Aquarium and Pond UV Sterilizer, Clarifier Reviews; Problems, Bulbs

aquarium and pond UV posts, information, articles, resources, blogs

AQUARIUM AND POND UV STERILIZER REVIEW/ ARTICLES;
Information Articles (Posts), Ideas, Comments, & Links to even more Information about how UV (UVC) Sterilization works in Aquariums/ Ponds.
For a COMPLETE up to date article about aquarium and pond uv sterilization, please visit this site:
UV Sterilization in Aquariums and Ponds; How it works

For all Articles, from basic to advanced, such as UVC, Watts, mW/cm2, please scroll down the Right Side Bar of this site for easy links

A QUALITY UV

A QUALITY UV

Proper level one UV sterilization starts with the proper UV, contact time, water turbidity, water temperature, bio load, and more.
Filtration of the water before entering the UV sterilizer helps with turbidity.

Unfortunately many UV’s now available do not have proper contact time or advertise too high a flow rate. I would recommend 20-45 gph per watt of UVC.
If your pump rate is too high (after subtracting head pressure), I would add a diverter to your return line or a separate pump for your UV.
As an example, I have designed a custom 15 watt UV that is extremely effective when installed properly.
For good to "top notch" UVs:
Aquarium and Pond UV Sterilizers, quality UV Sterilizers

Be careful of some of the cheap uv sterilizers currently flooding the market such as the Aqua Medic, Jebo, AquaTop, etc, our service experience is poor with these units (leakage, poor sterilization patterns). If you obtain one of these units, you cannot make a fair assessment of what UV Sterilization can really do.

WHY SHOULD YOU USE AN ULTRA-VIOLET STERILIZER? (Educational information about how UV sterilization works)

BASICS;
Used with permission from the article: ULTRAVIOLET STERILIZATION (How UV sterilization works

Ultra violet sterilization is one of the most effective means of disease prevention in aquariums and ponds and for general water quality control (for reasons other than sterilization too!).
UV Sterilization is also a useful tool for Pond algae control as well.

There is a lot of new evidence as to the benefits of UV sterilization for ALL fish (and other aquarium inhabitants), and many myths have been dispelled such as “UV Sterilizers destroying beneficial nitrifying bacteria”, so please read on.

Ultra Violet Sterilizers are also useful in Reef aquaria, especially new ones where the chance of disease introduction is high. As well, UVs help in keeping a balanced Redox Potential. As the reef aquaria ages the sterilizer can be placed on a timer or turned on and off as needed.

The Redox Potential in aquariums is an often overlooked aspect of both freshwater and saltwater aquarists. The Redox Potential is basically the oxidation and reduction properties of water.
This is VERY important for proper breakdown of organic waste!, especially in aquariums where the fish/invertebrates come from waters of low turbidity (African Cichlids) or tend to produce a lot of waste (Goldfish).
Most experts now agree that a balanced Redox is essential for most animal life, including fish. A UV Sterilizer acts on oxidizers in the water column, which is important for fish or other aquarium inhabitant immunity.

The key to success is water flow, water temperature and cleanliness of the bulb or quartz sleeve.
It is important to have a flow rate that will turn over the pond or aquarium at least once or 1 ½ times per hour for disease prevention or every three hours for green algae control.

Example: 300 gph utilizing a 9 watt UV Sterilizer will service a 100 gallon pond well. The reason I mentioned such seemingly slow rates is too high a rate will not usually allow for adequate contact time with uvc irradiation.
You also need to maintain a flow rate thru the UV of 20-35 gph per watt for germicidal or 40-65 gph per watt for green water control, depending upon the model of UV Sterilizer used and their dwell time.
The other key is temperature. 60 to 85 degrees [F] has worked best for me.
The SunSun 9 Watt UV Sterilizer is a good example of a top notch "Compact" UV Sterilizer

Quartz sleeves help keep up a higher temperature (around 5 F in my tests) but don’t allow for as good of contact with the water and are difficult to keep clean, so in my opinion the benefits are a wash. This brings me to another point, keeping the bulb or quartz sleeve clean.
First, you want to change the bulb every 6 months for disease prevention or once every year at the beginning of the growing season for green algae prevention. You want to clean the quartz sleeve at this time too. In models without a quartz sleeve, use just throw away the dirty UV bulb.

Back to temperature; if your water is very cold (such as a pond or even well water treatment system), I would suggest pre-heating your water before it passes through your UV Sterilizer unit, this is more effective than a quartz sleeve.
For UV Bulbs or quartz sleeves, here are two suggested resources: Quartz Sleeves & UV Bulbs

Other factors of note are water turbidity (dissolved waste particulates in the water column, poor circulation, and a poor flow pattern that that has the water pickup and return too close where too much water goes unfiltered. If these factors exist you will need a larger UV Sterilizer for an effective pathogen kill.

One argument against UV Sterilizers in ponds is that a UV Sterilizer is not natural, but for the clarity most persons want out of their pond, this is not possible without either UV sterilization or a flow thru stream (although many persons with well planted, well shaded ponds do well with clarity).
Many articles I have read state that a UV is not that beneficial to an established aquarium as a healthy aquarium depends on beneficial bacteria typically growing on media in your filter which neutralize ammonia.
Unfortunately the problem with this statement is beneficial bacteria belongs in the filter, not in the open water. Also this is OK advice for advanced aquarists who are not adding fish and have a healthy Redox Potential, but not in the real world of average and above average aquarists that I have dealt with in the 100s of aquariums I have made house calls on in my 3 decades of professional aquarium maintenance.




FOR MY FULL ARTICLE ABOUT UV STERILIZATION, please visit this article:
WHAT IS UVC; The benefits and myths about aquarium and pond uv sterililization
• UV Sterilization Basics
• What is a quality UV Sterilization Unit
• What size UVC Sterilizer is best
• Facts (and falsehoods) about UVC sterilization
• In Depth information about UVC and how it works
• UVC Penetration
• Rebuttal to a false article about UV Sterilizers in aquariums.

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