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FAQs about Ultraviolet Sterilizers 3

Related Articles: Ultraviolet Sterilizers, Physical FiltrationUltraviolet Sterilizers in Pond Filtration

Related FAQs: Ultraviolet Sterilizers 1Ultraviolet Sterilizers 2UV Use in Business Set-UpsRationale/Use, Selection, DIY, Installation Issues, Operation/Maintenance, UV Lamp Replacement, Repair

"You gotta keep it circulated"

Using a U.V. Sterilizer during cycling a tank   2/6/10
Hey Bob, I have a quick question for you. Does using a UV sterilizer during a tank cycle ( fish only with no live rock or freshwater tank) slow down or inhibit the cycling process? Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.
<I think this would be an interesting (scientific) experiment to conduct.
Celebratedly, the bacteria involved in Nitrification reside on hard surfaces... not in the water column where they'd be readily exposed to the UV over time... but the UV does much more than "zap" such life... among other notable effects such irradiation raises RedOx and DO... maybe reducing the populations of water-suspended microbial life
enhances/decreases establishment... I suspect that having, running a UV might well shorten the time of establishing biological cycling. Bob Fenner>

UV/Marine Physical Filtration 10/16/09
Hey Guys and Gals,
I have a quick question about UV. I have been reading a lot about them but still have mixed feelings. Some people swear by it and some say it does not do much good. Two of the LFS's get their livestock from the same supplier. One store has UV and the other does not. They both got some infected fish and had a huge outbreak in their tanks. So the UV did not help the one store that has it.
<Once the fish are/is infected, either by parasite or bacterial infections, the UV does little good so as far as curing the fish.>
The more I read about it, the more I feel I should have it on my tank. From what I understand the water needs to stay on the bulb for a certain amount of time with a certain wattage to kill bacteria as well as parasites.
<Yes, contact time.>
The systems with enough wattage to handle my tank (120 gallon) tend to have a really quick flow rate which would not keep the water near the bulb for that long. Can you clear things up about UV and maybe make a couple of suggestions of which brands are best?
<You may be confused here. The flow rates given for sterilizers is the maximum flow rate that can be used while still providing an effective kill. Good water quality and
nutrition will go a long way in preventing diseases, and for my money, I'd rather spend
it on an ozone generator which can greatly increase the ORP level in the system.
Do read the links posted here, should clear things up for you.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

UV and Algae Scrubber 06/15/09
Hi Eric,
<<Hello Oowais>>
Thanks again for your reply.
<<You are welcome>>
I am planning to buy a UV-C integrated canister and I already have an algae scrubber working above my display tank, will the UV affect my algae filter and my coralline algae growth?
Regards, Oowais
<<Nopewont be an issue. But do make sure you understand the relationship/balance of Alkaline and Bio-Mineral content of your system re the Coralline Algae. Start reading here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm) and among the associated links. EricR>>

Filter idea's and UV questions. Filters/Selection 2/209 Good Morning to you. <Good afternoon Paul> I was at my local pet shop and seen a huge corner tank that looked beautiful and had 10 fish in it and was a reef set up with about 4 inches of gravel in the tank. The only filter on the tank was a protein skimmer, single canister filter and a very large UV sterilizer. Can you tell me the benefits of the UV on a reef tank.... I was told UV's were not a great add on and the question is still out there if they benefit or hurt a system. <They are beneficial but I would only use on a fish only system as they do kill the good with the bad i.e. pods etc. Do read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphysf.htm> I have just a fish and live rock tank on 125 larger bioload.15 fish with 10 of them being the size of a clown or 6 line wrasse, so the bio-load is not that bad with the smaller fish. I run a wet dry filter with a Aqua C protein skimmer, two media filters with carbon and phosphate remover, and two power heads with sponges on them in the tank. Want <What> would you suggest I add for filtration... should I add a lifeguard system to filter the water better and get more carbon into the system...... with so many theories out in the fish market. I really would love to hear someone list the equipment they would suggest I use on my fish/live rock tank. Would I benefit more from having a UV on my tank or would you say that on a fish only tank I should use a refugium sump... Also, this tank is beautiful with a deep gravel bed. I was told deep gravel beds were a negative in a tank and more beneficial in a sump? Please let me know if you think I should be adding a UV to my tank? <Reading the above link will help you decide on using an UV. As to DSB's, I'd much rather use a refugium type sump. Read again here and related articles/FAQ's. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm As for filtration choice on your size tank, I'd go with an Ocean Clear in-line filter. Much more filtering area than the Lifeguard, and a model is available with a built-in UV if you desire to go that route. Incorporating double quick disconnect valves make servicing easy. Look here. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3579+3662&pcatid=3662> Thank you so much for your help and suggestions. Great web site lots of information on your page.... <Thank you, and you're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Paul

Re: Filters Ideas And UV Selection 2/2/09 Filters/Selection Hello Again James. <Hi Paul> I know ultimately this is my decision to make. I will research your site on the provided links. If I understand you correctly, Your suggestion to me for my fish/live rock tank would be to turn my wet dry into a small refugium tank and add an Ocean Clear pleated filter as my mechanical filter on the main system... <Is just my suggestion. There are others on the market, choose which fits well with your operation and budget.> Is it my understanding that the refugium will help my system out against nitrate while the skimmer would help take out the dissolved organics <Both of these methods will help lower nitrate levels immensely.> and the Ocean Clear would take out the un-dissolved organics. <Along with a place to put chemical media if needed. The pleated filters can also be cleaned/reused.> I like what you are saying here. Do you suggest carbon in the system? <If needed, it is a double edged sword, will also filter out some trace elements.> One last thing James or whom it might be answering this. <Once a thread is started, the original crewmember answering it takes it to the end.> The gravel bed in the main tank should be shallow or just enough for my wrasses to dig themselves under. <Yes, three inches should be fine.> Is this best to vacuum this gravel out weekly/monthly, while leaving the refugium gravel bed alone and not vacuuming that out... <I vacuum my substrate every time a water change is performed and I do recommend it.> help me out on the UV, your real thoughts on a UV???? <UV systems are great for commercial/LFS use where tanks share a common sump. Any parasitical/bacterial spores are killed on contact thereby aiding in disease control/prevention in the entire system. If you are using a sterilizer, and a parasitical disease manifests itself in your tank, the UV is not going to cure the fish, will just kill unattached spores looking for a host, again lowering the chances of infecting other fish. Excellent water quality/parameters and nutrition go a long way in preventing disease. For a home aquarium, my choice would be ozone over UV as it does raise the Redox potential and aids to more efficient operation of the skimmer. I use neither of the two, but I tend to under stock and provide good water quality and nutrition. The last fish I lost was about three years ago...think he was older than me.> Thank you very much!!! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Paul

