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UV Sterilization (1 Viewer)

jrounding

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Good afternoon,

I have a Red Sea Reefer 300 XL and I am looking to add a UV sterilizer for it. I am looking to prevent marine disease. I stock copepods and feed phytoplankton.

First off BRS says I should choose a 25 watt sterilizer, because my system is over 75 gallons.

I guess my question is why is 25 watt being recommended when Aqua Ultraviolet says in their documentation to maintain between 30,000 and 45,000 up/cm^2 exposure for reef aquariums to prevent killing phytoplankton?

in order to keep that level of exposure I would need a turnover of 800 to 1200 GPH which is way too much for my small 15 gallon sump in my opinion.

Has anyone else gone through this confusion?

My plan will be to add a return pump and either return both flows through the one return line or use a 15 watt advantage+ UV to return half or less of the flow via the HOB UV.
 

soymilk

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the hob one is very bulky and takes up alot of room in the back.

i always feel like aqua UV's recommendations are always so high. If you compare the numbers the the pentair unit.

  • Protozoa Bacteria Water Flow Rate: 79GPH/131GPH (Suggested*/Maximum)
80-130 ghp seems lot more reasonable.


I also have an aqua UV 15w classic for sale if you're intersted.
 
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jrounding

jrounding

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do you think the 15w would be enough to work properly? By the manufacturer recommendations it seems like the 25w would be the right one. What pump would you pair this with? I was thinking of a small DC pump so I can control speed. I could also do a sicce syncra 1.5 and put a choke valve in line.
 

soymilk

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You’re right at the cusp between a 15w and 25w. The 15w is rated for up to 75 gallons. Most people oversize their uv. Keep in mind the aqua uv and pentair uv are fairly long. The bigger wattage, the longer and cumbersome the uv light enclosure.

Ideally for parasites, you’d want to pull water out the display and run it thru the uv and dump it back into the display. If you’re using it to deter fish dieases then you’d want to run it at 400-480 gph.
 
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jrounding

jrounding

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Ah okay, so basically the best way is to have the pump in my display tank to run this UV? So I should hard pipe the UV and mount it to the side of the tank? I have been reading a lot today and as always no one seems to agree the best way to do it.
 

soymilk

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Best is to draw from the display and release back into display. This is the “ugliest” option, but the most effective. If you have space to make a closed loop, that would be ideal. The majority of the free swimming parasites will be in the display. Lets take ich for example. The trophonts will drop off and most likely encyst somewhere in the display. There is a chance it can make it into the overflow but generally it'll attach itself to the glass or rockwork. After encysting, it'll start replicating itself and then release free swimming theronts at night time. So all this happens in the display. So the best course of action is get the best display turn over as possible. 400gph for 65 gallon tank is prob 7-8 times turn over in an hour, which is pretty good.

A big misnomer in UV sterilization is that UV kills the parasites. It doesn't kill the free swimming theronts. It'll just damage them enough so they can't reproduce. The theronts can still find fish to feed on. So if not enough theronts get sterilized, you can still get a full blown outbreak.

Most people generally either put the uv in the sump area and either draw and release back into the sump. You have to balance out what looks aesthetically pleasing enough vs total effectiveness. Most people just settle with putting the uv in the sump area and either pulling and draining into the sump. Or in my case, pull from the sump and push to the display. So effectively I have two return pumps.
 
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jrounding

jrounding

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excellent explanation. I’m still in the planning phase here. I definitely see the aesthetics portion, but if you’re spending so much money on it may as well set it up to make it most effective. I think I can do a closed loop with hard piping and it wouldn’t look too bad. I was also thinking about drawing from the filter/refugium section and then returning to the return chamber, but then a certain volume of water will bypass my skimmer. I also thought about adding a second return pump and adding a Y with two check valves to my return plumbing. Obviously I need to make a decision before I order everything. It seems like there’s many ways to skin a cat. In the end I know as far as I understand this won’t be eradicating disease from the tank, but limiting it would be good I think.
 
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jrounding

jrounding

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I ended up ordering a Sicce Syncra SDC 3 pump and an aqua ultraviolet 25w UV sterilizer. I will probably mount the pump and UV outside the cabinet. I will probably need to prime the suction of the pump so I will put a tee with a threaded cap at the top of the suction u-tube where it exits the display. I will also put a ball valve between the pump and UV so I can isolate it to clean the UV. Placing the valve here should prevent me from having to prime the pump every time I clean the UV.
 

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