I was going to get one as my LFS told me that if I had one I would never have to worry about disease again!! Is what he is telling me true. What are the benifits and drawbacks to having one. Do I even need one? 72 gallon tank, 100 pounds live rock different corals, shrooms, anemones, fish!!
Uh, no. Sorry to disappoint but your LFS is way off. The UV is one of many defense mechanisms for “some” parasites, but (IMO) is of no use in a healthy system. In fact you may be killing beneficial organisms with it.
I bought one of these units early on because it was recommended. I used it in an early ich battle. I found it useless then and it still sits in the garage. They are not a remedy for much of anything. If anything, it can possibly put a bit of control on a problem that requires other remedies.
This is still a mixed debate on whether to UV or not. I don't. I have a UV sterilizer sitting in the closet. From what I have read I agree with Flatfish it could kill beneficial life forms in your tank. I would recommend it for a FO tank, but thats about it. My 2¢
If you want to run a UV to control parasites, you have to size and operate it correctly. More than likely your LFS is promoting a under sized UV, for no other reason than UV manfs way over-rate their products. They are primarily used as water clarifiers in fresh water tanks and ponds and are rated as such.
You mentioned a 25w UV. Do you know if it's a N(ormal)O(utput) florescent bulb? a H(igh)O(utput) bulb? or one of the newer T-5 bulbs?
Do you know the manfs flow rates for killing parasites?
You will need a flow rate aprox 4-5 times your total system volume. My suggestion is to contact the manf and get their recommendations for flow rates. Then get the next larger size.
As far as killing beneficial organisms. These organisms have a tremendous rate of reproduction and are substrate oriented. A UV has very little effect on them.
As far as wasting your money, that's up to you. Used properly and sized properly, UV's do the job and then some. Anyone that doesn't research and operate one correctly will be wasting their money though.
We are limited here with what we can treat with copper ( can cause severe injuries to organs, including reproduction ), formalin , and other meds. We rely almost entirely on UV in most instances.
The common parasites that you would be trying to treat, you can introduce into your system by adding any hard surface material to it. That includes rock, corals, inverts, along with fish.
Its a coralife aquarium/pond UV its the 25 watt and says it uses the UV-C lamp. It says its good for up to 500 gallons and the flow rate(GPH) is 500-2500. The model number is ES0674. There is a guy selling one here used for half price, comes with the bulb already in there and also a brandnew 35 watt bulb!!
Send Coralife a email. Request flow rates for killing salt water parasites, the rates you just posted seem like they are for fresh water algae, etc.
Here's some food for thought. Obviously UV kills organisms, that's a fact. On the one hand you hear people say that it's killing beneficial organisms, while on the other they say it did nothing for their parasite problem.
Learn to size and operate one properly.
For most institutions that have to use them everyday, we developed a formula for them to go by for saltwater parasites.
System Volume X 4-5 total system volume turn-overs per hour = UV rated to kill parasites at that flow rate.
your total gallons is 100 X 5 times per hour = UV rated to kill saltwater parasites at a flow rate of 500 gallons per hour.
The easiest way to check gph is to take a gal container and time how long it take to fill it.
Understand what you're trying to kill also. There's a reason that these types of fish parasites hatch in the early morning hours. Not only are most fish hiding somewhere near the bottom at that time, but these parasites are very poor swimmers. It's their way of compensating/surviving and making up for their limitations. It's also easier for them to keep a low grade infection going in the same fish than it is for them to venture off and try to infect some new territory. Survival. Most fish will return to the same 'bed' night after night.
Within a closed system, all bets are off. Where you can hedge your bet though is to take advantage of their poor swimming ability and create a lot of flow within the system. Keeping them suspended and moving around disrupts their ability to attach to a host and also makes them more available to be sucked into a UV.
I at first was against UV's in a reef tnak for some of the commo reasons. I have one tank with a good UV on it and 1 with out. We were stupid in the past and added newer fish to both tanks and the one with a UV had much fewer problems. I know that is not scientific but it is my experience. I have also seen in person or online some GREAT huge tanks that some of our members have and they just about all use big UV's. I am in the process of coming up with the money to buy a big UV for our reef.