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Old 06-15-2010, 03:17 PM   #1
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Can a UV sterilizer be harmful to a reef?

I have heard the plusses and minuses on the UV sterilizer, but the one main question I have is can it be harmful to a reef? I don't want to lose beneficial life.

I am having a red algae problem. I have used Phosban, GFO, changed the lights. Now I am wondering if I should try UV.
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:31 PM   #2
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Is it cyano or an actually red algae?
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:42 PM   #3
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I had one for yrs on my reef and it did not hinder anything but remember also that it will only affect what goes through the lighted chamber.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:14 PM   #4
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Mike makes a good point. I never used one on my system simply because they are expensive and not very efficient.

If you are having a problem with cyano bacteria (red slime) you may want to consider siphoning out the gunk during your next pwc. I did this over the course of about a month when battling it after upgrading my reef. Cyano is fueled by excess nutrients in your system. It takes some time and work to get rid of it and there is no one best way of doing it either.
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:30 AM   #5
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I also don't think the UV is going to help with your "red" cyano. I found a thread on another site a few days ago about a product called Microbe Lift Special Blend, it is a bacteria in a bottle which competes for the same nutrients as the cyano. I read all 11-pages of this thread and many hobbyiest said it worked very well. Some people posted pics of horrible cyano problems and then after pics with no cyano. However, even when using this stuff they still had to do the clean up maintenance like Ziggy mentioned.
I have been battling a little bit of cyano on my sandbed and I am seriously considering trying this. Its not a chemical and its not an antibiotic, its a Organic Nitrae and Organic Phosphate eating beneficial bacteria. Here is the stuff: Aquarium Water Quality & Conditioners: Special Blend Water Conditioner
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ryshark View Post
I also don't think the UV is going to help with your "red" cyano. I found a thread on another site a few days ago about a product called Microbe Lift Special Blend, it is a bacteria in a bottle which competes for the same nutrients as the cyano. I read all 11-pages of this thread and many hobbyiest said it worked very well. Some people posted pics of horrible cyano problems and then after pics with no cyano. However, even when using this stuff they still had to do the clean up maintenance like Ziggy mentioned.
I have been battling a little bit of cyano on my sandbed and I am seriously considering trying this. Its not a chemical and its not an antibiotic, its a Organic Nitrae and Organic Phosphate eating beneficial bacteria. Here is the stuff: Aquarium Water Quality & Conditioners: Special Blend Water Conditioner
Sounds interesting. I only had a cyano issue once and I used that red slime remover with no problems. Worked like a charm. I would much rather go with a natural solution though.
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:44 PM   #7
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I have always recommended going the natural route to remedy any issue in your system before resorting to a chemical treatment. You never know exactly how your particular system is going to react to the addition of a chemical.
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:33 AM   #8
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I would be scared to use chemical too. Especially one that kills cyano bacteria because I would imagine it kills good bacteria too since I think the chemical is antibiotic.
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
I would be scared to use chemical too. Especially one that kills cyano bacteria because I would imagine it kills good bacteria too since I think the chemical is antibiotic.
I'm not positive on this but i am pretty sure i remember reading on the one we used (Same as Jimbo7) that it did not harm the benifical bacteria. I was concerned about this as well but didn't have any problems.

For cyano i use a bit of a combination of the two approaches. Water changes every week, siphoning it out, and reduced feeding will do 90% of the work towards getting it out. I have found that the last little bit of cyano will survive on the smallest bit of excess nutrients that it was nearly impossible to get rid of. At that point i used a smaller then normal dose of the chemical and it finished of the cyano. This may have been because i was fighting it in a 12g and i had no skimmer/sump/fuge to help me get my levels down. It may be easier in a larger system where you have a little help.
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