UV Sterilizers: Under, Over or Just Right?

BRS

UV Sterilizers on a saltwater reef aquarium?

  • Underrated

    Votes: 105 24.3%
  • Overrated

    Votes: 141 32.6%
  • Just Right

    Votes: 186 43.1%

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rusty hannon

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I only run mine at night for a few hours to knock back some of the nastier stuff in the water column. Not attempting to kill every free floating cell, just limit stuff like dinos and cyano. Despite everything I’ve read about UV I’ve found great results with cheap in tank UV drop ins Like the 24w green killing machine.
That's what we use and our clarity is awesome and never had a outbreak. Our algae isn't a prob either the green killing machine rules
 

zukihara

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I have a new 80g and bought the 25W Aqua which I will be running at low flow for parasites, but will switch to high flow when algae issues appear. This was a lengthy topic in a recent BRSTV video, and they convinced me of this method.
 

Booyah

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Most of the large aquarium use uv. The science is there. Fish farms . Agricultural fish farms use uv. I use a chinese Amazon uv $20 on Amazon with a timer on off every 35 mins. No Dino no bacteria blooms. Healthy fish. Clear water, yeah don’t look at the uv directly I’m looking at that 65 dollar uv on Amazon. Fyi most of the expensive uv use the same china uv that’s 20 bucks . Reefers paying over $300 for the same bulb lol.
Could you please post a link to the one you have. TIA
 

kagisexton

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I run a JBJ Nanozapp on my 24g nano. Mostly sps tank. My return pump matches required flow perfectly. The water in there is gin clear and no algae issues ever.

Makes me want to add one to my larger tank.
 

vetteguy53081

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1. So what do you think about UV Sterilizers for your reef aquarium? Underrated, Overrated or Just Right?

Just right. I went quite a while with out one but currently run a Lifeguard 90wt. When used in conjunction with your primary filtration system, UV sterilizers offer unique benefits from water clarification to effective management of various waterborne microorganisms including free-floating algae. Algae, parasites, and bacterial diseases are a nuisance in any aquarium. There is nothing more disheartening than watching hours of constant aquarium maintenance come undone. If green water, algae blooms or persistent diseases plague your aquarium, consider combating the problem with a UV sterilizer.
Even the best cleaned aquariums can be a haven to aggressive algae. Normal feeding, biological filtration, and inhabitant activity can easily contribute to excessive algal nutrient levels. Also, our aquariums are exposed to light on a daily basis. Both nutrients and light encourage algae growth. Any aquarium – new or established – is susceptible to parasitic and bacterial infections. The main issue with algae, parasites, and bacteria is that each develop unseen. Excellent cleaning, filter maintenance, and the quick quarantine of any infected aquatic species are still the best ways to prevent problems. Medications are also effective; however, they must be administered carefully or else other aspects of your aquarium’s health are put to risk.
This is where UV light can be an effective addition to almost any aquarium. UV light targets the smallest of microorganisms, without harm to your other aquarium inhabitants. It works by altering the invader’s genetic material. This ultimately shortens the organism’s life cycle, thereby limiting its reproduction. Thus, that one single, tiny cell has less chance to blossom into an algae bloom or rapid-spreading disease.
Proper flow rate through the chamber determines how effective the unit will be .

2. Do you have a UV Sterilizer and if so which brand do you have?


Rainbow Lifeguard 90wt. Will be going to the 240wt in the future.
 

ca1ore

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Don't know how to answer this question. UV sterilizers are neither underrated nor overrated, they do what they do. I suppose peoples expectations may vary. I do think an UV can be a useful tool for a reef tank ..... maybe that's what you were really asking.
 

thepubenator

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I use only a skimmer and UV on my tank. I dont have the time to do regular WC anymore, and after running zeovit, BP etc for years it is great to have a low maintenance system. No longer have to change carbon, and find a fuge too messy.

I run aqua UV twist 57W via a ehwim compact at approx 1200LPH
FTS.jpg
sps.jpg
SSC.jpg
 

Reefs and Geeks

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Like you, I have an AquaUV Classic 57W sterilizer mounted horizontally on my 100gal IM EXT SPS tank. According to Apex, it pulls 44W and .3A. Stumbled across this thread, FYI:


Anyway, I find it just right and run mine 24\7, have sparkling clear water, no disease and a thriving SPS tank. Not changing a thing! LOL
Thanks for the link. Seems alot of people have issues with the aqua uv 57w being significantly under powered and no customer service to be seen with it. Very unfortunate. It's not exactly a cheap item, and I had worked pretty hard to save up to get it for my tank.

Even with the bad experience, I do still think UV is a useful tool for aiding in keeping tank water clear. I think with them being a pretty pricy add on, people expect miracles with them and can be disappointed when it doesn't cure the issue they thought it might so you see some mixed reviews. Realistic expectations for them I think is key for satisfaction. When in doubt, try to go larger so you don't have to worry so much about the balancing game of just the right amount of flow to be effective. Flowrate still matters, but for a higher power unit (for the same sized tank) it's not as critical.
 

