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Aqueon UV sterilizer

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Aqueon UV sterilizer

Post by Shell on Mon May 05, 2014 5:00 pm

First topic message reminder :

We have been looking further into a UV sterilizer for the 220 - algae has been winning the battle with this one tank, despite weekly scrubbing and scraping. A new lfs here can get us an Aqueaon UV; it acts/looks like an HOB, rated for a 150g. It does not need a separate pump, just a 'plug in and go' type of unit. The unit is $225, and the replacement bulb is $75. I have done a bit of google searching, and will do some more - but I wonder if anyone can share any info about these units?

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Re: Aqueon UV sterilizer

Post by Biulu on Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:25 pm

Unfortunately there are factors outside our control and one of these is fish carrying pathogens when we acquire them.

I have recently read too many experiences from fellow hobbyists that had a healthy tank until they introduced a new fish. Even after quarantine the disease mostly in the form of suspected bacteria and virus would only become apparent in the main tank.

Uv can help to lower the risk of infection considerably in those instances.
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Re: Aqueon UV sterilizer

Post by nyleveiam on Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:04 pm

I often wonder if the demise of my ten betta girls, suspected most likely from a unknown pathogen brought in by the addition of the new wild caught tetras who were NOT affected by it, would have been different if I had been using one of my UV units in that tank.  Sadly, I will never know, but to me, a $35 investment that may help prevent such a devastating loss, both emotionally AND financially, is certainly worth using.
This is one of the reasons I recently purchased an additional two units.  I now have four plus a larger one that is dedicated to the goldfish Winter tank, as well as an inline unit in my outdoor pond.  I rotate the four units thru my eleven tanks, always using one when I add new fish, but otherwise switching them about ever two to three weeks. I do know at this point they apparently haven't hurt anything, and most likely, they have helped.
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Re: Aqueon UV sterilizer

Post by alexmtl on Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:24 pm

@Byron Amazonas wrote:There is also a host of beneficial bacteria and pathogens in the aquarium, and using UV just as in using medications always runs the risk of affecting these too.

There is no doubt at all that one can have a healthy aquarium without UV.  In light of the evidence, I tend to view this much the same as I view adding various chemicals and medications for no real purpose other than as a preventive or some sort of short-cut.  I do not believe this is the best way to maintain an aquarium.  But I know not everyone agrees with this approach.

Byron.

My belief is that the beneficials are attached to surfaces therefore not in danger of beiing zapped by the UV. UV light is relatively benign as the kill zone is limited to within the casing around the UV bulb. Medications are however broadcast throughout the entire water column and have an indiscriminant effect on all creatures in the water, unlike the UV column. So UV is safer to the beneficials rather than medications.

Prophylactic use of meds should always be avoided, as well as the practice of subtherapeutic dosing of antibiotics to increase growth due to resistance development. Medications should always be targeted and at effective doses. As the meds must be dosed within the water and cannot be focused on the fish alone, this causes widespread imbalance even to beneficials.

I tend to think that the potentials downsides of the UV sterilizer are limited to the use of the unit itself and not to the fish and beneficial bacteria within the aquarium. Downsides : UV bulb replacement every 8 to 12 months, regular monthly cleaning to the UV bulb, water heating due to the UV operating temperature, high operating cost due to bulb acquisition and wattage.

Positives : UV effectively treats microbial pathogens which targets free swimming forms, effectively controls free floating forms of algae. Unlike medications which must be broadcast into the water, UV is targetted and limits itself to the sterilizer column.

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Re: Aqueon UV sterilizer

Post by alexmtl on Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:26 pm

scratch By the way
...
Great discussion by all ! Thanks for the input and provocative thinking ! Very Happy 
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Re: Aqueon UV sterilizer

Post by Byron Amazonas on Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:25 pm

@Biulu wrote:Unfortunately there are factors outside our control and one of these is fish carrying pathogens when we acquire them.

I have recently read too many experiences from fellow hobbyists that had a healthy tank until they introduced a new fish. Even after quarantine the disease mostly in the form of suspected bacteria and virus would only become apparent in the main tank.

