LED Aquarium UV Sterilizers: What You Need to Know


Keeping an aquarium clean is crucial for the health of your fish. UV sterilizers are here to help. In this article, you will find an overall introduction to LED aquarium UV sterilizers. Keep reading to find out more!

What is a LED Aquarium UV Sterilizer?

What is a LED Aquarium UV Sterilizer

A LED Aquarium UV sterilizer or a LED Aquarium UV light is a device that helps maintain a healthy and clean environment in your tank. Pollutants and diseases can easily accumulate in a dirty aquarium, which can be harmful to your fish. Therefore, LED aquarium UV sterilizers are utilized to prevent such occurrences and ensure the survival and well-being of your fish.

How Does It Work?

A LED Aquarium UV sterilizer is a device that is commonly used in filtration systems to treat water. It is placed after the mechanical filter in the filtration line, where water is exposed to UV light. The light kills microorganisms, including viruses, parasites, and algae. It works by mutating their DNA, preventing them from reproducing. As a result, your fish is far less likely to suffer from potentially infectious diseases. LED UV sterilizers are effective in various settings, such as swimming pools, factories and home aquariums.

Which types of UV Sterilizers kill which organisms are listed below:

15K microwatt seconds per cm2 — bacteria

15K–30K microwatt seconds per cm2 — viruses

22K–30K microwatt seconds per cm2 — algae

45K microwatt seconds per cm2 — fungi

90K microwatt seconds per cm2 — protozoa

What are the Benefits of LED Aquarium UV Sterilizers?

What are the Benefits of LED Aquarium UV Sterilizers

Kill Bacterial and Parasites

A LED aquarium UV sterilizer is an effective method to eliminate harmful bacteria and parasites in your aquarium. While biological or mechanical filtration cannot completely purify the tank from these microorganisms, a LED aquarium UV sterilizer can prevent their occurrence. However, it cannot kill microorganisms that have already attached to fish, so it is only useful for prevention and control. Combining a UV sterilizer with proper quarantine protocols and keeping healthy fish can significantly reduce the risk of infections, but it cannot eliminate them entirely.

Eliminate Harmful Algae

Unwanted algae blooms can make your aquarium water green and reduce its transparency and cleanliness, and eliminating these pesky single-celled organisms can be challenging. Thanks to LED aquarium UV sterilizers, We stand a good chance to control these free-floating algae which bring great damage to the well-being of the fish, making the water crystal clear within a short period of time and reducing the need for frequent water changes as well. Therefore, both beginners and experienced aquarists can reap the benefits from a LED aquarium UV sterilizer. Again, a LED aquarium UV sterilizer can only reduce the growth and spread of free-floating algae and cannot kill what is already growing on the tank’s surfaces.

What are the Drawbacks of Aquarium UV Sterilizers?

Aquarium UV sterilizers have several drawbacks that need to be considered before using them in aquariums.

Firstly, their bulbs require replacement every six months to produce enough heat to kill microorganisms, and purchasing a UV sterilizer can be pricey depending on the quality and features.

Secondly, using both a filtration system and a UV sterilizer in the aquarium may be overkill as some organisms are beneficial for your tank. Hence you may control how often the UV Sterilizer is applied. Moreover, aquarium UV sterilizers can render medications ineffective by destroying the makeup of the medication, even creating a hazardous environment in your aquarium. So bear in mind that turn the sterilizer off when you add medication to your tank.

Thirdly, UV sterilizers are less effective in murky or dirty water and are more suitable for freshwater tanks than saltwater tanks.

Finally, excessive exposure to UV sterilizers can damage fish retinas and may harm embryos.

Do I Need to Use LED Aquarium UV Sterilizers?

Do I Need to Use LED Aquarium UV Sterilizers

It is universally acknowledged that aquariums are liable to algal blooms, parasitic invasions, and the spread of pathogens in spite of proper cleaning and filter maintenance. Therefore, it may be necessary to install a LED UV sterilizer to effectively tackle these issues. UV sterilizers can be a valuable addition to any aquarium as they can eliminate even the tiniest free-floating microorganisms in the aquarium. When UV light comes into contact with disease-causing organisms like bacteria, it can break up their genetic material, leading to a shorter lifespan and reduced ability to reproduce. This reduces the likelihood of encountering algal blooms and the spread of disease in the aquarium. While beginners may find it challenging to combat the outbreak of harmful microorganisms, aquarium UV sterilizers can help maintain water quality and ensure the well-being of aquarium inhabitants. Therefore, if the budget allows, we should give them a try. However, while UV sterilizers have certain merits and advantages, they are not necessarily a must-have tool, since some downsides need to be considered. So, it is important to keep reading for more information on the use and purpose of UV sterilizers in aquariums.

