UV Sterilizers
Ardan Huck March 14, 2003

UV sterilizers use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, algae, viruses, molds, and parasites. Water is pumped past an ultraviolet light and returned to the aquarium.

There is a thought that good bacteria in the water column is also killed and the biological filter may be somewhat disrupted (do not use a UV on a new setup as the bacterial cycle has not yet completed). Another thought is that the fishes' immune systems may not be as strong with the use of UV because they are not exposed to as many pathogens and don't develop immunity.

If using UV, there are several things to consider:

1. The flow rate must be proper for the particular UV as the pathogens must be exposed to a certain amount of UV light for it to be effective. Too fast of a flow rate and the pathogen lives.

2. The bulbs can lose effectiveness as they age and must be replaced according to manufacturer recommendations.

3. The bulb must stay clean for the UV light to shine.

4. The water lines must be kept clean to insure proper flow rates.

5. The UV wattage must be a proper match to aquarium size.

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