ReefGeezer

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I voted "About Right". IMO, they work well for increasing water clarity and for virus protection... They are less effective against bacteria... and are least effective against protozoans. But, I do think that properly sized and operated units can reduce bacteria and even protozoans. That might keep outbreaks from overwhelming the immunity systems of host fish and allow them to survive.
 

Westside Guy

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I have a Red Sea Reefer 250 - 65 gallons (54 DT, 11 sump) what brand and model should i be considering?

Also if I install one do I have to worry about the tank's temperature going up to the point where i will need a chiller?
 

Emerson

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I think they are underated but... it depends on your needs. I never ran UV for 20+ years of reefing. Then I had the Cyano/Dino outbreak of the Century. After trying what seemed like everything and anything, I added UV (Pentair 25 W) with MB7 and a regimen of every other day changing Filter Socks, the pests finally "left". I have been cyano/dino free for over a year. Hard to say it was just because of UV, but it is now part of my tank husbandry. I keep running it for the bacteria and algae removal and it keeps the water crystal clear as a bonus.
 

Joerug

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Ouch! I have a check valve built into mine so if for some reason the flow stops (tank maintenance, feeding, etc), but power on for the light, it will not dry out. The small one does not empty by position will always have water.I will be double checking though.
Why not have power for pump and uv com on and off together then you don't have to worry about heating up and drying out.
 

fishbulb

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Cool, I took my ozone offline on this system since it was not needed. So if my ORP got to like 550 on the Apex, would you worry at all with it being that high?
Personally, I wouldn't worry about. But I don't worry about much. I find the less I try to micromanage the tank and just leave it alone, the better it does.

I've had my ORP drift up to 500 and it was fine. As long as you aren't injecting a bunch of ozone to get there, I just wouldn't stress it.
 

FFKiwi

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I have a new 80g and bought the 25W Aqua which I will be running at low flow for parasites, but will switch to high flow when algae issues appear. This was a lengthy topic in a recent BRSTV video, and they convinced me of this method.
Hey Zuki? Do you know the name of the video on the topic you watched on BRS about low for parasites and high for algae?
 

JediCruz

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So from my experience, I don’t think you need to run one. Depends on the biodiversity in the tank. I made the “mistake” of going with dry rock instead of live rock and not waiting until the bacteria was fully established on it. I cycled the tank but it was too early, in my opinion, for fish. 2 clowns and a Neon Goby suffered the consequences and didn’t make it. I ended up getting a UV Filter and that helped make up for my mistake of the dry rock. I ran that for a few months and now I have removed it and my tank has been running fine now for a month without it. Had I done it over again I would have done live rock, live sand (did that at least), dosed with different bacteria types of bacteria, and added corals and fish together as soon as it was cycled. With BRS’s vid about the biome in our tanks, it makes the most sense. Having a UV Filter would slow done the rate of multiplication, in my opinion. But this is just my theory based on anectodal evidence. I think @Bulk Reef Supply should do an experiment on instatanking’s viability and if viable, how to do it right with bacteria and no UV. I watched their vids on UV (even the recent ones) and I’m curious to see what have happened to their no UV tank had they been dosing bacteria or had a separate tank with no UV and good biome.
 

zukihara

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So from my experience, I don’t think you need to run one. Depends on the biodiversity in the tank. I made the “mistake” of going with dry rock instead of live rock and not waiting until the bacteria was fully established on it. I cycled the tank but it was too early, in my opinion, for fish. 2 clowns and a Neon Goby suffered the consequences and didn’t make it. I ended up getting a UV Filter and that helped make up for my mistake of the dry rock. I ran that for a few months and now I have removed it and my tank has been running fine now for a month without it. Had I done it over again I would have done live rock, live sand (did that at least), dosed with different bacteria types of bacteria, and added corals and fish together as soon as it was cycled. With BRS’s vid about the biome in our tanks, it makes the most sense. Having a UV Filter would slow done the rate of multiplication, in my opinion. But this is just my theory based on anectodal evidence. I think @Bulk Reef Supply should do an experiment on instatanking’s viability and if viable, how to do it right with bacteria and no UV. I watched their vids on UV (even the recent ones) and I’m curious to see what have happened to their no UV tank had they been dosing bacteria or had a separate tank with no UV and good biome.
Basically, I did what you are suggesting. I started my tank with several different types of bacteria with no UV but at the end of day 6 I added a good chunk of live rock from a well established tank to seal the deal and further bacteria diversity. I knew there was a good chance of aptasia but they also covered that in the videos saying using F aptasia works and seemed to be worth it.

I will be hooking up my UV Saturday though.

Right or wrong, it all made sense to me
 

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