Can I plumb an UV sterilizer in the sump?

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glb

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I’m thinking of getting an 8w Aqua uv sterilizer for my 40g with a 20g sump. I want to use it for algae control (nutrients are fine but I always have bubble algae and get cyano sometimes and feel it would help keep the tank cleaner). I know the water flow through the unit is faster for algae than using it for organisms like ich. My questions are about how to plumb it. My return pump is only c. 250gph. To use this unit for algae control, I’d need a pump that runs over 400gph. I’d like to plumb the whole unit in the sump but BRS videos say not to run it like that. I can’t think of how to plumb a pump that powerful in the sump without disrupting the flow through the sump. Has anyone been able to plumb the whole thing in the sump? If that’s a bad idea, what would be the best way to run the uv sterilizer? I just can’t think of how I could plumb it to and from the display tank. I’m pretty good with plumbing (DIY’ed my whole system!), but this has me stumped. Any help is greatly appreciated!
 
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Yes, you can run a UV in the sump - absolutely. I run mine in the post filter-sock chamber to the skimmer chamber, so this ensures it's always cycling a constant flow of new water (since the water can and does only flow one-way through the weir over the drop between the two chambers). However, I'm also running mine at the sterilize level (higher than that, actually) - so this isn't a concern.

All the 8-watt UV sterilizers I looked at seem to indicate a flow rate of ~600Gph for algae control (30,000 µw/cm2). The only ones I found that might work for your application (slower flow) are the Green Killing Machine UVs. Caveat: I've never used these so I can neither endorse or steer you away from them.

 

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I have my 24Watt in-line with my return. I used 3 valves so I can bypass it or just put some water through, not the whole flow. I have it in my build-thread but I got the idea from a post here on R2R.
IMG_8625.JPEG IMG_8613.JPEG

I think its just time in the light. flow rate has nothing to do with it.
Algae takes less UV to kill then parasites because its a lot smaller with simpler DNA - the UV light can pass through to disrupt the DNA easier. parasites are more complex and bigger so they need more time in the UV light so therefore slower flow through the unit.

So, If you are passing the water super slow through the UV you can get a smaller unit. If you're killing parasites, you're also killing algae.
Think about the science, not what some talking head told you.
 
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CincyReefer07

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Following because I’d like to know to. I’m no plumbing expert at all. I myself am in the middle of my build and I planned on running dual returns, but running a smaller 3rd pump in the sump that feeds the uv and then coming out of the uv gets plumbed back down into the sump. That was what I was thinking to do. But again I’m no expert and would like to hear others opinions
 
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I have mine plumbed so the entering water comes from the middle chamber of my sump(separate pump), and the return empties into the baffle before the return pump. Works just fine that way as water entering the unit is always fresh. It does not interrupt flow through the sump in this manner either(maybe a small decrease of water over the last baffle).

Don't believe everything BRS says.
 

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Plumb the UV into your returns. no need to run another pump.
While you can do this, everything I’ve read said you shouldn’t. The flow your tank requires - and the flow needed for the UV can be quite different especially if you are trying to target something with the UV. By running it using the same pump as your DT you loose all control.
 

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While you can do this, everything I’ve read said you shouldn’t. The flow your tank requires - and the flow needed for the UV can be quite different especially if you are trying to target something with the UV. By running it using the same pump as your DT you loose all control.
You missed the part where he has flow meters, and gate valves installed so he can adjust the flow. Which IMO is perfectly fine way to use one also.
 
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Look at my earlier post, the photos show how you can plumb it into your return yet at the same time only send part yto your UV.

I'm running an 1800GPH pump but I can select to run my UV at parasite flow or algae flow rates just buy turning a few knobs.

I wish I had flow meters. I'm guestimating now based on how much water comes out of my third utility valve.
 
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So I could run a slower pump and still get help with algae? I know bubble algae is attached to surfaces so a Uv won’t get the intact bubbles. I’m looking to kill off the spores that are in the water column when a bubble breaks. Same with cyano. I know it grows on surfaces, but I stir the sand bed daily and want to stop spread by killing off what goes into the water.
 
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I’d rather run it on a separate pump. I don’t think my return pump is powerful enough to divert the water through the Uv unit and then return it to the DT at the same rate. The gph for my return pump is between 200-250gph, which is perfect for my predominately LPS tank.
 

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So I could run a slower pump and still get help with algae? I know bubble algae is attached to surfaces so a Uv won’t get the intact bubbles. I’m looking to kill off the spores that are in the water column when a bubble breaks. Same with cyano. I know it grows on surfaces, but I stir the sand bed daily and want to stop spread by killing off what goes into the water.
yes! If you're running at 200GPH and the UV says 700GPH flow for algae, that's just the max flowrate you can run and expect to kill algae; if you're running slower you're just killing algae x-times over (3.5x in this case) . If slow enough and the water has enough dwell time in the UV chamber you'll kill larger organisms too.
Some people are concerned with UV killing their copepods; it doesn't because they're more complex but, if you give them enough time in the UV, their DNA could take enough damage to make them sterile or even kill them.
 
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you could just hook it straight up to the return then and not worry about valves and such.
people only run separate pumps to get the slow flow... you already have it.
Would plumbing it through the return pump decrease the flow back into the DT? Would I need to get a bigger pump? I really appreciate your help!
 

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It would decrease the flow but I think insubstantially. There are calculators you can use that relay on the size of your pipe, the number of turns, the angle of the turns, and the number of feet of pipe, both rise and run to determine exactly what flow rate you'd get but that's beyond my pay grade.
But weren't you talking about getting another pump anyway? haha.. you could try it and revert back if its an issue.
I think you'll be so stoked with the simplicity of just plumbing it in-line, not to mention the benefits of UV in the first place.
 

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I plumbed mine through my return pump. I figured that way everything that went through the sump got sterilized. If you do another pump then you are constantly feeding it some of the same water. I also oversized mine so I have a 57w that my Sicce SDC6.0 pumps through. I plan on running it for mainly ich management. I figured running 500-700 gph through the sump was plenty on my 75
 
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It would decrease the flow but I think insubstantially. There are calculators you can use that relay on the size of your pipe, the number of turns, the angle of the turns, and the number of feet of pipe, both rise and run to determine exactly what flow rate you'd get but that's beyond my pay grade.
But weren't you talking about getting another pump anyway? haha.. you could try it and revert back if its an issue.
I think you'll be so stoked with the simplicity of just plumbing it in-line, not to mention the benefits of UV in the first place.
Thanks so much for your help! That sounds like a good plan!
 
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