UV sterilizer.

Murphy-18

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4 Jan 2009
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I really want crystal clear water in my tank, it is clear but i want that crystal clear look. There is tiny particles in the water which just float around. I've read only good things about uv sterilizers. I was wondring if i needed any specific type of uv sterilizer?

I have mild algae problems which have been going on for about 10 days. There is some cyanobacteria and diatoms which is starting to appear on the sand, and some green spot on the glass. I've added phosphates, as they were quite low. I do regular 50% water changes, and clean my mechanical filtration once a week. And i have cut down my lights to 7 hours. My params are all good though, its just that i want that clean look in my tank, i mean like cystal clear, it is really frustrating.
Anyway i've read that internal uv sterilizers do the job clearing your water of any bacteria that is floating around unwantedly. Any specific names or brnads. I am a student and dont really have that much £ so as cheap as possible would be appreciated.
I have a 100g which is filtered by an xp3 and a 305.

Any help info etc.. very much appreciated. :D
 

a1Matt

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Bromley
Adding more fine filter media will polish the water a little more and works well for me.
I buy toy\furniture stuffing from ebay as it is much cheaper as the same thing branded for aquarium use.
Then fill a 1/4 of my filter with it, rather than the very thin pad it comes with.

Keep on top of your tank maintenance and dose ferts regularly to win the algae battle.

Lots of water changes and extra filtration also help clear the water.

Sorry if this is obvious, but don't forget to scrape the front glass as well!
 

YzemaN

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6 Nov 2007
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Copenhagen
It's not that bad actually. I use bleach for cleaning a lot of the in-tank equipment (i.e. CO2 diffuser, drop checker, etc.). You just need to treat it with a healthy dose of dechlorinator afterwards! But the bleach does make the Purigen alkaline (bleach being around pH 12.5), so for freshwater use you should treat it with a pH buffer after the dechlorinator.
 

Murphy-18

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4 Jan 2009
Messages
86
Has anybody had experience with a decent preferably cheap UV sterilizer, suitable for 100g tank?
Or can anybody suggest one?

Thanks, :D
 

ceg4048

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Hi,
Based on the data in your original post it would be an utter waste of time and money to buy a UV for these problems. UV will only treat green water, which is does a fabulous job on, but not any of the other types - certainly not BGA nor diatoms. In any case, you seemed to have assumed that bacteria are the source of your problems while in fact they are the source of your solution. The tank needs more bacteria to help break down the organic waste which is the real problem in a tank.

You have not given enough information to perform a complete analysis. Is this a newly set up tank? One assumes so since diatomic algae are normally prevalent in new setups. BGA is typical of poor nitrate dosing, however there are some other possible causes such as poor filter maintenance. Is this a CO2 injected tank? if so you may wish to consider increasing the injection rate as this does a very good job of producing crystal clear water. There is no need for buying any other product. You need only perform multiple water changes per week, increase the injection rate, review your dosing (which you have not yet specified) and to have patience. A tank that size may require a few months to mature but once done it will be crystal as long as you keep the plants satisfied with proper levels of nutrients, good filtration, good maintenance and good CO2.

Apart from green water, the usefulness of a UV is limited to it's ability to kill free floating pathogens which attack fauna. In order to be effective at killing pathogens the UV requires slow flow-through in order to expose the pathogens to the radiation. This is at complete odds with plant requirements as high flow is typically required. An injected 100G tank ideally requires around 1000Gallons per hour of flow "rating". Therefore if you wish to use a UV in a big tank you would best be served by isolating it and using a dedicated low flow filter to power it apart from your higher flow filtration and powerheads.

Again, if your tank is newly setup, there are a lot more things to do than to worry about cloudy water which is a necessary and natural occurrence and does linger on for many weeks. If the plants are being fed with proper nutrition and CO2 the tank ultimately will clear up brilliantly but it will do so at it's own pace. Careful attention to to points discussed above can and does accelerate the clearing. Above all though, patience is required and will be rewarded.

Cheers,
 

Murphy-18

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Joined
4 Jan 2009
Messages
86
ceg4048 said:
Hi,
Based on the data in your original post it would be an utter waste of time and money to buy a UV for these problems. UV will only treat green water, which is does a fabulous job on, but not any of the other types - certainly not BGA nor diatoms. In any case, you seemed to have assumed that bacteria are the source of your problems while in fact they are the source of your solution. The tank needs more bacteria to help break down the organic waste which is the real problem in a tank.

