use of UV sterilizer on reef tank

gauma369

New member
Ok so Im changing my 120 FOWLR into a reef tank getting used T-5 fixture from a friend. Im pretty excited. Back to topic and question I have. Is it really bad to run a UV sterilizer on a reef tank? I have heard pros and cons. My friend has run one for 2 years now and loves it. I dont have one running now but I have slight algae problem. Nitrates and Phosphates are low but I seem to get algae growing on glass and mostly the overflow boxes. I had bought a couple more turbo snails which have taken a big dent out of it but it continues to grow even after like 3 months. No like I said it isnt bad but I would love to clean it up a bit and be more like the pictures of everyones tank on here. I know UV sterilizers kill all bacteria including the good stuff but how much good bacteria is really just floating in the water column? I thought most of it was in the substrate and live rock. I have a bare bottom tank so i don't have the substrate but I have live rock. So it comes down to is it bad to run a UV sterilizer on a reef tank?
 

sc reefer

New member
I think you should run it on the tank for the first few months to control algae, then let the tank take care of itself. Also run it as you are adding new fish to kill any possible parasites.
 

gauma369

New member
the tank has been running for about 3 months but everything was transfered from my 75 gal which was running over 3 yrs FOWLR.
 

Chi6488

New member
I will let you know about 2 months. I unplugged mine today and will see how things go. My nitrates have been out of control and I have turned water over at least 5 times. Maybe the UV is killing EVERYTHING
 

Aquarist007

New member
I will let you know about 2 months. I unplugged mine today and will see how things go. My nitrates have been out of control and I have turned water over at least 5 times. Maybe the UV is killing EVERYTHING

IMO its probably killing very little. They process such little water in gph that they are not as affective as the product sellors state them to be
I you have one already, sure run it but if you do not have one it is an expensive tool for what it actually accomplishes
 

sedor

New member
The lower end UV sterilizers are worthless IMO, however if your going to run one, I agree with sc_reefer in that it should only be run some of the time...Its a nice tool to have in an emergency as well.
 

iamwrasseman

New member
what bad comes from running it all the time ? i have a 160 watt unit and wanted to use it on my new 300 gal tank but not if it will hurt anything .what are the actual cons of the unit ?
thanks Dave
 

Aquarist007

New member
what bad comes from running it all the time ? i have a 160 watt unit and wanted to use it on my new 300 gal tank but not if it will hurt anything .what are the actual cons of the unit ?
thanks Dave

nothing really other then a false sense of security that it is actually doing something :lol::dance:
 

leafeater

New member
I bought a tank from a lady who was running a 9w coralife. I added all her fish to my tank and never used her sterilizer. The fish look great at least the ones that made it past the carpet.
 

sedor

New member
what bad comes from running it all the time ? i have a 160 watt unit and wanted to use it on my new 300 gal tank but not if it will hurt anything .what are the actual cons of the unit ?
thanks Dave

I've never used a UV sterilizer so I can't speak from personal experience, but the supposed "cons" of using a sterilizer is that is kills...well pretty much anything that goes through it, including the beneficial bacteria your tank relies on. Of course very little of this bacteria actually resides in the water column, so on second thoughts keeping it on 24/7 may not be all that detrimental.
 

Aquarist007

New member
I've never used a UV sterilizer so I can't speak from personal experience, but the supposed "cons" of using a sterilizer is that is kills...well pretty much anything that goes through it, including the beneficial bacteria your tank relies on. Of course very little of this bacteria actually resides in the water column, so on second thoughts keeping it on 24/7 may not be all that detrimental.


In the context of this post---I would worry about a uv sterilzer if I were using a refugium to produce copopods etc for fish in the display tank,
In that case I would run it on the drainside of the sump so it didn't interfer with copopods returning to the display tank.
 

iamwrasseman

New member
so its not detrimental in any other way ? seems like a good security blanket for parasites and algea ,not to mention any live pathogen that resides in the water .
thanks Dave
 

seafloor09

New member
I've never used a UV sterilizer so I can't speak from personal experience, but the supposed "cons" of using a sterilizer is that is kills...well pretty much anything that goes through it, including the beneficial bacteria your tank relies on. Of course very little of this bacteria actually resides in the water column, so on second thoughts keeping it on 24/7 may not be all that detrimental.

You contradicted yourself there????

If you want it for desease control it s/b on 24/7

If for algea then it can be part time.

But if you have it I would just leave it on.
 

jenglish

Marquis de Carabas
not besides an electric bill :bigeyes:

THere is little "good" bacteria in the water column. I have heard some say it kills corraline algae spores... If I thought it did that effectively I would own one!
 

FISHSTICK745

New member
I ran one for about 9 months, took it off line about 2 months ago and nothing different. Maybe they are good for QT. I don't know.
 
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