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FAQs about Ultraviolet Sterilizer Troubleshooting/Repair

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Sensitive invertebrates may show first that your UV is on the skids. A bunch of Chromodoris reticulata (Quoy & Gaimard 1832).

TMC uv sterilizer, repair!       2/8/14
Hi I was hoping you can help me with my v2electron tmc uv sterilizer, the bulb and the quartz work but the light to tell me when the bulb needs replacing is not, it is meant to flash from green to orange to red but it is a constant red! I replaced the bulb yesterday and tried to reset it but it won't reset! I am hoping you can help me identify what the problem is?
How do you know when the ballast has gone?
<Am referring you (Bcc'g) to friends who own and run TMC for their input here. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Tmc uv sterilizer      2/8/14

Thank-you I just noticed the ballast is boiling! So unplugged it!
<Yeeikes! Good. BobF>

UV sterilizer bulb - 1/25/10
Hi, I have been having a problem with my 36 watt UV sterilizer. A few months ago the bulb burned out, so I replaced it, and the new one burned out as soon as I plugged the sterilizer back in. In the last couple months I've gone through three bulbs with the same result. Do you know what could be causing this problem?
<Yes. Something... in the circuit... either a bad ballast (likely the "starter" is integral here) or a short somewhere (likely in/near the end cap/bulb attachments). Mmm, a good multi-tester, and knowing how to use it, will identify the source here. Or... contacting the manufacturer. What brand is this? Bob Fenner>
Re: UV sterilizer bulb - 1/25/10
It is a Coralife Turbo-twist 12x
<Mmm, contact ESU via: http://www.oceanicsystems.com/

Unimax 250 UV Light Question   8/28/09
I have a Unimax 250 canister filter that I've had for almost a year now.
For the last week, I've had an outbreak of green algae in my sand bed, so I assumed the UV light bulb burnt out. I purchased two new replacement bulbs. When I placed one in the UV filter apparatus and plugged it in, I didn't see a 'faint blue glow' in the bulb, like the instruction manual for the entire unit suggests I will see to make sure it is working. I did make sure the UV bulb that was connected was inside the glass tubing apparatus to allow function when I plugged it in. I turned the bulb around and tested it, however, still no blue glow. To me, I believe the unit itself may not be working period, even though it shows no cosmetic signs of any damage
(including no water damage). Before contacting the company to buy a new unit, do you have any idea how I can test to make sure it is working?
<I hate when that happens, Jenny, and it happens way too often. I recently had a Coralife 36W UV bulb go bad, so I ordered a replacement, which took 4 days to arrive only to find that the power supply (called a ballast) had gone bad as well ... and since ballasts aren't typical replacement parts, they take even longer to get. Sigh>
<In the case of Aquael, there are only two electrical components of the UV system: The bulb and the Ballast -- the ballast being enclosed in that second bulky power plug/power supply thingy. So ... if you're SURE that the contacts are clean and the bulb is inserted fully and you've mastered that whole "Plug it in all the way and turn it on" thing, then sadly, you have no alternative but to replace the other part, which from the parts manual is called
Product index: 000000000000103186
SKU: IB_000000000000103186>
<But here is something for next time. Companies like Aquael and Coralife don't actually MAKE the Germicidal bulbs they use in their sterilizers ... they're made by Phillips and/or GE and are standard, commercially available bulbs. The Phillips replacement bulb that Coralife sells for $56.00 is
available online from commercial lighting supply sites under the Phillips part number for around $8.00 So don't throw away your old bulb until you've found the actual replacement part number so you can save a lot of money next time>
Many thanks,
<One Thank is enough -- Yer Welcome>

