I think UV sterilliser work as preventive measure. So in case of ich outbreak, i think i would do more harm than cure the fish as UV sterilliser would clear off all the medicine that you put in the tank to cure the fishes. Its like charcoal or carbon filter.
I've seen the Uv steriliser that installed inside the cannister. Quite interesting but i think it would be quite difficult to find the replacement bulb for the UV sterilliser in future. The one that used phillips bulbs can be found almost in all LFS. Not too sure whether that canister use the same bulb or not.
If you turn off the UV sterilliser, you will have the same amount of algae and parasites as if you did not install uv sterilliser in the first place. So, you are indeed wasting the electricity . I don't think the algae/parasites will multiply more its just that the UV sterilliser doesn't have enough time to kill them off if you turn them off 12 hours a day.
It takes more flow to pass through Uv bulb to kill algae whereas less flow or in fact very slow flow to kill parasites. Parasites are bigger than algae and hence UV sterilliser needs more time kill them inside the tub.
So, if you are considering to buy the canister that has inbuild Uv sterilliser, you might want to consider whether you want to kill algae or parasites. Strong or big canister definitely won't be able to kill parasites but most definitely kill all algae in the tank. On the other hand, less flow canister definitely will kill more parasites and less in algae.
Another thing is; IMO the uv steriliser is not suitable for QT as well. Normally when we bought a new fish or QT a sick fish, we would most definitely add medicine. With UV install, it would take only few second to clear off all the medicine so you fish would end up getting sicker and sicker. UV steriliser is best for main tank or barrack as i prevent parasites occur or spread to other tank or fish.
This is the article written by Dr. Fostersmith that i found of the net. I paraphrase some of the stuff stated by Dr.Fostersmith:
UV bulb ===== maximum flow rate to control =====aquarium size
____________bacteria & algae == ==parasites
8w---------------120 gph------------n/a -------------under 75gal
15w--------------230 gph-----------75 gph -----------75 gal
18w--------------300 gph-----------100 gph ----------100 gal
25w--------------475 gph-----------150 gph ----------150 gal
30w--------------525 gph-----------175 gph ----------175 gal
40w--------------940 gph -----------300 gph----------300 gal
65w--------------1700 gph---------- 570 gph ---------570 gal
80w--------------1885 gph-----------625 gph ---------626 gal
120w-------------3200 gph-----------900 gph ---------900 gal
130w-------------3400 gph----------1140 gph --------1140 gal
*though manufacturers' recommendations will vary, this chart prodides a geral idea of the wattage you'll need- and the proper flow rates to adjust your pump to- when using a sterilizer for controlling bacteria/algae and for controlling parasites"
Parasites, algae, bacteria
factors that determine UV sterilizer choice
A properly sized UV sterilizer can rid your aquarium of free-floating algae, harmful bacteria, or certain parasites depending on the wattage and the flow rate through the unit. As a result, UV sterilizers minimize disease and keep your aquarium cleaner, clearer, and healthier.
before selecting a UV sterilizer, determine your primary objective - whether to help control free floating algae or to control parasites. By doing so, you will be able to select the proper unit to achieve your intended goal.
UV sterilizers work on the principle that special flourescent UV lamps at a peak wavelength of approximately 254 nanometers, can effectively irradiate microorganisms in aquarium water when exposed to this light. UV light in this wavelength alters the genetic material in the organism's nucleus, shortening its normal life cycle. However, the application and the efficiency of a unit are determined by flow rate as well as the wattage and age of bulb.
Adjusting the flow rate through your UV sterilizer, that is, shortening the time organisms are exposed to the UV lamp (dwell time), alters its use. For example, controlling bacteria and free-floating algae can be accomplised w/ a relatively lower wattage unit as a higher flow rate. However, parasites are larger and more resistant to irradiation and require a longer dwell time to be affected by the UV light. A slower flow rate prolongs dwell time to expose parasites to an effective dose of UV light. Adjusting the output on your water pump controls the flow rate through your sterilizer. Use a ball valve or a tee to split the line to achieve the proper flow rate required to accomplish your objectives.
