. Aquarium and Pond UV Sterilizer, Clarifier Reviews; Problems

UV Sterilizer Reviews; Information Articles, Ideas, Comments, and Links to even more Resources about how UVC Sterilization works in Aquariums/ Ponds

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

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

Aquarium-Pond UV Sterilizer Review; Discount Cheap Clarifiers


Revised 12-25-18

Aquarium, Pond UV Sterilizer Review

The Aquarium UV Sterilizer market has now been mostly taken over by Category C UV Sterilizers which are not capable of level one or two sterilization unlike 'Category B' or especially 'Category C' units.

While these cheap UV clarifiers masquerading as true UV Sterilizers have been around for some time, misguided Obama era regulation outlawing high output magnetic ballasts in 2014, has made just obtaining a UV clarifier that can fire the High Output UV lamps capable of running a 'Category B' or especially 'Category A' UV Sterilizer difficult to find if at all in some size UV Sterilizers.

In depth UV Sterilizer information:
Aquarium Pond UV Sterilizer Use; Facts & Information

Why does this matter?
High output UV lamps/bulbs have 35% UVC versus common low output UV lamps which have about 7-10% UVC. This is FOUR TIMES the UVC output!!
These same HO UV lamps require a surge voltage to start that is often 500+ volts which most modern cheap electronic ballast simply cannot do or at least for more than a couple of starts.
Reference: High Output UVC Emission from a UV Bulb/Lamp; Aquarium or Pond

The reason for this law was for efficiency of fluorescent lights, which is fine for your average hardware store fluorescent light fixture, but NOT for a high output UV Sterilizer.
This law opened the door for even more cheap Chinese UV Clarifiers masquerading as true UV Sterilizer to flood the market.

It also takes some education to understand this, but one does not need be a rocket scientist either.
One confusing aspect for consumers is they will see the same model number such as CUV-118 and assume that two models at very different prices are one in the same, WHEN IN FACT THEY ARE NOT!
When a retailer orders something from China, it can be ordered to certain specifications at a different price (think Apple with the iPhone as these have been manufactured in China, but to standards set forward by Apple).

When one considers the wide price of ballasts and HO UV lights versus low output UV lights, price alone is an easy indicator.
You cannot sell an 18 Watt UV Sterilizer with "free shipping" (which requires the seller to pay shipping) and pay eBay fees of 10%+ for $60 when the actual cost of a true Category B CUV-118 Terminator UV is well above $60 and stay in business.
So obviously these sellers (such as one eBay seller in China operating out of a home Hacienda Heights, CA.) are selling UVs with standard ballasts/power supplies and low output UV lamps, so all you are getting is a Category C UV Clarifier.

Aquarium, Pond UV Sterilizer Ballast Comparison BALLAST/POWER SUPPLY COSTS:
Let's take a look at a 55 Watt Ballast/Power Supply.
A "GE UltraStart GE254MVPS-A (67562) T5HO Programmed Start Ballast" is selling online $19.40.
While a "TMC 55- 58 Watt High Output Electronic Ballast" sells for $75.99.
One might argue that the $75.99 ballast could be cheaper, however one cannot reduce the price by almost 75% and be profitable.
HO Ballast Reference/Resource: TMC 55- 58 Watt HO Electronic Ballast

Now back to your UV Clarifier you see listed on eBay of Amazon for $60, it becomes quite obvious that this is simply NOT possible to have a True Category A or B UV Sterilizer at this price. Yet so many fall for this.

This in turn creates another problem which is fed by social media and Google with its current search no longer considers content & authority, rather popularity in social media.
People will purchase these cheap 'Category C' UV Clarifiers then report back to social media that they did nothing for disease prevention nor little for Redox balance improvement and often are not all that good for clarification.
This will be accepted as science based fact when in fact it is not and next thing you know you have people stating UV Sterilizers are mostly useless despite real evidence to the contrary.

With this law, many ultra premium Category A UV Sterilizers have unfortunately been permanently retired. However some of these premium Category A UVs have had electronic ballasts sourced that will work or in one case a European model (not subject to the law) has been used instead, although it requires being supplied with a 220V to 110V converter.
As per Category B UVs, these are still generally available in most cases (although the before mentioned 18 Watt version is currently unavailable).

*AAP/SunSun Terminator Version HO Category B UV Sterilizers
*AAP/TMC Vecton/Advantage Category A Ultra Premium UV Sterilizers


*Sunsun Canister Filter Parts; 704, 404, 403, 402, & more
*AquaRay LED Lighting; From the ONLY true professional online seller! Beware of a parasite retailer selling this product out of a home that does not really know this product.
*Wonder Shell for Improved Aquarium Redox Balance Another tool besides a category A or B UV Sterilizer to improve aquarium redox balance and thus improve over all fish health.

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