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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted in the fish section about this, but want to see if I can get some definitive answers.

Some fish in my 29 gallon heavily planted tank have shown symptoms of Lymphocystis, apparently can be self limiting, but caused by a virus in the water column. This tank has been up and running for a long, long time. Heavily planted, as I said. So considering a UV sterilizer, maybe one I could move to other tanks (including a 20 gallon and the 10 gallon quarantine tank on occasion).

So questions:
I dose with a variety of ferts (all Seachem. I'm too lazy to do my own micro and macro mixes.

I've read much on this, and it seems the UV breaks the chelated iron down, something I'd like to avoid. Some folks use the UV and dose iron on a specific schedule. Others use EDTA chelated iron fertilizer (which Seachem is not. is Kent?) as the bond is "harder to break", and I've read it is more effective below pH 7 (is this last just fantasy?). I'd love to get rec's on best practices here.

If i do finally pull the trigger on the sterilizer, I think I'd go with something that I can move, as I said, on its own loop, likely, internal pump to inline sterilizer and return. The in tank units look too big to be versatile, and I'm not sure I have room for a hob version (like the Aqua Advantage HOB). Also, I'd like to avoid surface agitation of any kind, sin i am infusing CO2, unless I only run the sterilizer at night. In that case, HOB might be an option.

Okay to maybe complicate matters, just read this on the Barr Report forum with regards to chelated iron ferts breaking down, "Because of this, I use a gluconated iron, such as Flourish Iron." Well, that is what I use. Still there seems to be a best practice in terms of UV on/off time and Iron dosing, etc.
 

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I think I know the Barr Report posting to which you refer, so I’m - obviously - going to support it. The concept of “best practices” is dependent upon large industry-wide studies, which may include gov’t mandates. You are not going to find that sort of thing in this hobby. The best you will get is anecdotal evidence, probably never aggregated for any statistical analysis purposes.

Many here dose traces daily because they’ve found that it works better (I am among this group). In my case, because I use iron gluc, the UVS doesn’t matter (mine is on 24/7). However, commercial traces generally use cheates that do come apart under strong UV exposure (I don’t know about the more simple green water clarifiers). If you turn the UVS off at lights-on, and dose immediately, you have until the UVS is turned on again for the plants to access the traces. If pH is alkaline, those traces, no longer chelated, will precipitate. If the pH is acidic, that problem will be increasingly avoided.

From an anecdotal perspective, I’ve tested EDTA and DTPA chelated iron with my UVS. With the UVS turned off, my test kit will read a good amount of iron present for several days. When I turn the UVS on, it’s gone in a few hours (precipitated, mainly). The gluconated iron is not just about the different chelate. It is also the ferrous form, which is much easier for plants to quickly absorb, unlike the ferric iron used with other chelates.

I think that you will also find that, those members that have UV sterilizers, strongly believe in them for disease prevention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you, Deanna, for your wonderful response! So I think I will pull the trigger and buy a UVS. I will stick with the Seachem Flourish Iron, if I am correct that it is the glucconated form. I will probably try only having the UVS on at night. My pH drops below neutral when the CO2 is being infused during the day. It climbs slightly above neutral at night (barely) as I stop the CO2 infusion at night and do some surface aeration (started doing this after too many close calls with fish gasping at the surface in the morning). I will also start doing my dosing (especially of iron and trace) daily, first thing.

I think I will go with a dedicated system, i.e., a dedicated small submersible pump with a tubing loop that passes through the UVS and put the return over the in-tank CO2 diffusor, thus driving any bubbles rising from it back into the water column (in case I sometimes run it during the daytime). Since it will be stand alone, I will be able to move it to other tanks on occasion.

Again, I appreciate your response very much. There is so much difference of "opinion" out there on this topic. I do think I would try for something strong enough to kill viruses (level 1?), if that is possible. Any recommendations in this regard are much appreciated.

I attached a photo of one of the tanks, but realized this wan't the place for it, so deleted it.
 

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I do think I would try for something strong enough to kill viruses (level 1?), if that is possible. Any recommendations in this regard are much appreciated.
I have a TMC Vecton 2 on my 29-gal, but it is over 15 years old. There is probably a newer model at this point. A level one will sterilize viruses (UVS's don't kill, they sterilize to end reproduction).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again, Deanna. I'm curious what wattage your TMC Vectron 2 has (there seem to be different sizes). I called Aqua Ultraviolet directly to get their recommendation on size, and they told me the 8 watt was plenty, that the 15 watt would be way overkill. Also, they gave me the minimum and maximum flow rate for the UVS, so I could choose the proper pump. I'm within the limits, but on the lower side. So dwell time will be greater, and also not as much flow power on the return (though more than the canister filter on the tank... which actually may be kind of good... circulation is always helpful in a planted tank).
 

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The Vecton 2 400 is 15 watts. You may also find that you no longer need a heater, if running 24/7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, Deanna.
Well, I've ordered it, but wonder if I undersized it now. I called Aqua Ultraviloet to get their advice directly. They said a 15 watt would be way oversized for a 29 gallon freshwater tank, and the 8 watt would be better. Their 8 watt is rated for 5-200 gallons, the 15 watt for 200- 500 gallons. I mentioned wanting Level 1, to "control" viruses. He kind of dissed the whole "Level" idea.

Also got their advice on flow gph minimum and maximum. So I picked a pump within those parameters on the lower end to increase dwell time. It still has a very high turnover rate. I hope it does the trick. I will decide whether to run 24/7 (their recommendation) or when lights are off because of the effect on the iron fertilizer. Will go to a daily iron dosing regimen first thing. Another thing about the Aqua UV: they recommend changing the bulb after 14 months of continuous use, as opposed to 6 months, which one sees with many other brands.

