UV Sterilzer Advice
I am considering buying a UV sterilizer for my relatively new 45g tank. I just got through an ICH attack and now I want to make sure it does not happen again. What is the wisdom on using UV regulalry with freshwater setups? Is there a downside like fish immunity? Does it adversely affect the health of the biological filter? Is there such thing as too much?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Once your biofilter is established, it should not be affected by the UV. It will need to be carefully sized to match the water pumping system in order to be effective against parasites. Different flow ratios are usually recommended depending on what you are tring to do and the bulbs need to be replaced at least annually although some will tell you it is needed more than that.
Due to the life cycle of the ICH parasite which spends part of it's life in substrate ,and part free swimming ,the UV sterilization would not gaurantee an ICH free tank.
The bacteria that filter out nitrogenous substances reside on the surfaces of the aquarium and filter, they are not present in any significant quantities in the water. Once your tank is cycled the UV won't have any effect on it.
Fish immunities? Well my first piece of advice would be to quarantine your fish. With proper quarantine the odds of any disease making it into your tank is very very low. For a fish to gain any immunity they first have to be exposed to a disease and in an enclosed environment like our tanks you're better off preventing a fish from getting anything to begin with than hoping they'll build an immunity to anything. Some species like dwarf gouramis have reduced immune systems for some reason (in DG's its because of the hormone baths they are put through to try and make them all male) and they are susceptible to infection. In those cases the extra safe guard of a UV sterilizer may be warranted.
A UV sterilizer won't cure ich, go with proper quarantine.
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