When it comes to filter media for our reef tanks, there are tons of options and solutions. Whether you are doing carbon within a poly bag or a reactor, considering adding GFO, leveraging Purigen, filter socks or some other form of filtration for your tank, the options are endless!
If you have ever looked up Boyd Enterprises, you will see a wide product range that they offer. From Chemi-Pure, Chemi-Pure Elite, Chemi-Pure Blue, Chemi-Pure Green and Chemiclean, they have a lot of great products. For this product review, we’re going to do a product line review for Saltwater aquariums and provide some recommendations based on the products we’ve used here at Reefnation. We will try and summarize all the common features and benefits you will achieve from any product, and then individually point out the differences between the Chemi-Pure, Chemi-Pure Blue and Chemi-Pure Elite products.
As mentioned above, the Chemi-Pure product line provides a lot of benefits depending on the type of tank you are maintaining. To summarize these benefits, we’ve created the following matrix to show what features and\or benefits come with each of the products. We’ve focused this on the Chemi-Pure, Chemi-Pure Blue and Chemi-Pure Elite products which are targeted for salt water aquariums. The Chemi-Pure Green is really the sole product developed and targeted for freshwater aquariums.
The Chemi-Pure product can be purchased in 3 different sizes: 5 ounce, 10 ounce and 40 ounce. The product will come shipped in a sealed plastic cup, unless you purchase the bulk bag which will come with 6 units in a single plastic bag. The Chemi-pure product will be blended within a nylon bag and will contain a high grade blend of activated carbons and ion exchange resins. The carbon will filter waste from the water ion exchange resins will focus on removing ammonia and nitrate build up which is harmful to fish, and can be harmful to corals depending on how high the levels are.
Chemi-Pure Blue (CP Blue)
The Chemi-Pure Blue product is the latest addition to the Chemi-Pure family and provides all the same benefits of the Chemi-Pure product. It still ships in the 3 different sizes and is available for bulk purchase as well. The CP Blue product will be blended within a nylon bag and will contain Boyd’s new proprietary blend of premium, low-dust pelleted carbon and high capacity ion-exchange resins. In addition, Boyd states that this product will also assist with the removal of phosphates, which is left off the product details for the original CP product. This leads us to believe there are a few more ingredients in CP Blue that aren’t specifically called out on the website.
Chemi-Pure Elite (CP Elite)
The Chemi-Pure Elite product can be purchased in 3 different sizes: 6.25 ounce, 11.74 ounce and 46 ounce. The product will come shipped in a sealed plastic cup, unless you purchase the bulk bag which will come with 6 units in a single plastic bag. The CP Elite product will be within a nylon bag that will be wet; this is how it should arrive.
The key difference between the CP \ CP Blue product and Chemi-Pure Elite is the addition of ferric oxide to assist with the removal of phosphates and silicates. If you are already using another solution like Bulk Reef Supply’s GFO, then the CP Elite product may be overkill. Only regular testing of your Phosphate and Nitrate levels will tell. If you are not using any other phosphate removal media, then CP Elite will provide you with that all in one filtration media.
Using Chemiclean in your reef aquarium
When you receive your CP product, it will be a hard plastic container with a safety seal unless you have purchased a bulk product. When removing the safety seal, do not use a knife or other sharp object to ensure you do not puncture the nylon bag that the media is in inside the container. Once opened, you will notice that the media bag and media will be wet; this is expected. From personal experience, we recommend taking the media out by flipping it over and wiggling the bag out gently and then rinsing it for about a minute to clean the media before putting the media into your tank.
Once cleaned, you need to determine where to place the media. The product works best when placed in a location where there is moderate water flow. Ideal places are in sumps, possibly in a pre-stage to your return pump or in an external filter. Do not place this product inline with plumbing! We have used this product in several configurations. We’ve used the Grande size (46 ounce) within the sump and the medium sized bags (10 and 11 ounce bags) in a hang on Aquaclear 110 on one of our display tanks.
Boyd Enterprises stated that the media should be replaced every 4-6 months. We feel this is a good guideline, but regular testing and just visually inspecting your tank will tell you if that’s adequate for your tanks based on your bio load. If you see an increase in your phosphate levels or the water starts to look cloudy, then you should first clean the media. If after cleaning the media, you don’t notice a visual difference in water clarity, or nutrient levels are high, proceed with replacing the media.
On one of our display tanks, we have a lot of large tangs that create a large bio load on our tank during feeding time. Due to this, we clean our sponge filter and rinse our CP Elite media about every 2 weeks and replace the CP Elite media about every 3-4 months. Although this can be a little more costly, having crystal clean water in our display tank is well worth the additional cost along with adding another method of phosphate removal.
We originally started using the CP product several years ago and was pleasantly surprised with the results. When CP Blue was released, we tried that, but for the additional costs, we didn’t see any major differences in water quality or water clarity compared to the original CP product. For the past 2 years now, we’ve leveraged the CP Elite product in combination with our Bulk Reef Supply GFO reactor and have been pleasantly surprised. The main reason for 2 forms of phosphate removal media is one of our display tanks is located on a second floor, roughly 20′ above where the sump is so we felt the extra filtration was warranted.
Typically it takes about 12 hours for us to see a change in our display tank after changing the media. The combination of the sponge filter in our Aquaclear, coupled with 2 – 11.4 ounce bags makes a HUGE difference in our water quality. Not only do we see a visible difference in the clarity of the water, but all the reef inhabitants seem much happier and we’ve even seen enhanced polyp extension on our SPS corals!
One other key point that we wanted to point out is related to the impact of the media on our trace elements. We’ve been asked if we have seen an impact when we put new media in or towards the end of life of the media and we can ensure you that we have not seen any impact. We regularly are testing many trace elements in our tanks, given the high volume of SPS corals we have and everything has remained constant.
If you are looking for a simple, all in one solution to help improve water quality and clarity, provide better living conditions to your fish and reef inhabitants and corals, this is a product for you. Please reference the graph above to understand the differences in the products to ensure you get the right product for your tank.
Where to Buy
Typically we find that most LFS carry the CP Products, but we also recommend checking out the products on Amazon for better pricing, especially if you are looking for bulk products: