UV Sterilizers: Under, Over or Just Right?


UV Sterilizers on a saltwater reef aquarium?

  • Underrated

    Votes: 105 24.3%
  • Overrated

    Votes: 141 32.6%
  • Just Right

    Votes: 186 43.1%

  • Total voters

Lowell Lemon

2500 Club Member
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May 23, 2015
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Washington State
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?
In two words insurance premiums! Manufacturing something electrical that contacts saltwater and the cost of meeting UL requirements costs money! Now add the cost of labor, rent, shipping, in other words overhead and slim profits and you have a final price. By the way it is not just PVC and a cheap bulb. For proper performance the water column passing through the reaction chamber must meet both the flow rate and contact time required to be effective. That requires science and engineering which also has a cost. Then there is quality control and testing to meet QC targets. Hope you are starting to see a picture of "why" the costs. Not to mention the layers of the distribution system and each step requiring a margin to remain profitable. Also this is a small market internationally so cost per unit is higher.

Until you have been in manufacturing you have no idea why something costs what it does. Why are cars and trucks selling for close to $100,000.00 and who can afford them electric or conventional fuel? Just saying all product prices are going up not down.

Westside Guy

Valuable Member
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Nov 30, 2018
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Hallandale Beach, FL
I live in South Florida and the AC is constantly running 24/7. During the day it is set at 75 degrees and at night I lower it to 71. I noticed that the water temperature in my tank had risen to about 79 degrees when I was running the UV sterilizer 24/7. My LFS suggested that I purchase a basic 24 hour 3 prong timer and only run the UV overnight when I also lower the AC temperature in my condo. The UV is now operating between 11 PM - 8 AM and that suggestion worked like a charm because the water temperature is about 76.5 degrees.

This basic outdoor timer which I mounted on the cabinet’s door is only $14 on Amazon.




  • 5% - 10%

    Votes: 71 9.3%
  • 10% - 20%

    Votes: 396 51.8%
  • 20% - 30%

    Votes: 182 23.8%
  • 30% - 40%

    Votes: 25 3.3%
  • 40% - 50%

    Votes: 17 2.2%
  • 50% or more

    Votes: 8 1.0%
  • No water change is worth it

    Votes: 30 3.9%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 13 1.7%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 23 3.0%