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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JediCruz

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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
With your tank, being that it probably has a good amount of biodiversity, running the UV in low flow to kill parasites would be great. For me, though, I’d worry about sterilizing the copepods in the sump as they move to the DT (theory about them dying by the return pump has been proven to be wrong as most survive the trip due to their “armor”). More biodiversity. It’s been my motto as of late.
 

DeniseAndy

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Well, my small UV has been on the frag/grow-out/lps tank for a bit over a week now. The water is clearer, the dinos are all but gone and the cyano and algae are dwindling. So, like the results so far. Corals are happy and growing too.

Cannot wait to see the results on the large tank.
 

Aqua5926

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I have never had them in over 17 years of keeping. However, I just installed one on my 40g/20g lps/frag/grow-out tanks. I battle algae, dinos, and cyano. So, I thought why not try.
Now my 210g, I never thought I would get one until this year. The dinos and cyano are driving me crazy. So, will install it over the weekend. Just got most pieces ready, so should be a quick install. Dry fit done.
I hope to run it only over the evening hours, but will start with 24/7 for a few weeks for sure.

Forgot to tell you which I went with, Lifeguard Aquatics. The monster on my 210g is Lifegard Aquatics Pro-MAX 3" Body 55W Amalgam High Output UV Sterilizer. The little one is Lifegard Aquatics Aquastep Pro 15 Watt UV Sterilizer.

I got the Hydor Sletz D DC pumps to go with them. The 3200 and the 750.
Have you put it on the 210 yet? If so, how's it doing, any notable changes?
 

Saltees

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My Deltec 80W UVC on my RSR500P runs at 1.5X through my sump from DAY 1. I'm getting ultra clear water and my ORP is up in the 400+. Current/y I'm carbon dosing TM ELIMI NP to bring down my high [email protected] and I'm shutting my UV for the treatment, I'm seeing the ORP dropping to 300+. Even with high PO4 I'm not getting algae, not sure if the UV delay or stop the algae bloom (ugly stage). BTW my tank is only 4 months old with fishes and LPS.
 

Isolatedreefer

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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.
I'm looking at the Lifegard 90 and the AquaUV 57 for a 210G+sump. Are you happy with the Lifegard quality?
 

Isolatedreefer

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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?
I have the same tank. After a lot of research (and excluding Pentair because it's hard to get and service in Canada), I chose the AquaUV 15 watt. I run it at about 200Gph for the last year, so just in excess of 90,000 uw/cm. My water is crystal clear (use carbon and filter floss as well). I have a melanurus wrasse that I did not QT, and he has always had one of 2 small white dots on his fins. Not sure if it is ich or not, but I just assumed it was and got a UV for that and for dinos. The white dots have never spread, and my yellow tang has never shown ich either. I still get some algae growth, but not significant. Dinos have never returned. Glass needs to be cleaned every 2-7 days. To combat this I would turn up my flow a bit to get more tank turnover/hour
 

Isolatedreefer

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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?
Sorry, missed the last part. With my AquaUV 15Watt, I did not notice a temp increase on my tank. I've been happy with the unit so far.
 

mobehtaReefs

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does tank size matter in cases like this?I have a 125gallon and was thinking of getting the 9W green killing machine though i just started noticing some green algae in my tank and I am mostly worried about ICH....should i go higher or size and watts dont matter
 

Isolatedreefer

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does tank size matter in cases like this?I have a 125gallon and was thinking of getting the 9W green killing machine though i just started noticing some green algae in my tank and I am mostly worried about ICH....should i go higher or size and watts dont matter
Wattage and flow rate are critical in uv being successful. Run low flow rate to treat ich, and high flow rate to treat for algea cells that are suspended in the water column. Research specific flow rates and wattage for your tank size and desired treatment. I would start with a youtube search of "brs tv uv" to learn more. I think the 9watt is way undersized for 125gallon. It will probably make your tank water clear by killing bacteria, but wouldn't be sufficient for ich. For instance, I sized a 15w aqua uv on my 50 gallon red sea reefer 250.
 

Isolatedreefer

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does tank size matter in cases like this?I have a 125gallon and was thinking of getting the 9W green killing machine though i just started noticing some green algae in my tank and I am mostly worried about ICH....should i go higher or size and watts dont matter
So yes, tank size does matter very much.
 

User

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Anyone else not quite understand why a $75 bulb, a $45 power supply and controller, and $15 of pvc pipe costs $600 to buy...?

I’ve been looking at a 57w range UV and it literally looks like it’s made out of pvc. Replacement bulbs are like $75, so why is the premium approaching $500?

considering it doesn’t even come with a pump, and it’s about 1/3rd as complex as a CaRx, what’s the deal with the pricing?
 

Isolatedreefer

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Anyone else not quite understand why a $75 bulb, a $45 power supply and controller, and $15 of pvc pipe costs $600 to buy...?

I’ve been looking at a 57w range UV and it literally looks like it’s made out of pvc. Replacement bulbs are like $75, so why is the premium approaching $500?

considering it doesn’t even come with a pump, and it’s about 1/3rd as complex as a CaRx, what’s the deal with the pricing?
Don't forget the quartz sleeve and gaskets to keep the bulb dry!
Yeah, they are huge profit per item. The only reason I see for such a huge markup is having a small economy of scale - not too many people in general buy this stuff, so we pay through the nose to make it worth their while to keep making them.
 

Isolatedreefer

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Anyone else not quite understand why a $75 bulb, a $45 power supply and controller, and $15 of pvc pipe costs $600 to buy...?

I’ve been looking at a 57w range UV and it literally looks like it’s made out of pvc. Replacement bulbs are like $75, so why is the premium approaching $500?

considering it doesn’t even come with a pump, and it’s about 1/3rd as complex as a CaRx, what’s the deal with the pricing?
I often feel financially gouged and abused in this hobby. One of the main deterrents for a lot of people I think
 

Lowell Lemon

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I used them for years in large display aquariums and multi tank systems for aquarium stores. Properly sized they are one of the most effective ways to control fish disease in large and multiple tank systems. My customers reduced their fish loss from as high as 30% down to less than 5% in almost every case. Many did not use copper in the fish holding systems. The more forward thinking stores had a small hospital tank section to treat customers fish and the weak fish they received in large trans-shipments. I followed the science haha unlike system designers of today lol. ;) My customers saved fish lives and money.
I used them for my home holding tanks while I supplied local fish stores as a kind of stop gap wholesaler. Always had healthy fish and many would breed in the reef tanks I maintained for local businesses. I also used ozone and protein skimmers on the holding systems as well to great effect.
 

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