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Old 04-05-2013, 08:52 PM   #16
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Incidentally, you don't get pollution/germs from algae in the water. You'll get oxygen. Algae is not a health risk, it's an aesthetic issue. Did you know that the majority of the oxygen we breathe comes not from trees, but from algae? You might create some odors from really bad water quality, but not allergic reactions or infections. You're far more likely to cause a mold growth from owning the aquarium. I get the distinct feeling this tank is in an office or something. Am I correct?

The UV sterilizer is a hotly debated topic, but most people don't really cite any science to back claims. I will tell you my experience and let you decide:

I do run a UV sterilizer from time to time.
1) If I notice illness in my tank;
2) If I have free-floating green water algae;
3) Periodically for about a week as a routine maintenance item;

I have not seen any negative effects on my fish or water parameters. They are kind of expensive, but will clear up green water. I don't let glass borne algae build up long before I do a manual removal.

UV is not the end all solution to tank problems. If you elect to use it, it's harmless. Nitrifying bacteria in the water column will die. However, they are a very minor contributor to your biological filter and are easily replaced.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSilver View Post
Congratulations.

Understand,however, that your circumstances are not the same as those of others.
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
I would disagree.

For fish reasons alone their are many reasons to use a UV. Acclimating is much easier when fish are stressed since their immune system is compromised and the water is clear of many disease causing parasites. I have obtained much higher acclimation success for difficult fish like Cardinals when using a UV not to mention fish that are less likely to get sick.

If balancing a tank is by turning down lights or adding plants not everyone wants to do that. Balancing a tank can many times, be a compromise to what you really want the tank to look like. A UV will give you more wiggle room if your bio filter isn't up to task. Plant wise I've never noticed a downside to using a UV and if your bottom get's stirred up and you release nutrients into the water column your covered there as well.
Neither of you understood me. Unless there's something wrong there's no reason to use a UV sterilizer on a daily basis.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #18
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Neither of you understood me. Unless there's something wrong there's no reason to use a UV sterilizer on a daily basis.

Something is very wrong with mine: Every afternoon, the sun lights up my tank like a flare.
So I have no choice.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:02 PM   #19
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For fish reasons alone their are many reasons to use a UV.
Another big motivator for me.

In the past, my fish have inevitably picked up some form of parasite -- my fault for feeding live worms -- but some were not food-borne, and if I can fight them with UV, I will.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:44 PM   #20
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I bought my first UV back in 1998, and honestly it was one of the best investments i think i could spend my money on prolonging the health of not only the fish, but maintaining a superior water quality. I now run 2, with 1 that rotates on a schedule on my tanks.

Water is always super clear, never any algae in the water column, destroys any fungal or bacterial issues i may had or could have due to the amount of trading i do.

Probably a waste of time for planted tanks unless you have water algae, but for fish keepers its a nice "weapon" to have, or have for people that do a lot of trading or can be used in qt tanks as it can kill ich too in the water column. I've never heard a person that bought one, and use's one ever say they regret it.

Here's a good article for the science behind it for those that wish to have to part to read I think most of the misconception i do see though is proper flow rates for them.

http://www.americanaquariumproducts....ilization.html
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:54 AM   #21
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Neither of you understood me. Unless there's something wrong there's no reason to use a UV sterilizer on a daily basis.
I think I did understand. What I'm trying to say is on the fish side it's preventive. It's not that you definitely need it, but they will prevent fish issues and acclimation is definitely easier. You mean to say in all the years you've been doing this you never lost a fish from illness during acclimation or otherwise. It might have been prevented by a UV.

On the tank/plant side, many tanks are forced to add more plants, etc to create more uptake. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with those tanks, but you do tend to compromise more to create a larger bio filter.

In addition as mentioned water is definitely clearer in most setups with a UV.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:28 AM   #22
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I'm currently running an inline UV sterilizer on a secondary canister filter. My tank gets hit with about an hour of direct sunlight every day (no other option for placement in my house.) I didn't install it with the expectation that it would solve any algae problems. I just thought it would be a good addition to my regular regime, and I also figured it would help when adding new (possibly sick) fish. Those that are so opposed to the idea seem to be of the opinion that it is not necessary. My thinking is more like It's cheap and it certainly can't make anything worse!
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:04 AM   #23
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Since I started this thread, I've ordered and received the Aquatop 5W inline UV filter. My tank is still empty, so it will be awhile before I get to use it.

As many of you have already pointed out that many of you already use UV for preventative purposes. And, that's exactly my reason for getting this.

True, I think it's 80% of the earth's oxygen is produced by marine algae as one of you pointed out, but I just don't know what other type of air borne bacteria would be emitted from the tank if and when my cleaning habit is neglected.

The tank is in my office as one of you assumed correctly. However, I am in the process of converting the office into a nursery, and I don't have another room for the tank where there is less sun exposure. The tank is staying in this room for now.

So, that's why I am being a bit more careful about what bacteria might emit from the tank.

But, having the tank treated by UV could mean I might have less fish and shrimp deaths as well. So, I see a lot of positives in using an UV. The only negative I was worried about is whether nitrifying bacteria would be killed.

But, since the bacteria mostly live in the canister and in substrate, I guess I wouldn't have to worry about that since the UV I got is inline, so it won't expose nitrifying bacteria to UV rays.