Uv can help to lower the risk of infection considerably in those instances.
I certainly agree with your point about fish carrying pathogens.  I have gone through this three times myself, twice with internal protozoan and once with bacteria that may have been internal and/or external.  However, you cannot eradicate internal protozoan or bacteria with UV.  You cannot even stop it from spreading, again unless all the water goes through.  But even that will not eradicate something inside the fish which is there until it is dealt with internally such as with medicated food or sometimes medications added to the water, depending upon the protozoan or bacteria.

There is no cure that I know of for any virus; I cannot say if this might be stopped from spreading via UV, but once again this would only work if all the water is treated before being returned to the tank, and even then you have the issue of the virus still with the fish.

I am not saying that UV might not work to lower the risk, but it cannot eradicate it given how we use it, so some other form of treatment is still mandatory when a disease/pathogen is present.

Byron.

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Re: Aqueon UV sterilizer

Post by Shell on Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:11 pm

Definitely some good reads here, lots of opinions with pros and cons....that's all good and, I must say, interesting!

Our tank is healthy and, thus, this is just an experiment to see if the uv does anything to reduce the algae - I'll definitely post updates once we have it installed  Very Happy 

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-220g home to 9 gold barbs, 10 denison barbs, & 3 weather loaches
-55g home to 12 black skirt tetras
-55g home to 1 angelfish, 5 kuhli loaches, & 4 zebra loaches
-36g home to 15 zoogoneticus tequila
-10g home to 2 zoogoneticus tequila
-10g home to 1 panda cory
-10g home to 1 zebra nerite, 1 onion nerite, 1 leopard ramshorn, & 2 mosquitofish
-5g home to 1 female betta fish
-3.5g home to several leopard ramshorn snails
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Re: Aqueon UV sterilizer

Post by CAAIndie on Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:40 pm

@Byron Amazonas wrote:
You cannot even stop it from spreading, again unless all the water goes through.  But even that will not eradicate something inside the fish which is there until it is dealt with internally such as with medicated food or sometimes medications added to the water, depending upon the protozoan or bacteria.

There is no cure that I know of for any virus; I cannot say if this might be stopped from spreading via UV, but once again this would only work if all the water is treated before being returned to the tank, and even then you have the issue of the virus still with the fish.

This is the part I disagree with.

While I agree that you cannot completely "sterilize" the water without removing it in its entirety and somehow hitting all of it with sufficient UV light to kill many free floating algae/bacteria/viruses, however even if this was a possibility, it could cause a great number of issues for the aquarium inhabitants, UV lights are non discriminatory. Many microscopic organisms make up a healthy aquarium in reasonable levels. Luckily this "sterilization" process doesn't happen with UV lights.

I do believe that given sufficient wattage to flow rate they have the ability to be more than adequate at limiting the spread of free floating parasites, bacteria, algae, or viruses. Again, I'm talking about limiting the number of these in a tank.

If we take ich as an example. If the parasite is already attached to the host, obviously a UV sterilizer won't be help to that fish. However, when you have the free swimming parasite seeking a new host... and it gets run through the UV sterilizer, that's one less parasite. Given sufficient flow and wattage, logically it has to make a significant dent in the life cycle of the parasite in the tank, and thus slows, or could come close to stopping the spread.

A note though, one needs to be quite careful when running UV lights, and medicating your tank. The light can actually break some of the bonds of some ingredients, notably, chelated copper, common in some ich treatments, which can be a serious problem.

Just a few of my thoughts.

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Re: Aqueon UV sterilizer

Post by Sbenson11 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:48 pm

CanadaquariaAdmin wrote:A note though, one needs to be quite careful when running UV lights, and medicating your tank. The light can actually break some of the bonds of some ingredients, notably, chelated copper, common in some ich treatments, which can be a serious problem.

On some of the medications i have used in my ponds in the past it has mentioned that you should turn off your UV when using this product.

Steve
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