If you’re looking for an inexpensive and relatively simple way to
reduce contamination in your aquarium, an ultraviolet (UV) sterilization
light may be the solution you’re looking for. These lamps are small,
efficient, and effective at removing algae, bacteria, and other hazards
from your aquarium. As a result, your tank will need less maintenance
and your fish will likely stay healthy longer.
However these lights are not the perfect solution, and they have their
pros and cons. Should you make the investment in one of these lights?
Let’s look at a few common questions to find out.
Types of Lamps
There are two types of UV sterilization lamps:
dry-bulb. Wet-bulb lamps have the water itself come directly in contact with the
ultraviolet bulb. Dry-bulb setups have the water come in contact with
a quartz tube that surrounds the bulb. Either way, debris and slime will
often settle on the surface that comes in contact with the water. While
a wet-bulb setup is cheaper, they often need their bulb replaced more
often. A dry-bulb is more expensive, but you will need to clean the quartz
tube it sits inside frequently to prevent “shadowing,” or
slime and debris blocking the radiation that eliminates contaminants.
Things to Consider
Water that has a heavy concentration of minerals such as lime or calcium
will leave buildup on the bulb or quartz surface. Since the radiation
has no effect on these materials, it will reduce the light’s effectiveness.
Some tank medications are rendered useless when exposed to UV light, including
antibiotics, so you may not be able to run the light if you are currently
medicating your tank. If you have to medicate your tank frequently, one
of these lights may not be the best option for you.
UV bulbs don’t necessarily burn out, just gradually lose efficiency.
In fact some bulbs can lose up to 60% of their effectiveness in one year’s
time if they are left running continuously. Odds are you’ll need
to replace this bulb every six months.
Do you have fish or reef critters that depend on microscopic organisms
for food? A UV sterilization system kills these microscopic organisms,
eliminating this crucial food source. Instead of investing in one of these
lights, let your tank population eliminate the bacteria on its own.
Damage to Your Fish
A UV light is normally shielded away from your tank population, but any
light leaks could be harmful to your aquarium population. You’ll
want to be careful to not only avoid direct eye contact with it yourself,
but make sure that your fish are not exposed to it either or it could
make them sick.
If you’re looking to build an aquarium for your home or business,
the Los Angeles custom aquariums experts at
Living Art Aquatic Design, Inc. can help you design the tank of your dreams. With more than 45 years
of experience building customized ponds, water features, tanks, aquariums,
and aquatic ecosystems of all types, we have become the most trusted name
in tanks. Whether you’re looking for a small home installation or
a completely custom commercial piece, our staff can help you construct
the arrangement that fits your budget, your look, and your desired amount of care.
Receive a free estimate today! Call Living Art Aquatic Design at (310) 626-1448.