Higher wattage bulbs produce more UV light and are used to treat parasites or to treat free-floating algae or bacteria in a greater volume of water. However, lamp effectiveness declines w/ time, so your UV sterilizer will not produce the same results after months of use compared to when it was new. Therefore, you may have to increase the dwell time (by lowering the flow rate) to produce desired results. Replace the UV bulbs yearly, or per manufacturer's recommendation, in order to maintain UV effeciency. Also clean the quartz sleeve of the lamp regularly to remove organic buildup. A clean bulb allows better penetration of UV light and maximizes the efficiency of the unit
Can I operate a UV sterilizer while medicating my aquarium?
Since many medication are affected by UV light, sterilzers should be turned off during medication. For instance, UV light will "break" the bond of the chelating agent in chelated copper treatments and the aquarium can have a sudden, lethal concentration of ionic copper.
Incorporate UV sterilizers as an invaluable tool in an algae control regimen. As water flows through the UV unit, free-floating algae are exposed to ultraviolet light and flocculate. The algal material is then trapped in the mechanical filter media & removed from the water column.
It is a great means of controlling algae & achieving clear water. To extend the life and efficiency of your UV sterilizer, take prompt preventive action & run your UV sterilizer before algae becomes a problem. Don't wait until algae growth has reached aggressive nuisance proportions.
No matter how effective, UV sterilizer will have a difficulty controlling algae if the conditions that encourage aggressive algae growth are not addressed. Maximize the efficiency of your UV sterilizer by minimizing the 2 main factors that influence aggressive algae growth - excess nutrients & too much light.
Maintain a low level of algal nutrients such as phosphate & nitrogenous materials. Avoid over stocking by having no more than 1 inch of fish per 10 gal of water & feed only as much as your fish can finish in a few mins. Clean mechanical filter media on a wkly basis before organic material has had a chance to decompose & release algae-fueling nutrients.
Too Much Light
If your water garden receives more than 6 hrs of direct sunlight, consider providing shade w/ plants. They also help slow the growth of algae by competing for algal nutrients. If you are using plants as part of an algae control regimen, be sure that approximately half of your water garden is shaded.
For stubborn cases, consider taking a multiple approach using Barley straw products or plant-safe algaecides in conjunction with UV sterilizers. Addressing the cause of nuisance algae and taking prompt preventive action makes UV sterilizers a worthwhile investment.
Importance of UV light
In the wild, turtles & tortoises are exposed to UV light every day. Absolutely essential to their health and growth, UV plays a key role in the production of vit D3, wc is necessary in the absorption & metabolism of calcium, as well as other essential vitamins & minerals. Vit D3 deficiency can result in limited shell growth, metabolic bone disease, & often, a premature death. Supplying appropriate UV lighting in your pet's habitat is one of the important responsibilities you carry as the owner of a turtle or tortoise.
To understand UV light more clearly, and the problems you may encounter when trying to supply it to your pet, you must first know that there are 2 main types: UVA and UVB. Your pet needs both, but it particularly needs UVB, the short wavelengths of light, for vita D3 production. Exposure to UVA is important for the activity level, feeding, and breeding in many species.
Each species of turtle/tortoise may have different vit D requirements. The need for vitamin D depends upon whether the turtle/tortoise is a land or water species, whether it is an herbivore (eats plants) or carnivore (eats meat), and upon its geographical origin (temperate or tropical). Depending upon the age of the animal, its species, & its diet, a combination of UVB light, calcium supplementation, and vit D supplements may be needed. Research the needs of your particular pet to determine what will be best.
UV Sterilizers: Which one is right for you?
Microscopic organisms can be one of your aquarium's worst enemies. A UV sterilizer is a great way to help protect both current aquarium inhabitants and new additions from the health risks presented by bacteria and parasites. UV sterilizers use a special fluorescent UV lamp that produces light at a wavelength of 253.7 nanometers. Aquarium water is pumped past the lamp at a low flow rate & is essentially "irradiated," controlling free-floating bacteria, algae & parasites.
When choosing a UV sterilizer, ask yourself the following questions:
What kind of organisms do I wish to control? Bacteria, parasites, or both?
What is the proper flow rate required to accomplish my goals?
