The pros and cons of UV sterilzers?
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The pros and cons of UV sterilzers?

This is a discussion on The pros and cons of UV sterilzers? within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I was interested in picking up a UV sterilizer for my 55 gallon, but had a lot of questions. Firstly I wondered if it ...

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The pros and cons of UV sterilzers?
Old 01-18-2012, 12:48 PM   #1
 
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Question The pros and cons of UV sterilzers?

I was interested in picking up a UV sterilizer for my 55 gallon, but had a lot of questions. Firstly I wondered if it was safe for the tank. If the UV light kills off algae, will it harm beneficial microscopic organisms in my water, such as my beneficial bacteria? Also, how does a UV sterilizer actual hook up to a tank? Do I need a power head too? Lastly, are there any brands or products that anyone would recommend over another? I'm fairly uneducated with them, I'll take all the knowledge I can get. Thank you!
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
 
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First, I don't believe a UV filter will cure an algae problem! Probably would help some, but why do you believe you need a UV filter? They are more common in saltwater systems.
It's an unnecessary expense, in my opinion, and the bulbs need to be replaced annually (at least). If your tank's doing well, don't spend the extra cash. If your tank's not doing well, look for the cause of the issue. Technology is neat, but it won't necessarily compensate for an "out-of-balance" system. Easiest solution to algae is to play with light levels and duration of daily lighting. A simple $10 light timer will help that.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:43 PM   #3
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As dkrst said UV is an expensive solution to a simple problem, 99% of freshwater tanks run with out UV, in reality the only time I would run UV is in a multi tank to a single sump type setup just for the piece of mind it would provide. Also remember 99.99% (unverified) of your bacteria will live on hard surfaces, not the water column.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:09 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKRST View Post
First, I don't believe a UV filter will cure an algae problem! Probably would help some, but why do you believe you need a UV filter? They are more common in saltwater systems.
It's an unnecessary expense, in my opinion, and the bulbs need to be replaced annually (at least). If your tank's doing well, don't spend the extra cash. If your tank's not doing well, look for the cause of the issue. Technology is neat, but it won't necessarily compensate for an "out-of-balance" system. Easiest solution to algae is to play with light levels and duration of daily lighting. A simple $10 light timer will help that.
I don't believe I need a UV filter and I know there are a million other ways to prevent algae problems. I just wondered how it would work if I picked up one of them. I don't really have that much of an algae problem either. I have a small amount of free floating green algae, but nothing my water changes don't take care of. I already have a timer as well so my lights are already controlled. I was just looking for new products to help my tank better, but you did bring up a valid point in having to change the bulb. Can you even buy UVC bulbs anywhere? It does seem like it would be an unnecessary expense.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:03 AM   #5
 
Do you have live plants in your tank? if not then i would recommend a product that seems to work well for others to clear up water alot here it is Seachem. Purigen
alot of ppl recommend it i have seen what it does to water and its prety nice!
if you do have plants then controlling phosphate and nitrate helps with algae
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Cornelius1208 View Post
I don't believe I need a UV filter and I know there are a million other ways to prevent algae problems. I just wondered how it would work if I picked up one of them.
Wasn't trying to irritate! Just didn't know if you had a specific issue you wanted the UV filter to address? A UV filter certainly shouldn't hurt anything, but also consider the long-term cost of electricity and bulbs versus the ultimate gain you will, or may not, receive from the filter.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:17 PM   #7
 
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At Maxillus, do have live plants, so I do gotta be careful what I use. Seachem has always been a reliable brand for me though, I'm sure it works wonders

And at DKRST, I know you weren't, I'm sorry if I came off irritated! I was just trying to get as much info out as possible without typing a whole lot and I guess I did sound blunt, I'm sorry! But yes, it does seem almost not worth it for controlling algae. And I have a phosphate test, I just have yet to test my water. I'm sure that phosphates are probably the main cause of the algae that I do have. How is your (and everyone's) opinions on having a UV sterilizer on hand in case of a disease or parasite outbreak? I'm always am careful to keep my tank clean and prevent such things from happening, but would it be a bad thing to have around in case something were to ever happen?
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