13-02-2020, 16:40
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Two of the biggest problems any aquarist may encounter are fish diseases and aquarium algae fouling. Anything that helps to reduce or prevent these problems would be a welcome addition to any aquarium, and an aquarium UV steriliser is capable of this.

UV stands for ultraviolet, and a special UV lamp emits light with a wavelength of 254 nm. It should be noted that this wavelength is not only very harmful to the eyes, but also causes tangible damage to bacteria, viruses and algae.

The UV lamp is hidden in the housing. By running the aquarium water through the UV lamp, all harmful organisms will be neutralised by its rays, resulting in reduced levels of free-floating algae and pathogens in the aquarium water.

What you need

UV sterilizers consist of a UV lamp, a ballast and a power supply unit. You can purchase an internal filter with a built-in UV steriliser, or you can use a pump or external filter to connect to the unit's hoses to pump the aquarium water through the unit.

The external filter is more effective, as it also pre-filters the water from fine suspended solids and provides better UV disinfection. The UV steriliser can be connected to the inlet or outlet pipe of the external water filter and is hidden in the aquarium cabinet.

Why the aquarium UV steriliser is needed

Choice of UV sterilizer

Most UV sterilizers have an indication on the packaging for which aquarium volume they are designed for and what the maximum water flow rate can be. The time during which the water will be under the UV lamp is very important for an effective sterilization. The slower the water flows through the steriliser, the more time the pathogens will be exposed to the harmful UV light and the more effective the sterilisation will be.

When purchasing a UV steriliser, always pay attention to the capacity the steriliser is designed for.

UV lamp replacement

UV bulbs rapidly deteriorate and should ideally be replaced every six to twelve months. Handle the UV lamp carefully so as not to break it. It is inside a quartz tube which must be clean and free of limescale in order for the UV light to penetrate it and affect the water.

Clean or replace the quartz tube at the same time as replacing the UV lamp, and check the o-rings and seals.

Use gloves to avoid greasy fingerprints on the bulb or quartz.

Ultraviolet light is an effective weapon against some pathogens, but do not assume disease-free aquariums. They may occasionally occur and will require standard treatment measures, along with an increase in water temperature.

The UV steriliser can be used in any aquarium: freshwater or marine, cold-water or tropical.

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