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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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UV filters

I have the chance to get a UV filter for my tank. Do i want one?

I have heard really mixed reviews about these things. Some say they are the best thing ever, others say a waste of time.

I understand they help to make the water crystal clear? Do they help against all algae, or is it just green water it stops?

How will it effect my flow rate from my filter?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 09:20 PM
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They just remove/prevent green water and do really excellent job of it. They also prevent diseases. IMO, they're worth it if you're a serious hobbyist.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 09:25 PM
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Good for preventing disease when introducing new fish, new plants, and clearing up green water outbreaks(great for this) but it does break the bond in most chelated iron fertilizers quicker than normal. Even regular daylight breaks this bond though, just at a much slower rate. How this effects plants i'm not certain, but I assume it makes it more difficult for plants to absorb this iron in it's new form. Try a removable uv sterilizer for spot usage.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rorie87 View Post
I have the chance to get a UV filter for my tank. Do i want one?

I have heard really mixed reviews about these things. Some say they are the best thing ever, others say a waste of time.

I understand they help to make the water crystal clear? Do they help against all algae, or is it just green water it stops?

How will it effect my flow rate from my filter?
Not really necessary nor advisable to use chronically. If you want clear water then keep lots o' healthy growing plants. UV lights will help with free floating alga along with a diatom filter. In over 25 years only once did I need to use a UV light and diatom filter.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Not really necessary nor advisable to use chronically. If you want clear water then keep lots o' healthy growing plants. UV lights will help with free floating alga along with a diatom filter. In over 25 years only once did I need to use a UV light and diatom filter.
People say it makes the water 'crystal clear'. What is it that does that? Is it because there is a microscopic amount of algae floating in the water, and by removal of that, it becomes clear?
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 09:59 PM
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People say it makes the water 'crystal clear'. What is it that does that? Is it because there is a microscopic amount of algae floating in the water, and by removal of that, it becomes clear?

I got one for free, and it NUKED green water in a heartbeat. That was nice.

I occasionally flip it on - and can tell a slight bump from 'clear' to 'really clear'. I could speculate that it's killing the bacteria suspended in the water column and giving that tiny boost..

It's primary job now, by the way it was built, is to function as a absolutely wonderful co2 reactor. :]

it's to the far right:


It's a fair statement to say that good levels and proper filtration should eschew the need for one - but like i said FREE!


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 11:13 PM
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People say it makes the water 'crystal clear'. What is it that does that? Is it because there is a microscopic amount of algae floating in the water, and by removal of that, it becomes clear?
yep, it kills free floating algae improving clarity. But if you have enough plants algae won't be an issue. Also, filter floss does a great job of clarifying water.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 02:28 AM
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People say it makes the water 'crystal clear'. What is it that does that? Is it because there is a microscopic amount of algae floating in the water, and by removal of that, it becomes clear?
Quote:
People say it makes the water 'crystal clear'.
Can those same people back up what they claim with facts or are they just opining ? Since you want clear sparkly water have abundant healthy growing plants in your tank.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:32 PM
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Can those same people back up what they claim with facts or are they just opining ? Since you want clear sparkly water have abundant healthy growing plants in your tank.
I can see a difference in using mine.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 04:28 PM
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Can those same people back up what they claim with facts or are they just opining ? Since you want clear sparkly water have abundant healthy growing plants in your tank.
Odd question to ask (if it's only opinions or fact) as this method of purging a water column of suspended bio has been a proven technology in the pond and fish farming industry for a very long time. Sized correctly with the proper flow rate (dwell time) UV light burns the cell wall on bacteria and suspended algae killing it. UV units have had a proven market as pond clarifiers for years.


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 05:21 PM
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There is no downside to a UV. The iron chelated breakdown is way overblown and it doesn't really affect anything. I had one on a setup for two years running 24/7 and there are plenty of advanced planted folks that use them. I do think in many cases your water will be clearer than without one, but unless you put them side by side you might not notice. If you have green water definitely get one. Also prior to having a UV on one setup I would lose 50% of my cardinals during acclimation. This was due to stress put on their immune systems and they were prone to infection. After the UV, I would lose only 10% or so.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 05:39 PM
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my tank did better when I disconnected the UV. I think it decreased my filter flow rate.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 06:34 PM
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Odd question to ask (if it's only opinions or fact) as this method of purging a water column of suspended bio has been a proven technology in the pond and fish farming industry for a very long time. Sized correctly with the proper flow rate (dwell time) UV light burns the cell wall on bacteria and suspended algae killing it. UV units have had a proven market as pond clarifiers for years.
Ponds and fish farming have little in common with planted aquaria. The bioload is quite heavy in the latter. Ponds are outside subjected to a host of environmental factors which aquaria are not and which may necessitate using a UV sterilizer. They are also much larger generally than the home aquaria so any change in turbidity would be noticed I think. Aquaria are small volumes of water in comparison. Any change that might be seen in the water clarity of a well kept aquarium may be wholly subjective unless there is an obvious bit of turbidity to begin with. Also, most ponds don't place the same emphasis on plants as filters as this hobby does. Pond plants are for the most part ornamental. I'm not against a UV sterilizer. I'm saying they are not a necessary thing to have running chronically. UV sterilizers are best for fixing a problem or for preventing problems under specific applications.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 07:55 PM
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If it's water clarity you want, grab a 100ml bag of Purigen for $11 and put it in your filter. If you're having major floating algae problems or have a large tank/system where the introduction of many fish make you concerned about disease, go for a UV sterilizer.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 07:58 PM
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Ponds and fish farming have little in common with planted aquaria. The bioload is quite heavy in the latter. Ponds are outside subjected to a host of environmental factors which aquaria are not and which may necessitate using a UV sterilizer. They are also much larger generally than the home aquaria so any change in turbidity would be noticed I think. Aquaria are small volumes of water in comparison. Any change that might be seen in the water clarity of a well kept aquarium may be wholly subjective unless there is an obvious bit of turbidity to begin with. Also, most ponds don't place the same emphasis on plants as filters as this hobby does. Pond plants are for the most part ornamental. I'm not against a UV sterilizer. I'm saying they are not a necessary thing to have running chronically. UV sterilizers are best for fixing a problem or for preventing problems under specific applications.

So what's the downside to using a UV? You set it and forget it pretty much. It make's your water clear if your have issues and if setup correctly will keep fish healthier and less suspectible to infection.
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