To run UV or not to run UV…….

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The R/C Man

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2004
Spokane WA
Hey everyone!

I am curious how many people are running UV sterilizers. If you are, is it on your main tank or just your quarantine tank. Also do the pros out way the cons for running one on your system full time. I have been considering the purchase of one to eliminate potentials problems but not at the expense of good bacteria etc. Let me know what you think. Thanks!


electrolyte addict
Jul 4, 2003
They should be investigated thoroughly before purchase. They will not solve problems but can reduce or delay some of them: they are not a panacea.

I would over size the recommendations of most manufacturers. THe issues you are looking at are kill ratio and rate of flow which are related. THe longer the water stays in contact with the light the more effective the unit is. This also applys to light intensity usually expressed in bulb wattage. Get a strong light and reduce the flow through it.

Maintence is critical on these systems. The bulbs must be changed frequently. Every six months to a year is a minimum. Don't stretch the life out on these. The efficacy is greatly reduced very rapidly after the spectrum shifts. The sleeve must be cleaned regularly (weekly at least monthly.) Do not rely on self clean sleeves, they only slightly delay the inevetible. Most mortantly they need a five micron filter before contact with light source. Turbidity almost nulifies any efficacy.

Used properly and with regular maintenance a U.V. can be an effective addition to any system, especially a hospital tank. Used improperly it is merely another form of circulation in the system.
unless you going to operate it properly a powerhead is a much cheaper source of water movement and will probably kill just as much.