The merits of UV sterilization
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
shiloh
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The merits of UV sterilization


Hey all,

A while back I acquired a 65g aquarium from craigslist that had been set up as a saltwater system. Included with the tank was an inline uv sterilizer. Now I'm using a lot of the equipment from that aquarium to set up a planted tank. I had the uv sterilizer laying idle, so I figured I might as well use it. I started playing around with the connections only to notice that there were loose pieces shaking around inside. Turns out the quartz sleeve on the UV bulb is completely shattered. I looked online and was somewhat shocked at the cost of replacing this simple component (cheapest I found was $30 plus shipping). So my question to you all is : Is it worth it?

I know UV sterilizers have usefulness in cleaning up green water and free floating algae, but does anybody here use them on a continuous basis? Are they beneficial at all in terms of water quality or clarity?
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiloh View Post
I know UV sterilizers have usefulness in cleaning up green water and free floating algae, but does anybody here use them on a continuous basis? Are they beneficial at all in terms of water quality or clarity?
I find that if you turn it on for a day, the water gets cloudy first but then is ultra clear. I don't use mine all the time due to the fact it effects Iron and supposedly can cause your tank to have cycling issues.

The main reason I don't run my UV all the time is just cost. The bulbs don't last more than a few months and are expensive. Their are plenty of reasons that other people think it's a bad idea, I haven't encountered them when I did use it all the time but bulbs are $20-40 and just don't last long.

I have only had green water once and it was on another tank with a HOB. I found that Purigen worked just as well as a UV.

The only times I use mine is when I introduce new fish. I may also use it when scraping algae off the glass or something but it's not like it's going to help that much.

Do I enjoy having one, sure. Would I buy another one, probably not. I wouldn't not repair for $30, per say, but then if your light isn't good, it may be up to $60-80. I don't know that I would pay $80 to fix mine, unless I had money burning a hole in my pocket.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
I find that if you turn it on for a day, the water gets cloudy first but then is ultra clear. I don't use mine all the time due to the fact it effects Iron and supposedly can cause your tank to have cycling issues.

The main reason I don't run my UV all the time is just cost. The bulbs don't last more than a few months and are expensive. Their are plenty of reasons that other people think it's a bad idea, I haven't encountered them when I did use it all the time but bulbs are $20-40 and just don't last long.

I have only had green water once and it was on another tank with a HOB. I found that Purigen worked just as well as a UV.

The only times I use mine is when I introduce new fish. I may also use it when scraping algae off the glass or something but it's not like it's going to help that much.

Do I enjoy having one, sure. Would I buy another one, probably not. I wouldn't not repair for $30, per say, but then if your light isn't good, it may be up to $60-80. I don't know that I would pay $80 to fix mine, unless I had money burning a hole in my pocket.
Nice answer, thank you. I was just unsure if the previous owner knew something I didn't. He had the UV plumbed into the return for the sump so I'm pretty sure it was always on.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:16 PM   #4
pirayaman
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i had green water real bad i went out and spent 130 on a coralife uv sterilizer so i would say get it fixed and leave it on the shelf. mine is run inline but never pluged in and havent had green water since that one time so havent needed it
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:01 AM   #5
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I understand that UV sterilization is almost considered a must by many salt water/reef enthusiasts, but I find it very useful in my fw planted discus tank.

I've been using one 24/7 for over a year, and not only does it give me the confidence that, at the right flow, it can deal with many potentially harmful pathogens that may present themselves, but it also does a superb job helping to clarify/polish water, and remove any free-floating algae, as well as improving water surface agitation, evening up & improving the water flow throughout the tank, oxygenation, and keeping the water surface film-free. IMO it's a very useful tool and worth the cost involved.
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