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Uv Sterilizer

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just wanted to know your opinions on the UV sterilizer. if one was to use it say 8 hrs on a daily basis in a compartmented aquarium of male breeder/keeper bettas? i know i have read something similar to it previously but didnt find it on the search. And may as well hear whats the experience(s) after that time too , thanks!

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I used a small 9watt internal UV sterilizer (submerge) with inbuild powerhead in my breeding tank. Its the AA brand and costed $70-$80 each in LFS. I bought 2 few months ago to reduce algae and eggs fungus in my breeding tank. But they sitting around in my shelves now as i don't breed betta anymore, lol With UV sterilliser, i got less algae and less eggs fungus. I turn the light 24 hours for a week while the male betta guarding their bulblenest so algae is no surprise basically. UV sterilliser need to be turned on 24/7. If you turn them on for 8 hours, it will not serve the purpose. As soon as you turn off the UV sterilliser, algae and the rest start to multiply. UV sterilliser serves to reduce algae or parasites. More flow to reduce algae and less flow for parasites. Got to choose either one.

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I would LOVE a UV for the extremly rare occasions of an Ich outbreak. I would also benefit from one for my QT/ Discus tank in the future... perhaps. I rarely have illnesses, so it doesn't warrant me buying one. However, I have found an external cannister that has a UV installed and has it's own switch.. so that might be worth considering on my part.

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yeah.. i been considering a uv sterilizer for the "aquarium barracks" and for the QT area. not so much for the fry though i think, although it would mean that the "weaker" will also survive but chances are that once the UV is "off" , the weaker ones would be the first to go bye bye. i have seen the canister you are talking about and i am thinking of that too. So, even switching it on say 12 hrs per day just to "minimize bacteria/fungus", wouldnt work? not too sure of it... i know most bacteria multiply every 20 mins, so exponentially in a period of 4 hrs they can grow to a disastrous number. But if there was sucha huge outbreak no fish would really survie those conditions as the water conditions would be in favour of the bacteria. hmmm more thoughts processing... brb

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I would LOVE a UV for the extremly rare occasions of an Ich outbreak. I would also benefit from one for my QT/ Discus tank in the future... perhaps.

I rarely have illnesses, so it doesn't warrant me buying one. However, I have found an external cannister that has a UV installed and has it's own switch.. so that might be worth considering on my part.

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.

yeah.. i been considering a uv sterilizer for the "aquarium barracks" and for the QT area. not so much for the fry though i think, although it would mean that the "weaker" will also survive but chances are that once the UV is "off" , the weaker ones would be the first to go bye bye.

i have seen the canister you are talking about and i am thinking of that too.

So, even switching it on say 12 hrs per day just to "minimize bacteria/fungus", wouldnt work? not too sure of it... i know most bacteria multiply every 20 mins, so exponentially in a period of 4 hrs they can grow to a disastrous number. But if there was sucha huge outbreak no fish would really survie those conditions as the water conditions would be in favour of the bacteria.

hmmm more thoughts processing... brb

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.

Flow Rate

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.

Wattage/bulb age

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.

Excess Nutrients

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.

Operating Guidelines

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.

Maintenance Requirements

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.

Edited by Erren

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I used a UV 24/7 in my barracks. I don't see how it would "remove" medicine, (although light de-activates tetracycline so that would be a factor to take into account, if you were treating with TC). The rays from the bulb kill tiny organisms like bacteria, algae and parasites. It won't remove medicine. You wouldn't medicate a new fish in QT unless there was something wrong with it, anyway, in which case you'd treat whatever symptoms it had.

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in certain meds - not all. It's not like activated carbon which absorbs them. I did read what erren posted you know :)

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aight i think i will get one UV sterilizer and see how it goes, will test it on the community tank first. either that or a 2ft... maybe later on as i presume it will take a lot of wine and drawings i will start thinking about the barracks thing, then i will need either another UV or use the previous UV on the barracks. hopefully i can find something that gets rid of the parasits.

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i got a 9W submersible uv steraliser for my 3ft community tank a while back after i had a bad run with columnaris. cost me about $63 inc postage and it's on 24/7. i've never had any form of disease outbreak since i started using it, and the cyclops are doing well so i guess the water quality is good too :) IMO after loosing 4 or 5 fish in short order it was well worth the investment.

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I used a UV 24/7 in my barracks.

