uv sterilizing?
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Old 06-23-2004, 01:30 AM   #1
all4funwfish
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Default uv sterilizing?

okay, so i am a little bit of a hard sell on this uv sterilizer business...i know people use them, but i dont understand how light kills algae and other assorted protozoa..especially the bacteria and such, and how do you know what type of steriliser to get and if you need one, assuming this concept really works?
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Old 06-23-2004, 08:09 AM   #2
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They work like a charm.. Its not just "light" its UVC radiation being emitted from the bulb. A portion of this energy shows up as light, but the rest of it is a toxic radiation dose that destroys the cellular membrane of algae and critters causing it to die. The dead material is then removed by mechanical filtration (your existing filters)

When you are sizing a UV sterilizer for your tank you need to check the flow rating on the UV sterilizer.. they should have a sizing chart so you can choose the right model for your sized Tank.

I use 18 watt Sterilizer onmy 135 gallon
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Old 06-23-2004, 04:57 PM   #3
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Another way of "looking" at it (he he) is if you stared at a UV light for about 1 second you would not only get the worst sunburn in history, but you would also fry your retina's and go blind. As, GDominy mentioned, the slower the flow through the sterilizer, the more "contact time" there is with any algae spores or parasites. Basically it will disrupt the cells and either 1) mutate them so they are useless and can no longer reproduce or 2) fry them dead. I think if you do a search you'll find that most of us are using the Coralife turbo twist with varying lengths and wattage. I have a 9 watt and have my filter outtake split to a ball valve to have a flow less than 50 gph through it for my 46 g tank. The bigger the tank, the more wattage you'll need.
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Old 06-23-2004, 05:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by all4funwfish
okay, so i am a little bit of a hard sell on this uv sterilizer business...i know people use them, ...
Just wanted to mention that a UV sterilizer is by no means needed or required for a planted tank! Many ppl use them for various reasons, but to buy one as a preventive measure, or because someone else uses them, is IMO throwing out money that could be used much better for something more useful.
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Just wanted to mention that a UV sterilizer is by no means needed or required for a planted tank! Many ppl use them for various reasons, but to buy one as a preventive measure, or because someone else uses them, is IMO throwing out money that could be used much better for something more useful.
I don't know about that. I put a UV sterilzer on my tank a while back. It was the only variable, and I noticed that my water clarity improved greatly. I can also state that IMO algae decreased, as I am finding I need to scrape my glass less after the UV was installed.

Some say that UV sterilizers can strip Iron from water, but I have not seen any chlorosis yet.
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:53 PM   #6
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No doubt they can be useful in certain conditions, but they are NOT required to keep a clear, algae free tank with healthy fish.

Regular water changes, sensible stocking of the tank, sufficient mechanical filtration, balanced plant nutrition, etc etc can get you there without sterilizing.

Likewise, a UV sterilizer will not be the cure for all algae.

Just wanted to make sure nobody gets the wrong ideas. It's a "nice to have".
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
No doubt they can be useful in certain conditions, but they are NOT required to keep a clear, algae free tank with healthy fish.

Regular water changes, sensible stocking of the tank, sufficient mechanical filtration, balanced plant nutrition, etc etc can get you there without sterilizing.

Likewise, a UV sterilizer will not be the cure for all algae.

Just wanted to make sure nobody gets the wrong ideas. It's a "nice to have".
I agree wholeheartedly.

I bought mine for 2 very specific reasons.

1.) I had a terrible greenwater outbreak that was not going away despite my best efforts, this was not my primary concern though

2.) I keep many fish that are extremely sensitive to external parasites... Many of my loaches are pretty expensive, and every fish store around me has a rather diverse selection of parasites infecting their tanks. Even under a strict QT routine I am always plagued by some random infection Ever since I added the UV, this has not been a problem.

My case is somewhat unique, and I feel my purchase was justified. The average aquariast however can probably do without.
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Old 06-23-2004, 07:37 PM   #8
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thanks for the information and opinions. My main two interests of the sterilizer in starting to look into them are algae control and pest control. Largely the goal is to prevent parasitic annoyances in my tank, as most of the algae is controlled by shrimp and fish, although that green hair algae is stubborn. Basically i want to keep healthy fish, and if this will help, then more power to it.
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