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I am thinking of purchasing a UV Sterilizer for my 90 gallon reef aquarium. Are these beneficial? Any recommendations on what to get? Should these be shut off at night?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and/or suggestions.
 

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They will "nuke" any good or bad bacteria or algae in the water... benneficial if you add fish without using proper QT meathods (like everyone else) or if you have algae blooms, but there are other ways to take care of those problems. They are good in general if you have the money to spend on them. Useless if you don't change the bulb every 9 months to a year and keep the quartz sleeve clean, should be run continuously to get the full bennefit out of it. As I said they can be a great addition to a reef tank, but if you have limited funds you might find something better to spend it on instead, GFO reactor, quarantine tank, skimmer, RODI unit, efficient water movement. Personally I think all those should come before a UV in a home tank, but I have been called crazy more than a few times. (and by more people than my wife too:no:)
 

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I am thinking of purchasing a UV Sterilizer for my 90 gallon reef aquarium. Are these beneficial? Any recommendations on what to get? Should these be shut off at night?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and/or suggestions.
What's your main reason for getting one? There's plenty of reasons to have one in place, but there's also reasons to not use them...

What's your purpose for adding one to your system?
 

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Ya, just understand that they are indescriminate in their killing of free floating organisms, some of which are good guys.

My sense is that most hobbyists do not use them for this and other reasons such as inital cost and bulb replacement cost.

I use one on my Koi pond and it works wonders for clearing up the water but I'v enever used one on an aquarium.
 

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Only a very small portion of the life cycle of ich is waterborne. Additionally, it has to be sucked into the UV sterilizer to be killed. And from what I have read, the bulbs dont last very long at all. Plus the glass inside quickly gets a film on it, at least mine did, making it ineffective. Highly suggest against one solely for ich. No floating algae cells, maybe. Maybe if you had bubble algae and where popping them but even then it would be severely limited to only the water that passed through it.
 

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Bad Primary system, Excellent backup system.

ohh come on guys I thought I bashed UV pretty good with my post, you guys are killing it.... they are a great addition to a tank, just not nessesarily as a "primary system". The issues they fix, should be fixed in other ways.... proper QT of fish and proper chemical filtration to remove excess nutrients that would cause algae growth. If those two are done first UV is an awesome BACKUP system against both of these problems. If your GFO or DI resin gets exhausted before you realise it UV would keep your tanks from blowing up with algae and the small portion of the ich bacterias life that it is free swimming is only the part right before it attaches to gills and tries to kill your fish, not like that is an important stage to fight it in. And replacing a $35 bulb is much cheaper than carpot tunnel surgery from scraping your glass every 5 days(I hate coraline!)... or replacing all your fish that died from ich. If you know how to clean the quartz sleeve on a regular basis and don't let the bulb run for more than 9 months without changing it they are a great backup system. When buying it you have to realize the extra maintenace that goes into them and factor that into your decision. And keep in mind that it is a backup system and should not be meant to replace chemical filtration or quarantine, it won't work out that good if that is your plan.
 

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For *most* things you'd want UV for, Ozone is better - and cheaper in the long run (plus you can't beat the water clarity in a tank running ozone).
Pretty much anyone can run a UV though... you might want to know what ozone can do to your tank and equipment and house and people living in the house before you do that. Ozone is a lot more dangerous than some people think it is, not that I know of anyone who died from an aquarium ozone generator, it is possible, I have heard of people killing their entire tanks with an O3 generator before. Not that you cannot go blind by staring at a UV lamp, but that seems move obvious and easily avoidable to me.
 

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Ozone is a lot more dangerous than some people think it is, not that I know of anyone who died from an aquarium ozone generator, it is possible, I have heard of people killing their entire tanks with an O3 generator before. Not that you cannot go blind by staring at a UV lamp, but that seems move obvious and easily avoidable to me.
Most of the concerns with Ozone are myths. Implemented correctly you're far more likely to harm yourself touching lights or getting infected cuts and scrapes from working in your tank.

Using commercially produced Ozone generators (vs. the hobbyist DIY kits you buy on eBay).

A few minutes on Google, Reef Central or looking over Wet Web Media, or anything Anthony Calfo writes will quickly disprove the rumors.

There was an article back in 2006 by Randy Holmes Farley in "Reef Keeping" that suggested how toxic Ozone can be - although the levels that escape the tank/ozone generator at maximum output are rarely higher straight out of the skimmer than a good day in Los Angeles or any other major city - that piece gave rise to all kinds of urban myths about the dangers of Ozone. Don't get me wrong - Ozone is toxic, but so is saltwater - and drinking DI water is bad for you, and working in a tank without gloves can kill you with various infections, Lion Fish can cause anaphylaxic shock, etc.

Ozone is a great option, and not worthy of alarmist claims - especially if used properly (as is true for 95% of things in this world).
 
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