Natural filtration Vs mechanical 1/3/09 Hey Crew! <Hello> I am an active member on a reef forum and was asked to get some information about which overall is better, natural filtration such as Caulerpa, Chaeto, seagrass, mangroves, DSB, ATS or mechanical filtration such as skimmers or canister filters. <A combination of both is best in my opinion.> I have looked and looked and can not find any research data on this subject. I understand that if one was to use a skimmer rated for twice the water volume of the tank, it would be better than a handful of mangroves, however, what if there was a combination of natural filtrators that are being used, would they be better than a skimmer? <Personally I think a skimmer is the single most important piece of equipment there is for a tank, and would not go without one. However I put very little faith in their size rating, going more with overall quality.> For example, in my system, I have a 55g reef with 80lbs of Caribbean LR and a 1.5" sand bed. The 55 is looped into a 40g plant tank where I have 20 mangroves, a 5.5" DSB, and Caulerpa and some Halodule wrightii. Then, the 40g plant tank runs into a 20g sump where there is another 30lbs of LR rubble. I personally did not run a skimmer for 8 months and did not see any negative affects because of this, however I also do not have a heavy bioload. <Most likely the low bioload is mostly responsible, and not to belittle your accomplishments, but 8 months is really too short of a time to determine if your methods will be successful in the long run. I don't mean to say you will not continue in your success, its just tough to draw conclusions at this point.> I understand each system is different and each person finds the way that works for them. <Very true, but I will add I think most all tanks will benefit from a skimmer.> If one had the space, would it be better to have mechanical or a more natural means of filtration? <Well, if a baseline of a skimmer is there, I think many tanks can benefit greatly from macroalgaes, turf scrubbers and the like, often more so than some other mechanical means such as canisters and HOB filters which can be maintenance nightmares. My only concern is with some macroalgaes which can be quite aggressive chemically and effect corals and other invertebrates, and even fish life if proper water changes are not done.> This is assuming the mechanical filtration is rated for twice the water volume of the tank it is filtering. <Again I don't put much stock in these ratings, but a quality skimmer is worth much more to your tank than one of poor design, to the point where perhaps the skimmer is not doing much for you at all.> There is someone on the forum who runs an ATS and swears by it. If an ATS and DSB are utilized together can they together be as good as a skimmer rated for twice the tank volume? <Not in my opinion, I would rather remove the organics completely from the water column than sequester it in algae.> I am looking for data that states something like "in a 5 hour period a skimmer can collect ______ amount of _______ and in a 5 hour period a 3 lb patch of Chaeto can absorb ____ amounts of _______. <I have never come across data such as this, very little scientific studies are done directly for the hobby, although you may have some luck locating such data as it applies to food stock aquaculture.> Sorry if it seems I am being picky, but any and all info will be much appreciated! Thanks for your time! -Elliott <Sorry I don't know of any quantifiable data such as what you are looking for, and can only go by the collective experience of myself and friends in the hobby. Unfortunately there is little to no scientific research done of ornamental fish keeping, which is sad for the livestock in our care, but great for the many forums on the internet, where even the most ridiculous theories are often touted as truths. In a world where money decides what research is done, there just is not enough of it to justify good science for the hobby.> <Chris>

UV sterilizer 2/28/07 I have done very much research on this but have yet to see where it did or did not work.  I have a 115 Gallon saltwater tank.  Below it I have a 60 gallon refugium stocked with Caulerpa so that I can handle a decent fish load.  My question is this, how effective is a UV sterilizer run from a 50 gallon quarantine tank back to the refugium? <Not thorough enough, does not kill everything in the first pass.> I have one pump that sends water from the refugium to the display tank.  That water flows into the refugium, but I have a valve that I can switch that flow to go from the main tank in to the quarantine, and an overflow on the QT to send it through a 55 watt UV at about 200 gph and return to the refugium to start the cycle again.  I thought this was practical so that I would not have to constantly monitor a separate QT as much and the biological filtration would be handled by my main system.  I hope I was clear on describing this.  Do you foresee any problems with putting the fish in the quarantine, even with any problems and the UV killing anything before it gets to my display tank?   S. Brett Fuller <UV's do not have a 100% kill rate and this will lead to problems in the main tank.  Best to keep these tanks completely separate, not even sharing nets or other paraphernalia.> <Chris>

Re:  Copper Treatment.. Now Sea Salt Substitution 2/23/07 Dear Mr. Fenner/James <Akila> Thanks for your advice. <You're welcome.> I have been using natural seawater in my 80G because I cant find the synthetic sea salt in Ceylon but there are extra smooth iodized salt as local supermarkets. I have used these salts to hatch brine shrimps and succeeded. At 1.026 gravity the salt mixed water is very clear and looks clean. Therefore do you think its possible to use these salts as an alternative to synthetic salt? Will it be harmful for my tank? FYI, I only have fish and live rocks. <Would be very detrimental if not fatal using iodized salt.  Synthetic sea salts contain many trace elements which are needed and absorbed by fish and invertebrates.  Is one of the reasons we like to make frequent water changes to replenish lost elements.> One more thing, using ultraviolet tubes, is it possible to detect whether fish is infected with Ich. Because ultraviolet tubes reflect the color white intensively I was wondering whether there is a possibility to detect Ich beforehand clearly and effectively. <May be, but using these tubes without a protective filter can be damaging to your animals.  A good early warning sign is fish scratching against the substrate or rock.> Hope to hear from you soon. <Will do, James (Salty Dog)> Best regards, Akila

Summat about SW PB, UV  2/7/07 i have just purchased a55 watt uv and wish to plumb in rigid pipe work can you advise on tape or mastics <... Your English... I don't know what exactly you're referring to, wishing us to respond to... One can use Teflon Tape or its equivalent as a paste in thread to thread connections here... or take these out of the UV and thread in thread to slip fittings and solvent them... I would do this latter only with allowing space about the unit for removing the germicidal lamp, sleeve if it had one... Better by far IME to "cut in" such devices with a bit of flexible (vinyl) tubing, band clamps... such that you can manipulate the unit later for repairs, maintenance. Bob Fenner>

