UV sterilizer setup questions...

eschaton

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Hello all,

After about a month of battling dinos various ways, I am ready to take the plunge and buy a UV sterilizer, because it's seemingly the only thing people agree works.

My major concern is related to setup. The tank is up and running, and I'd rather not have to re-plumb everything just to put the sterilizer on the return line or drain or whatever. But my tank has an 80 gallon display (plus sump volume) which makes me think that the strongest HOB models I can find (like the 15 watt Aqua Ultraviolet Advantage) would be a bit too underpowered for my purposes.

Is there something available for larger tanks which is a bit more "plug and play?" Or do I have to resign myself to putting it in-line?
 
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SPR1968

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Just add a UV with a separate pump ? That’s what I did on my S650.

The UV needs to be the most powerful you can fit in your system otherwise your probably wasting your time, and as to wether it will work against dinos is another matter.
 

Beardo

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For fighting dinos on your size tank, the minimum size I would get is 32 watt unit.
Just note that not all dino species enter the water column at night and if you have a species that doesn't then the UV won't be effective. Do you know what type you have?

As far as setting it up on your tank; you can go with a temporary installation. What I did on one tank was I hung the unit on the wall behind the tank and used a seperate appropriately sized pump in the display plumbed to the inlet of the UV and plumbed the outlet of the UV to the other side of the display. Wasn't difficult, just isn't pretty.
For a more permanent installation though, and what I did on my main display, was plumb it into my return. I personally think this is the better way if you are spending the money on a UV. More work but in my opinion worth it. If you go this way, install isolation valves in the inlet and outlet of UV and install a bypass line around with a valve. This way if you need to do maintenance on the unit you can keep return flow going by valving out the uv and opening the bypass.
 
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eschaton

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For fighting dinos on your size tank, the minimum size I would get is 32 watt unit.
Thanks, that was bigger than I expected.

Just note that not all dino species enter the water column at night and if you have a species that doesn't then the UV won't be effective. Do you know what type you have?
I don't know for certain (not sure if I want to pop a few hundred for a microscope right now), but I believe I have Ostreopsis. They form golden-brown threads on the substrate, macros, rock, and even urchin spines which - when they get big enough - get gloppy and have bubbles. They tend to recede somewhat overnight (with the mucus seeming much less bright in the AM).


As far as setting it up on your tank; you can go with a temporary installation. What I did on one tank was I hung the unit on the wall behind the tank and used a separate appropriately sized pump in the display plumbed to the inlet of the UV and plumbed the outlet of the UV to the other side of the display. Wasn't difficult, just isn't pretty.
For a more permanent installation though, and what I did on my main display, was plumb it into my return. I personally think this is the better way if you are spending the money on a UV. More work but in my opinion worth it. If you go this way, install isolation valves in the inlet and outlet of UV and install a bypass line around with a valve. This way if you need to do maintenance on the unit you can keep return flow going by valving out the uv and opening the bypass.
I would prefer it to be temporary because I actually like the idea of having a vibrant planktonic community in my tank. I have been trying to control the dinos naturally (with vibrant, pods, Ocean Magik, a chaeto reactor, etc) and although the problem doesn't seem to be getting worse, it's not improving either.
 

Beardo

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Sounds like a species that goes in the water column based on your description. I fought dinos for years. First UV was too small so finally as last resort upsized to a 114 watt Aqua UV on a 270g tank. Reading other's experiences as well, I always recommend about 0.4 watts per gallon. You may be able to get by with a lower wattage but a 57 watt in a 240g didn't work for me. The minimum effecive size probably falls somewhere in between, just is a bummer to spend money twice. If just temporary, a jebao or something similar can be had for a decent price.

Vibrant and the like don't work as they just strip nutrients when you want nutrients to build competition. I tried everything, including vibrant and UV was the only thing effective. After getting rid of them, maintaining a healthy balance should prevent a return.
 

ReefLab

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68879F3A-CE11-4ED8-A318-508AD02A91D9.jpeg

I got an Aqua I’ve 25watt for my 88gallon display. I did redo all my plumbing to accommodate it and I’m glad I did. Keep in mind that it’s something you’ll want to run 24/7 and only need to maintenance occasionally. Its worth it to install It well, cleanly, and permanently.

the 25 watt will be a good size for your tank btw.
 
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eschaton

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Sterilizer came today. I did a ghetto temporary setup, because my cabinet is incredibly cluttered...though I'm just not that handy of a guy anyway:



Basically once it came I realized I could hook it into my Pax Bellum ARID (chaeto reactor) unit easily, given it came with barbs which fit the outlet hose, and I already had a secondary pump hooked into this system. This allowed me to only use one additional outlet for the UV sterilizer (the last free outlet on my strip). The hose had to twist awkwardly to hook up correctly, but it's set up and nothing is leaking. We will see if the flow rate is high enough in a couple of days, and if so, I'll try and come up with a solution which mounts the unit to the wall or ceiling of the cabinet.
 
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