How to Choose an Aquarium UV Sterilizer?

When considering the installation of a sterilizer, it is important to take into account several factors, such as wattage, flow rate, and maintenance. The effectiveness of a sterilizer depends on its ability to expose microorganisms to enough UV light to kill them, with different sizes and types requiring different amounts of radiation. The performance of a sterilizer is influenced by three main factors: bulb strength, contact time, and UV penetration.

Bulb strength

It is determined by the wattage of the bulb, with higher-wattage bulbs emitting more radiation. It is advisable to replace the bulbs twice a year to maintain their effectiveness.

Contact time

It refers to the duration of exposure to UV light, which is influenced by the flow rate of the sterilizer. Longer exposure to UV light results from a slower flow rate. Different types of microorganisms differ in the amount of time exposed to kill.

UV penetration

It is also vital as the UV light must be able to reach the microorganisms to kill them. The UV light is far less likely to efficiently penetrate the water if it is too cloudy. That’s why you should place the UV sterilizer after the mechanical or biological filter and keep the lighting and sleeve clean to ensure maximum UV penetration.

How Long Should LED Aquarium UV Sterilizers Be on?

How Long Should LED Aquarium UV Sterilizers Be on

A LED aquarium UV sterilizer is not the same as a regular light and should be left on 24/7 to effectively eliminate microorganisms in your tank. It’s crucial to purchase a sterilizer that is appropriately sized and has sufficient strength for your tank. It may not expose microorganisms to enough light if the sterilizer is too small or weak, rendering it ineffective. Discontinuing the use of an aquarium UV sterilizer allows parasites and bacteria to accumulate in the tank. While some suggest turning off the sterilizer occasionally to allow zooplankton and phytoplankton to proliferate, this is not recommended if your primary aim is to keep your tank free of microorganisms.

When to Turn Off LED Aquarium UV Sterilizers?

There are certain situations when it’s recommended to turn off the UV sterilizer in your aquarium.

Setting Up the Aquarium

During the initial setup of the aquarium, it’s important to leave the UV sterilizer off for a few weeks. This allows beneficial bacteria to grow and establish a nitrogen cycle, which helps break down fish waste.

Adding Bacteria

Similarly, whenever you add beneficial bacteria to your tank, it’s important to turn off the UV sterilizer to allow the colonies time to stabilize.

Using Medication or Water Treatments

Some medications or water treatments require that the UV sterilizer be turned off before adding them to the tank. Before adding, make sure to carefully read and adhere to the instructions.

How To Maintain a UV Sterilizer

Maintaining a 24/7 UV sterilizer requires special attention to upkeep. The UV bulb requires replacement every 6-12 months, depending on usage and the type of bulb. Keeping a maintenance record is a good idea to track routine tasks like cleaning and water changes. Note the installation of the UV sterilizer in the record to monitor when the tube needs replacement.

The strength of the UV bulb is crucial in determining the amount of radiation the UV sterilizer generates. An underperforming UV light will not generate sufficient radiation to eliminate bacteria and parasites in the tank.

It is crucial to pay attention to each part of the filtration system to guarantee peak performance. The UV sterilizer won’t have enough time to completely eliminate the microorganisms if the pump pushes too much water through the sterilizer.

A UV aquarium sterilizer can be of great help to a water filtering system if used properly. Leave it on and frequently check it to ensure crystal clear and healthy tank water for your fish.

About MokoLight

With our own factories, a robust R&D team, and 16 years of experience in this line, MokoLight is in a position to provide high-quality LED UV aquarium sterilizers that can tailor to your exact needs. Come and contact us right now!

Written by ——
Sushant Kulkarni
Sushant Kulkarni
9+ years of experience in implementing and debugging elector-mechanical systems, successfully leading multidisciplinary engineering teams and completing projects. Reach Me Now>>
Sushant Kulkarni
Sushant Kulkarni
9+ years of experience in implementing and debugging elector-mechanical systems, successfully leading multidisciplinary engineering teams and completing projects. Reach Me Now>>
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