You have not given enough information to perform a complete analysis. Is this a newly set up tank? One assumes so since diatomic algae are normally prevalent in new setups. BGA is typical of poor nitrate dosing, however there are some other possible causes such as poor filter maintenance. Is this a CO2 injected tank? if so you may wish to consider increasing the injection rate as this does a very good job of producing crystal clear water. There is no need for buying any other product. You need only perform multiple water changes per week, increase the injection rate, review your dosing (which you have not yet specified) and to have patience. A tank that size may require a few months to mature but once done it will be crystal as long as you keep the plants satisfied with proper levels of nutrients, good filtration, good maintenance and good CO2.

Apart from green water, the usefulness of a UV is limited to it's ability to kill free floating pathogens which attack fauna. In order to be effective at killing pathogens the UV requires slow flow-through in order to expose the pathogens to the radiation. This is at complete odds with plant requirements as high flow is typically required. An injected 100G tank ideally requires around 1000Gallons per hour of flow "rating". Therefore if you wish to use a UV in a big tank you would best be served by isolating it and using a dedicated low flow filter to power it apart from your higher flow filtration and powerheads.

Again, if your tank is newly setup, there are a lot more things to do than to worry about cloudy water which is a necessary and natural occurrence and does linger on for many weeks. If the plants are being fed with proper nutrition and CO2 the tank ultimately will clear up brilliantly but it will do so at it's own pace. Careful attention to to points discussed above can and does accelerate the clearing. Above all though, patience is required and will be rewarded.

Cheers,
I'm sorry, when i said I've had algae problems for aout 10 weeks, i meant 10 days, I've changed it now that i realized. Sorry.

My nitrates are the best part of 40, they were originally at 20, and have increased. I have done nothing to increase them. I perform weekly 50% water changes, follwed by weekly mechanical filtration cleaning, and all my water params are spot on. In the sand in my tank i have nutrafin plant feeder sticks, and i am dosing flourish excel weekly. Plants have really grown, and are all healthy, apart from 1 of my watersprite is covered in brown hair type algae. The cabomba plant i have is 30 inches already, and my 2 watersprite are 20''+, and they are meant to grow to 12'' ( correct me if i'm wrong)

My tank does not have co2, i have just under 1.2 wpg on the tank. I'm using a single arcadia starter, and a double hagen starter, both t8's. This is my first planted tank, im new to plants. The tank has been setup (cycling) since the start of december 2008, i then introduced my piranhas and plants at the beginning of january 2009.

Will all of my algae problems be taken care off if i stick to my weekly maintainence etc.?.

Surely i will be able to find a way round this, spending the least amount of money. I only want something to polish the water. I have been advised to buy the rena microfiltration pads, which from what i have read, seem to do the job of making your aquarium water crystal clear. From what I've read on different sites, it seems as though the uv sterilizer is designed to take care of algae altogether. But as i said surely there is a way to keep on top of these algae problems, and sort it out maintainence wise.

I'm not gonna buy a UV sterilizer. Please tell me what you think i could do to tackle my algae problems, and therafter, making and keeping my aquarium water sparkly clean.

Also, is there a limited amount of plants that i can have for this setup? I currently have, 2 watersprite plants, 1 C.carolina, 2 E.bleheri, and 2 twisted vals. I have ordered this collection of plants. http://www.plantsalive.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=43

All help and info very much appreciated. ;)
 

ceg4048

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Hi,
Well, you're in a bit of no-man's land if you are adding Excel weekly. Adding Excel is the same as adding CO2 but adding it only weekly is like shutting off the CO2 most of the time. You should either add it more frequently, like daily or not at all. If you don't add it then this becomes a true non-injected tank.

One thing you should be aware of is that nitrate and phosphate test kits are not very accurate so you can save money by not using them at all. The types of algae that develop indicates what you need to add and in this case BGA is an indication that the tank is low in nitrates regardless of what the test kits says. Green Spot Algae, or GSA can be PO4 or CO2 related. It would be better to forget about testing and simply dose KNO3 and KNO4 regularly.

A non-injected, non-Excel tank does not have to be dosed very frequently. Once a week or once every two weeks will do. The suggested dosing is 1/8 teaspoon KNO3 per 20 Gallons and 1/32 teaspoon KH2PO4 per 20 gallons per week. This means that for a 100G tank all you need to add per week is a little over a quarter teaspoon of KNO3 and a little over an eighth of a teaspoon of KH2PO4.

