The UV Debate
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

The UV Debate
An issue that has long been debated in the aquarium hobby is whether a UV sterilizer is necessary for aquariums. But for freshwater aquarists experiencing problems with algae blooms, green water, or disease breakouts, a UV sterilizer is a great addition to your system. Think of it as buying insurance for your aquarium - insurance that will improve water quality and provide added protection for inhabitant health.

If you are interested in improving your water quality or aquarium inhabitant health, there are a variety of UV sterilizers to research, but be sure to choose a unit that will provide the best results for your system.

Is a UV sterilizer right for your system? Weigh the pros and cons below:

PROS
UV units will not harm inhabitants or negatively affect water parameters.
A UV sterilizer will help manage harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, parasites, and algae.
Because the UV sterilizer helps reduce harmful microorganisms in the water, the water quality will be improved.
There are a variety of UV sterilizers available to the hobbyist, from in-line to hang-on, for any type of system.


Because UV sterilizers affect only free-floating microorganisms, they are not effective against microorganisms attached to substrates, corals, or fish.
UV sterilizers are not an effective substitute for mechanical, chemical, or biological filtration.
Like most equipment added to an aquarium, a UV sterilizer can raise water temperature.
CONS