Contaminated UV Sterilizer? 9/4/08 Dear Crew, Thanks for your help over the past year. I read your website just for fun over my lunch-break at work every day and also turn to it when I have a question. <Heee, don't eat much?> So far, my answers were easily found and I've never had to email. But today I couldn't find what I was looking for. My tank is great, but I'm considering adding a UV sterilizer to help clear the water and bring out some more of that metal-halide sparkle everyone raves about. <It will help dependant on what is clouding your water, but it is more a cover up rather than addressing any issues that may lead to this type of water.> My friend offered me an 18 watt unit (only 3 months old) for a third the price because he wants to stop running it to reduce his energy bill. (Personally I feel the loss he's taking on the unit is not worth the reduced energy cost, but that's his decision to make.) <I agree, 18W is not much.> But now he's "taking it off the market" because he was running it on a pond and using fertilizers and algaecide and now believes the unit is contaminated. I'm not concerned because those units are built to be inert and I think all it needs is a good cleaning and rinse. <Me too.><<RMF as well>> People use bleach and vinegar to clean tanks all the time and simply follow that up with a good rinse. Could fertilizers and algaecides be any worse?!? I couldn't find anything relating to this when I did keyword searches for many combinations of fertilizer, algaecide, residue, contamination, pond, reef, UV sterilizer, etc. What do you think? <I think with a good disassembly and cleaning it will be fine.> Thanks, Tulip <Welcome, Scott V.> Oh, and do any of you have Adam Blundell's contact? I share his passion for nano-tanks and I'm supposed to send him some pics/video of mine for his future presentations. I must have tossed out the pamphlet I wrote it on from the frag swap we met at. <I don't personally, Bob may. I will pass this along to him.> <<I have BCC'd him here. RMF>>

UV sterilizer, repair... electrical! 07/24/2008 Hi, <<Good afternoon, Andrew today I just purchased a Jebo 36W UV sterilizer. It is all set up perfectly. The problem is when I turn it on it goes on for about a second and then turns off. Is there an electrical fault? Should I contact the dealer I bought it from (on eBay) or should I have an electrician check it out first. I feel like something in the wiring is short - should be able to have an electrician fix it right? Please let me know what you think. <<Sounds like a faulty unit to me, would advise replacement>> Sincerely, Omer <<Thanks, A Nixon>>

Mercury UV sterilizer bulbs... disposal   2/27/07 Thanks for all your wise words and helpful advice.  I have searched for the answer to this question on your site and don't find anything. <We have lifetimes to add, enjoy, share> As I do strive to be a conscientious aquarist, I am perplexed about what to do with my old UV sterilizer bulb.  The mercury content puts it in a hazardous waste category I believe. <Mmm, yes... though a miniscule amount...>   I have never heard anything about this from the LFS where I got this sterilizer years ago, nor remember ever seeing anything about it in much reading of aquarium books over the years. <Only "becoming an issue" through more recent public awareness, legislation> Mercury emissions have been getting much more focus lately, as you may have noticed if you tried to buy a thermometer to take your own temperature - it is difficult to find the mercury ones anymore.     I did a quick Google search and found this MSDS...    http://www.uvprocess.com/msds/MERCURY_UV_LAMPS/MSDSlamps.pdf It does state that a broken bulb should be treated as toxic waste.  They accept bulbs for recycling.  The bulb I have is very old, and I could not find the manufacturer on-line.  I had not been using it for a few years, and this manufacturer may not be around anymore.  Do you have an opinion on what aquarists should do about used UV bulbs, or other potentially hazardous left-overs from our high-tech peripherals? <Yes... contact your "local" (may be State rather than County or City or such) "Haz Mat", "Domestic Waste" bureaucracy... ask re their input... Certainly (a very important point... well, impt. to me) an issue is always the "opportunity" or "business" cost (in this case, "the business of life") of what to do alternatively... The clearer question of whether an activity will "cost" more than something else... For example, is it more hazardous, toxic to drive aluminum cans around, culture rats and bugs while storing... rather than mining and processing new Bauxite... or using Steel, Polyethylene, other material? In an attempt at being succinct here, there may be no "better" means of disposing the miniscule amount of Hg here then to toss it (ultimately) in a land-fill> So many of these waste regulations are local or state on top of federal, do you know of a central place to find out what to do with items like this? <Done at a more local level in places... for instance, here in San Diego> Also, I have purchased a new UV sterilizer to replace the ancient one, in a hope that it might be one more thing to help with my ongoing battle with BGA (the maroon slimy variety).  I only found a few references to this as a possible helpful addition for controlling BGA.  It makes sense to me that it could help with the spreading and with killing the waterborne bacteria after it is stirred up during cleaning. <And actually more helpful in the way of improving water quality... raising DO, RedOx...indirectly limiting BGA>   It is impossible to siphon it all out, and it always resettles and regrows from the tiniest speck.  Do you think a UV sterilizer might help some? <Some, yes> I never had BGA when I used a UV sterilizer years ago (originally added for ich in my DT way before I saw the QT light!).  I am skimming (Aqua-C Remora) and getting very aggressive with water changes with a new RO/DI system in place to make it much easier.  My tank is 75 g, medium fish load, live rock, plenum, 10 gal sump/refugium with some live rock, a few corals who all seem very happy.  I use Instant Ocean salt.  Nitrates 0, Phosphates 0.  Calcium slightly low 360, started 2 part supplement. <Yes... need to have "matching" alkalinity...> I wasn't able to change a lot of water the last few months due to injury, but it did not seem to make much difference either way.  I am hoping that with new RO/DI I can make more headway. <Will help definitely> (My copy of your Reef Invertebrates is arriving today with the sterilizer! Very much looking forward to reading!) Thanks, Alex Miller Birmingham, AL <Ahh! I would bet proverbial "dollars to donuts" (likely about equivalents nowadays...) that you will enjoy, gain by its perusal. I see an enlarged refugium in your not-too distant future. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Electrical Shock 10/14/06 Hi, <Greetings> I purchased a used tank set up including a Jebo UV sterilizer. It worked fine for a while but then it started to shock me when I touched the tank. <Yikes!> Then it started to shock the water in the tank. It has a ground so I am confused and don't know what to do about it. I went to the Jebo website and submitted a letter, but it wouldn't go through. Can you help me with this? Thank you for your time. Joy <I would continue to try to contact the manufacturer for their advice and please'¦take out the sterilizer and don't use it in the meantime.  Cheers! -- Dr. J>

