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UV sterilizer in reef tank?

Discussion in 'General Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Talon33, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Talon33

    Talon33 Active Member

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    My tank is a 125 gallon reef in progress right now. I used tap water before starting my reef and when upgrading my light then came algae. I have green film algae on the glass and Cyanobacteria. I expected this and am just keeping up with good husbandry and trying to let this phase pass. Just wondering if a UV sterilizer will help this process. Or would adding one just be a good idea?
     
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  2. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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  3. ziggy

    ziggy Active Member

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    Unless your tank has a very heavy bio load, such as a lot of livestock or a lot of feeding, I feel the negatives outweigh the benefits. I would not put one in.
     
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  4. reefle

    reefle Member

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    I bought one, but I think a sump with macro algae, lots of flow, and maybe a GFO reactor to get rid of phosphates will help more.
     
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  5. PSU4ME

    PSU4ME JoePa lives on!!!
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    From my reading, a UV does two main things......kills algae or kills parasites.......and that is based on flow rate through the device in relation to the power of its UV bulb. Unless you have a water column algae bloom, I wouldn't suggest it for algae. If you want parasite control, that is a different story. It will not do anything else for a tank in terms of parameters.......it could increase light penetration due to water clarity.
     
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  6. Talon33

    Talon33 Active Member

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    Well my tank bio load is kinda high. I have a sump with macro. I can have this thing for free. Don't really have the money for a GFO reactor. I may just stick with the 25% water changes and manual removal till nutrients are gone
     
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  7. Talon33

    Talon33 Active Member

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    Interesting, sounds like another piece of equipment ill have to pay for the power and change the light
     
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  8. ziggy

    ziggy Active Member

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    U.v. negatives:
    Heated up water
    Tube must be cleaned at l east every 2 weeks.
    Buy new tube every 3 to 4 months
    Water flow must be within I've spec flow
    Continuous electricity usage
     
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  9. Talon33

    Talon33 Active Member

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    Well here is a question for some one. Will a UV indirectly reduce nitrates? If the UV makes organic molecules easier for skimmer to collect. So your skimmer would be running more effectively and collecting more. Then there would be less organics to breakdown and turn into nitrates.
     
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  10. ziggy

    ziggy Active Member

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    No
     
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  11. Talon33

    Talon33 Active Member

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    How so?
     
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  12. PSU4ME

    PSU4ME JoePa lives on!!!
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    No....it won't do anything for water parameters. Mine increased my water temp a whole degree as well. I'm a fan of good equipment so i'll caveat this next statement. Buy a good one or don't buy one at all. Proper strength and flow rate is crucial and most devices lie. I have an emperor aquatics one and it is legit......look into them if you want one.

    Frankly, I only used mine cause I had a ich outbreak a while back and while I didn't use it to cure the tank, I bought it for insurance/security. Past that I don't see a need for it on a reef tank.

    In my line of work, i'm always interested in root cause analysis and not chasing symptoms. A UV sterilizer chases symptons but looking to correct the root cause is the best advice I could give.
     
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  13. Talon33

    Talon33 Active Member

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    Well I think I will skip on it then. I know the root of the problem and everyone who keeps a reef tank should know why they have an algae or bacteria bloom, excess nutrients in the water. I am sure it will take awhile for these nutrients to be used up as well from a year use of tap water an no skimmer. Now I have a great skimmer and using RO water also changed how I feed. So I guess I will just keep up on husbandry and try to control algae. Until nutrients are gone
     
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  14. reefle

    reefle Member

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    If you can have this thing for free, I'd say you should still get it lol. Using it is another story XD
     
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  15. Talon33

    Talon33 Active Member

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    Haha yeah they said I could have it. They used it on their freshwater tank took care of their cloudy water so they said I could take it. They got it at petsmart so not sure of the brand or quality of the thing
     
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  16. reefle

    reefle Member

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    I think petsmart primarily sells "green killing machine" which is an acceptable brand from what I've heard.
     
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  17. reefer gladness

    reefer gladness Well-Known Member

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    What's your source of info? Keep in mind specs will vary greatly between models and manufacturers.

    Yes, UV sterilizers perform better if clean - just buy a model with a wiper. It costs a whopping $15 dollars more than the standard model.
    Heated up water - negligible for most tanks. I use pinpoint temp probes and have tested with and without the UV on and haven't been able to observe a difference.
    New tubes ever 12-14 months for the model and manufacturer I have... never heard of a 3-4 month life span.
    Yes, water flow is the 1/2 the equation for UV dosing. Not hard to figure out with a pump head-loss calculator which costs nothing.
    Continuous electric usage - true, but negligible again for most tanks. My UV sterilizer takes 1/10th the wattage my return pump does for example.
     
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  18. Bearjohnson

    Bearjohnson Well-Known Member
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    I wasn't a fan or believer until I hooked one up.

    reefer gladness summed it up in a nut shell.

    My $.02 worth....As well as the obv. (killing parasites ect) they will improve water quality and clarity.
     
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  19. Talon33

    Talon33 Active Member

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    Well heck I guess I might as well run the thing and try it if its free huh?
     
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  20. Bearjohnson

    Bearjohnson Well-Known Member
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    It certainly won't harm anything.

    The beauty is it's free. Run it for a while and see if you notice any benefits. If no benefits are seen, unplug it.
     
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