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Old 03/25/2011, 10:31 AM   #1
mark54321
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UV sterilizer in reef tank

Hi,I am thinking of putting a UV sterilizer on my SPS reef.I like to get some opinions from people who use it.What are pros and cons of UV in reef tank? Thanks.


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Old 03/25/2011, 10:35 AM   #2
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Pros: Water clarity, helps with algae Cons: I dont really have any, some say it kills beneficial bacteria as well but I haven't seen any repercussions.


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Old 03/25/2011, 10:38 AM   #3
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I have one, it helps keep nuissance algaes down if set up right(very low flow)
Some say it helped rid or keep away ich, possibly helps.
Some will say it can kill pods, maybe, but my setup is before fuge, pods enter display a plenty.


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Old 03/25/2011, 10:38 AM   #4
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what brand and model do you use?


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:06 AM   #5
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If you want a Fish Only With Live Rock and Coral (FOWLRC) it may be fine. If you want a reef, you want diversity, and it will absolutely reduce the diversity of microorganisms in your tank, such as pelagic bacteria. Seeing that bacterioplankton is a primary source of food for corals, and corals are literally walls of mouths, suggesting they do indeed like to capture this floating food, I'm not sure why you would want to kill it off. Your corals may be ok, you can throw more light at them and they can get more nutrients from their symbiotic algae. You probably won't see mortality as a result, but that does not mean it is not negatively effecting them. It will cut into the food web.

The only benefit show is that it may reduce floating algae, spores etc... It is not show to reduce any disease in a closed system. It will require energy and light bulbs every 6 months or so.

If you are happy with a FOWLRC and don't mind the extra maintenance, it may be worth it. For many people a FOWLRC is probably all they really want. It has no place in a diverse reef though. I dose carbon and silicates. these reduce nutrients by adding to the food web and as a result I maybe clean my glass with a magnet once every two weeks. Don't need UV to accomplish that.


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:10 AM   #6
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I completely disagree w/ m2434's comment, I've seen many nice reefs w/ a UV, but expect this topic to be debated, as always...
I run a Current gamma 15w
I've had many mixed reefs w/ them, nems, sps, never had an issue keeping either.


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davocean View Post
I completely disagree w/ m2434's comment, I've seen many nice reefs w/ a UV, but expect this topic to be debated, as always...
I run a Current gamma 15w
I've had many mixed reefs w/ them, nems, sps, never had an issue keeping either.
What comments do you completely disagree with? I never said you can't have nems, sps, etc... I said 4 things.

Said another way, these 4 things are as follows.

1) Your diversity of plagic bacteria, which are a key component of a natural reef, will be limited. However, I said you should be able to compensate with extra light. BTW, this is common in the hobby as plagic bacteria is already fairly limited, but why limit it it more?

2) A uv has only been shown to limit floating microorganisms, and has not been shown to reduce disease in our types of systems.

3) It requires extra maintenance.

4) you can accomplish the same results with other methods, which IMO have more benefits.


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:25 AM   #8
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You can use a UV 2 ways.. Water polishing and sterilization. Sterilization occurs at lower flow rates where polishing will also occur. Polishing without sterilization can occur at higher flow rates.

Most decent UV units have flow charts that will tell you what various flow rates through their unit will acomplish. Personally, if you have fish in your system, I think UV is very benificial. I can tell you from experience that they do make an immediate difference in water clarity even at higher flow rates that are less harmful to free floating organisms.

That said, I run one on my reef tank and am very happy with the results. If I didnt have fish, I might not use one but I dont know too many reeftanks that dont have fish in them.


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:29 AM   #9
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I disagree it works for FOWLR only to keep the debate/topic short.


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:31 AM   #10
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ive never ran a uv on any of my saltwater tanks. Mostly because when I started everyone always says it kills beneficial bacteria..So I've never felt one necessary and everytime I picked one up in any kind of tank deal I just sold it for a nice profit=). I keep my parameters in check and I never have any nuissance(sp) algae. Occasionally from time to time my Kole tang get ich I feed heavy and soak the food with garlic and its gone (well not showing signs)in a few days.. would a UV stop the ich..I dunno maybe but I still dont feel one necessary.. Just seems like extra money I don't need to spend on my tank.. I do however run a big 5ft tall UV on my 10,000gallon koi pond and that is why my pond even being how huge it is NEVER ever gets any nasty algae the water is always crystal clear and you can see to airdiffuser on my 4" drain... I had a new bulb go bad on it this past summer went bad after 60 days of course the warranty was only 30days.. and the pond turned into a nasty mess I couldn't even see the fish.. took a week to figure out it actually was the UV since I had just replaced it.. replaced it again after about a week and a half the pond is perfect again..


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:33 AM   #11
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This tank runs a 18w UV ster. for 3+ years 24/7



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Old 03/25/2011, 11:45 AM   #12
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Pic of one of my long term tanks that ran a UV, plenty of sps/lps w/ great growth and color IMO.



And my present system, still a lil on the fresh side.




