At Pond Planet, we offer our customers a range of high-quality UV sterilisers, as we understand the importance of keeping your fish healthy and thriving. However, not everyone is fully aware of what a UV steriliser does, or the positive impact it can have on your aquarium. So, we have decided to put together an informative guide which will open your eyes to the benefits of a UV steriliser and answer all of your questions on how they work.
What Does a UV Steriliser Do in a Fish Tank?
UV Sterilisers are used to control infections in your fish tank by stopping the spread of microorganisms through the water from one fish to another. Although a quality filtration system can help improve water quality, only a UV steriliser can work to get rid of aggressive organisms infecting your tank. Plus, it can also be used to control free-floating algae.
It should be used in conjunction with a proper filtration system and not in replacement of.
A UV steriliser will not have any negative impacts on your fish, as well as this, it will also leave beneficial bacteria intact as these types tend to reside on the gravel, stones and bottom of the tank, unlike harmful bacterias which float in the open waters. So, you needn’t worry about the sterilisation removing every form of bacteria, only generally the bad ones!
However, it should be noted that a UV steriliser will not be able to help fish that are already sick or infected from harmful bacteria. This is because the microorganisms are already attached to the fish and are not freely floating in the water as they were previously. Due to this, we advise that you implement a UV steriliser into your tank as a preventive measure to ensure your fish can thrive in their habitat, as opposed to trying to use it as a form of treatment.
How Does a UV Steriliser Work?
UV sterilisers sit outside of the tank and require a constant flow of water passing through them. They utilise a germicidal fluorescent lamp that produces light at a wavelength of approximately 254 nanometers (2537 Angstroms).
In simpler terms, the steriliser is a tube of ultraviolet light that kills single-cell organisms that pass through it. This works by altering and damaging the cell’s DNA and thereby killing it. As the light only reflects through the water, it won’t damage the healthy bacteria which we mentioned earlier sits at the bottom of the tank.
As water passes around the UV bulb, harmful bacteria being carried by the water is eradicated.
How Effective is a UV Steriliser?
There are a few factors which could affect how effective a UV light is on eliminating bacteria. The most obvious factor is the water itself. It must be clean and not too turbulent surrounding the UV steriliser, in order to ensure that the UV can penetrate through the water to target the bacteria. To prevent these factors, the steriliser should be placed after the biological and mechanical filters, so that the water is as clear as possible when it enters the steriliser.
It is also beneficial to keep the UV light exposed to the water for as long as possible in order to extend the amount of time the UV has in contact with the bacteria. This is known as the ‘dwell time’. Extending the contact time can also be achieved by using a UV steriliser with a longer bulb, as this will further extend the length of contact the rays have with the bacteria.
What Size Steriliser Do I Need?
It may seem obvious, but for a UV steriliser to perform well in your tank, it must be the right size. At Pond Planet, we have a range of wattages available for UV sterilisers to ensure that customers with tanks of all sizes are covered.
If you choose a wattage that matches with the size of your aquarium, then you can expect the steriliser to clear your tank’s water in around 4 days. Choosing a stronger UV lamp will achieve faster results, but the difference will be reflected in the price you pay, and it isn’t always necessary to get the largest wattage.
Do You Need a UV Steriliser?
Now that you have read through our guide to all things UV sterilisers, we hope that you have all the information you need to decide on whether you need to invest in the equipment. The benefits are proven, and there is a wide variety on the market, so why not explore our range of UV sterilisers today and make the decision to improve your fish tank?
Or, if you fear you may have bacterial infections in your tank which a UV steriliser could not fix, explore our full range of treatments available.