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Does everyone use uv sterilizers? For ich, algae, both?


Wardlaw

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I've had crazy problems with ich and bubble algae is getting bad as well. Will uv do anything for either? If so what brand and size should I get for a 120 with ~ 40 gal sump.

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UV sterilizers will remove small particles that are in the water column near the pump. This would include microalgaes, bacteria (both beneficial and bad) , and some suspended solids if turbidity was high for any reason. Because bubble algae tends to be on the bottom on rocks unless knocked off, and pretty large (visible to the human eye) it wont really help with that problem. You may need to look into an emerald crab or other solutions.

As for ich, its a huge debate, just like everything else in the hobby- you will hear varying opinions. Yes, it brings in bacteria and parasites. But, only those close enough to the intake pump, and not those attached to substrates. So, theoretically, it could remove some of the parasites, when they were hatching, and very close to the pump (somewhat unlikely, as they tend to nest near your fishes' dens and hiding holes). But theoretically, yes, some could be removed. I think for most people, its more of a peace of mind/ placebo than anything else. I will admit, I used one when I had an ich outbreak- but then again I also left my tank fallow/without fish for 2 and a half months while it was running in order to break the ich lifecycle.

I think if youre having both of these problems, it could indicate larger problems in your tank or system. Fish generally get ich when they are extremely stressed out or around fish with the parasite for a period of time (similar to us getting the flu or a cold). Bubble algae is generally a hitchhiker on a rock or coral that you buy or bring in to your tank without seeing it. A simple solution to both of these problems (generally befor ethey start, but it will also help now, mostly with the ich) is a QT set up- observe your fish and ensure they are not affected/sick, and stock slowly to prevent stress to your other inhabitants. Dip and QT corals to prevent the introduction of nuisance algae. I know its hard, and sounds like a pain, and yes sometimes livestock might die while in QT (due to sickness in a stable QT set up, or due to a poor QT set up's stress), but its worth it in the long run.

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Agree with clarkii.. however I now use UV on all of my systems, both broodstock clownfish systems and reef. The crystal clear water is enough to make me run one. Anything else it does is just a bonus. Ask anyone that runs one. I was a huge skeptic that is until I started running one. I keep them near return pumps or areas that water has to pass to ensure maximum contact.

UV will not solve all your problems but it can help.

sent from my Samsung Note 8 on tapatalk

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I have one in line between the return pump and the chiller. The hoses run through the floor about two feet to the UV and chiller. Are you all saying that they're only effective if it's right up close to the pump?

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There are 2 main problems with running a UV Sterilizer. First is that it removes beneficial ingredients from your tank that are desirable. Second is that most people can't afford to buy one large enough for their tank and/or run too much flow past the bulb for it to be useful. The longer the water has in contact with the bulb the more efficient the UV is going to be. The bulbs also have to be changed pretty often and become less efficient as the bulb ages.

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Thanks for input so far. I'm going to think on it. I quarantined and still had ich after intro into dt. Pretty frustrated with fish loss. Got some medicated food today. Testing water again tomorrow.

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Here's a link that describes the life cycle: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa164