UV Replacement Bulb 9/25/06 Hello Crew: <Hello Ron> I have a 9 watt Custom Sealife Double Helix UV Sterilizer. I know they have gone out of business, but I need  a 9 watt replacement bulb. Is the Coralife 9 watt UV bulb the same as the one sold with my unit? If not, where can I purchase one for my unit. <Depends on the type of bulb.  Is it a standard tube, that is, two pins on each end of the bulb?  If so, any 9 watt UV lamp should work.> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Ron Ozuna 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

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   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>

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>

Weird UV Question >Well, perhaps it is not so weird.  Hopefully it will help many. I have a Coralife Turbo-Twist 3X (9W) UV Sterilizer.  It uses a Philips PL-S 9W UV-C bulb (also has TUV on the box). Aquarium suppliers charge between $25 and $35 for replacement bulbs. I did a Google search on Philips pl-s 9W and found a supplier that sells them for $3.50 apiece!!!!! >>Egads! >But then I did more research.  Turns out Philips makes 5 versions, the only difference being the Kelvin rating (27K, 35K, 41K and 50K).  Nowhere on the bulb box, on the bulb, or in the Turbo-Twist documentation is there any mention of Kelvin rating. >>Not uncommon on bulbs not designed for such specific applications. >So the question -- does anyone know which version this unit uses, and does it matter (I presume it matters a lot but my physics is in my distant past!) >>BOY!  I sure don't, and I've never used a U.V. sterilizer, either.  I would contact the manufacturer to get specific information.  By doing that, you will satisfy one of two questions: 1)determining pertinent wavelength & manufacturer information or 2)determining why these bulbs may not be offered for sale or are otherwise unsuitable for this use.   >Thanks! If these bulbs are usable I'll be happy to send the link to the supplier!  Joel >>Please do let us know anything you find out.  More knowledge is definitely BETTER.  Good luck!  Marina
Re: Weird UV Question
>Well, two things happened between my note and your reply.  First, I contacted a bunch of folks as you suggested.  Second, I remembered my college physics (I started out in astrophysics before becoming an expert in Russian Politics).  The first proved useless for the most part.  Even the manufacturer had no answer.   >>Hrm. >But then my physics reminded me that these bulbs are emitting in the ultraviolet, not visible range.  So they will not have a Kelvin rating.  The bulbs mentioned in the post and that list for just a few dollars are in opaque (mostly) white tubes that filter out much of the UV light.  In a weird twist of capitalism, that SHOULD cost MORE, but they sell for a pittance. >>AHA!  That makes sense...and I'll just admit right here that I've had no such physics education.  I can tell you that the tubes used for U.V. bulbs are made of quartz, though.  IIRC!   >The bulbs in UV sterilizers, however, are in clear tubes and emit at wavelengths that make them germicidal, sterilization devices.  They are primarily used in the medical profession and in other select applications, such as ours.  This is what makes them cost more.  Other than the outer tubing, there is little that distinguishes the $35 from the $3.50.   >>Again, IIRC, U.V. wavelengths will be on the order of something like 400nm-320nm. >Fortunately, I did find a supplier that sells them for $15.  It is: http://www.worldwidespecialtylamp.com/phil3.asp >>Great! >Thanks, Joel >>Thank YOU, Joel.  Lots of folks will be happy to spend so much less on these bulbs.  Marina

