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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, im just wondering if anyone uses a inline UV steriliser with a planted tank?
Are there any pro's and con's to using one in a planted tank?
 

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Hi, im just wondering if anyone uses a inline UV steriliser with a planted tank?
Are there any pro's and con's to using one in a planted tank?
There are definitely people that use them. I did for a little while when it was built into a filter I was using (it broke eventually). Much like saltwater they can help with some fish diseases and they help with some types of algae. The biggest con is cost. Generally anything they do we can solve through other means just as easily. The exception being really bad green water algae. For that uv is really helpful. BUT a cheap intank system is just as effective and can be removed when the job is done.
 

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I tried one for the first time recently. I will never not use one in the future. It was the best decision I made for this tank and has no Cons from my point of view.
 

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I used to use them in all of my display tanks. Originally i used them to avoid fish parasites when i didnt have a QT tank. Luckily i never got any fish with ich or anything so i cant say how well they work with active infestations but my LFS uses enormous oversized ones in their underground sump system and they swear by it for ich prevention/cure. I never really noticed any difference with algae growth or plant growth but what I did notice was insane water clarity. Even on my tanks that weren't low iron, which was enough for me to use them at first. There was a noticable differece in clarity from the tanks i ran them on vs ones i didnt. But once I got into more advanced areas and away from low tech setups I stopped using them because of extra bulk from hardware inside the tank (mine were internal powerheads) and like @minorhero mentioned, the cost of bulb replacement was getting old. My plant husbandry wasn't very good back then, so with learning proper maintenance care I no longer see the need to use them for the purpose of water clarity.
 

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Luckily i never got any fish with ich or anything so i cant say how well they work with active infestations but my LFS uses enormous oversized ones in their underground sump system and they swear by it for ich prevention/cure.
In a typical LFS system, water drains from each separate holding tank into a main sump/filter, which is then mixed and returned to all the holding tanks. A sterilizer that prevents pathogen transmission from one holding tank into all the rest -- since all the redistributed water passes through the sterilizer -- is going to work in ways that a sterilizer on a single tank with very incomplete pass-through of contaminated water will not.

That's not to say the LFS arrangement is 100% effective, or that a sterilizer will do nothing for parasites on a single tank, but just that they're very different scenarios and aren't analogous.
 

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I agree with some earlier comments. After decades in the hobby with medium/ small (relative to some) heavily planted high tech tanks, I finally added Aqua UV sterilizers to my two display tanks (20 and 29 gallons) earlier this year. I highly recommend them. The water clarity is stunning. And though it is just a hunch, fish health seems better (I have one tank heavily stocked with Cardinal Tetras and have had no health issues since the UV sterilizer install, knock wood). I do have dedicated water pumps for each inside (hidden) in each tank, so each is on its own loop. I also dose iron daily because of concerns about UV effects on iron ferts. I have read conflicting information about this (on the Barr Report and elsewhere). Plants are thriving, although the cabomba seems to have died off (weird because it's hardy... maybe out competed by other plants). That may be okay... I don't think it is really a good thing to have in these parts... have to be really careful, because if "released" I think it can be really invasive. So a UV sterilizer would be a must for any future set up (or current display tank) for me. Also, I do recommend Aqua UV. Their phone support when I've called with questions has been really super.
 
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Hi @Marinefish71

Yes, I use an inline UV-C sterilizer in one of my planted tanks. These kill not only parasites but algae spores, waterborne Cyanobacteria (aka BGA) and waterborne bacteria in general. So, this would also include heterotrophic bacteria (the stuff that consumes organic waste). In my opinion, they are an important asset to an aquarium but it's wise to read up about them. This is a good starting point:


BTW, I have no commercial interest whatsoever in the above company.

Finally, UV-C sterilizers can be switched OFF as and when required, e.g. when using some fish medications.

Anon
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting that you guys use them, ive always had them in my tanks, stems from having a marine tank i guess. find them more benificial than not.
I asked the question as i was worried that actually the UV might be having a negative effect on trying to grow plants in a PT.
 

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I asked the question as i was worried that actually the UV might be having a negative effect on trying to grow plants in a PT.
Hi @Marinefish71

What made you think that the UV might be having a negative effect on plant growth?

Anon
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I guess i might of been missing something, maybe the uv took something useful out of the water, im struggling with my balance, not through the festive activities but my husbandary of my tank, i may of possibly made a forward step lately (optimistically) , i have new growth on some of my plants, theres one plant going mad, but everything else a bit slow.. My fault because i have a few different plants that require slightly different settings, I have slightly upped my co2 injection bubble count, to the point my drop checker doesnt turn yellow, and my fish are not gasping but i can see if i ramped it up much more my DC would go yellow..
On the edge of being too much but not quite enough to be dangerous..It seems to have made a slight positive difference.
However i have also upped my light levels by 5% more so that may have contributed to the slightly better growth..
I have added a couple of SAE which seem to be doing a stirling job of hoovering up the algae that was still around. I am aware this may still be masking the issue, but i may just be getting there in respect of finding the balance.

It came to me the other day that i run a a small 9 watt UV inline and just thought OMG is this what im doing wrong, thats why i asked the question..
 

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Do you use the Advantage or Classic?
I use the Advantage. It is the one with the barbs coming out at 90 degrees from the housing. I called them first to find out the best size for my tanks, and then sized the pumps accordingly. The flow rate is important. I think you want it to fall into the sweet spot of enough dwell time, and also enough water turn over for the tank. They make a "hang on the back" Advantage, but I have the ones with two barbs, as the HOB one wouldn't fit where my tanks are situated. Be sure to note the barb sizes, you have a couple options.

On CO2 level, I had issues with fish sometimes gasping at the top, especially after a water change (the next morning actually after the water change the day before). I use a pH controller to keep my CO2 at a consistent level. Then after some years I finally instituted a system that so far (over a year, knock wood) has worked very well. The CO2 system is on a timer. It kicks on about an hour before the lights come on (rough guess). It turns off about an hour before light out (rough guess again.. not critical). I also inserted large air stones in each tank fed by a very quiet Eheim air pump. The air pump is also on a timer, and it kicks on several hours after light out (again, rough guess...) and turns off again in the very wee hours of the morning, maybe three hours before lights on? ADA tanks also use a similar timing of CO2 injection and air stones, I think. This has worked wonders. CO2 is stable, no more gasping at the surface. Plenty of pearling (at least in one tank for other reasons). I do dose iron daily, as I mentioned before.
 
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