I am definitely in the camp in favor of UV sterilizers. There are certainly different strains with differing degrees of virulence and I have seen ich spontaineuosly disappear (in a well stock reef system corals will be actively capturing the larva) so the medicated foods or garlic might work. Regarding the argument UV's kill beneficial organisms while I am certain this does happen most of the critical beneficial organisms are attached to the substrate and will not be affected. It is interesting to note that Feldman looked at how a UV sterilizer affected the microbial population on ONE tank and found it did not alter the microbial population while skimming had a significant effect1 He did not specify the wattage of the sterilizer, flow rate or how it was hooked up. I know of a couple of multitank setups with ich where a sterilzer did keep one tank clean while the other(s) had a parasite problem. Here's is a what one member noted when he had an outbreak: "Another member and I both had an ich outbreak about 2 months ago, I had UV and he didn't. Both outbreaks were caused by stress in the tank, in his case some fish were fighting...in mine I had added some new fish. I had 100% success and the other member lost several very nice fish...clown trigger, blue face angelfish, and a I believe the other was a tang. Both of us were feeding garlic and vitamins, it was the UV that made all the difference."2 The major problem I've seen with UV sterilizors is they are often set up so they have an insufficiant kill rate to take care of ich and this is usually because they've been set up with too high a flow rate through the sterilizer to give the larval enough UV to kill them in a single pass or set up where there are multiple routes the water takes so only a percentage of the water cycled through the tank never goes through the sterilizer leaving ich larval alive. If you use a UV find out from the manufacturer what the flow rate is to get a "single pass 100% kill" and use a turnover rate of one turnover every 1-4 hours with a small pump to
pump straight from the main tank to the UV then back to the main tank. I prefer to have a pump in the tank is that's where the larval are hatching out and I've had better performance than putting a UV on the return line although that will work. If all you are adding to your tank is a clown then you might try metronidiazole or Kick-Ich. If yo are adding a lot more fish I would strongly urge you to get a sterilizer. An Ultalife sterilizer and maxijet pump will cost about $180. A 120 gallon tank could easily have fish many times that and it seems to me cheap insurance if setup properly. While I have Lifeguard QL series UVs and like them I've had two of their rectangular Aquastep and both leaked.

1 http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2011/3/aafeature

2 http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/16585-uv-sterilizer-help/?hl=sterilizer#entry115845

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Here's a link that describes the life cycle: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa164

I am definitely in the camp in favor of UV sterilizers. There are certainly different strains with differing degrees of virulence and I have seen ich spontaineuosly disappear (in a well stock reef system corals will be actively capturing the larva) so the medicated foods or garlic might work. Regarding the argument UV's kill beneficial organisms while I am certain this does happen most of the critical beneficial organisms are attached to the substrate and will not be affected. It is interesting to note that Feldman looked at how a UV sterilizer affected the microbial population on ONE tank and found it did not alter the microbial population while skimming had a significant effect1 He did not specify the wattage of the sterilizer, flow rate or how it was hooked up. I know of a couple of multitank setups with ich where a sterilzer did keep one tank clean while the other(s) had a parasite problem. Here's is a what one member noted when he had an outbreak: "Another member and I both had an ich outbreak about 2 months ago, I had UV and he didn't. Both outbreaks were caused by stress in the tank, in his case some fish were fighting...in mine I had added some new fish. I had 100% success and the other member lost several very nice fish...clown trigger, blue face angelfish, and a I believe the other was a tang. Both of us were feeding garlic and vitamins, it was the UV that made all the difference."2 The major problem I've seen with UV sterilizors is they are often set up so they have an insufficiant kill rate to take care of ich and this is usually because they've been set up with too high a flow rate through the sterilizer to give the larval enough UV to kill them in a single pass or set up where there are multiple routes the water takes so only a percentage of the water cycled through the tank never goes through the sterilizer leaving ich larval alive. If you use a UV find out from the manufacturer what the flow rate is to get a "single pass 100% kill" and use a turnover rate of one turnover every 1-4 hours with a small pump to

pump straight from the main tank to the UV then back to the main tank. I prefer to have a pump in the tank is that's where the larval are hatching out and I've had better performance than putting a UV on the return line although that will work. If all you are adding to your tank is a clown then you might try metronidiazole or Kick-Ich. If yo are adding a lot more fish I would strongly urge you to get a sterilizer. An Ultalife sterilizer and maxijet pump will cost about $180. A 120 gallon tank could easily have fish many times that and it seems to me cheap insurance if setup properly. While I have Lifeguard QL series UVs and like them I've had two of their rectangular Aquastep and both leaked.

1 http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2011/3/aafeature

2 http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/16585-uv-sterilizer-help/?hl=sterilizer#entry115845

Great information. Thank you! it seems that i had Brooklynella and i had a horrible die off. I will be taking your recommendation on UV and getting enough wattage to handle my ~160 gallons. Any advice on how long i willl have to wait to restock? There are fish that made it and could possibly be hosts?

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