To UV or not to UV
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To UV or not to UV

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Old 10-15-2008, 07:32 AM   #1
 
To UV or not to UV

I am hoping someone out there can help me.

I have a FOWLR 40 gallon tank with two Yellowtail Blue Damsel, one Sebae Clownfish and one Bicolor Angelfish. I don't know the exact levels of Nitrite, Nitrate, PH, ALK, Calcium, Phosphate, ECT.. but the LFS tells me there ok. The tank has been up for about 10 months and I have lost no livestock to date.
The problem I am having is green algae blooms, I have changed nothing in the tank and can't figure out why I am having this algae problem now. I do biweekly water changes (about 25%), the temp is a fairly consistent 78 degrees and the lights are on timers set for six hours white and 8 hours blue (Power Compact fluorescents).
I have been reading allot about UV sterilizers and how they can kill algae and bacteria. The question I have is wonít it kill the good algae and bacteria as well?
I have searched the threads on this and many other sites and everyone that uses UV sterilizers seems to swear by them but I canít seem to find any information on what may happen to the good bacteria.
Thanks in advance for any and all info!!!
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:32 PM   #2
 
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The good bacteria that you are after don't live in the water column, they live on the surfaces in the aquarium, most commonly in the pores and nooks and crannies of your live rock. Consequently the UV sterilizer won't kill those bacteria, only the water borne stuff.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:43 PM   #3
 
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UV will also kill the pods and mysid shrimp that act as a live natural food source for your fish and inverts.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:52 AM   #4
 
Thanks, both great answers thus my dilemma. Is it worth killing these pods and mysids off for the sake of no green algae in my water? Or would it be better to try and get the phosphate and nitrite levels down in an attempt to have clearer water?
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:37 PM   #5
 
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better to try and get the phosphate and nitrite levels down in an attempt to have clearer water
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:51 AM   #6
 
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on top of the water changes are you using a skimmer? and if so what kind? perhaps the bloom is coming from you over feeding or not having an effective clean up crew? i'd take water over to the LFS and get the # off the chart, if it's more than 0 then that's where your algae is coming from.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:49 AM   #7
 
Thanks to all of you and some other posts on this site I believe I have my algae problem solved. I finally broke down and bought a phosphate and nitrate test kit so I could acutely see what the numbers were instead of taking someone’s word for it. The phosphate and nitrate levels were rather high. I don't remember the exact numbers but they were much higher then recommended (I think both should be as close to zero as possible). I then did about a 30% water change with RO/DI water and the levels came down quite a bite and within three days the water is know crystal clear again. I made a major rookie mistake by using tap water to fill my tank and to make water changes using tap water. I checked my tap water for phosphates just because I was curios and it was super high. I will now only use RO/DI water for all my water changes, in fact instead of buying a UV sterilizer I think I will buy a RO/DI water filter.
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:01 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxster2112 View Post
instead of buying a UV sterilizer I think I will buy a RO/DI water filter.
That is an excellent Idea!
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:26 PM   #9
 
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brilliant and a wise move.
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