UV Sterilizer: How Long is TOO Long?
Ok so over the years I have had my own theories on the practical use of UV sterilizers and whether owning one was worth the money and the hassle....since I am slowly getting more cynical by the minute and stuck in my own way of doing things, I certainly didn't expect to be SO impressed with the "real time" improvement it did in my homie's tank...whose water went from the color of saturday night puke to crystal clear....
So I bought one...specifically, the "Mean Green Killing Machine" (for the name alone, it was worth the money). I used it experimentally in one of my tanks (36 g) in my tank room (yeah I'm one of "those" guys). This tank has recently been suffering from water quality issues and like magic, the water is as "crystal" as meth...(just to be clear for the members of PETA, I am not feeding my fish meth). . .
My problem however, is that although I believe myself to be one nerdy bastard when it comesto the hobby, the one thing I cant seem to figure out (with clear sage guidance from anyone) is approximately how long should a UV sterilizer be run in a tank and will the prolonged effects have damage on the ecosystem down the line???
it won't really.
What needs to be focused on if the flow rate through the sterilizer. The higher the flow the less it kills.
That being said, the majority of your beneficial bacteria lies in the substrate and on porous surfaces. Free floating bacteria will get killed off, both beneficial and harmful.
As far as long term harm goes... don't worry about it. SW keepers have been using it for decades.
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