UV lights????? Necessary???

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by Tautog, Mar 12, 2019 at 10:23 AM.

  1. Tautog

    Tautog Valuable Member

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    I’m approaching 4 yrs, and just wondering if UV lights are necessary for an established reef tank?
    After 4 yrs isn’t the UV killing good bacteria? I don’t have a Algae problem, never did, but need to ask.
     
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  2. BestMomEver

    BestMomEver Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019

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    So little of the bacteria passes through the average UV sterilizer that they really don’t do much. That’s my opinion... I’m sure others disagree. I’ve never found a UV to have any effect at all. You’d have to have a huge one to make a dent.
     
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  3. Retro Reefer

    Retro Reefer Been there done that.. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    IMO no need to add one unless your having some kind of issues, I have a couple cheap ones and will run them for things like bacterial blooms or combating severe algae problems.
     
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  4. DarkSky

    DarkSky Well-Known Member

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    Public aquariums use them - but for the average hobbyist you'd need a very large unit to have any useful effect, I would think.
     
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  5. HB AL

    HB AL Valuable Member Partner Member 2019

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    I’ve ran one for 3 years on my current tank since I set it up 3 years ago. I run it with a separate pump and return line for slower flow. I was selling a bunch of corals lately and a few of the people commented on how clear my water was, I figured that was normal as it’s always like that, and didn’t really think at the time maybe it’s the uv filter. Also I don’t get new fish as they don’t die, but traded in a gold spot rabbit for a clown trigger around 6 months ago. I’ve never quarantine and have healthy fish and corals so bottom line for me does it do anything? I don’t know but it must and sure doesn’t hurt. If it were me I would get one.

    9E59BC8C-E11C-45CC-B2A1-7132A775F6FD.jpeg
     
  6. theMeat

    theMeat Valuable Member

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    I don’t run carbon so I do run a uv for clarity. There all kinds of size and flow rate calculators available online. You don’t need a huge one. Mine is 36 watts on a 220. Accidentally shut it off for a few months and when I put it back on noticed much clearer water overnight
     
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  7. Lowell Lemon

    Lowell Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Probably the biggest question is what is the reason for wanting one now? Are you having problems with fish or water clarity issues?
     
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  8. Tautog

    Tautog Valuable Member

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    No problems, my Coral life UV leaks, the seal has never worked well, and it was replaced. I’ve had a large pond for over 20 yrs, and the UV has never done much.
     
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  9. Lowell Lemon

    Lowell Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    When I use UV I always set up a professional unit like TMC or Pentair Aquatics and I run them at 90,000 micro watt per cubic liter or greater to act as a prevention for cilliated protozoa problems. Thus the levels of potential problematic parasites are kept at non pathogenic levels. Anything less is ineffective.
     
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  10. Tautog

    Tautog Valuable Member

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    Thanks LL, that’s what I figured
     
  11. HB AL

    HB AL Valuable Member Partner Member 2019

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    Mine is just a 36watt Coralife twist I bought like 4 years ago and I change the bulb every January. One thing for sure is water passes through it;)
     
  12. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award R2R TV Featured Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Running the TMC110 at second level sterilization. Running one less than that seems mostly pointless.
     
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  13. Sarah24!

    Sarah24! Valuable Member R2R Secret Santa

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    Hello,

    I never ran uv steralizers in my older 125 and I had all kinds of issues and fish issues. With that said the only thing I changed on my new 240’was that I added two uv steralizers and well I have more experience. The worst I have had (knock on wood,), is cyano and that was my own fault. From my college background and work experience uv steralizers absolutely make a difference.
     
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  14. Waters

    Waters "...in perfect isolation, here behind my wall." R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I run oversized UV units 24X7......had a Dino issue a ways back and that, with some other methods knocked it out. I have been running them ever since.
     
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  15. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Member

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    The aquaculture units at work max gph rating is for killing algae/bacteria. The manufacturer states that method of rating is typical and recommends no more than half that if you want to roast protozoa rather than give them a mild tan. Many of the lower wattage hobby units are rated similarly and if plumbed directly in-line on the return will likely have too high a flow to kill pathogens, especially those marketed for algae clarification. Stay above any minimum flow rating or you may reduce bulb life due to heat buildup.

    These probably won’t directly help an outbreak in your tank if there’s no free swimming stage but should reduce secondary bacterial infections and help your fish survive long enough to fight one off. And of course you will have some really clear water the whole time.
     
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  16. dantimdad

    dantimdad Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    As I have always flown by the seat of my pants when it comes to sterilizers, I would love to have the calculations to arrive at this.

    Thanks in advance @Lowell Lemon !
     
  17. lapin

    lapin Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Hospitality Award

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  18. dantimdad

    dantimdad Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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  19. elFloyd

    elFloyd Member

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  20. Paleozoic_reefer

    Paleozoic_reefer Active Member

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    I've been running a 13W UV on my 75gal that sits next to my skimmer since last Sept. I've notices that my skimmate is significantly darker and thicker and my water is much clearer...just my 2 cents.
     
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