A Grab Bag of Questions... Water changes/SW, UV use, Sponges as foods   11/19/06 Good evening WWM crew, hope all is well. I have a few general questions for you, if you don't mind. First off, a good number of aquatic-veterans agree that, in most properly planned and maintained systems, smaller, more frequent water changes are more beneficial than larger, less frequent changes. I was reading Scott F's article on doing 5% water changes twice a week, and was wondering if it would be just as good, better, or worse to do 1 or 2% daily water changes? <Mmm, possibly... the ideal would be to continuously change out a bit... as in dripping in/out> Most of the information on daily water changes that my search turned up referred to emergency situations and medicated tanks. I currently live in an apartment and it would actually be easier for me to mix up a quick <Ahh... better by far to pre-mix, let age... per WWM...> 2 gallon (tank is 90g) batch of saltwater. And by "easier" I mean that my girlfriend does not like the idea of having a Rubbermaid trashcan full of water in the living room. <Can be located elsewhere... pumped or bucketed...> I'd estimate, three weeks of daily changes a month, and one week of a single 10% water change so I could actually have time to vacuum the gravel. Any thoughts or downsides?? <Time, trouble, spilling... mostly> Tank will be (still in the planning process) a 90g FOWLR system, with a canister, skimmer and maybe a UV sterilizer, (see next question.) I'm only picking out 4 or 5 medium sized fish as Bob, Anthony, and others suggested in various FAQs for this size tank. So, no major worries about the stocking level. My second question is... Any idea how a UV sterilizer would impact tunicate populations in a tank? <Mmm, possibly reduce available foodstuffs... are filter feeders...> I was given one as a gift, and figured I might as well hook it up, but was curious/concerned about its possible effect on the free-swimming young of tunicates. <Oh! These will likely be readily removed by skimming, predation... if produced at all> My concern stems from the fact that I would like to put a medium size angel in, and want there to be some live food available. I love the Apolemichthys genus, <Will very likely consume ascidians...> and it's not too hard to find retail specimens eating prepared foods in my area. <You are fortunate here> But even if it's eating, I'd like to provide the most complete diet possible. The sterilizer takes a 9watt bulb and suggests 100 - 200gph for most applications and I think around 50gph for parasites. I would prefer to hook it up to my canister's output at 350gph, because in all honesty this would make it much, much easier to clean, service, etc. Is it even worth bothering at that flow rate? <Yes> I know that the extra head (it's a "turbo-twist") will decrease the gph a bit, but I doubt enough to meet ESU's recommended flow rate. Also, on the general subject of feeding angels, is there any real risk to using most forms of "tree sponges" as feeder sponge for angels?? <Mmm... some... many of these... oh I see you address this below> Any concerns about toxicity or decay?? <Yes> I have a small 36"x18" tank I'm using to culture rock that I could quarantine the incoming sponge in. I've read the warnings about most types of "ball sponges," but haven't heard the same caveat about "tree sponges." If there are any major risks with "tree sponges," is there any decent type of sponge to use as a feeder, or is best to just rotate old live rock out and new live rock in? <This last is more... preferable. Oriental food stores may be able to supply you with useful Poriferans... in dried formats> (Shouldn't be a hassle with the extra tank.)  Any ways, thank you again for your help, this wonderful site and your contribution to the hobby. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Bubble Algae/UV Sterilizer - 10-30-06 Hello Mr. Fenner/WetWebMedia crew, <<Hello...Eric Russell here today>> I have just discovered a few pieces of bubble algae in my 110 gal aquarium.  The bubble algae was perfectly round and very dark green in color. <<A species of Valonia likely...not uncommon>> I manually removed them however one popped and I bet I will be seeing more in the future as spores were most likely released. <<Possibly...to what degree depends on how "suitable" your system is to harboring these algae>> A water test shows my nitrates are high (40 ppm). <<Yikes!  Indeed so if the test kit is accurate>> So, I know I need to work at lowering nitrates.   <<Yes...do start reading here and among the linked files at the top of the page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm >> I was thinking about purchasing a UV sterilizer which I think would kill algae spores with the additional benefit of killing parasites. <<I'm not a fan of these units on reef systems as they are too indiscriminate, but they can be of benefit for FO and FOWLR systems if you're willing to keep up with the high maintenance of these units>> However, I am concerned that using a UV sterilizer may reduce other algae which my lawnmower blenny eats. <<It will>> For now I will continue to manually remove any bubble algae I see as well as reducing the nitrate level. <<May be all you need do.  A possible biological control to this species of algae, in my experience, is the Foxface (Siganus sp.)...if your tank has room for the additional bio-load of course>> Do you think the UV sterilizer would help me here? <<Possibly>> And if so, what wattage would you recommend for a 110 gallon tank? <<I'd go with one size up from whatever the particular manufacturer suggests>> Thanks, BobbyG <<Regards, EricR>>

Plumbing a Sterilizer and Chiller...Separate Pumps? - 09/20/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I have a 15 gallon marine tank and am planning on upgrading it to a 35 gallon tank with a 20 gallon sump (still a small set-up I know, but it is all I have space for). <<Cool!>> Anyway, I am wondering about the best possible way to connect a UV sterilizer and chiller to the sump? <<Mmm..."best" would be with dedicated pumps for each.  It is too difficult/unreliable to try to balance differing water flow requirements for the different pieces of equipment on a single pump.  And, if a pump goes down for maintenance/replacement you don't lose functionality of all the equipment>> Could I connect the return pump in the sump to the sterilizer and then to the chiller or should I use separate pumps for each? <<Could...but I recommend separate pumps>> The chiller recommends a 250-350 gph pump and the sterilizer recommends a 100-200gph pump.  Are these gph the minimum flow needed or is that all of the gph that can be used? <<That is the recommended "range"...flow needs to be "within" those numbers, speaking of which...with these relatively low flow rates, adding a couple small submersible pumps should be quite simple>> Would it be alright to use a pump that has a greater gph flow than recommended? <<Can/will decrease efficiency of the unit>> Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work. <<We're trying>> Wayne <<Regards, EricR>>

UV Flow rate on a 37 column   9/1/06 Hello, Mr. Bob and crew! I have a real quick question, it should only take a second to answer. I am looking for a more specific answer than what I found on the site's 'UV' section. I have a 37 gallon column with 35+ lbs. of live rock. Anyway, every once in a while I see a couple of white spots on two of my fish. Water quality is good, I'm not overstocked, a good quality skimmer in place. There's never anymore then about 4-5 spots between the two affected fish. I have a skunk cleaner shrimp,... no one lets him do his job. <Happens> And a cleaner goby that doesn't clean. <Odd, but does occur> I qt everything that goes in the tank. I don't plan on adding any more fish. Just some xenia as the FINAL addition. I've recently went from a hang on bio-wheel to an Eheim canister. And I also bought a U.V. sterilizer. The turbo twist 3x,...it's a 9 watt for up to 125 gallons. Over kill maybe... my question is: The book that came with the U.V. calls for 100-200 gph and  I've also learned that a flow rate of 55 gph is best for killing parasites. I've never had a problem with algae, therefore that is NOT why I bought the unit. I want to kill free-swimming parasites. The Eheim has a flow rate of 106 gph. I currently have the UV hooked up to the return from the canister. Is this sufficient at killing parasites, being the fact the tanks size? <Yes... given the information, gear presented, this is how I would rig this up as well> I am fully willing to hook the UV to a separate pump if need. thank you.......   Adam B. <I would run as is. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: UV Flow rate on a 37 column  9/6/06 Okay,...but how about 127 gph? Is that still okay? The internet is full of bad info.....   I read somewhere that the canister I have is at 106 gph. Only to find out it's really 127 from Eheim. Thanks again   Adam B. <Actual flow rate/s vary... either of these will/would be fine. You do realize that UV alone will not "cure" parasitic diseases? Bob Fenner>

Re: Epaulette sharks/Pink Bellies/New tank on the way, pump sel.   8/24/06 Thank you so very much for your response and time!   I will go with the larger Eheim then. The sand was originally Caribbean sea live sand. The kind they sell in the bag with water. It is fine sand and nothing like crushed coral or aragonite was ever mixed with it. I was going to have 2 returns, one on either end of the tank but from your message it sounds like 1 return on one end is a better idea.    <... is it siliceous? Is it two dimensional, sharp... Read on WWM re>   I have a turbo twist UV that was on the current tank that I wanted to incorporate into the new tank. It was running off a small MaxiJet powerhead but since i removed all powerheads based on your previous responses I am not afraid to run it that way. I also assume a Y split on the main retune line to go thought he UV would be recommended either. Would the return volume from the Eheim going through the UV be too much/too fast?    <I would divert just some of the flow to/here>   I'm off to price compare the Eheims . . . .       -Michael <BobF>