I don't see how it would "remove" medicine, (although light de-activates tetracycline so that would be a factor to take into account, if you were treating with TC). The rays from the bulb kill tiny organisms like bacteria, algae and parasites. It won't remove medicine.

You wouldn't medicate a new fish in QT unless there was something wrong with it, anyway, in which case you'd treat whatever symptoms it had.

It doesn't really remove meds, it deactivates the chemical bonds, which can cause 'lone' chemicals to be able to damage the fish.

in certain meds - not all. It's not like activated carbon which absorbs them. I did read what erren posted you know :P

oops... i read the article few years back and didn't bother to revise it again lol!. But i do remember that medicine + UV sterilliser = something bad :)

i got a 9W submersible uv steraliser for my 3ft community tank a while back after i had a bad run with columnaris. cost me about $63 inc postage and it's on 24/7. i've never had any form of disease outbreak since i started using it, and the cyclops are doing well so i guess the water quality is good too :) IMO after loosing 4 or 5 fish in short order it was well worth the investment.

That true. the 9W submersible UV sterilliser works amazingly. I also lost quite a few from columnaris and none after i use UV sterilliser. In fact, i lost 1 as soon as i stop using it ( the female marble that i was about to sell to you)

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yeah both the giants got a columnaris outbreak within the week after i got them home - the girl went into the community tank with the UV filter and some melafix and was clean within 2 days. the boy was worse however, his entire body was coated with the "fungus" for two weeks, i almost lost him, but some time alone with a bit of TC (last resort) has cleared it up, he should be alright to come off the meds in a few days :) i should have put him in with the girls again (he got the outbreak after i realised it was a he and put him in the barracks) but it was so bad i didn't think it would help him much at that point :)

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ok bought an UV sterilizer thingo ... UV STERILIZER INTERNAL WITH POWER HEAD 24W * UV RADIATION - AT A WAVELENGTH OF 254NM MAKING THE UNITS EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE IN CONTROLLING BACTERIA, YEAST, MOULDS AND OTHER PATHOGENS * SUBMERSIBLE DESIGN, COMPLETELY SEALED TO ENSURE NO WATER LEAKAGE * SMALL FILTER WITH FLOW RATE 430 L/P/H ENSURE ENOUGH STERILIZING TIME * 24W PL STERILIZER LAMP, TREATS UP TO 400LTR OF SALTWATER AND FRESHWATER AQUARIUMS * THIS STERILIZER EMITS HIGH INTENSITY SHORT WAVELENGTH ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION TO KILL ALGAE AND OTHER HARMFUL GERMS, RESULTING CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER * REDUCTION OF ALL DISEASE - CAUSING AGENTS IN THE AQUARIUM WATER * FILTERATION SPONGE INCLUSIVE TO FILTER OUT DIRT PARTICLES * OPTIMUM EFFICIENCY OF UV POWER DUE TO DIAGONAL WATER FLOW INSIDE THE HOUSING * 12V LOW VOLTAGE DESIGN BRAND NEW IN BOX apologies for long post. i think this one can probably get rid of most of the stuff ( i hope). at 24W seems like its pretty strong :flex: again let me know your thoughts ( i might make this my signature .... :betta: )

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well a 9w does just fine for a 3ft tank, so a 24w should do good in heavier water loads :)

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yes the wattage seems high in comparison to most i have seen. i am still meddling on which tank to put it on first as a test subject... big community or female tank? at a much alter date i am sure it will be used on the barracks , but as for now i will see where it fits better :)

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Does anyone know if it would be effective to use a UV sterilizer inside the 130 litre water storage tank from which I draw the water for my 8 litre betta cubes?

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Only if you think there are a lot of pathogens in the storage tank. If you change water frequently and your fish are getting sick it doesn't necessarily mean that your new water has pathogens. It could also mean that the constant water changes stress the fish so that they succumb to disease. For the cubes to benefit from the sterilizer I think it would be more effective to connect them all up to a sump and put the UV in the sump.

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Thanks for your reply. Actually my fish are doing fine since I cleared up the

fin melt problem by giving them daily 30 second baths in violet Potassium Permanganate

solutions, until the fins showed signs of good new growth. Also, I add

10 drops of PP solution to their cubes with each 100% water change, and less drops for partial water changes. It's definitely working as there has been no further fin melt or anything else, fingers crossed!

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