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Old 03-10-2011, 01:18 AM   #1
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UV Sterilizer

Hi there,

I have followed many threads and information on uv's and I also understand many people's views of that equipment. I have also spent time ready lots about ich and QT's and know that is the best method for avoiding any outbreaks. I thought I would though describe my experience and hopefully get some good feedback from those that really know what they are talking about.
I know good husbandry is the best way to avoid stress in a system, and I do keep my water parameters very well. I do WC's every 2 weeks(15%) and keep my nitrates close to zero.
However, Ive seen ich spots on some of my fish at some times, that have seemed to come and go. The fish spend days without them and then one day I might see one or two spots in a fish or two. The next day they are not visible anymore for a while.. I am a believer that ich will at some point be present in a system(brought in by coral additions, etc.., and I do NOTHING when I see the spots. My fish have recovered from them on their own, and even though i know ich is in my system, I try to avoid further stress on the fishes and they have been eating and behaving normally for a while. None of them have gotten spots to the point that I felt like taking them to a QT, so it has worked for me(I was somewhat lucky). I have recently placed a coralife turbo-twist 36w hooked to my canister(that I use loaded with some chemi-pure media) and I believe it has controlled the further blooming of the ich and allowed to the recovery of my fish. I have also read that in reef tanks, the existence of "plankton" is so small that the fear of the uv killing those is plain stupidity...Also the live good bacteria is attached to the sand and rocks, not being vunerable (in its majority) to the uv...
So far the uv has worked for me, and I wanted to hear what others think of that equipment impacting + or - their systems. BTW, I am a believer(after reading credible keepers posts about proven tests conducted on ich outbreaks) that UV's will kill the swimming stages of the ich, and even though it wont cure the fish, it will avoid the outbreak from getting worse.
Anyways, who out there has a uv and has had good experiences?
thanks for the replies...
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:34 AM   #2
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I would have to agree with you... I share your same experience !!!
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:16 PM   #3
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what if you have an HOB filter only? what kind of uv filter/sterilizer can i use?
Heard alot of good stuff about those heldping with ich and other issues
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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They have nano uv sterilizers. The thing is that only the water that goes through gets exposed to uv. So in order for it to work, you would want a very over sized uv filter and pump. Which is why nano uv filters are beleived to be too under powered to be effective. And why most people believe uv filters are not effective. For example, I have a friend that breeds sw fish. He has a 440 gallon display that runs 2 huge uv filters that has 2 pumps that pass 5000gph of water through them. He still gets ich from time to time. So do they work. I dont know.
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:51 PM   #5
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In my opinion most equipment can be downsized to fit the nano reef hobbyist needs. The UV is not one of them. Companies many times want to make money and try to replicate everything from a normal 50 gal-120gal reef to a nano 2gal-25gal tank. The UV needs to have as long as possible of a body for the water to run through with decent wattage to kill the parasites that could harm fish. If you take a look at some UV information(Dr Foster+ Smith's site) they list the uv's and the flow for effectively killing parasites. So, if you have an 18w unit, the flow to kill parasites would be 100 gal/hour. Anything over that would only kill algae. With that thought, how can the manufacturer list a 9w unit to be able to handle tanks up to 125 gal with a flow of 100-200 gal/hr? That says to me that even though we want equipment to fit in our nano cubes, aquapods and still be small, by incorporating a 9w(in my opinion the 9w isn't enough to kill anything!) with a 100-200 gal/hr pump will leave us thinking UV doesnt work after we witness the ich showing present in the tank laughing back at us.
IN my opinion, 18w is the minimum wattage for a small tank(up to 50 gal), and the flow in it should be at MOST 100 gal/hr. That way, you would have the flow to flow your tank volume 2x/hr with decent light exposure of enough power to kill the parasites.
Bige, im not an expert, nor do I want to criticize your friend's UV use, but to me, running 5000 gph through a UV, you wouldnt be killing anything..its kust way too much water too fast for any lamp to me able to reach the parasites.
That is why I think people have the idea that UV's dont work, when in reality, it that they misuse that equipment and spend their money the wrong way. I know companies also dont help coming up with stuff that dont work, but well, welcome to America, here is the place if you want to come with stuff that promisses things that wont work!
On those cases you have to come up with procedures that will work for you, such as slowing flow, getting a larger uv...
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:12 PM   #6
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I would agree that flow rate is too high. His uv tubes are 3 feet long (100w)each and water flows through a spiral that passes around light twice before leaving. He manufactures high end chillers (chillking) and mh cooling systems (hydro inovations). He says there is a method to his madness. But ich has a life cycle. Some believe to be cured when it is actually just cycling. So if ich is truely gone, what would be point of uv? Maybe only run with new additions?
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:56 PM   #7
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I have had a reef aquarium for five years now using a uv sterilizer and thankfully have never lost a fish to ich.However,I get my fish from TNTSALTWATERAQUARIUMS.com.He treats all his fish himself for a week before selling them.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:32 AM   #8
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i disagree. the odds of all of the parasites falling off of the fish at once and all going through the sterilizer are slim at best. i don't think a UV sterilizer does anything for ich. the only way it would work is if you exposed the entire tank to ultraviolet light, and i don't think you want to go and do that.