CSL Sterilizer and marine stocking Hi.  I sent this message earlier but didn't get a reply or see it in the daily FAQs. I suspect it didn't make it to you.  Sorry if you end up with two very similar sounding emails! Hello WWM crew, I have a CSL 18W Double Helix UV that has gone bad.  I have been happy with its performance and would like to repair it.  Problem is, since the company has gone under, I have no source for parts or info.  Apparently some water got into the ballast assembly and corroded the leads off.  An easy enough repair job.  However, there is a small component which looks like a type of bi-metallic over temp protector (but unlike any I have ever seen) built into a small bulb.  I have done several searches using everything I can think of and have come up with nothing.  There is no part number or *any* marking of any kind on the device.  Do you know of someone I could contact, possibly an ex-employee of CSL or someone who has ran into the same problem for information on this part? <Mmm, is still here... being re/circulated amongst folks in hopes that someone will have a more definitive answer. I would contact Perry Tishgart of Champion Lighting re... as he has boldly stated his company's former CSL inventory and intent to service their customers.> Also, I have recently set up a 72 gal Oceanic bow front that is the home of a porcupine puffer and a red Volitans.  I later learned from FAQs on your site (AWESOME!) that this tank is too small for the puffer and possibly even for the lion.  I am curious as to why since although both will get quite large, neither do a lot of swimming.  They are both lazy and are either hanging out in their caves, begging for food, or fluttering aimlessly around.  Is it a question of filtration or merely confinement? <A bit of both... physiologically and psychological> It seems like the bowfront would give a more open feeling  and allow them to turn around comfortably, etc.  If it is impossible to keep them, at what point (in inches) should I start thinking about relocation? Thanks for the great site and information. Kirk <At a year to three likely... but by then I strongly suspect you'll have "graduated" to more reef type interests! Bob Fenner>

