A UV sterilizer is a valuable piece of equipment to add to your reef tank or fish-only saltwater aquarium. Read more to learn about their benefits.
Even if you are new to the aquarium hobby you are probably aware that certain pieces of equipment are necessary in order to cultivate a healthy and thriving saltwater aquarium. What you may not know, however, is that there are options in addition to the standard filters, heaters and lighting systems that can help make your life easier as an aquarium hobbyist. An Ultraviolet sterilizer, for example, is a piece of equipment that can greatly enhance your reef tank environment with little to no extra effort required on your part. If you are struggling to control algae in your reef tank, or if you are looking for a way to control bacteria and parasites, a UV sterilizer might be a good option for you. Before you decide whether or not to purchase one of these devices you should take the time to learn a little bit about it so you can select the right model for your tank.
What is a UV Sterilizer?
No matter how often you perform water changes in your aquarium and regardless how meticulous you are about changing your filter media on a regular basis, your reef tank will still accumulate algae and bacteria. As long as you maintain high water quality in your tank, a little algae or bacteria is unlikely to cause any serious harm to your fish. If you do not properly maintain your tank, however, you could experience a problem with excessive algae growth. UV sterilizers are a simple way to help control algae, parasites and bacteria in the home aquarium. Because these three things are often difficult or impossible to view with the naked eye, it can be extremely difficult to control them. UV sterilizers target these microorganisms, altering their life cycles and limiting their reproductive capabilities in order to keep them under control. In simple terms, UV sterilizers work by passing tank water over an ultraviolet bulb – the UV light kills off the bacteria, algae and parasites in the water before returning it to the tank. In conjunction with a quality filtration system, UV sterilizers are an excellent way to help keep your reef tank clean.
Benefits and Drawbacks
The main benefit of a UV sterilizer is that it helps to keep nuisances like algae, parasites and bacteria under control in your tank. If you do not properly maintain your tank even a few algae cells or parasites can quickly reproduce and cause a major problem. UV sterilizers serve to eradicate these microorganisms, thus preventing them from reproducing. Most UV sterilizers can be hooked directly in to your aquarium filter, though stand-alone options are available. These units come in a variety of different sizes to accommodate all types of tanks and they also feature different flow rates to target either parasites or bacteria and algae. One drawback of UV sterilizers is that they only target free-floating organisms in the tank water – they will not have any effect on algae that has already adhered to tank surfaces or on bacteria and parasites that have already infected your fish. UV sterilizers can also interfere with chemicals and medications so, if you plan to use any of these products, you will need to turn the device off during the treatment period.
How to Use a UV Sterilizer
There are two different types of UV sterilizer – in-line and hang-on. Hang-on UV sterilizers are stand-alone devices that can be mounted to the back of the aquarium and they are generally fed by a submerged powerhead. These models are fairly easy to install and simple to maintain – they are particularly well-suited to small aquariums. In-line UV sterilizers are installed directly in the main filtration system as the last in-line device before the filtered water is returned to the tank. These models are generally recommended for larger aquariums and they often incorporate bulbs with higher wattages. In order to determine the right UV sterilizer for your tank the main thing you need to consider is your tank size – larger tank volumes will require a more powerful unit.
Additional Tips and Considerations
You should be aware that certain flow rates are optimal for targeting certain types of microorganisms – this information is important to know when selecting a UV sterilizer for your tank. If you simply want to control algae and problem bacteria you will need a minimum wattage of 4 for the UV bulb and a flow rate of at least 60 gph. UV sterilizers are generally ineffective against parasites at wattages less than 15 and the minimum flow rate to target these microorganisms is 75 gph. If you know what type of microorganisms you want to target in your reef tank you will be able to select a UV sterilizer of the appropriate size to provide the right wattage and flow rate. Many UV sterilizers offer adjustable flow rates, however, so you have a variety of options to choose from.
In order to cultivate a healthy and thriving reef tank environment you need to do your best to keep your tank water clean. In addition to performing weekly water changes and replacing your filter media on a regular basis you may also want to consider installing a UV sterilizer to help control nuisances like algae, bacteria and parasites.
Trending: Adding LED Moonlights to the Aquarium With advances in aquarium lighting technology, you now have the option to add specialized nighttime lighting to your aquarium. LED moonlights are perfect for nocturnal species of fish or simply to enhance the nighttime appearance of your tank.
The aquarium lighting system you choose for your tank will not only affect your tanks appearance but its performance as well. The articles in this category will help you choose the right system for your tank and will provide you with the information you need to make the most of your aquarium lighting.