Thanks all!
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:43 AM   #24
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Something is very wrong with mine: Every afternoon, the sun lights up my tank like a flare.
So I have no choice.
My tank receives direct sunlight yet I don't need to run a UV light.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:09 AM   #25
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I think I did understand. What I'm trying to say is on the fish side it's preventive. It's not that you definitely need it, but they will prevent fish issues and acclimation is definitely easier. You mean to say in all the years you've been doing this you never lost a fish from illness during acclimation or otherwise. It might have been prevented by a UV.
Acclimating fish isn't what the op was asking. They were asking if an UV sterilizer should be used as a prophylactic on a continuous basis. And the answer is still; it's not necessary.

Never any diseases. Fish settle down quite quickly when introduced to a tank that's heavily planted because they have many hiding places to relax to. And if memory serves some plants produce and release anti bacterial chemicals into the water, like duckweed for example.


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On the tank/plant side, many tanks are forced to add more plants, etc to create more uptake. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with those tanks, but you do tend to compromise more to create a larger bio filter.
I read the book called The Optimum Aquarium decades ago and one of the principles stated in that book is to plant heavily from the start. That is a principle that has not changed. I don't understand the rest of what you said or what it has to do what the op's question so I won't comment.

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In addition as mentioned water is definitely clearer in most setups with a UV.
That may be a subjective evaluation.

I've never had any diseases. That could be do to the store which took great care in quarantining and medicating their fish before sale. The only time I had to use a uv sterilizer was to clear up an outbreak of green water.

Last edited by Steve001; 04-06-2013 at 03:10 AM.. Reason: x
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:13 AM   #26
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I pretty much only use my UV light after major rescapes/trims, if I have a disease and when I get new fish in (in case they bring something with them). It's more out of being safe but I suspect I could get away without it.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:19 PM   #27
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Acclimating fish isn't what the op was asking. They were asking if an UV sterilizer should be used as a prophylactic on a continuous basis. And the answer is still; it's not necessary.
So we should hide a benefit, simply because the OP didn't ask it in their initial question? I'm pretty sure most of us have fish with our plants.

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Never any diseases. Fish settle down quite quickly when introduced to a tank that's heavily planted because they have many hiding places to relax to. And if memory serves some plants produce and release anti bacterial chemicals into the water, like duckweed for example.
So in 30 years of fishkeeping, you never lost a fish to any disease? You never lost a fish during acclimation?

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I read the book called The Optimum Aquarium decades ago and one of the principles stated in that book is to plant heavily from the start. That is a principle that has not changed. I don't understand the rest of what you said or what it has to do what the op's question so I won't comment.
If your aquascaping, you might not want to stuff the tank full of plants, your going for a certain look. Having to stuff the tank full of plants is a compromise in how I want things to be setup. Even with a heavy plant load a UV is still more reliable to clear GW, ec.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:38 PM   #28
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So we should hide a benefit, simply because the OP didn't ask it in their initial question? I'm pretty sure most of us have fish with our plants.



So in 30 years of fishkeeping, you never lost a fish to any disease? You never lost a fish during acclimation?



If your aquascaping, you might not want to stuff the tank full of plants, your going for a certain look. Having to stuff the tank full of plants is a compromise in how I want things to be setup. Even with a heavy plant load a UV is still more reliable to clear GW, ec.
Look I've made myself clearly understood, but it seems some people still don't understand. If your tank is functioning without any problems, ANY PROBLEMS, -capice?-, it's not necessary to run an UV sterilizer as a daily prophylactic. You do understand in this context what is meant by prophylactic?
Geez whiz, you can't read. I said in an up post that I did use a UV sterilizer once to clear green water because there was a problem. So, do you understand now what I'm saying?

Last edited by Steve001; 04-06-2013 at 02:39 PM.. Reason: x
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:23 PM   #29
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Look I've made myself clearly understood, but it seems some people still don't understand. If your tank is functioning without any problems, ANY PROBLEMS, -capice?-, it's not necessary to run an UV sterilizer as a daily prophylactic. You do understand in this context what is meant by prophylactic?
Geez whiz, you can't read. I said in an up post that I did use a UV sterilizer once to clear green water because there was a problem. So, do you understand now what I'm saying?
I think the difference here is really preventive vs reactive. If you prevent something you wouldn't know what would happen. If a fish gets sick without a UV one's treatment is reactive. If your fish doesn't get sick it's preventive. If you stir up the bottom and you get GW it's reactive to treat it, if you never get GW it's preventive. So in those examples, there might not be anything wrong with your tank but there are benefits to using a UV. Not all tanks have the same plant mass so your mileage will vary with plants helping out, a UV will work in all tanks.

On water clarity. If you have a piece of white paper on a desk and grab another piece of white paper you might realize the first piece is off-white. So the UV will give you the 'whitest' paper out there.

No reason to get personal with comments like "Gee Whiz you can't read" if one has a different perspective.

Last edited by houseofcards; 04-06-2013 at 06:01 PM.. Reason: change
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:35 PM   #30
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I think the difference here is really preventive vs reactive. If you prevent something you wouldn't know what would happen. If a fish gets sick without a UV one's treatment is reactive. If your fish doesn't get sick it's preventive. If you stir up the bottom and you get GW it's reactive to treat it, if you never get GW it's preventive. So in those examples, there might not be anything wrong with your tank but there are benefits to using a UV. Not all tanks have the same plant mass so your mileage will vary with plants helping out, a UV will work in all tanks.

On water clarity. If you have a piece of white paper on a desk and grab another piece of white paper you might realize the first piece is off-white. So the UV will give you the 'whitest' paper out there.

No reason to get personal with comments like "Gee Whiz you can't read" if one has a different perspective.
I give up. You win.
P.S. That wasn't personal. It is a statement of fact that I used it once on green water because green water is a problem.
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