Sterilizer (Algae inhibitor?) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2020, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Sterilizer (Algae inhibitor?)

So i've been thinking about purchasing Chihiros Doctor (similar to Twinstar) to help inhibit algae growth in my tank. Anybody has any experience with sterilizers/algae inhibitors? Does it really work? I can't seem to find any before and after using sterilizer comparisons. Thank you
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2020, 06:31 PM
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Hi @amphiprionOcellar,

Welcome to TPT!

I don't have any experience with the equipment you mentioned. A good UV sterilizer on the output of a canister filter, like a Turbo Twist, that is sized so the dwell time is appropriate for the flow rate does a good job of minimizing algae. I prefer to try an balance my tanks by adjusting the light intensity, photoperiod, and nutrient dosing to minimize algae in my tanks. Hope this helps! -Roy
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2020, 07:02 PM
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I had a Turbotwist on my last tank and it helped with my persistent green spot algae. My aquarium was too tall (37") and rather difficult to get balanced.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the answers. However, i have some more question regarding uv sterilizers. Do UV sterilizers work well with hair algae? Is it safe to use in conjuntion with Flourish Excel daily dosing?

Regarding the product i mentioned before, it seems that it works by utilizing electrolysis to seperate H2O into O2, H2, and few O3. Does anyone know any references/journals/personal experience that i can read regarding the impact/effectiveness of such methods on algae inhibition? Thank you guys!
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 11:24 AM
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UV sterilizers to my knowledge will only kill and/or prevent GW (Green Water). I don't understand how they would be effective on any algae that isn't free floating in the water column. I guess some spores can be free floating, but they'll be more than enough attached to all surfaces to let algae grow uncontrolled if conditions are right.

I can't comment on the twinstar, since i never used one, but honestly there are so many ways to get rid of algae without having to buy of of those.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
UV sterilizers to my knowledge will only kill and/or prevent GW (Green Water). I don't understand how they would be effective on any algae that isn't free floating in the water column. I guess some spores can be free floating, but they'll be more than enough attached to all surfaces to let algae grow uncontrolled if conditions are right.

I can't comment on the twinstar, since i never used one, but honestly there are so many ways to get rid of algae without having to buy of of those.
My understanding is (I'm a chemist, not a biologist) is that UV kills the algae spores and prevents the spread of algae. I wouldn't have bought a sterilizer for this purpose, but I got one as part of the package when I bought a used reef tank.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunsen Honeydew View Post
My understanding is (I'm a chemist, not a biologist) is that UV kills the algae spores and prevents the spread of algae. I wouldn't have bought a sterilizer for this purpose, but I got one as part of the package when I bought a used reef tank.

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I doubt it. Once the algae is there, on plants, rock, wherever, the UV would have no effect on it spreading on said surface. I believe algae spores are everywhere dormant, lying in wait for the right conditions. For GW they are great, I've used one in the past actually 24/7 without any issue. If I go fish heavy again I wouldn't hesitate to use one for the fish benefits alone.

if UVs prevented algae in planted tanks it would be standard issue for every tank since algae is one of the major issues we face. The secret would be out.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 12:13 PM
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If you want to get rid of hair algae. Add phosguard to your filter and make sure you don’t have static water that allows hair algae to grow. Feed your fish smaller amounts of food. Which is where the phosphate is coming from to cause the algae. I have a twinstar units they work great for the type of algae that grows on glass. But not hair algae.
One of my favorite Japanese YouTube Channels just started having English translation videos. Here is couple on this topic.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 12:33 PM
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I don't think anyone is arguing that it would be a silver bullet for all algae growth. The dwell time for algae is pretty long. Given this, I think to try to eliminate all free floating spores, you'd need multiple big units to turn over a lot of water. I think my loop that I was running on the 36W turbotwist was only 450ish gph. I think it's reasonable that it would eliminate some free floating spores and help some, not cure algae. It's more like flattening the curve than having a vaccine.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunsen Honeydew View Post
I don't think anyone is arguing that it would be a silver bullet for all algae growth. The dwell time for algae is pretty long. Given this, I think to try to eliminate all free floating spores, you'd need multiple big units to turn over a lot of water. I think my loop that I was running on the 36W turbotwist was only 450ish gph. I think it's reasonable that it would eliminate some free floating spores and help some, not cure algae. It's more like flattening the curve than having a vaccine.

