Use of UV Sterilizer in Treating Fish
I have to say, without a doubt, that my favorite piece of tank equipment is my UV sterilizer/powerhead. I haven't seen much mention of UV sterilizers within the forums and wanted to get a feel if other members have had luck treating their fish with it and to raise awareness of its benefits in an aquarium.
I got my sterilizer because I was getting clown loaches and keep hearing horror stories about how susceptible they are to disease, especially ich. I used to have major problems keeping newly purchased neon tetras alive for more than a day or two, but after adding the sterilizer I have not lost a single tetra and have been able to build up my school to about 15. I don't know if the sterilizer makes for better water conditions and less stress for easier acclimation or if it maybe helps eliminate any parasites they may normally carry in from the petstore.
Also, yy molly developed tiny black spots on her body and fin (looked like black grains of sand or a black ich) so I put the UV sterilizer back into the tank and did a water change and within 30 hours she was clear of any black spots.
This post has been a bit rambling, but I hope that people with a persistent problem of disease in their tank or those who just can't seem to cure their favorite fish of that mysterious disease will now have another option to try: UV sterilizers.
Theres is no need for a UV sterilizer in the FW aquarium. Though they can 'fix' some problems, IMO its more of a way to mask the problem then anything else.
Thanks for replying :) I've never had the chance to really get a feel for other people's take on the sterilizers. It wouldn't affect any ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels since it's just a UV bulb, so what possible problems would a UV sterilizer mask? From the way I was looking at it, it seems to be a good solution to eradicate parasites in their free floating form- so if I ran the sterilizer long enough it would eradicate any possible diseases caused by organisms. Other than that I'm not too sure what the sterilizer would do, let alone mask.
Your input is totally appreciated! :D
Fish are not meant to be in 'sterile' water, it can nerve bee completely sterile, but its much deader then natural water. If everyone used UV our fish would end up with weak immune systems. The immune system is a "use it or lose it" deal. We see this with some farmed fish, that are raised in medicated water. As soon as you remove the medication, you often get a die off from disease. Thus those with the best resistance to sickness are usually the ones that are not sheltered from it. The act of getting a disease is a sign of something wrong. Just because say ich was introduced to a tank, doesn't mean the fish will get it. If they are stressed or in a weakened state then yeah they will get infected real fast. If fish is healthy, happy, and unstressed they can fight off diseases quite well. The whole point of the slime coat is for protection.
Any disease showing up in a tank raises a number of questions for me at least. The problem is not the disease itself, but a sign of another problem. Why did disease show up?.. Where fish stressed in the tank? Did new fish bring it in? If so then these are your real source of the problem not the disease itself. Perhaps the solution is a quarantine tank to better screen new fish.
Many people use UV for algae control in response to a algae bloom or green water. The problem may not be the algae for example, but high phosphates or organics in their water, which cause the algae. Using UV kills the algae, it doesn't change that the phosphates are still high. Its simply masking the underlying problem.
UV works both ways. It kills harmful microbes as well as completely harmless ones. Some may not care about this at all. I prefer to leave fish to their own devices. With UV there is a pretty good guarantee I would never find any fry from my tetras unless I raised them intentionally. Its not common but occasionally a 1/4" tetra fry just shows up in my main tanks. Just a lucky one that avoided the rainbows and found enough live food to eat on his own.
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