Sterilizer for an aquarium – to be it or not to be? Here is a question that cannot be answered unambiguously. The devices operate on the principle of ultraviolet rays disinfecting effect. They are called: UV sterilizers. Such equipment is used to disinfect water, since ultraviolet radiation has a detrimental effect on microorganisms, bacteria, floating algae. Consider how it works.
Principle of operation
The device consists of a plastic pipe with two inlets and outlets, providing water flow through a pump or pump. Inside the tube is an ultraviolet lamp. Water drawn into the tube is cleaned with a filter and exposed to UV radiation. Purified and disinfected water is returned to the aquarium and mixed with untreated water.
With such a system, water is not completely disinfected; one can only speak of a decrease in the concentration of pathogenic bacteria.
Microorganisms that live on the bottom of the aquarium, in the ground, on algae, snails remain in the inaccessible to radiation zone.
The penetrating ability of UV rays is small and depends on several factors:
- The greater the density of water, the less penetrating power of the rays. In turbid, polluted water, UV radiation is able to disinfect only 5 mm of its layer. Therefore, when installing the sterilizers are placed after the filters, purified water is subjected to UV treatment.
- The density of salt water is higher than the density of fresh water. In fresh water, the efficiency of the device is much higher.
- Clean ultraviolet lamp and its shell. It is necessary to keep them clean, the coating layer blocks radiation.
Depending on the location of the device in the aquarium, there are 2 types: superficial and immersed or submersible.
Surface the sterilizer is a construction of several lamps and a reflector, which is mounted above the tray at a height of 5 to 10 cm. The water flowing through the tray is disinfected by lamps. Such a structure in our time is no longer to meet.
Modern sterilizers are hermetic submersible-type structures. There are several types of them:
- built-in filters;
Internal the devices are small and, accordingly, the lamp is small. Small lamps have little power, which means they are ineffective. These devices are not in great demand.
Built in filters Sterilizers also do not represent much interest due to low efficiency.
External The apparatus consists of a body inside of which a UV lamp is placed in a quartz flask. Usually such sterilizers are connected at the output of the external filter. They are the most effective, and therefore have gained popularity among aquarists.
In what cases should be used
Under the detrimental effect of UV radiation fall everything live microorganisms. But among them are beneficial bacteria that create vital microflora for fish.
Experienced aquarists are not advised to use sterilizers constantly.
The use of equipment is recommended in certain cases:
- Massive fish disease.
- The need for quarantine for new fish.
- Aquarium bloomed, there was an unpleasant smell.
- Periodic use for the prevention of disease in the inhabitants of the aquarium.
- Application in densely populated aquariums.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantage of the aquarium sterilizer is that it really does a good job with the task: the floating algae disappear, the water is sterilized (although not completely), the unpleasant smell disappears.
The disadvantages are much more, we list them:
- Ultraviolet radiation does not destroy all types of pathogens. Some of their species die with more powerful radiation and remain invulnerable. Therefore, when choosing equipment it is necessary to give preference to a more powerful lamp that can destroy as many types of bacteria as possible.
- Insufficient penetrating ability of UV rays.
- The expensive equipment and the UV lamp itself, the service life of which with frequent use does not exceed 6 months.
There are craftsmen who collect ultraviolet sterilizer for an aquarium with their own hands from improvised means. And it works no worse than industrial.
Among lovers of the aquarium business one can meet both supporters and opponents of the constant use of UV sterilizers. This question is solved by each user in his own way.