Powder in U/V Sterilizer, CSL lead info.   8/12/06 Greetings, <Salutations> First off, thanks for bring us a great site full of useful information. <Glad to provide it> Now, my problem.  I have a CustomSealife 9W U/V sterilizer I'm using in a freshwater planted aquarium.  I got it to help with algae and it has done a great job of that, even though I just have it in-line with my Eheim. (Although, I think I will install a system to slow down the water in the U/V in the future.) <Mmm, a toss up between the kill per pass and overall efficiency... I wouldn't change your arrangement here> The bulb has burnt out and as you know, Custom Sealife is no longer in business. <There are other companies that carry their old goods> On a positive note, that is how I found your excellent web site. After reading some of the posts detailing water leaks and fire risk, I decided to open the unit.  Now, I did not know I should be opening it. Water flows through the unit in a double helix tube so I never opened the unit itself.  I found a little sign of water leakage but I did not see any evidence of damage to any of the electrical components.  The bulb was definitely blown.  The intriguing part was that I found about 1 1/2 cups of some type of gray powder loose in the canister.  I had to dump out the powder to make sure the bulb was bad.  The bulb was not broken and the double helix tube was not broken.  In fact, the water seemed to have come in through the screw holes from the outside and seemed very limited.  So, I am wondering first of all what the powder is, <Accumulated "dust" likely> secondly if it is supposed to be there <Mmm, not as far as I'm aware> and thirdly, if I need to replace it. <See above>   The gray powder does seem to be on the water flow tube and also on the metal shielding that lines the body of the unit. Any help is appreciated as I have no idea where to go from here. Thanks for your efforts and have a great day. Andy <Mmm... do please call Aqua Logic Inc. in San Diego, 858 292 4773 (they are very familiar with CSL products) ask for Jake Lockwood if he's there. Please write us back re his/their response to your questions here. Bob Fenner>

Algae Control...UV Sterilizer   7/7/06 Hello, <Hello Joseph> Just in the past few weeks, my tank has started to accumulate green algae all over the tank (green water).  My tank is right at the entrance to our backyard, but does not get DIRECT sunlight because we have a huge canopy covering majority of the backyard.  I've done approx. 20% water changes every other day for the past few weeks, however, the algae just keeps coming back. The water parameters are ammonia/nitrite 0ppm, nitrates 10ppm, ph7.2. Because the tank is outside, I'm figuring a UV sterilizer might be a good buy in this case?  Please bear with me here:  I have a 40 gallon tank, Marineland Penguin 350b power filter that filters 350gph.  I'm looking at the Coralife 9watt UV sterilizer which has a flow rate of 100-200gph.  Would this be compatible with my Penguin power filter?  Are there any correlation between the flow rate of the power filter and the flow rate of the UV sterilizer. <The flow rate of the UV means, for an effective kill, the flow should not exceed 200gph for this model.  You would need a power head rated at 200gph or less, to pump the water through the UV.  I would install a sponge filter on the power head, such as Hagen's, that is designed to be used with power heads.  Much better to pump clean water through the UV.> Any recommendations on whether it would be best to use the UV sterilizer as inline with the filter or hang-on-back and how would you recommend hooking up the UV sterilizer? <Your Penguin would be of little use feeding the UV as there is no way to attach tubing to it.  As above, a power head will be needed to feed the UV. The UV will not do much good killing algae already growing in the tank.  All it will do is kill water borne algae spores.  Outside lighting, even though indirect, will greatly enhance algae growth.  You may be fighting a losing battle here.   Controlling nutrients in your system will help also.  Read here along with related articles and FAQ's above title bar. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm Even though it is a marine topic, it does apply to freshwater also with the exception of protein skimming.  A Pleco in the tank will definitely help control the algae, but it would soon outgrow the tank.  James (Salty Dog)>      Any info/help would be very appreciative! Joseph

Re: 125 Gallon Aquarium - Proper Fish Selection... actually ongoing vague questions that are sufficiently covered on WWM    5/24/06 Thanks again Bob.  I believe the UV sterilizer will help control parasites on fish such as tangs, correct? Ryan Mullinax <Can help, won't cure. Bob Fenner>

UV Sterilizers...Too Much Wattage?  - 05/22/2006 Hi gang, <Hello Sam> I just recently bought a 57 watt UV for my 120 gallon. it's a FO. I heard 40 watt was ok however, my aquarium maintainer said 57 watts is ok. What do you think? Can you have too much UV light? <Nope, the higher wattage allows for higher gph rates/larger tanks.  The downside in using higher than required wattages is that you are adding more heat to the system. Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Sam Nitrate Control    3/29/06 Dear Bob!  <James today.> Can a UV sterilizer make the nitrate level lower in an only fish saltwater aquarium?  What do you think? <Won't do much for you in that regard.  A good protein skimmer will help.  Read here also. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm> Thank you for time!  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Sonny. UV Sterilizer... to UV or not to UV that is the question , alg. cont.   3/15/06 Ok I have a 220 gallon tank that has a real nasty algae problem, the water has turned this murky green I can't see my 3 fish unless they swim up to the front next to the glass, or the back of the tank I have tested my phosphates and it was at .5 so I added Phos-ban  or Phos-guard, not sure what it's name was yesterday, The history of this tank is this, there was a ick outbreak, put fish in QT treated fish there and treated main tank with lower SG 1.009 and Cupramine. After the treatment I put carbon filters back into my 3 powerfilters and turned on my protein skimmer and started to raise the SG back up to normal. well after a few days my water started to turn this cloudy greenish/yellow color. <The algae taking "advantage" of an unstable, predator-less environment (you bumped off most all of the microscopic algae eating life)> I have done several water changes on the tank doing as much as 45 gallon changes and the green water is still there. I think it looks worse since I did the water change this last time.  I have power heads with air stones to bring in air to the water since I have this huge algae bloom. Here is my question. I have been told that the only way I will be able to get rid of this is with a UV sterilizer. <A good part of it... likely so> It will keep the green water away permanently. <Mmm, maybe... if you have circumstances that otherwise don't favor this> I'm not sure if my LFS is trying to push me to buy or is actually giving me good advice. I have so much tied up in this system at this point I would really like to enjoy it. Would a Gamma UV 25 Watt sterilizer be enough for my tank size? <A good start... actually more watts could go here> Doctor foster and smith have it rated for a tank of 500 gallons with a max flow rate of 2000 gph. Thanks for all your help on this. <Mmm, before buying I would read over the materials posted on WWM re UV use in marine systems, algae control... Bob Fenner>

