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The Basics of UV Sterilisers

As you will be able to see within our filtration section, we have a whole section dedicated to Ultra Violet (UV) Sterilisers. I thought I’d take this opportunity to write a brief article explaining the basics of UV sterilisers, ideal for a beginner to fishkeeping.

As the name suggests, UV Sterilisers are used to sterilise aquarium water by passing it close to Ultra Violet radiation which kills bacteria and parasites. As you can see from the diagram, water is pumped into one end of the UV Steriliser, usually from an external filter or from a pump which is placed within a sump. This ideally should be water that has past through a mechanical filter, preventing any larger waste particles from entering. A UV bulb is housed within the steriliser which is switched on 24 hours a day, generating UV radiation. The water being pushed through the steriliser is exposed to the UV radiation, killing any bacteria or parasites passing through before being returned to the aquarium.

Why Install a UV Steriliser:

If you keep fish that are susceptible to disease outbreaks, a UV Steriliser is a great addition to your filtration system as it will vastly reduce the quantities of bacteria and any parasites that exist within the eco system you’ve created. This is particularly important if you’re keeping invertebrates which prevent the use of copper based medications should a disease outbreak occur.

A UV Steriliser can therefore be seen as a precautionary measure, minimising the risk of problems associated with diseases.

Types of UV Steriliser:

We stock a variety of UV Sterilisers to fit most applications. Should you have a small tank with limited space, the Aquael Unifilter UV range of internal power filters include a UV Light Emitting Diode (LED), exposing the filtered water to UV radiation as it returns to the fish tank. These internal filters are reasonably priced and compact in design, ideal for aquariums less than 200lts where it is not possible to place a UV steriliser outside of the aquarium.

If you’re using an external canister filter, or a sump, we stock three ranges of UV Steriliser ideal for your application, the Aqua Medic Helix, D-D Professional UV and TMC Vecton UV range. These are large units that need to be placed outside of the aquarium, having two hose connections, one for water to go into the steriliser, the second to return the water to the aquarium. These types of UV sterilisers are highly recommended and are scalable for even the largest of aquariums.

One final approach to UV Sterilisation is provided by Teco, who have a UV Steriliser module that can be fitted into their range of Chillers! This is a great way to minimise the number of pipes and pumps required for your fishtanks filtration and cooling system, as it’s a fully integrated solution.

Maintaining your UV Steriliser:

The bulb within your UV Steriliser will deteriorate over time, with the radiation being produced reducing. As such it is important to replace the bulb every 6 months to ensure your UV Steriliser is at optimum performance.

We hope you’ve found this basics guide useful. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or use the form below for any comments you may have.