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Old 04-08-2005, 07:20 PM   #1
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UV sterilizer setup question

OK thanks to the help of people on this board I have learned a lot about UV sterilizers and will be purchasing one soon. I am set on getting a coralife turbo twist, but I'm not sure how I will set it up. I originally planned on getting the 12x 36 watt unit and running it inline with the outtake of my fluval 404, which is rated at 340 gph. Some people on this board have this exact set up and I have seen this setup recommended on the wetwebmedia boards. However when I called up both Dr. Foster's and Smith and Bigalsonline, both retailers told me that they do not recommend hookng up UV sterilizers inline with filters. They both recommended I get a maxijet 600 and 9w turbo twist.

The problem is I don't really want to put another powerhaed in my tank since I feel it it cluttered enough already. I also have heard that UVs are far more effective when the water passing through is free of detritus, so it would seem that the inline with the cannister's output would be an ideal setup. I would also rather keep the unit in my cabinet with the fluval instead of having it hang on the tank. This would give me easier access to the unit for cleaning as well. I don't think the sterilizer's effectiveness should be hampered since it is rated for flow rates of 400-1200 gph. Any input to help my purchase would be greatly appreciated. TIA.
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Old 04-09-2005, 12:42 AM   #2
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Your UV will work fine inline with the filter output. The only reason I can see not to do it that way is that it will reduce the output of the filter although I don't think it will be enough of a difference to matter. Manufacturers tend to lie a little when they are telling you what flow rates thier units will handle. In order for UV to be effective, you need a slow enough flow rate that all troublesome organisms are eliminated when they pass though. Ideally, you want to turn the tank volume twice every 24 hrs. However, you need to take into account that the sterilized water is mixing with unsterilized water as it is returned to the tank. Use the following equation to figure out how much flow you need to turn the tank 2x24. The formula is T = a(G/F) where:
T is the time required for 1 turnover of all the water in the tank.
a is the purity coefficient (insert 9.2 here – this is the coefficient for 99.99%)
G is the total volume of water in the tank
F is the flow rate through the sterilizer in gallons per hour
In your case: T=9.2(75/300)
T=2.3 hrs.
You could split the filter return and only run a portion of the filtered water though the UV unit. If you ran 65gph through the UV, you'd turn the 99.99% of the water in the tank about every 11 hrs and very little, if anything, would emerge alive in the sterilized water. At 300gph (assuming the filter output drops to that from the increased back pressure of the UV unit), algae and some bacteria will die but, most viruses and parasites will emerge with a nice suntan and nothing more. JMHO.
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Old 04-09-2005, 03:26 AM   #3
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I understand your equation and it makes sense except for the fact that you are not accounting for the wattage of the sterilizer being used or the surface area of a given sterilizer in which water comes in contact with. Are you saying that these two factors are not relevant in the effectiveness of the removal of algae, bacteria and parasites?

Passing 300 gph through a 9 watt sterilizer which is significantly smaller and passing 300 gph through a 36 watt sterilizer with a larger surface area should yield incredibly different results and I just don't see this in your equation.

Ising this rational and some mathematical insight, running a mj600 which has a flow of 160 gph with a turbo twist 9 watt should be less effective than using my 300 gph fluval inline with a 36 watt turbo twist. This is why I am questioning why some people recommend the mj 600 9w turbo twist combo over my fluval 36w turbo twist combo. I believe this to be the case despite that your equation would yield
T=9.2(75/160) T= ~4.3 which would make using the 9w and mj600 more effective in your rationale.

BTW I am not intending to be rude in any way, I am just looking into understanding your insight since I have read your posts before and know you are very knowledgeable in reef keeping.
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60 lbs. Premium Figi Live Rock
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Aquac Remora Pro skimmer
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yellow tang, Large Blue Hippo Tang, Tomato clown, yellow watchman goby, royal gramma, 10 scarlet hermit crabs, 7 Mex. turbo snails,
2 peppermint shrimp, 10 nas. snails
large candy cane, supercolored zoos.

30 gal QT
2 penguin 200B HOT filters
150 watt heater
maxijet 600 ph
Bicolor Angel, Clown Tang
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Old 04-09-2005, 11:26 AM   #4
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I'm thinking of doing the same thing with my Turbo Twist 3x. I just got it in yesterday and installed it, but there just isn't enough room on the back side of my tank for a skimmer, filter inlet/outlet, and powerhead for the sterilyzer. Heck, I can't even put the hood back on top of the tank perfectly now.

I'm using a Rena Filstar XP3, but since I can control the flow of the output, hopefully I'll be okay.

(I'll never buy another hex tank, there just isn't enough room on this thing).
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:23 AM   #5
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You guys both need to run an overflow with a sump!

I recently set up my turbo twist 3x. I tried running a MJ 400 from sump to main and it couldn't push the water at all. I used a mj 1200 and it was way too fast. Even overflowed the overflow. I am now using a 900. seems ok, but I still am overflowing. might just try a mj 600 to see if it will work. water it is getting pumped about three feet, and there are no stats for maxi-jets anywhere.

Born, you make a good point that the increased wattage and contact time of the 12x should make a difference in the effectiveness, but it is my understanding that you want it to run as slow as possible. 300 gph is still going to be to fast. I also understand the space issue. I think that splitting the output would make the most sense.

Or, figure out a way to split your 1200's now and use it to power the UV.
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Old 04-11-2005, 08:48 AM   #6
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I love my turbotwist. Cleared up an algae bloom within hours and keeps the tank sparkling clear all the time.

There is a review of it here if you are interested;

http://www.cloudytanks.com/reviews/aquariums/uv.html

Best of luck,
Asaint
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phishead
You guys both need to run an overflow with a sump!
You're telling me! I'm seriously looking into making one. My only problem is, the size of the tank stand is narrow since it's a hex, I've gotta find a 15-gallon container that will fit underneath it.
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Old 04-13-2005, 11:21 AM   #8
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Well, it's been 5 days since I connected the Turbo Twist 3x, and my tank is almost crystal-clear again. Maybe another 2 days and it'll be perfect. Then I'm going to put it inline with my filter's return.
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