Another thing about non-injected, non-Excel planted tanks is that you should avoid the water changes entirely. Although you are not injecting CO2 the plants still must use it. There are genetic adaptations which occur in a low CO2 environment to allow plants to produce enzymes which are optimized for low CO2 levels. When a water change is performed CO2 is introduced which the plants sense a higher CO2 level and they then destroy those low CO2 adaptive enzymes. This causes them to then suffer a CO2 shortage as the CO2 levels fall. New water has a higher CO2 concentration especially if it's from tap. Basically, you are confusing the plants by doing a water change and adding Excel only once a week. This is a contributing factor to what you see appearing in the tank now.

So if you delete the Excel you should physically remove whatever algae you have, eliminate the water changes, dose weekly dry powders and add trace elements as well.

If you use the Excel then add it more frequently physically remove whatever algae you have and dose the dry powders 3 times per week according to standard EI or PMDD dosing methods as described in JamesC Dosing Guide or as discussed in the tutorial EI DOSING USING DRY SALTS

If you have a lot of particulate matter floating around then as mentioned by a1matt, adding more fine filter media will help to clear that up.

Cheers,
 

davidcmadrid

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21 Jun 2009
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115
Can I summarize from this thread that a correctly rated and maintained filter in addition to a good plant growth regimen means a UV is of little to no benefit to a planted tank with fish?
 

ceg4048

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A UV filter has no redeeming qualities from a plant perspective, but as stated in the posts, there may be benefit in terms of destroying non-plant related free floating pathogens. If you do decide to use it, as mentioned before it should be on it's own separate low flow circuit. With the possible exception of green water algae, a UV is very low on the priority list of things to get for a planted tank.

CHeers,
 

davidcmadrid

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21 Jun 2009
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I have read a number of reports that UV light breaks down excel and other aqua carbons ?
 

jcgoobee

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7 May 2009
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Sunnyvale, CA
Hi there, not too sure if UVS will take care of the issues of what you're having, as I had some experience with it about a month ago... it's overrated, unless your tank is infested with green water which UVS has earned its reputation to take care of it.

Just make sure that your filtration system is powerful enough to deliver enough flow to all parts of the tank. If you see your plants are swaying a bit, then you're doing fine.. if not, probably it's a good idea to open up your filters, to ensure there's no clogging within. If all appear to be clean, you probably need to add another filter, or easier yet, upgrade to a better one.

Good luck.
 

chris1004

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27 Dec 2008
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565
jcgoobee said:
Hi there, not too sure if UVS will take care of the issues of what you're having, as I had some experience with it about a month ago... it's overrated, unless your tank is infested with green water which UVS has earned its reputation to take care of it.

That's a bit of a sweeping statement and one which I don't wholeheartedly agree on.

IMO UVS's are not overrated at all, misunderstood, not used correctly? yes. Serve any benefit for planted tanks other than killing green water algae? probably not, and could even be counter productive by breaking down chelators in trace mixes to quickly.

However used correctly with a slow flow through they offer the serious fishkeeper an unparralled defence against many water born diseases (with the possible exception of correct and effective quarenteeneing of new additions). As with most things prevention is better than cure which is exactly what the UVS offers (and the quarenteeneing). Using medications to me is an absolute last resort (I only ever need them sometimes for fish in quarentene, can't remember the last time I had to treat a fish for any illness other than this). Most fish medication are a bit hit and miss and many are very severe and if used wrong even kill the fish you are trying to cure.

Some people don't worry about using them chuck loads in and get away with it, what this does to the good bacteria in the tank is often overlooked and it doesn't take long to get in a downward spiral in a heavily stocked tank.

There has been an awfull lot of debate about UV's going back years, peoples opinion differ widely as do their budgets and a UVS will be one of the last things on most peoples shopping list when setting up a tank. God knows its expensive enough. I think this single factor is what puts most people off of using UV's, the extra £60 or so for a good UVS appears to sway opinion.

Much will depend on the fish you decide to keep, their value, rarity or sensitivity to illness.

To get rid of diatoms buy a small group of otto's or just wait until the tank matures properly.

If you have a lot of small particles in your water that are annoying you try to filter them out mechanically by using lots of tightly packed floss and/or micropourus filter media offered by many manufacturers and renew this filter media very regularly and allow the build up of bacteria on other types of filter media by not cleaning it so much.


Regards, Chris.
 
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