UV sterilizers  - 03/11/2006 Do you know much about  UV sterilizers <Some...> Do you recommend the use of  UV sterilizers in home aquariums <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/UVFAQs.htm and the linked files above> I  hear they work well in controlling  parasites such as ich . <Can help... but won't eliminate their possible introduction, spread... See...>   Is it true. Thanks for responding <Bob Fenner> UV sterilizer   03/07/06 Hi guys, First and foremost I would like to say how great your website has been.   I am fairly new to the hobby but I have learned a lot from my dad, as we have had tanks my whole life.   So here's my question:   We have a ninety gallon tank with a sterilizer on it from 1984. <I do hope/trust you've been switching... oh, see this below>    My dad has kept up with changing the bulbs periodically over the past 20 years, and now i have grown very fond of these tanks and have begun to take care of them.   Being that the sterilizer is 20 years old, is it still doing its job? <Likely so>    Does it need to be replaced?    <Likely not> What is the shelf life on theses items?   <The ballast still works? If it's sleeved (a tube of quartz or Teflon twixt the water, lamp), that has been kept clean? The lamp replaced about every 8-10 months...? This is about it> I just recently added 12lbs. of live rock (cured) and I am continually checking the ammonia level. There is a Des. Tang, <Need lots of room...> and clown in the tank , and the levels are between 0 and .025, will this kill the fish at these levels?   <... levels of what? See WWM re> Should i take them out of the tank until the ammonia goes down to 0? Thanks WBM <... Bob Fenner>

UV/Vitamin C/Lionfish Behavior - 03/02/06 Dear Eric <<Hello Akila>> Thanks for the advice. <<Always welcome>> I got hold of a 9W UV sterilizer and installed it to my main tank. Do you think this is good enough for the tank? <<It can be beneficial to your FOWLR system, yes.  Do be sure to keep up on the maintenance of this device.>> I fix it to my canister filter's output & hope this will do some good for my tank.  Do you think this UV will increase the tank temperature to damaging levels? <<no>> I read so many articles that said Vitamin C supplement is very good for Marine Fish.  It's pretty hard to get hold of such at the LFS.  So is it possible to use a Vitamin C supplement manufactured for Humans and soak or inject with food and feed fish? <<Hmmm...ascorbic acid is just that, but I think the vitamin C supplements manufactured for aquariums are "buffered" differently from those consumed by humans (Bob, please feel free to interject here).  Under your circumstances I think it is worth trying, but keep an eye on your system's alkalinity.>> Also my Lionfish seems to be doing well.  He eats very well and seems to be free from any infection up to now (fingers crossed!!!). <<Excellent my friend.>> He doesn't swim a lot but, he stays in one place most of the day but swims a bit in the late evenings and early mornings but when he sees food he seems to be just fine and very alert.  Is this normal with Lionfish? <<Typical behavior, yes.  These fish tend to "hide" during the brightest part of the day.>> What do you think?  Is this something to worry about? <<Not at all.>> Appreciate your response Thanks Best regards Akila <<Very welcome, EricR>> UV and stray voltage... Trouble Hi, I just recently installed a 80w Current USA Gamma UV on my 220g marine tank.  After installing it I noticed that my Pinpoint PH probe would no longer get a steady reading. <... you have an electrical "leak"... bridged contacts, perhaps a cracked sleeve...>   It would vary drastically and caused my to believe that it was possibly stray voltage from the UV. <Yes, likely so> I know they read positively charged hydrogen ions and thought that maybe electricity was altering it. Well, I unplugged the UV (it was on a separate outlet) and the PH probe began to read normally. I haven't plugged the UV up since and was trying to find some information on what the problem could be, and if it is harmful? <Potentially... very. To your livestock, you> Do UV's normally alter PH probe readings? <Mmm, will elevate them slightly over time...> What can I do to ensure its not harming my livestock? The fish in my tank acted normally for the few hours it was on. Also, I've tried emailing Current USA but have yet to receive a response. Do you know of a tech support number they might have? Thanks, Brandon <I would remove this unit, carefully take it apart, dry all, re-lube the compression fittings for the lamp/sleeve, use silicon lube on the contact pins... put it back on, plug-in and see if this corrects the stray voltage... AND I would definitely plug this (and all other electrics) through a GFI/GFCI device. Bob Fenner> Re: UV and stray voltage... USE the GFI! Thanks for the reply. Well after sending the email, I found a contact number for the manufacturer and they said this was very normal. I explained that the PH probe was not just varying slightly, but was erratically moving back and forth to abnormal readings (ex.8.8-7.3). <... pH is the negative log (base 10) of hydrogen ion concentration... this is a huge variance...> The tech support guy said that this is common and that the UV light attracts ions toward the unit altering the probes ability to get a steady reading. He advised me to plug this unit back up and install a grounding probe if I wanted my PH probe to work properly. <? A grounding probe? For what purpose?> He sounded like a trust worthy source. I spoke with two other people before I finally spoke to someone competent about my situation. But it still makes me wonder. I don't feel any type of shock when I stick my hands in the water. I'm going to try your advice and make sure its installed properly. But what if it still reads erratically? I also plan to use grounding probe. I have a GFCI that contains three prongs, that I can also hook the UV to. I know this device protects against shock and electrocution, but how will it prevent stray voltage from flowing into the tank? <... These devices "count" the flow of current/numbers of electrons if you will, coming and going... as in sixty times a second (Hertz) from and to the two wires in the circuit... if this number varies just a little, the circuit will be interrupted (shut off) by the GFI... if the electricity is flowing elsewhere... as in through you to ground, the GFI will shut off the power> Will it just reset, if there is some type of leakage? <...? No... has to be manually re-set... Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Brandon <I would contact a real electrician or ask an electrical engineer for "real" advice here.> Re: UV and stray voltage 1/16/06 Thanks again for the response. But now I'm really confused. I guess I just really want to know, what I'm supposed to do to insure that the UV is hooked up properly. <Uhh...> I know that it causes my PH monitor to read erratically. Not slowly over time, but it makes irregular readings skipping multiple tenths at a time (ex.8.3 then to 8.56 then to 7.93, all in a matter of seconds). <Mmm, yes...> The company tech said this is normal, and that the UV attracts or disperses ions, causing the Pinpoint PH probe to not get a clear reading. <... no...> He said that he fixes this by placing a titanium grounding probe in the tank. And that he had just recently done this on an octopus tank he had set up. <Think... such probes... are grounds, electrical... but not designed to make large voltage potential run-offs... your wet feet might be a better route...> I hooked the UV up to a GFCI plug and experienced the same problem with the PH monitor. I thought that maybe if the UV was causing stray voltage that the GFCI would reset or automatically turn off. <Danger Will Robbins!> But it functioned properly. <It did not shut off?> I've checked to make sure the unit and bulbs are installed right, and they are. I guess my question to you is, short of never running the UV, how do I insure that UV is not slowly leaking voltage into my tank? I never feel anything when I stick my hand in the tank, and I know that the signs to my livestock are not immediate, and their health will just slowly dwindle with time. So is there anything I can do to insure myself that my livestock are not being slowly tortured? I'm sorry for nagging you so much, but this is nagging me a lot worse knowing the potential consequences. Thanks, Brandon <Please re-read my last email to you... Seek/get professional electrical help. Bob Fenner> UV sterilizer flow rates 01-06-06 Hello, <John> Happy New Year!!! <Same to you and yours.> I just purchased a 36 watt Coralife UV sterilizer for my 125 gallon reef tank. My question is on the proper flow rate needed to zap Crypto (protozoans)? The manufacturer suggests a flow rate of 290gph. I did some research and found that a slower flow rate about 100gph is better for zapping protozoans. What do you think? <The slower the flow, the greater the U.V. exposure to the water in the chamber. The only drawback to this is the amount of heat generated by the bulb. The problems you may see with a lower flow rate is increase in heat transfer to your tank and possible damage or early wear on your equipment. With only a slight increase in efficiency I personally could not justify risking my equipment, but that is a decision you will need to make on your own. As a side note, U.V. sterilizers are not normally used on reef tanks due to their inability to tell friendly organisms from their intended targets.> I plumbed it in my sump with a dedicated power head. I can adjust to inflow with a small ball valve if need be...Thank you to the entire WetWeb crew hope all your holidays were joyous....See ya John <Happy Reefing, Travis> Metal clamps and marine systems Hi Guys, I have a small pump in my sump that is running my UV sterilizer. I have a stainless steel hose clamp holding the tubing on to the pump. Will that affect my water quality, and if so do you have any suggestions. Thanks, Stephen G. Mule <Such metal clamps can be problematical, or not... depending on their placement, likelihood of rusting, falling into parts of the system. I would go with non-metal clamps. Bob Fenner> UV Sterilizer Brands and Uses  12/16/05 I really appreciate the advice that I have received over the last couple of years. <Your welcome, Im glad you have found us to be helpful.> Now the UV filter. <Okay.> The Jebo UV filters are almost too good to be true concerning price (around $40 w/pump). Are these just a piece of junk, or can I expect to get some use out of this product? <Well Ill say this, You get what you pay for. While I will not go as far as to say this product is worthless its quality is no where near as high as say the fixtures made by Coralife/ If you plan on this fixture being a long term component on your system I would invest in something that will last longer.> I am finally investing in a UV filter to try and cut down on some of the free floating algae in my tank. This UV light will help to clarify my water due to this problem correct? <To some degree yes. There is a lot of controversy as to whether UV sterilizes help, I think the important thing to remember is that they are indiscriminate, they will kill the good and bad things that pass through them.  My overall opinion of them is that they are useful tools to have and can be quite helpful in some situations but not necessary or mandatory components by any means. Adam J.> UV Sterilizer Effectiveness in Marine Aquaria  12/04/05 I plan to put a 110w TMC commercial UV sterilizer on my 220g fish only with live rock tank. <Okay.> The manufacturer states that the unit operates at 30,000 uWS/cm2 @ 1020 gallons per hour. <Its a biggun.> I know this is effective to kill bacteria and algae, but what about protozoans like ich and velvet? <Simply put am Ultra Violet Sterilizer will only kill watt passes through it this includes the good and the bad. It is not effective at solving a parasite problem (full eradication/disposal), simply because the chances of every individual parasite passing through it is so low.> I understand that UV is not very effective at eradicating a parasite, <Right.> and that it does little to the tomite phase. But at what uWS/cm2 is UV helpful in controlling the free swimming stage of protozoans? <The ones that pass through it (the UV). Of course, as Im sure you know, if you have an out break in the display the best way to treat is to remove the specimens to a quarantine tank. As far as UV usage lets just say there are mixed reviews. I have one but use it only on occasion and in emergencies, such as unexpected algae blooms (a small Caulerpa reproductive event in this case).> I've referenced several sources and tables but none mention this exactly, just the tomite exposure. Thanks, <Welcome.> Brandon Hathcock <Adam J.>

