Seachem "Pristine"

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Offline TopCookie

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Seachem "Pristine"
« on: March 12, 2018, 04:26:40 PM »
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Was a tricky notion where best to post this thread, but here goes: 

I'm after hearing from anybody that uses, or knows much about, Seachem's "Pristine"...  Seachem say that it's essentially a bacteria, different from the ammonia/nitrite munchers, that: "break down excess food, waste and detritus in freshwater and marine systems..."

I get the impression it could well be aimed at aquariums where there is little or no substrate used and/or few to no plants etc...  My tank is a fairly well planted tank and consequently is hard to access all of the gravel when doing a water change & gravel vac etc...  So, on the one hand, the breaking down of detritus should help keep the substrate nutrition levels good while on the other hand the detritus can be swooshed up into the water column when the Corydoras go on their various high speed missions, lol... 

I'd kinda like to reduce the detritus in the tank and Seachem Pristine looks to be a perfect product, my main concern is whether or not Pristine might be so effective that it robs the substrate of detritus and thus prevents the uptake of nutrients...? 

Perhaps another take, or angle, would be if these detritus munching bacteria actually consume detritus or merely break it down further and in doing so actually assist with the uptake of nutrients by the substrate...?

Offline Sue

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 07:08:51 PM »
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A healthy tank has no need of additives like this - I sometimes think the people at these companies sit down and say 'what can we market next to increase our bank balance'. A lot of these products are aimed at people who want a living ornament and are not prepared to take care of their tanks.
This one claims to contain bacteria rather than chemicals but your tank will soon grow these bacteria by itself -it would not surprise me if your potting compost contained a lot of them already.


If you want to try it it shouldn't do any harm - unlike a bottle of chemicals which would end up inside the fish.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 10:55:29 PM »
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Thanks Sue...  That does make a lot of sense actually...  I have a fish keeping friend that has been very much a mentor in many ways and helped me set the tank up etc...  He has always warned me that there are a great many products geared up to relieving aquarists of their hard earned...!!!  Stuff such as gravel or plain sand, for example, as soon as the word "Aquarium" is involved or appears on the label, the price goes right up etc...!!!

It is real easy for newcomers to the hobby to get sucked in by cleverly presented promotional material, especially from companies such as Seachem that are undoubtedly well thought of on the whole...  There's no substitute for the experience and knowledge that long time fish keepers have...

I appreciate the replies you guys give to my questions enormously - thank you  :)

Offline Hampalong

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 01:24:48 AM »
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It's heterotrophic bacteria, the kind the filter-maturers used to use back when they didn't work very well. They break down solid waste... into ammonia. This waste is much better removed from the tank. Every tank has these bacteria anyway, so the mulm that settles in the gravel is largely inorganic and harmless after these guys have used it.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 12:40:09 PM »
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Thanks too hampalong...

I have already bought some Pristine a little while ago as a bit of an impulse purchase (late at night, on the pc, glass of vino in hand...) but then wanted to find out a bit more about it before using it...  I get the impression that it's a more popular product across the pond than it is here - there are a LOT more reviews on Amazon.com than there are on the UK site, for example...  One of the reviews stated how much Pristine had helped clear his canister filter pips and this got me, as mine are already a bit mucky...!!! 

Anyways, being a bacteria colony, I guess dosing quantity is not an issue in the same key way that medication would be, so I decided to just pop one capful in the tank earlier this morning...  This represents about one quarter of the recommended dose, so I'm not expecting miracles etc...  Will report back on whether or not it does make any difference, once a few days have passed...   

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2018, 12:20:11 AM »
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So, a few days later after the Seachem Pristine was added...  Firstly, I should say that because the initial dose was so small, I have added another two 5ml capfuls, each one representing about 25% of recommended dose for my tank size...  Total dose now is @ 75%

Results are twofold...  First noticeable thing is definitely a more "invisible" water column, which just looks so much sharper, brighter and cleaner...  Secondly, while not removing detritus per se, you can tell that it has had the effect of breaking down the detritus, and still is doing...  I purposely have not done a water change yet since adding the Pristine, so that I can see the differences it might make, but will do probably this weekend... 

It's hard to evaluate the usefulness of the Pristine objectively and I am concious of wanting it to work and just how that affects my perception of the results so far, but my inclination is to view it as beneficial, just not by a very large margin...  My plan is to continue with it and see where this goes - I will of course report back more on how things go with a bit more time...  One thing I can say is that it hasn't made any noticeable difference to the cannister filter pipes - yet...  Time will tell though... 