i've kept many tanks and have bought and sold quite a few more fish than most of you on this forum, and have only lost 1 fish shortly after his arrival to ich. i've never used a UV sterilizer.
the lack of stress is what is keeping the ich at bay in the OP's tank. if your sterilizer was doing the job you expect, you would not see any come and go.
you would have the exact same results if you got rid of the sterilizer. if you don't believe me, shut it off for a month or two. you can always turn it back on.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:28 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies guys, its nice to check what everyone has to say.
Again, I agree that caring for the fish's disease in a qt tank prior to introduction is KEY and like you mentioned Mr X, yes stress is what really plays the main role in keeping fish healthy.
I understand ich would not go through all at once in the tube and get zapped by the UV, and I know UVs would not get ich out of your system.
Its funny also that I see in many forums people swearing that they have not had ich for years, and the truth is, even if you qt everything, there will be one addition to your tank, coral, even water that will at some point bring ich in...its the way it always has been. Ich is a reality and its a matter of dealing with it the best way possible. When I saw ich in some of my fishes some months ago, I kind of freaked out and went asking different LFS's about their opinion on the best practice...so much mixed info! Some say put medicines(reef safe, that we all know arent efficient), others say give garlic foods...Until I crossed this store owner that had a 250 gal reef with literally 30 fish in it for 5 years..Everything seemed in perfect balance all fish were healthy and the corals looked amazing. I then looked at a Blue Hippo, and guess what? it had ick! So I asked the guy what was he gonna do...he said "I do nothing ick is part of the nature of a system...Ive tried to eradicate it completely and after seeing it always found its way back, I let it take the natural path o the tank.. that blue hippo has ick that dissapears eventually...alll other fish have been there with him for over 3 years with no problems" That made me think that ick will take its own path, and we have to try avoiding ways to make the disease manifest itself, which are caused by the parasite and other factors(stress, water quality, tankmates)
That is why I believe UV is a good sanitizing tool that used properly(watts/gph) will help keep the parasite at a lower level, and allow the fish to fight it off.
I understand many will not agree, but thats the beauty of the forum
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reefcowboy
Thanks for all the replies guys, its nice to check what everyone has to say.
Again, I agree that caring for the fish's disease in a qt tank prior to introduction is KEY and like you mentioned Mr X, yes stress is what really plays the main role in keeping fish healthy.
I understand ich would not go through all at once in the tube and get zapped by the UV, and I know UVs would not get ich out of your system.
Its funny also that I see in many forums people swearing that they have not had ich for years, and the truth is, even if you qt everything, there will be one addition to your tank, coral, even water that will at some point bring ich in...its the way it always has been. Ich is a reality and its a matter of dealing with it the best way possible. When I saw ich in some of my fishes some months ago, I kind of freaked out and went asking different LFS's about their opinion on the best practice...so much mixed info! Some say put medicines(reef safe, that we all know arent efficient), others say give garlic foods...Until I crossed this store owner that had a 250 gal reef with literally 30 fish in it for 5 years..Everything seemed in perfect balance all fish were healthy and the corals looked amazing. I then looked at a Blue Hippo, and guess what? it had ick! So I asked the guy what was he gonna do...he said "I do nothing ick is part of the nature of a system...Ive tried to eradicate it completely and after seeing it always found its way back, I let it take the natural path o the tank.. that blue hippo has ick that dissapears eventually...alll other fish have been there with him for over 3 years with no problems" That made me think that ick will take its own path, and we have to try avoiding ways to make the disease manifest itself, which are caused by the parasite and other factors(stress, water quality, tankmates)
That is why I believe UV is a good sanitizing tool that used properly(watts/gph) will help keep the parasite at a lower level, and allow the fish to fight it off.
I understand many will not agree, but thats the beauty of the forum
WoW, that's a nice way of explaining it, thanks
After my initial total freak out I now kinda think that once you have ich in your house it will stay for good... I think me freaking out and doing whatever I could was even worse for the fish than being rational and doing less LOL
There is only one thing for sure: I would never ever place "reef safe" ich medication into my reef tank!!! So many places recommended different stuff that was "okay" in a reef tank... I'm glad I was never THAT desperate LOL
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