To UV or not to UV - That is the question.  12/9/05 Dear crew, <Hello, Adam J with you today.> I was planning on the purchase of a UV sterilizer for my live rock reef tank containing soft polyps, snails, hermit crabs, cleaner shrimp and various "reef-safe" fish. Everything is fine. Will a UV sterilizer be beneficial or can it possibly hurt the balance in my tank? <I think the important thing to know about U.V. units is that they do not discriminate. Whatever passes through them will be killed, whether it be good (microfauna) or bad (pest algae and parasites). For this reason, as you mention below, there are mixed reviews. They are not necessary to mandatory by any mean but personally I think it is nice to have one for emergencies such as "algae" events of epic proportions and while they are not efficient at eradicating a parasite they are a good tool. I only run mine occasionally (when pruning algae or new introduction of an animal.> It seems I've read views for & against. Please help!  <Overall they are a nice luxury but not necessary.> Thanks, Wayne Oinonen <Adam J.> 

UV Sterilizers for ballast water - High School Robotics Team Query (Exciting!)  11/18/05 Hello there, <Hi there> You all have been so helpful to me in the past. Thank you again! My question this time is not really related to aquariums, however I am hoping you can point me in the direction I need to go. I have been reading all that I can find on the UV sterilizers for fish tanks.   My son is on a LEGO robotics team. Every year they are given a mission.  This includes making and programming a robot and also a research project. This years mission is an Ocean Odyssey. The research project they have chosen is how ballast and bilge water can carry organisms into foreign habitats and how to solve this problem. They have come up with some ideas, the UV sterilizer being one of them. They are trying to find out if this could be a practical solution.  <I do think so... not toxic, but useful for "zapping" micro-organisms, producing ozone.... which also has a sanitizing effect> The cons in Bob Fenner's article Protein Skimming, Ozone, and UV Use in Marine Filtration do not cause a problem in this usage. Any help or ideas would be great! Thank you, Cindy Haralson for the Polar Bears Robotics Team Kenai, AK <You go team! Bob Fenner>