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Sorry, I have to respectfully disagree with you from my own experience. Your again talking about free floating algae. It's like saying a UV will kill your BB (assuming proper dwell time) since some of it is free floating and you won't have alot of BB left. It just doesn't happen. Once algae is attached to surfaces it spreads without being free floating.

I'll give you a good example, almost everyone with a KOI pond, uses a UV to prevent GW so they can see their fish. How many times have you seen a mature KOI pond without algae on all surfaces exposed to light and high organics under water. The UV won't flatten anything when it comes to algae growing on surfaces. Algae is too prolific under the right circumstances.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
Sorry, I have to respectfully disagree with you from my own experience. Your again talking about free floating algae. It's like saying a UV will kill your BB (assuming proper dwell time) since some of it is free floating and you won't have alot of BB left. It just doesn't happen. Once algae is attached to surfaces it spreads without being free floating.

I'll give you a good example, almost everyone with a KOI pond, uses a UV to prevent GW so they can see their fish. How many times have you seen a mature KOI pond without algae on all surfaces exposed to light and high organics under water. The UV won't flatten anything when it comes to algae growing on surfaces. Algae is too prolific under the right circumstances.
I don't disagree with any of this, I just think we are talking about two different things. I was talking about green spot problems at start up while still getting my aquarium to balance. Its anecdotal, but I tried it (I was planning on putting a CO2 reactor on the the same loop from my sump anyway) because I had read some positive results and already had all of the equipment needed. It seemed to help until I had some rotala mass accumulate, and got better at directing the light away from my front panel. I agree that this probably isn't a workable solution to an infestation of BBA. I agree that there are algae spores everywhere (part of my job is making products to kill and remove algae, mold, etc.) I do wonder how well they would help with a new tank in preventing algae before establishing itself?

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
Sorry, I have to respectfully disagree with you from my own experience. Your again talking about free floating algae. It's like saying a UV will kill your BB (assuming proper dwell time) since some of it is free floating and you won't have alot of BB left. It just doesn't happen. Once algae is attached to surfaces it spreads without being free floating.

I'll give you a good example, almost everyone with a KOI pond, uses a UV to prevent GW so they can see their fish. How many times have you seen a mature KOI pond without algae on all surfaces exposed to light and high organics under water. The UV won't flatten anything when it comes to algae growing on surfaces. Algae is too prolific under the right circumstances.
My koi pond is a perfect example. The UV will clear green water that you can't see through in 1 day. I still have to pull blanket algae off my waterfull that will stretch out 2 to 3 foot long in a week.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunsen Honeydew View Post
I don't disagree with any of this, I just think we are talking about two different things. I was talking about green spot problems at start up while still getting my aquarium to balance. Its anecdotal, but I tried it (I was planning on putting a CO2 reactor on the the same loop from my sump anyway) because I had read some positive results and already had all of the equipment needed. It seemed to help until I had some rotala mass accumulate, and got better at directing the light away from my front panel. I agree that this probably isn't a workable solution to an infestation of BBA. I agree that there are algae spores everywhere (part of my job is making products to kill and remove algae, mold, etc.) I do wonder how well they would help with a new tank in preventing algae before establishing itself?
Got it.

I was simply responding to the OP. A UV will do nothing for hair algae or other surfaces that will get algae if the conditions are right.

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Originally Posted by AmphiprionOcellaris View Post
Do UV sterilizers work well with hair algae?
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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
My koi pond is a perfect example. The UV will clear green water that you can't see through in 1 day. I still have to pull blanket algae off my waterfull that will stretch out 2 to 3 foot long in a week.
Exactly, you will never prevent surfaces from harboring algae spores by running a UV.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 02:14 PM
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While I felt like my green spot problem was helped, glut bombing it worked better. There is definitely more risk in that though, especially for those not used to handling chemicals.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 12:45 AM
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A good "Level 1" UVS will kill some algae spores (certainly eliminates green water). It will not stop the formation of any other type of algae (I have had a level 1 for well over a decade). Who knows how much of a burden reduction there is, for spores, but there are better ways to deal with algae.

I highly recommend UVS's, but for non-algae reasons: terrific at killing germs and parasites so that your fish are healthier (such as we also now know it does to COVID-19), clarifies the water by eliminating burgeoning bacterial blooms and improves redox.
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