UV electrical issue Hello Bob, <Rick> Your website has been a great help over the years.  However, I was unable to find anything regarding my current problem.  I am sure that you can help... so here it goes. Got a Coralife 9W U.V sterilizer that the bulb burned out after only four months of use.  No problem I thought.  So I replaced the bulb and now this new bulb only lasted two weeks.  I checked the UV casing to make sure that no water was somehow or another getting inside.  It checked out okay.  So I am faced with either electrical problems or possibly a bad ballast? <Yes. Next most likely cause... then a short, break in the wiring somewhere...> Have you heard of this issue before? <Yes, happens... particularly certain brands... Rainbow-Lifegard (now Pentair) had some real doozies back when... and most of the small UV's have much more trouble than larger wattages> I wanted to check with your advice before I dive into pulling apart the ballast and electrical assembly. <Mmm, I would NOT do this. Send the whole unit back to... likely ESU... check with your dealer/source first to see if they'll handle the return... most States have a pretty much carte-blanche warranty of one year... I would NOT fool with the unit myself. If you have troubles locating Energy Savers, or receiving authorization for return/repair/replacement, please make this known to me. Bob Fenner> Not much of a handy man but it appears to not be so difficult!   Any advice would be more than helpful. Thanks, Rick
Re: UV bulb electrical issue
Hello Bob, <Rick> I took your advice and tried to contact my dealer (from eBay) about the UV electrical issue.  To my misfortune, this seller store is no longer available.  So I went to my LFS (dealer) to see if they would honor any "manufacturer warranty" only to find out that without THEIR store receipt I was basically up a creek with my paddle. Can you direct me to an ESU that you earlier advised as an avenue for repair? <Yes. Go to the source: http://www.esuweb.com/products/16Coralife_U.V._Sterilizers_Turbo-Twist_3x,_6x,_and_12x_TURBO-TWIST_3X_-_9_WATT_U.V._STERILIZER_-_UP_TO_125_GALLONS.htm see the contact info.? Call them. Bob Fenner> Paddleless, Rick
Re: UV bulb electrical issue
Hello Bob, <Rick> As you requested, here's an update to my UV ballast burn-out and if problem was resolved by ESU manufacturer. <Good> I contacted ESU and advised them of my problem.  It took a couple of calls before anyone responded back.  Then I was promised that a new ballast for the Coralife 9 watt would be shipped out to me immediately. Well its been 6 weeks and nothing has been resolved.  No new ballast ever received!  Bummer! <Argghhh> In my wait for a replacement, I came across the ECO-Aqualizer.  I really liked the ideal of nothing to break-down nor need replacing and its money back guarantee.  So I decided to try one out.  I'm so glad I did. This thing is great.  Within a day, my water had a super polish look and my fish are much more active.  Its only been up and running for about a month, but so far the algae on my glass has needed less wiping and my water is still incredibly crystal clear. And I can't get over the added liveliness of my fish.  They look 100% better than ever, especially my powder-blue tang. <Wow!> I have decided to not worry about the UV sterilizer.  From the looks of things, I won't ever need it anymore.  But I do appreciate your help in trying to resolve that problem.  In a strange way, I'm kind of glad it all happened the way it did, otherwise I may not have ever even tried the ECO-Aqualizer.   Thanks much, Rick Johnston   <Thank you for your input. Bob Fenner>

UV light repair dear sirs am not sure if i have the right company but i have a pond clear advance uv30 that's a little over 12 months old the white connecters on each end of the tube have corroded and i wondered if it was possible to get some from anywhere i would be grateful if you could help me in this matter. <Please take a look on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com on the Links Page for the URL to Tropic Marine Centre (in the UK) and email them re this request. You may use my name in reference. Bob Fenner> many thanks Craig Hollinshead

NYLON and UV Hello Bob, I installed a UV sterilizer and was forced to used nylon adapters from 3/4" female to 5'8 " hose. The light is emanating from the nylon (white) adapters causing them to glow. Will the nylon break down due to the UV light?? <Over a period of time, yes. I find it a good idea to replace these fittings about once a year, or approximately every two lamp replacement cycles... maybe record such on the contact chamber... And a likely-unnecessary warning... don't stare (much) at the area where the "neat purple light" is shining through (and do place such out of the view of pets, children (or tape, wrap over)... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Russ