Do I want an in-line or hang-on unit?
Differences in UV Sterilizers
UV sterilizers differ in a number of ways. The first is their position in the water flow- either in-line or hang-on. In-line models are plumbed into the system after the mechanical filtration unit, as the last filter in line before water returns to the tank. You may need to use a ball valve or a "T" connector in your return line to slow down the flow rate going to the UV sterilizer.
Hang-on models are mounted on the back of the aquarium and are usually fed by a submerged power head or a return line from a canister filter. These models are easier to install and somewhat easier to maintain.
Another difference is the use of quartz glass sleeves. Some models feature a quartz sleeve, which increases the brightness & effectiveness of the unit. Some models claim that their designs results in a longer "dwell time," which may enhance effectiveness as well.
Choosing the Right Size Unit
For proper use, the UV sterilizer must be matched to the proper flow rate to ensure an efficient "kill dose" for the organisms you wish to eliminate. A slower flow rate is required for controlling parasites, as they are more resistant to irradiation than are bacteria.
Plumbing your UV sterilizer
Time spent up front getting acquainted with the plumbing needs of UV sterilizers streamlines installation & maintenance.
Stable water parameters, proper diet, & regular water changes are the keys for disease prevention & a healthy, successful tank. However, the addition of sophisticated equipment such as an ultraviolet sterilizer to a quarantine tank can further minimize the spread of free-floating bacteria and parasites. Ease of installation or plumbing can play a large role in selecting an appropriate UV sterilizer.
UV sterilizers can be plumbed in 2 ways, either "hard plumbed" or "soft plumbed." Hard plumbing is a permanent installation involving adhesives & PVC piping, while soft plumbing is semi-permanent involving flexible tubing & clamps. Knowing the plumbing style of the fittings on a UV sterilizer helps you select a compatible pump, as well as other plumbing supplies. Fittings for UV sterilizers come in three styles:
Barbed/Insert fittings - Commonly soft plumbed & the easiest to plumb since the appropriate-sized flexible vinyl tubing is simply fitted onto it & secured with clamps. Most hang-on sterilizers will have barbed fittings.
NPT (National Pipe Threading) fittings - Sterilizers that incorporate NPT fittings are either MPT (male pipe thread) or FPT (female pipe thread). Depending on your current system, NPT fittings can be hard or soft plumbed. However, the use of "NPT x Insert Adapters" can make plumbing easier since they convert NPT fittings to barbed or insert fittings.
Slip fittings - Usually hard plumbed but a combination of both plumbing methods can be applied using reducing bushings. A "Slip x FPT Reducing Bushing" converts a slip fitting to a NPT fitting which is then converted to a barbed or insert fitting for easy installation.
Spending some time up front getting acquainted with the plumbing needs of UV sterilizers can streamline installation & maintenance. Because UV bulbs need to be replaced at least once a year, a properly plumbed system will mean easier maintenance. By having all the necessary plumbing supplies on hand, installation will be quick, so you can start to see the benefits of your UV sterilizer sooner.
While UV sterilizers usually do no harm, do not use one when you first cycle your aquarium, as it may kill beneficial bacteria before they attach to the bio-media or gravel. Also, many medications can be "denatured" by the UV light, so the sterilizer should be turned off when using medications, especially chelated copper treatments. The UV light will "break" the bond of the chelating agent, & the aquarium will have a sudden, lethal concentration of ionic copper.
Once you introduce a UV Sterilizer, monitor your aquarium's temperature. Depending on your aquarium size and flow rate, a UV Sterilizer may add heat to your water. If this occurs, you may consider installing a chiller.
As with all sophisticated pieces of equipment, your UV Sterilizer needs to be properly maintained to remain effective. Quartz sleeves should be cleaned at least every six months. UV bulbs will need to be replaced after 9 to 12 months of continuous use.
UV sterilizers have many advantages & very few drawbacks. In addition to being easy to install, requiring low maintenance, & being affordable, they can provide huge health benefits for your fish. Make sure you get one that is the correct size, operate it under the appropriate conditions, and follow the manufacturer's maintenance guidelines to ensure that your UV sterilizer can do the job it was designed for.