U.V or not U.V that is the question

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U.V or not U.V that is the question

Post by DANthirty »

Hi guys

When i stopped keeping marine fish i had 2 tmc uv sterilisers left over, so i thought that i would use them for my 2 fresh water tropical tanks , i was just wondering if anybody else uses them for there tanks and if there were any downsides off using them especially in my planted tank, as i hear that they could kill off benificial bacteria??
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Post by Tristan »

I have heard good and bad about uv filters. One fishkeeping aquaintance installed one and said that wounds and scrapes healed much more quickly and his fish were in perfect health and would reccommend uv filtration to everyone.
I have never used it but am toying with the idea on my overstocked mbuna tanks as they are always biting chunks etc out of each other, some of which get infected from time to time. I figure that a uv would decrease the healing time.
L046, L033, L117, L200, L027, L014, Discus, & malawis
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Post by Adam »

I use to have a TMC 15 watt UV sterilizer on a community tank I was running years ago. Like Tristan said there are some benefits to be had. I stopped using mine as it was restricting the waterflow of my canister filter and I got fed up cleaning the quartz sleeve. I've been thinking of putting it back on my heavily stocked community tank, mainly because of the NTD. Then I found out that protozoa require high doses of UV and that my unit was just not strong enough. I thought about increasing the contact time but I would have to reduce the flow rate to a trickle so I've shelved the idea.

I cant say that my fish were any healthier when I used a UV sterilizer. However it's fact that the back ground bacteria count within an aquarium will be greatly reduced by the germicidal effect of UV. This is why wounds appear to heal quicker. The down side to using a UV is fish that have lived in such sterile conditions seem to lose some of their natural resistance to fight disease and some medications will be ineffective while UV is in use.

Personally I think that UV should only be used when the occupants of an aquarium have health problems, under these conditions you will be reducing the incidence of secondary bacterial infections by lowering the overall bacteria count in the aquarium. Forget using a UV steriliser if you have a soft water setup that is peat filtered or you have a high tannin content in the water. High DOC levels greatly affect the penetration distance of UV light.

If you want an even more effective means of killing pathogens in your aquarium consider an ozone sterilizer or even a combination UV and ozone sterilizer. However these units are generally only used on the marine side of the hobby.

Post by Tom26000 »

I personally think UVs are only required if you run a centralised system, marine tank or have very expensive fish (i.e. marines and koi). Although thinking about it I bet some on this list have well over £1000 of Zebra plec in their tanks.

Marines are often kept with inverts and therefore chemical treatment is very difficult so UVs often snuff out problems before they can take hold.

Centralised systems obviously benefit from UVs to help prevent cross-contamination of tanks.

I personally believe UVs used over the long term may reduce the immunity of young fish.

I could waffle on but IMO I would stick it the good old fashioned keep it simple method.


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