On the disease topic, one large Cory has a large white growth behind a pectoral fin. This has been present for many, many weeks (months?). It is large, kind of round, and smooth. The Cory seems to show no ill effects (knock wood) from it. I wonder if it is similar to what has affected a couple of the tetras. Another Cory had a similar affliction "absorbing" 'the caudal fin (might have been the source) but it has been long gone.
 

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In dealing with Aqua Ultraviolet, I think that you have to rely upon their product recommendation. There are many aspects to the sterilization package; lamp wattage, heat, dwell time, turnover, etc. I assume that Aqua Ultraviolet has done their homework in creating their own products. So, their design will be different from others.

I’m surprised that they blew-off the concept of “Level 1” or "Level 2”, as these are simply a means to categorize what is needed to sterilize different levels of bacteria/virus. It’s just an industry standard type of thing to help make a choice and is just a name that is applied. Maybe they call their different strengths something like “Fred 487” and “Wilma 829”, but go with their recommendations. However, if you decide you don’t have enough “kill” power, although I’m not sure how one would make that determination, do not try to put a 15-watt lamp in a UVS designed for an 8-watt bulb, as this will probably cause melting …unless they tell you it’s ok.

The ‘kill’ capability is a combination of microwatt seconds per square centimeter and temperature. Specifications to focus upon are microwatt seconds per square centimeter (µW/cm2 in spec sheets) and dwell time (gph). Basically, a high µW/cm2 unit will allow higher flow rates for a given kill capability.

You can easily change the flow rates through the UVS with some simple plumbing changes, such as adding a bypass with a valve control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks yet again, Deanna. Yes, the fellow seemed to know his stuff (though may have been a wee bit impatient with a hobbyist like me... he warmed when I said I'd been to Temecula, their location). He did remind me several times that they've been in this biz for 40 years. Yes, I was surprised at his dismissal of "level 1" as it does seem to be standard nomenclature in the reading I've done. He also said viruses in water are either uncommon or do not occur (can't remember which he said), which I found surprising indeed. However, the info on gph min/max was really helpful. As I said, it helped me decide on the pump. which is rated at its max (I believe) at about 60 gph above the UVS minimum, and it is adjustable (can be dialed back), which is good. I don't see wanting much more in terms of gph, simply from being aware of the flow rate of my canister filter (much lower) and its effect on water movement in the tank. I do want to be safely above the minimum. I will set up so I have basically zero "head" so as not to restrict the flow. And I appreciate the info on µW/cm2, something I've seen a lot. Good to have. The unit I ordered is rated for Freshwater at 30,000 µW/cm2 at 642 gph (what he said was the max) on the Aqua Ultraviolet website, and for saltwater at 90,000 µW/cm2 at 214 gph (what he told me was the minimum). I do hope I am far enough above the minimum to be safe, but seems I should be. In fact, I just downloaded the UVS manual and it gives a 75,000 µW/cm2 figure for almost exactly what the flow rate is for the pump I ordered.

Anyway, thanks so much again.
 
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I posted in the fish section about this, but want to see if I can get some definitive answers.

Some fish in my 29 gallon heavily planted tank have shown symptoms of Lymphocystis, apparently can be self limiting, but caused by a virus in the water column. This tank has been up and running for a long, long time. Heavily planted, as I said. So considering a UV sterilizer, maybe one I could move to other tanks (including a 20 gallon and the 10 gallon quarantine tank on occasion).

So questions:
I dose with a variety of ferts (all Seachem. I'm too lazy to do my own micro and macro mixes.

I've read much on this, and it seems the UV breaks the chelated iron down, something I'd like to avoid. Some folks use the UV and dose iron on a specific schedule. Others use EDTA chelated iron fertilizer (which Seachem is not. is Kent?) as the bond is "harder to break", and I've read it is more effective below pH 7 (is this last just fantasy?). I'd love to get rec's on best practices here.

If i do finally pull the trigger on the sterilizer, I think I'd go with something that I can move, as I said, on its own loop, likely, internal pump to inline sterilizer and return. The in tank units look too big to be versatile, and I'm not sure I have room for a hob version (like the Aqua Advantage HOB). Also, I'd like to avoid surface agitation of any kind, sin i am infusing CO2, unless I only run the sterilizer at night. In that case, HOB might be an option.

Okay to maybe complicate matters, just read this on the Barr Report forum with regards to chelated iron ferts breaking down, "Because of this, I use a gluconated iron, such as Flourish Iron." Well, that is what I use. Still there seems to be a best practice in terms of UV on/off time and Iron dosing, etc.
I have one of the cheap SunSun in tank UV filter and it absolutely did the job when I had an algae outbreak in a 55g.


They are ugly but you can adjust the flow, and they will not diffuse the CO2. Theoretically you should only need it when there is an issue, so you take it out of the tank when not needed, thus being ugly a non issue.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a quick update. Installed the Aqua UV 2000 sterilizer. Took a bit of work simply because the tubing out of the pump is 1/2 inch, and the Barb x Barb model sterilizer I bought uses 3/4 inch tubing. Pex adapters don't work (sizing on plumbing parts is different for different uses). So it took three connected brass fittings to step up from 1/2 to 3/4 inch tubing (could find no other way either with fittings online or brick and mortar stores).

I can't believe how clear the aquarium water now looks. It was very clear before, but now it almost seems as if there is no glass holding the water at all! And this tank is over 20 years old. The water is invisible now! And a slight white growth around the eye of one Rummy Nose Tetra (the only remaining visible symptom of what may have been ailing the tank) seems to be disappearing. I don't know why I waited so long to get a UV sterilizer (don't have one on my 20 long or my qt tank), but I will never go w/o one again on my main display tank... at least that is my first impression.
 
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