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Old 03/25/2011, 11:46 AM   #13
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Nice Davo


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:49 AM   #14
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I like how that cap is scrolling out!!


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davocean View Post
I disagree it works for FOWLR only to keep the debate/topic short.
I think you misread my comment, I said Fish Only With Live Rock and Coral (FOWLRC). My point on that was a reef is a diverse ecosystem. The less of an ecosystem it is, the tougher it is to justify calling it a reef. It may be a diverse aquarium, with fish, corals, and benthic organisms, however, the pelagic organisms that complete the reef will are going to be significantly thinned out by the UV, if not eliminated. So, it is not going to have all of the components of a complete reef.

I'm sure many people don't care about this though and in practice it probably does make little to no noticeable difference. However, it should be pointed out, as there is as much, or more evidence to show this would be detrimental, as there is evidence to show any of the possible effects of UV are beneficial.


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:56 AM   #16
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BTW, beautiful tanks guys. I know people have strong opinions on this. I certainly do and believe it is unnecessary at best and possibly detrimental to some extent at worst. I know others disagree and I do respect that. I think if you are aware of the possible benefits and consequences then your decision is a fine one. So, I'm just trying to provide a different view, you don't have to agree


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Old 03/25/2011, 11:57 AM   #17
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Thanks guys, and yeah m2434 maybe I read a lil quick expecting the usual debate on this topic, but IMO a tank w/ fish, LR and coral is a reef.


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Old 03/25/2011, 12:13 PM   #18
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yeah I can't talk about that then by definition my tank isn't truly a reef because it's Barebottom


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Old 03/25/2011, 12:20 PM   #19
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yeah I can't talk about that then by definition my tank isn't truly a reef because it's Barebottom
LOL, no ones tank is truly a reef; I've never seen a fully self contained ecosystem in someones living room


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Old 03/25/2011, 12:21 PM   #20
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Several years ago I added a UV system to my reef. I added a large volume system Dual 54w 30" Tubes plumbed for 2".

I got it as an insurance policy, at the time the system was doing really well. I can't say that I noticed any differences. There was definitely no negative changes in the system. However, please be aware that in a healthy properly balanced reef, the efficiency of the UV is constantly decreasing because the UV tubes are constantly getting calcified.

So if you are considering this, make sure you find a unit that is easy to dissassemble and you plumb it so you have lots of easy access to dissassemble and clean the unit. Also the parts of a UV system are fragile (glass tubes). Shop for a UV unit where the parts are very available, and even include in your purchase a spare tube, bulb and gasket collection.

To throw another wrench into the discussion, depending on what you are trying to accomplish with the UV, see if ozone is a better option. I am a huge believer in the use of ozone, and it is alot less maintenance.


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Old 03/25/2011, 12:28 PM   #21
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LOL, no ones tank is truly a reef; I've never seen a fully self contained ecosystem in someones living room
It's still a reef, just a man made one, and one that will always pale in comparison to anything in the Ocean of course.


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Old 03/25/2011, 12:37 PM   #22
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I run UV on both my Reef Systems and the water is clearer and it helps nuke ick when in the free floating stage. I think Emperor Aquatics has the best literature that explains how to set a system to clarify, or kill pathogens. I still have pods and most of the benificial bacteria live within the Rock and Substrate. I feel most people who see no benifit use a undersized unit with the wrong amount of flow. I run the UV filter on a closed loop and my refugium overflows into my main display so pods seem to be prolific. In my opinion when sized properly a UV filter is very benificial to a closed system.


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Old 03/25/2011, 01:06 PM   #23
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It's still a reef, just a man made one, and one that will always pale in comparison to anything in the Ocean of course.
Well, I like the term "reef tank", but to me, "reef" implies some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. I guess hopefully we can agree to disagree, on a number of topics in this thread though

I think BigOldReef makes a good point though on Ozone. In addition, it really provides the same benefits, but is also less invasive. So, this is more desirable IMO, but certainly will disagree


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Old 03/25/2011, 01:16 PM   #24
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It's all good, there are alot of ways/methods and some have different terminolgy/definitions/symantics.(sp?)
I try to keep an open mind, but yeah, most of us are pretty passionate about our hobby and our ways to achieve long term success.
It's all learning through discussion and sharing experiences, and those will vary.


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Current Tank Info: 150G Leemar eurobraced Starfire, Eheim 1262 return, Octopus extreme 200 skimmer, 2x Vortech mp 40's, 2x Vortech mp 20's,, ATI Sunpower 6xT5's, 1x 48" Ecoxotic panorama marine fusion , 1x48" Ecoxotic panorama blue actinic LED strip, 55G sump w/ fuge.
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Old 03/25/2011, 08:18 PM   #25
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Thank you guys for a lot of info and great debate.I was thinking of mostly using UV to polish water in my tank and also have few small spots of cyano,I have read that UV helps with it.I have no problem with algae or any disease .I also use biopellets so I assume that there always be new source of bacteria for my corals to feed on.


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