UV Sterilizer selection

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by Sonam, Nov 14, 2017 at 1:13 PM.

  1. Sonam

    Sonam Well-Known Member

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    Hello All,

    We recently lost almost all our fish to marine velvet after upgrading our 90 gallon system to a 125.

    Many mistakes were made - we had our LFS design and install the new system hoping to avoid headaches. Massive mistake.

    Bottom line - in 5 years our 90 gallon system never had a severe disease outbreak. We had a few fish that got sick but they recovered with vitamin supplements. We had a UV Sterilizer on that system. Within 2 weeks of the new system fish started dropping like flies.

    We are fishless in our display for now, 4 survivers in an emergency QT. Planning to let the display sit fishless for 76 days to be completely sure the parasites are gone.

    But we never want to go through this again.

    Our new system was installed with pvc plumbing. We have a sump with 3 chambers - filter sock, fuge and the final one where our skimmer and return pump are located.

    The guy who installed the system is recommending a drop in Uv Sterilizer - claiming we have more control over its flow rate. But I've seen online these systems don't work. They don't move enough water and they recirculate treated water making them inefficient.

    Though we've been doing this for 5 years we are not that schooled in all the tech. But I no longer trust this guy - I don't think he meant to cause us trouble (he insisted after a week it was safe to add 9 new fish - I was surprised but he said it would be ok - it totally wasn't) but his bias is to sell.

    Any recommendations? My plan would be to figure out how to do this myself.
     
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  2. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I have a different type of take on your setup. The UV and the fish disease are independent variables, to me that's helpful angle. The UV may or may not be setup properly to take out fish-specific invasions, but the planning around fallow and future additions following medical protocol is stated to control the disease aspect going forward.

    So to me that downplays the importance of UV in your fish health. I am fully biased towards UV for other reasons, chiefly due to using it in tank correction threads in droves and getting prevention and cures of dinos, cyano, some strains of algae, they're wonderful when sized correctly.

    We never used correctly-sized uv either, they were gross overuses. My own setup was a 4x tube array sterilizer meant for a ten thou gallon koi pond, all connected to my tiny 75 gallon. no heating issues, just pure cheated clean water.

    Many online places offer 30 day ship back for imperfect setups; this allows max sizing and heat measures too in my opinion. agreed on no drop ins, if you are spending that $$ go big or don't go. pond sterilizer, or largest aq sterilizer you can fit and $$
     
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  3. S-t-r-e-t-c-h

    S-t-r-e-t-c-h Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I'd personally only consider Pentair (the old Emperor Aquatics brand) or Aqua UV inline versions, as they're the ones that I have experience using. There may be newer brands that I'm unfamiliar with, but those two are reliable brands that for sure work.

    The minimum that I'd use for your tank would be something like this, so you can get 3 or 4 tank cycles through it an hour:
    https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/emperor-aquatics-smart-high-output-uv-80-watt.html

    If you can do bigger, even better. BRS gives good info on sizing and flow rates to kill protozoa vs. algae and you definitely want to use the protozoa recommendations regarding how much water you want running through the unit. I don't see why it would be hard to control the flow through any of these, but maybe your installer has a particular preference that he's familiar with? Plumbing should be relatively painless in any case and you'll have more flexibility to control input and output sources. Hope that helps!
     
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  4. Sonam

    Sonam Well-Known Member

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    Wow. This is painfully expensive... But I have seen that video and BRS does seem to offer impartial advice that is based on real world experience rather than a sales pitch.

    Thanks for the recommendations.
     
  5. Peanut

    Peanut Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I believe your UV should be inline from the return of your sump. No water should go into the tank without passing through the UV. Get a big enough UV so that you can do this without limiting your flow.

    I also have a bypass plumbed in so I can take the UV out of the loop and service it without having to shut down the tank.
     
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  6. Sonam

    Sonam Well-Known Member

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    This makes sense.
    In order to accomplish this the current pvc pipe must be cut. I'm afraid to ask but how is that accomplished when the tank is full of water? Shut off the pump and it should not backflow back down right?
    I apologize for my ignorance but our old system had tubing rather than pipe.
    Would this kind of in-line set up, as it will be driven by our return pump, require that the sterilizer be matched to the return flow or vice versa - determine return flow by the requirements of the UV filter.
    Feeling over my head but determined to help our residents thrive.
     
  7. Peanut

    Peanut Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Yes, shut the pump off. It probably will back flow a little until it loses the siphon at which point there will only be a little water in the pipe and your tank will not empty if you cut into it.
     
  8. Sonam

    Sonam Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much
     
  9. gcarroll

    gcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter SCMAS Member

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    IMO, the lack of a sufficient UV sterilizer had nothing to do with your losses. If you added 9 fish to a one week old system, it is likely an ammonia spike is what did them in. Even setting up a tank new with the contents from a running system, can still suffer a mini cycle. I may be wrong with my analysis but it is just my gut feeling based on reading what happened to you.
     
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