UV Light 11/3/05 Hello guys, <... and ladies...> I'm thinking of using UV light to fight algae bloom in aquarium but I have a macroalgae which is Caulerpa and I don't want to hurt it. Will UV light hurt it? <Mmm, nope> Also what's the suitable UV light in terms of power (watts) for a 4'x2'x2' tank.  <<The one that exploded..???>> Your advice is very much appreciated. Thank you. Sam Malaysia <Depends on flow rate through the unit... but likely more than 40 watts is not useful. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Jebo UV  9/30/05 Hi, I have a question about a new Jebo 9watt UV sterilizer (outside aquarium) I just bought. I have seen you have answered the question for someone else. But I am confused about the extra piece that comes with this. It is call LifeTech AP 1500 aquarium liquid filter. On the side of the box it shows it hooked up to a underground filter. I was going to hook up the sterilizer after the filter (Fluval 404), should I connect the hose that returns to the part on this that propels the water in? Or do I even this piece? Thank you for your time. Ashley <I would leave this bit off... not worth the time/trouble of servicing, and no need here. Bob Fenner> In search of new UV sterilizer units 8/11/05 Hello all! <Wendy> I work for a medium sized aquarium maintenance company and have been given the daunting task of finding a replacement UV sterilizer units for the Aquanetics units we can no longer purchase (since I believe they have gone out of business) <Yes... John (Epps) sold a few years back (we were friends for many years, both live in San Diego...) and the new folks folded> My boss would prefer to use the same type of bulb (with two pins on each end of the bulb). We have tried the new Coral life Turbo-twist UV's and have had no end of problems with units that leak, which in a corporate environment is a disaster. <Yes> We had another company, that I can't currently remember the name of, which made very nice units, and then went out of business after 6 months. What we need is a unit that is reliable, that uses the same bulbs as the Aquanetics, and from a company that is not going to disappear faster than Cinderella after midnight! Please help... Keep getting soaked with UV sterilizers... Wendy Amaral <Contact Chris Buerner at Quality Marine here... perhaps TMC's Vectron units will work for you... They're what our service company used to use, and what they use at Quality... Bob Fenner> UV Question 8/2/05 Hello; <Hi there> I once sent a mail to WetWeb. I didn't receive a reply. In case you recall that email and my name attached to it, I thought to add a humble apology. At that time I was relatively new (still am though) to fish keeping, but at the same time I didn't want to come across as unknowledgeable for some reason. I was likely tired and frustrated that evening trying to find answers on-line to my problems. So I may have "over-stated / emphasized" some need to establish a lack of ignorance on my part while asking questions. I likely did not come across well - so sorry. <No worries> I have been reading on WetWeb for several months. I wind up in your archive somewhere every time I have questions. Thanks for having that info available free to the public, and thanks up front if you have time to assist me here, please. <Welcome> UV Sterilizers: I've read through your UV info; but could not find info regarding over-sizing UV's and effects on temp. <Usually not a real issue... as the wattage described is not the watts added... especially with most modern units that are sleeved...> A tech aid at Dr. Foster&Smith recently told me that you cannot go too big regarding UV wattage. <Practically this is so> Also - they post a chart stating required flow rates for parasite kills. (btw - I have read your statements regarding UV's actual effect on parasites and the narrow range / requirements within which any benefit exists. I understand UV may not be an effective guard - and I do use HT / QT, btw.) <Ah, good... UV is a useful adjunct....> Even still I plan to purchase UV's, and to use this simple standard (running the Turbo Twist models): -- On QT / HT I'll run 9w UV in-line using a Hydor Prime-10 (80 gph) -- On all tanks less than 55 gal I'll run 18w in-line to a Hydor Prime-20 (155gph) -- For tanks 55 gal to 90, I'll use 36w and a Hydor Prime 30 (230gph) -- anything bigger I'll use 55w UV +,  and maybe a Filstar XP3 (350gph). My concern is if I use, say, an 18w UV with a Hydor Prime-20 on a 20gal / 30gal tank - or a 36w on a 55gal tank - (using the Hydors), then what would be the temperature effect of this over-sizing / low flow-rate attempt? <Almost negligible, as you will find> Will I need a chiller? <Not unless you need one already> I have an air-conditioned home; but in the summer my tanks always stay about 80 deg F regardless - so I'm concerned that  the larger UV's will only lead into chiller costs too. Thank You Scott K <These fluorescent UV lamps run quite cool. No problem. Bob Fenner>

UV sterilizer and flesh eating bacteria 7/24/05 Hello, <Hi there> Could you please tell me whether UV sterilizers will reduce somewhat marine ulcer disease AKA flesh eating bacteria AKA vibriosis? <Mmm, indirectly... through water quality improvement, increased redox, oxygen concentration... sure> I am treating my seahorses with antibiotics in quarantine. However I am considering a UV sterilizer for the main tank (has live rock) to reduce the bacteria. What do you think? Regards Katja <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/UVFAQs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: UV sterilizer and flesh eating bacteria 7/25/05 Dear Bob, <Katja> Thank you. I have been reading your posts and info sites for two years now. Most excellent help!  I have learnt so much. I asked the UV question because I was not sure whether Vibrio is a free swimming bacteria <Mostly not> and thus destroyed via UV. However I hope that the horses (given they recover) will develop 'more' of an immunity to it. The main tank has been (and will again be) brought up to tip top condition. Hopefully with more frequent water changes I will manage to reduce and keep down Vibrio bacteria populations.  From what I have read, UV is more like a bonus / additional help <A good way to put it/this> and more of a luxury which I hopefully will one day try out. You don't have to reply to this letter, I just wanted to thank you :>. Regards Katja <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>

JEBO UV-H13 QUESTION Hi, I just bought a Jebo Uv-H13 U.V sterilizer but I don't know which inlet/outlet hose connector is the "in" and which one is the "out". When you answer me I will take the electricity cable as reference. Thanks Marta <Actually doesn't matter which end is which here... I do want to mention to make sure your connections are tight (I'd use some plastic clamps (not too tight!), and to take care with making sure water cannot trickle down the power cord, into an electrical outlet (loop the cord...). Bob Fenner>  

Tangs, Crypto and UV - In Other Words "QUARANTINE"! (5/15/05)  I have 3 tangs in my 125G tank, and they are all getting along very well. Rarely see a raised fin, tail slapping, etc.  <Lucky you. It may not stay that way as they grow.>  That said, two are the most common contractors of ich, the hepatus and the powder blue.  <Yup.>  My reef has way too much rock with coral frags all over to dig out. If I wanted to be proactive, what is the best way to make sure ich does not enter the picture.  <4 weeks of quarantine for any new additions. Make sure they get a good variety of food with plenty of algae. Supplement with vitamins and HUFAs, which may help prevent HLLE, a big problem with the Hippos. Keep system as stable as possible. Minimize stress. Remove aggressors if problems do develop eventually.>  I do weekly 15% to 20% water changes, aggressive skimming, etc. Occasionally I'll see a tang scrape against a rock a time or two, but I always hope it was just an itch.  <If this is occasional, it is probably not a concern.> Bottom line: do UV Sterilizers, large enough with a slow flow rate, eliminate ich with destroying too much beneficial stuff?  <No guarantees. It may help and some people run it periodically or continuously, though there have been unsubstantiated concerns of this leading to immunodeficiency in the fish. For a great summary of UV pros and cons, read Scott Michael's marine parasite article in Aquarium USA Annual. It was the 2004 Edition, I think.>  Thoughts on the best way to avoid problem before it starts?  <As above.>  Thanks.  <Hope this helps.> 

UV sterilizer, using WWM Good day, <And thou> I firstly want to say that I think you guys are the best! <What about the gals?> I have had problems with whitespot disease (a couple of times) in my marine aquarium in the past.  A chap at one of our local fish stores sold me a UV Sterilizer and told me that I should not have to worry that my livestock would get the whitespot disease again, <Wrong...> if no new livestock was added without being quarantined. <Oh!?>   I have a 250 Litre aquarium.  The UV sterilizer is a 9 Watt unit and the manufacturer states that for my aquarium size I only have to operate it for 7 hours and 30 minutes a week, passing the water through it at a rate of between 100 and 190 litres per hour. <No... needs to run continuously...>   I have installed it with a timer, to operate it for 1 hour and 15 minutes per day at 150 litres per hour. Is there a best operating period of the day (Day time or Night time)?  Is my set-up correct or must it only run one day of the week continuously for 7 hours and 30 minutes? Thanks. <Please... read... on WWM re... starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/UVFAQs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Hermit Crabs Hello crew. I have two questions. When my SW hermit crabs molt, should I clean up the remains.  <It's not necessary, you can for aesthetic reasons.>  The other question is about UV sterilizers with live rock. I have read that they kill off organisms that the rock produces, but have seen many tanks with LR and sterilizers. Thank You for any words of wisdom.   <UV sterilizers will only kill what goes through them.  So, if you should have a pod population, any of those critters taking the ride through the UV will be zapped.  James (Salty Dog)> UV and Quarantine (4/2/05) I am currently cycling a 52 gallon marine tank with cocktail shrimps... <Do you plan to eat them? Sorry, couldn't resist. I am not familiar with an aquarium species referred to as "cocktail" shrimp. I've only heard of the ones you buy at the grocery store.> ...and it seems essential that I also have a quarantine tank (perhaps about 20 gallons).  <Yes!>  There is a lot of information on your site on the details of this, and how long to keep fish in there (21 days on average for trouble to show up).  <More precisely, if you have gone 3-4 weeks without having problems, then it's unlikely that any will crop up after that.>  Many people who have submitted questions are in damage control scenarios by not using quarantine tank initially, hoping that an UV sterilizer would help rid of a disease problem in a display tank (if only it were that simple!)  <Hear, hear.>  Are there significant cost effective advantages in having a small UV sterilizer up and running in a QT from the moment the fish are put in there for their three week stay in the hope that this may stop any potential disease outbreak that could develop in the first place?  <UV sterilizers are rather expensive, so I doubt that one could call them cost-effective in this scenario. That said, I will not deny the potential benefits of UV--I use one myself on my display tank. Using it in QT seems better as part of a treatment for infection, rather than as a "preventive." If infection is noted as part of initial quarantine, one could consider UV as part of the treatment, but I doubt it is cost-effective compared with the many relatively inexpensive medications available.>  All the Best. Mike Lomb  <Same to you. Steve Allen.> 