UV Sterilizers for Reef Aquariums A UV sterilizer is a valuable piece of equipment to add to your reef tank or fish-only saltwater aquarium. Read more to learn about their benefits.
Saltwater Aquariums A brief introduction to saltwater aquariums. Different categories. Pros and cons.
How to Start a Brackish Tank If you are looking for a new challenge as an aquarium hobbyist, try cultivating a brackish tank. Not only will it be a challenge, but it will also be an enjoyable learning experience!
Stocking a Brackish Aquarium A brackish aquarium is an exciting challenge for the aquarium hobbyist. Read more to learn the types of fish and plants that are recommended for brackish tanks.
Handy Aquarium Accessories and Devices There are many accessories and handy devices which can make your life as an aquarium hobbyist easier. This article will teach you the basics about what is available and what these devices do.
How to Modify PH in a Saltwater Tank The pH level in your saltwater tank is incredibly important for the health and vitality of your tank. If the pH falls too low or spikes too high, your fish could become stressed and fall ill -- they may even die as a result.
The Dangers of High Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate Water quality is extremely important in maintaining a saltwater tank. If you let the ammonia, nitrite or nitrate levels in your tank get too high, it could have a negative impact on your fish.
The Benefits of Algae in Saltwater Tanks Many aquarium hobbyists assume that algae in the aquarium can only be bad. There are, however, a variety of benefits that marine algae provides for the saltwater tank.
Why Do Fish Disappear from the Saltwater Tank? There is nothing as heart-breaking as losing a fish but it can be even more devastating when the fish simply disappears. Read more to learn why fish might disappear from the tank and what you can do about it.
Types of Coral for Reef Tanks Stocking a reef tank can be a challenge because there are so many different types of coral to choose from. Before you start your reef tank, familiarize yourself with the different types of coral.
Bristle Worms in the Marine Tank Dealing with pests is an inescapable part of cultivating a marine tank. If you want to handle a problem with bristle worms effectively, take the time to learn the basics about them.
Reef Aquariums An overview of the reef aquarium along with a short history. Online reef references.
Set-up Guide for a Reef Tank If you have ever considered starting a reef tank, read this setup guide to make sure you start your reef tank off right.
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Wavemakers for Saltwater Tanks If you want to keep your saltwater tank healthy, you need to consider the ideal level of water flow. Installing a wavemaker in your tank will help you strike the right balance.
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Reverse Osmosis for the Saltwater Tank If you want to keep a healthy and thriving saltwater tank, you need to start with high-quality water. Reverse osmosis is a great way to prepare the water for your marine tank.
Tips for Feeding Saltwater Aquarium Fish What you feed your fish will determine whether or not their reach their full potential. If you want to see your fish thrive, take the time to ensure their proper nutrition.
Common Saltwater Aquarium Fish Diseases No matter how hard you try, you cannot completely protect your fish from falling ill. You can, however, educate yourself on some of the most common saltwater fish diseases so you know how to deal with them.
How to Prevent Saltwater Fish Diseases There is nothing quite so heartbreaking as losing one of your fish to disease. To avoid experiencing this yourself, and to ensure a healthy and happy saltwater tank environment, learn a few tips on how to prevent saltwater aquarium fish diseases.
Good Medications to Keep on Hand In the event that your fish become ill it is important that you take action to begin a treatment regimen as soon as possible. Having some of these medications on hand will ensure that you are able to do so.
Creating Your Own Live Rock for Saltwater Tanks Live rock is the foundation for any thriving saltwater tank and it is the base for saltwater aquarium decor. Rather than spending a fortune purchasing natural live rock, consider customizing your tank by creating your own live rock.
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The Benefits of Purchasing Saltwater Fish Online If you are thinking about buying some new fish for your saltwater tank, think about purchasing them online! Not only does buying online offer you a wider selection of species but it also reduces the stress your fish experience by having them shipped directly to your home.
Understanding the Coloration of Saltwater Fish Have you ever been dazzled by the bright colors and bold patterns of a school of saltwater fish? If so, you might be interested to learn the reasoning behind the bright colors of saltwater fish.
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Tank-Raised Fish for Saltwater Aquariums Stocking the saltwater aquarium can be an exciting challenge, especially when you have so many options to choose from. Before you purchase any fish, take the time to learn about the benefits of tank-bred versus wild-caught saltwater fish.
What Are Good Freshwater Fish For Beginners What makes a freshwater fish a good candidate for beginners? In this article you will learn how to choose your first freshwater fish and receive some advice on good species for the beginner.