Offline Sue

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2018, 08:58:54 AM »
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It is always useful to get feedback. A lot of these products don't do much more than regular tank maintenance would.

Tetra Easy Balance, for example, says you can go longer without doing water changes, it says it reduces nitrate and phosphate. But does not say anything about removing other fish waste, hormones, pheromones etc. Or replacing trace minerals in the water. This removal/replenishment is an important part of weekly water changes.
I wondered whether Pristine was marketed the same way.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2018, 04:55:30 PM »
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"Pristine" update: 

No an awful lot to add but I can say that the first impressions have stayed and that water clarity does definitely look slightly improved and has that polished look to it...  If there were any key difference now that it has been in the tank for 9 days it would be that there is an ongoing, slow, improvement in the detritus levels...  There's no clear way to measure the difference as such, but detritus "clumps" are getting smaller and there appears to be less detritus overall too...  This gives me the impression that this aspect of Pristine is ongoing and still at work... 

What is a key factor in my particular set up is that there are quite a lot of plants, plus there is a large glass brace in the tank, both of which make it really hard to effectively gravel vac significant areas of the substrate and this is the main reason why I chose to give Seachem Pristine a try... 

Would I recommend it...?  That's a tough one as part of me thinks yes and part of me thinks no... 

Would I buy it again myself...?  Yes, I think I would actually... 

Offline Helen

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 10:30:55 PM »
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I also have a planted tank and a few years ago I had cories. I noticed that with the cories there was less vacuuming for me to do (the vacuuming I did do was less effective) but I had to clean my filter a lot more often. I have Fluval Roma with a drilled bottom and so I'm able to flush the pipes when I remove the external filter for cleaning.

Because the cories stirred up any detritus, it got sucked up by the filter more easily, but it was more unsightly.

(My kuhlis love the mulm at the bottom of the tank. I always find them hiding in the spots I can't reach with the vacuum.)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2018, 09:46:18 AM »
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I love those little Kuhli Loaches, they're truly a fantastic fish...  My understanding though is that they are not best kept with Corys at the same time, effectively ruling them out for me...  When the Corys have had their day though, I may well switch to Loaches and would love a bunch of Kuhlis... 

Offline Helen

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2018, 09:59:48 AM »
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That's interesting about kuhlis and cories. I didn't find that when I had both. What was the reasoning behind that recommendation? Two bottom feeder species one active, one shy?

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2018, 10:32:26 AM »
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To be honest Helen, I can't recall why this was recommended, just that I seem to remember a few times on TFF UK that it has been mentioned about not keeping any Loaches with Corys...  Having said that, don't bank on the accuracy of my memory, that would be an act of folly, lolol...   ::)

Offline Sue

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2018, 05:33:25 PM »
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I think it's mainly botine loaches and cories that shouldn't be kept together - and I include loach species that used to be Botia and are now something else (eg Botia sidthimunki became Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki and are now Ambastaia sidthimunki). Kuhlis have never been botine loaches.

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2018, 12:05:11 PM »
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So, the Seachem Pristine has been in the tank for a little while now and it has to be said that it definitely has had an impact on the mulm/detritus...  Because of the numerous plants, I just can't get to all the gravel for cleaning so there had been quite a bit of organic debris over time...  This has now reduced in visible quantity and there is much less clump like material pretty much as if Seachem's claim to break detritus down is about right...  I use a surface skimmer, just occasionally rather than all the time, to help with flow and removal of surface film & debris etc and previously, this would stir up a significant amount of organic matter - now that the Pristine has had more time to do its work, the difference in water column debris when running the skimmer is huge...!!!  On top of this, the water in the tank also looks, for want of a better word, brighter...

Now I would definitely recommend it for certain folks, especially if their layout makes doing a gravel vac difficult...  The only caveat here would have to be that it's obviously no substitute for regular water changes and routine tank maintenance - that would be a mistake of course - but aside from that, I'm of the opinion that it's an excellent product now...

Offline Matt

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2018, 07:24:28 PM »
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Interesting review... how has your water quality been while you've been using it...?

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Seachem "Pristine"
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2018, 10:22:28 PM »
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Rock steady, as always...  I think that's down to the plants as much as anything else... 

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