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Old 12-28-2009, 01:19 AM   #1
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UV Sterilizer question

I have a 150gal freshwater tank. I've purchased a UV sterilizer (do to various problems including cloudy/algae water and an ick outbreak to boot. I've done a lot of research on the internet about uv sterilizers and sizing (wattage) and recommended water flow rates. But all it's done is confuse the issue.

The manufacturer of the UV sterilizer (Coralife TurboTwist) says on their web site to purchase the 18watt model (which is good for tanks up to 250gal) and a recommended flow rate from 200 to 400 gph. This would typically be the model I would purchase because my tank is 150gal.
But in reading on the internet and various reviews... two concerns come up.

On the internet, most note that the wattage/flow rate ratings manufacturers give for their UV sterilizer products are for killing algae and most bacteria but some users on the internet say that those ratings are usually insufficient for killing parasites (either because the lamp wattage is too low for killing parasites, or the rated water flow is too high for the UV sterilizer to be effective against killing parasites.

So to ensure I had a high enough wattage model, I moved up to the 36 watt (from the 18 watt model... it was on sale and only a few dollars more than the 18watt model). The 36 watt model is rated for aquariums up to 500 gal. Many people note on the internet that the higher the wattage of the UV bulb, the higher and more effective the kill rate. I don't know if this is true or not, but it makes sense that a higher wattage UV bulb would have a higher potential kill rate.

But my other question is about the flow rate. The 18watt model says it should have a recommended flow rate of 200-400gph. The 36watt model says it should have a recommended flow rate of 400-1200gph.

On my 150gal tank I have an Eheim canister filter with a flow rate of 490gph and I also have a Fluval with a flow rate of 260gph. Considering I purchased the 36watt model for my 150gal tank which recommends a flow rate of 400-1200gph, I would typically hook this UV sterilizer up to the higher throughput Eheim (as opposed to the lower flow Fluval). But many people on the internet say that for a UV sterilizer to be effective against algae, bacteria and also parasites, that the flow rate through a UV sterilizer needs to be a lot slower than what is recommended by the manufacturer so there is a longer exposure time of the water to the UV bulb. Therefore in this case, to get a slower flow rate through this 36watt UV sterilizer, it would mean I would in theory need to put this UV sterilizer on the Fluval because of it's lower flow rate.

So my question is... should I be following the manufacturers recommended flow rate for this unit (400-1200gph) and hook it up to the Eheim which outputs at 490gph, or should I follow other users recommendations on the internet and slow the flow rate down through the UV sterilizer by putting it on the Fluval which only has a flow output of 260gph?

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Old 12-31-2009, 12:44 PM   #2
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IMO i thing that you might be able to get away with the 496gph and it work work fine the water will go in slower and kill off the ich ect... i think you will be fine with the 496gph... hope i helped
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uv sterilizer

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