UV 1 Clarifier Hi Bob, How are you today? We had an ice storm here in MD yesterday and things are getting back to normal. Here is the response I got form Tetra about the unit. I also called Aquanetics and the bulbs they had they weren't sure if it would fit my unit, plus they were not familiar with my unit. I am thinking I may need a get a new unit, since getting bulb seems to be hassle.  <Perhaps for the best> It's a shame though as this unit is on a year old. <Did you try contacting who/where you got this product from? Are there any identifying names/manufacturers on the product, its components?> If you have no other suggestions as what I can do and I have to get a new unit what make and model do you recommend for a 125 gallon. <Depending on fluid-moving source, capability, 20-40 Watts... my first choice are the TMC units (Vecton)... though hard to come by in the U.S., some input: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tmcpropc.htm Next choice are the Emperor Aquatics units... at any length, do get a quartz or Teflon-sleeved unit, with a remoteable ballast... Do seek the opinions of other aquarist end-users: our chatforum: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ re actual recent use of products, choices.> The sweetlips is coming along, I'm still praying and kind of preparing myself for if it begins to deteriorate. Thanks for what has begin to seem like daily advise. Gillian <Be chatting and investigating my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Update on UV 1
Hey Bob, I contacted Tetra and they said the other bulbs would be too big for the unit. I kinda figured,  <I as well> but any way any suggestions as to what I can do? <Run the unit with just the under-powered lamp... some improvement is worthwhile, attainable here> My concern is I am not sure if the unit is working as effectively as it could as a UV sterilizer, and I was thinking after reading the FAQ that maybe due to the lack of wattage that the reason for the reoccurrence of ick. <Oh. UV sterilizers of and by themselves will not prevent or cure ich...> Now I know that the UV sterilizer does not prevent ick, but is suppose to help control it. So I have had it for a year now and it's time to replace the bulb. Any advise?.. Thanks Gillian <Do replace the existing lamp with another of the same size/wattage and use. Bob Fenner>
Re: Update on Sweetlips and UV 1
The guy I spoke to said there was no bulb available that would fit that unit. Ideas as to where I can find a bulb for this unit? <Yes. Try Aquanetics first: http://www.aquanetics.com/> What do you mean by "just the under power lamp"? Please explain. Gillian <Just using the low wattage UV lamp that goes with the present unit. Bob Fenner>
Update on Sweetlips and UV 1
Hi Bob, Hope all is well with you. I just wanted to update you on my progress with the sweetlips. Well like you advised I moved the fish to a copper free environment, my main tank, it has been about five days now. After the first day or so the fish still would not swallow any foods but put them in it's mouth. As of Sunday it started eating again, regular frozen formula for dinner and some pellets for breakfast. <Ah, great> It had about 70% of it's usual diet for dinner last night and accepted pellets again this morning. I am very happy as it was beginning to show signs of weight loss. <A bad sign with these fishes (plectrorhinchinines... don't try to say this three times fast) as you know> I have began soaking all foods at every feeding to help gain his weight back. So hopefully nothing changes, thanks for the help. By the way I am finally a believer I ordered a copy of your book last night after getting rave reviews, so hopefully in a couple of days I'll be getting it, I'm excited.  <I as well> I was reading the section last night on WWM about UV sterilizers, and I have a question. I currently have a TetraPond GreenFree UV1 Clarifier, they are used in ponds are you familiar?  <Yes, quite> Well It recommends the usage of a 9w Phillips bulb. After reading the FAQ, I realized that for my size tank a 125 gallon, you recommend the use of a 20-25w bulb, do you think I could change the wattage of the bulb and have the unit still function. I mean will it cause a overheating, or for that unit that's as much wattage as it can take. <Worth investigating... the "kill rate", flow of water, suspended solids... many factors go into how effective an ultraviolet sterilizer is in a given application. No worries here re overheating, melting of fixture... but unlikely other wattage lamps will fit the fixture.> I notice tetra also has UV 2 & 3 bulbs, would one of those bulbs fit my unit.  <Perhaps... do contact them, ask. They do have a nice website: http://www.tetra-fish.com/> Thanks for advise on the sweetlips I look forward to reading your book.. Gillian emailing from work today. <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Update on Sweetlips and UV 1
Thanks Bob, I'll email them and cross my fingers about the sweetlips.. Enjoy your day. PS I downloaded the picture of the clown fish off the website today, my first time downloading from the site.. Gillian <Ahh, great... a nice aquarium pic... for only 96k bytes... Many more to go... I switch my active desktop backgd. daily... and keep my light tables on... makes me (partially) believe I'm in the tropics! Bob Fenner>

UV tank problem 7/6/05 I recently put a Jebo 13 watt UV light on my tank (using a 100 gal. Stock Tank) and now the sides and bottom of tank has a Black soot like covering on it. Also the inlet and outlet tubes from the U.V light box,( which is black). What is causing this and any help at all would be greatly appreciated? The water is clear now with the light, checked light and it is all clean but inside the case seems to have some black that will come off too if rubbed. Thanks for any help you might be able to give. <<I suggest you contact the store where you purchased it, or contact the manufacturer directly.  Sounds like the housing is reacting to the UV light.  James (Salty Dog)>> Billie Allen

UV troubles? 7/23/05 I just purchased an 18 wt Jebo UV filter for my 55 gal. saltwater tank. Is the bulb supposed to go on and off or stay on continuously? <The latter> One side of the filter stays on dimly at all times the other comes on real bright stays on for about 1-2 minutes and goes off again. Is this normal? Nightmare <Mmm, I suspect this unit may be defective... such devices usually have a starting mechanism... that shows the lamp brighter during the "turning on" phase. I would take, send this product back and ask the manufacturer to take a look at it. Bob Fenner>

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