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UV Sterilizer for Aquaponics Filtration System

Discussion in 'Goldfish Gear' started by Kayte, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Kayte

    Kayte Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I am so confused about UV Sterilizer and it is frustrating. And I am really hoping someone can straighten me out and perhaps validate what I bought on an impulse after months of worrying this issue to death. Here is picture of my aquarium. There is not water in it... yet. This weekend I will be filling it up and beginning the fishless cycle.

    IMG_1769M.JPG


    FYI - I know the side of the planters that are sitting on the glass brace is not a good idea. I have a plan for that. I am installing a suspension system to support the weight instead of having the weight supported by the glass brace.

    The way I have designed the filtration system this. There are marineland 350 power filters on the backs of each planter. The intake tube is threaded through the bottom of the planters into the aquarium. The power filters brings the water up and filters it mechanically with sponges and then dumps the water into the planter boxes. The planter boxes are full of lava rocks and plants. The water spills back into the aquarium from the planter boxes through a waterfall spillway. Yes... I know that there is a possibility that the waterfall spillway will overshoot the aquarium. I am hoping there will be a sweet spot in the flow rate that will keep that from happening and the outside of the planter box will act as a water wall. If there is not then my plan is to install a clear acrylic shield in front of the spillway. The water will then hit the shield and direct it into the aquarium. But I will cross that bridge when I get water in the aquarium and start circulating the water.

    I recently brought an internal 13-watt UV sterilizer from American Aquarium Products. They advertise it as a UV sterilizer for 150G to 200G sized aquarium. I want to install a UV sterilizer in a way that is inconspicuous. I cannot really place anything directly on the back of the aquarium as I have painted the glass in a frost. I plan on putting a white cardboard behind the aquarium and bounce RGB LED lights so I can change up the background color when I like. My thought is that installing a UV sterilizer on the back will ruin the view. This is why I bought the internal 13 watt UV sterilizer. I thought I could hide it behind the Big Buddha or place it on the side of the aquarium. I am even thinking about installing it horizontally in one of the planter boxes.

    But I am wondering if I will get an adequate level of sterilization that can control not only algae but also bacteria, viruses, and fungus. American Aquarium Products state that this sterilizer is only good for algae and some bacteria sterilization. If I install two instead of one, will I get the level of sterilization I am looking for? I was thinking I can install one of these internal UV sterilizers on each side of the aquarium.

    Then I think about the Aqua UV 15W advantage 2000+ HOB UV sterilizer. I am thinking that I could install this on the side of the aquarium behind the cinder blocks so that it is hidden from view. I could get a canister filter like the Penn Plax 700 canister filter which has an adjustable flow rate of up to 350GPH. Would this be a better solution? Should I send the internal UV sterilizer back?

    I would really like to know what people think.

    Cheers,
    Keightley
     
  2. calicomj

    calicomj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Location:
    USA
    UV sterilizers are not generally needed or recommended except to control free floating algae (green water). People who use them generally don't have healthier fish or systems than those who do not. Great looking setup by the way.
     
    small_ranchu likes this.
  3. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    I cannot see any sense in randomly killing any microbe/small animal in the water stream. Some of these are beneficial, and nearly all of the rest are harmless.
     
  4. sskmaestro

    sskmaestro Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Location:
    Irving TX
    A bit larger tank with the statue submerged would have made much attractive. Still an awesome and inspirational setup. My hats off to you friend!
     
  5. QandO

    QandO Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I have AquaUV advantage 8w on my 55 and 75. One is the hob version. It takes up a lot of room (depth), but on the side behind a block would be good with your setup. The inlet for the HOB is only a 1/2” intake so consider that when you’re figuring out your plumbing. The in-line is 3/4” (at least mine are, they are a few years old now).

    I like my UVs. I have other tanks without them too, it is a personal preference and no harm in using them. Maybe just the cost of the extra electricity and some water warming.
     
  6. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Aquaponics is about creating a healthy ecosystem, and microbes are a part of healthy ecosystem. There is no way your UV filter will "sterilize" the water. A strong UV source can sterilize a dry enclosed surface. We used such a system in a lab doing tissue culture. Treating water takes a lot more power.

    Furthermore, pathogenic microbes are the least likely to be killed by a UV filter. Pathogens live in and on a host, and while some may be shed by an infected fish, the bulk will not leave unless the fish dies. The many free-living bacteria, most of which contribute to cleaning the water, will be the main UV fatalities.
     

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