Fish Immune Health and UV Sterilizers
Fish Immune System and UV Sterilization
I have seen many comments posted in various places on the internet claiming that running a UV Sterilizer 24/7 will weaken the immune system in fish in part by creating a sterile environment.
I have tried to find more information as to how this myth got its start and the best I can come up with is that many are equating UVC radiation (emitted in UV Sterilizers) to Ozone produced by Ozone Generators
First even though I have not found an Ozone Generator as effective as most UV Sterilizers for disease control (& Redox), even then when properly used the Ozone is not added to the aquarium.
However more importantly is that a UV Sterilizer keeps ALL UVC irradiation inside the unit and this reaction actually breaks apart free radicals and other oxidizers such as Ozone (similar to the reaction of Ozone and UV light energy in the upper atmosphere of Earth).
What is most important to note is that a properly installed UV Sterilizer will IMPROVE a fish’ immune system by creating a better Reducing Redox environment in the aquarium after water has passed through the sterilizer (providing it is a reasonably good unit such as the TMC Vecton/ Advantage UV Sterilizer, the Custom or other higher efficiency, UV Sterilizers.
Here is a quote from "Aquarium Redox Potential":
"A proper Redox Potential improves the health of humans AND fish. A Redox Potential in the +125 to -200 mV range in human studies has been shown to have the same affect as anti-oxidant preparations such Vitamin C (+300 to -100 mV for marine or +125 to -200 mV for freshwater aquariums). In medical studies the enhanced oxidizing environment can facilitate the binding of pathogens or antigens to effector cells (a type of lymphocyte that are actively engaged in secreting antibodies) leading to a hyper-responsive innate immune system. Previous work has shown that an oxidizing environment leads to enhanced release of super-oxide and nitric oxide, activation and translocation of nuclear transcription factor and enhanced production of cytokines (proteins and peptides that are signaling compounds produced by animal cells to communicate with one another). The creation of a markedly reduced environment by addition of antioxidants blunts all of the above primary responses of the innate immune system."
In studies using human blood therapy, the use of UVC to irradiate blood, these are just a few of the findings:
*Improved circulation and oxygenation of tissues
*Stimulation of the Immune System
*Increased Tolerance of the body to Chemotherapy and Radiation
*Powerful Anti-Infection Properties
See this article for more: Oxygen Healing Therapies with UVC
It should also be noted that a UV Sterilizer cannot create a sterile environment as it cannot reach all aspects of the aquarium such as gravel, filter media, and the fish internally!
It is unfortunate that these false statements are still widely circulated, I recommend reading this article about UV Sterilization for more:
Ultraviolet Sterilization in Aquariums and Ponds
Or this article about Aquarium Redox:
Aquarium Redox Potential
Or even this article about Aquarium Calcium, GH, KH, pH (as this is also an important aspect as well to a healthy fish immune system):
Finally, if you have a properly set-up aquarium or pond UV Sterilizer, it is important that you change your UV-C Bulb once per six months for most aquarium applications and once per year for most pond application (six months in warm year round ponds).