UV Hi everyone, I was getting ready to purchase a U.V sterilizer for my 125 gal. The tank is only 4 weeks, and is now cycled. At what point can I add a U.V sterilizer ? I had read not to use them on newly set up tanks. Also I had a 9 watt Coralife Turbo twist for my 55 gal, it said it treated up to 125 gal. but I have read a few places that I would need a 25 watt for a 125 gal. Really confusing. I want to get the correct wattage, any advice? By the way, sorry for the capitalization problem, I am working on it. Thanks for answering so many silly questions. And don't worry, if I get any new fish it will be months from now, I just like to plan ahead and research so I don't end up with an incompatible or non-hardy fish.  <Kim, here is a link on UV worth reading for a better understanding of it. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again for your help, Kim  <You're welcome> <Marina greatly appreciates your efforts with capitalization!  Makes my job much easier.> 

FW Stingray kiddie pool, UV sterilizer effect on it Hello, I have a 900 gallon swimming pool in my basement for freshwater stingrays.  This is the kind of pool you set up in the back yard for kids to swim in. They call it "Easy Set Pool".  All plastic pool.  Been running fine for 4 months now, no problems. I was told the pool itself is fish safe??? <Should be... if the plastics were toxic you would know so by now> I just added a UV sterilizer to it yesterday. Is the UV safe with the pool itself? <Should have no effect> Just want to make sure the UV won't interact with the pool material. Any info would be so much appreciated. I value your time and answer. Thank you for the awesome web site ! Regards, Darrel. <Ultraviolet sterilization will elevate the pH of the water a slight amount, increase redox potential, "burn" up some organic constituents in the water... makes little difference to the container itself. Bob Fenner>

Wipe out Hi James,  <Hello Deb> As of today I lost all of my fish. <Sorry to hear this.>  I had the LFS service come to my home and he said he felt I had a bacterial infection going on based on the look of one of my fish I saved for him. The fish had a pinkish to light red line going down him. He installed a UV sterilizer for me and said to give the tank 5 days to rid of the bacteria then add one fish as the tank could be without fish this long. I have two cleaner shrimp and five small snails left, everything else is gone. I am so discouraged by this whole thing, as well as upset that we lost such beautiful fish.  Is this the correct procedure, is 5 days long enough to wait? All levels in the tank are where they should be so water quality is not a problem. He said he would not treat with medication as that disrupts the whole system, that he would let the UV do its job. Any thoughts and advice are appreciated.  <Deb, first of all, a UV is only going to kill what goes through it. There is no guarantee that all the bacteria will be killed. I would let the tank run for at least three weeks if not four. This way, if there are any parasites (ich) in the tank, these should die off also. Then I would consider the use of a quarantine tank for new arrivals before they are put into the display tank. James (Salty Dog)>

Turbo-Twist Hook-up (2/10/05) I just spent a good couple of hours installing my new Coralife Turbo-Twist (12x-36W) into my freshwater tank canister filter's outflow line. Now that I have hooked it all up, spent time flushing air out of the system, and hooked it up to see it all work terrifically without any water leaks. I discovered I connected the water flow lines to the UV sterilizer backwards. The outflow of the canister is flowing into what should be the outflow of the sterilizer, and the what should be the inflow of the sterilizer is flowing into the tank.  The instruction manual specifies which are the inflow and outflow ports on the sterilizer, so it is my goof, really. However; now that I think about it, I wonder if it really makes a difference; and if so, how?  <I also have a TurboTwist 36W and I can think of absolutely no reason why it makes a difference which direction the water flows through it.>  I have thought about it from every angle, and cannot come up with a reason why it should matter which way the water flows through the sterilizer...or at least this model in particular (I am unfamiliar with other UV sterilizers). Any thoughts? Or am I fooling myself, and I now have to look forward to switching the tubings around?  <I agree with you. I strongly doubt that it matters. I think the just chose one as in and one as out for the purpose of drawing a picture. You may want to contact Coralife and ask their opinion. Steve Allen> 

Re: UV Sterilizer: I connected mine backwards - Manufacturer's Response I contacted Coralife at the same time with the same question. I just received the following response: "You are fine running it the way it is. You really can run the unit either way. The only problem I have ever had is if I pumped water into the top of the unit and out the bottom, it sometimes gets air trapped and it will gurgle, but the unit will work fine. Best regards, Dave Troop Energy Savers Unlimited, Inc." <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner>

Turbo-Twist UV Sterilizer Plumbing Follow-Up (2/21/04) I contacted Coralife at the same time with the same question. <Whether or not it matters which end one uses as the outlet or inlet.> I just received the following response: "You are fine running it the way it is. You really can run the unit either way.  The only problem I have ever had is if I pumped water into the top of the unit and out the bottom, it sometimes gets air trapped and it will gurgle, but the unit will work fine. Best regards, Dave Troop, Energy Savers Unlimited, Inc" <Thanks for sharing. I run mine lying sideways on a shelf. Works fine. Steve Allen.>

UV Sterilizer help Bob, I have a 55-gallon freshwater aquarium with a wet/dry filter WDM-75 and a Custom Sealife Double Helix UV sterilizer (or had a UV).  About 8 weeks ago the tank started to get brown, I treated it many times with no luck.<What were you treating it for? I am assuming brown diatom algae>  I noticed last week that the light in the UV was not on and discovered when changing the bulb that the bottom was all rusted, apparently from water,  Anyway, it is no longer working.  I was going to buy another to replace it (this would be the easiest thing for me, as I had someone set the tank up for me and do not know much connecting any of the equipment), but then I read about the electrical problems and do not know what to do now.<First of all Patricia, DO UNPLUG the sterilizer.  DO NOT put your hands in the tank until then.>  What would you suggest? <I can't suggest a sterilizer since they do as much bad as good.  Along with killing bacteria (good and bad), it also destroys copepods and other useful life in the aquarium. Doing 10% water changes weekly along with weekly filter cleaning and the use of a good chemical media in your wet/dry would be more helpful. Sterilizers are generally used in aquarium shops where their benefit is very cost effective in helping prevent diseases. James (Salty Dog) I would like something fairly maintenance free. Thanks

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