reports to date to ensure that this is no fluke and is in fact a verifiable function of the product.
Purigen is an organic scavenging resin that does not directly remove ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates, but removes nitrogenous organic waste before they can be converted into those things. Submerging Purigen in the tank will not be sufficient, as it needs water flow to be pushed through the media (e.g filter system). To be honest, the best option may be to invest in an R)/DI unit. Though initially costly, it will certainly pay for itself in the long run. Your other option would be to use Prime to treat the water prior to putting it in the tank, but keep in mind that it only detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate for a 48 hour period and needs a good biological filter to consume it. I hope that this information proves helpful to you and if you have additional questions please let us know.