UV Sterilizer in an Otherwise Filter-less Soil Aquarium - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 12-25-2020, 06:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default UV Sterilizer in an Otherwise Filter-less Soil Aquarium

I've been running a dirted aquarium for a while now and recently I've had an outbreak of green algae in the tank. I made no change in the water or light I used so I concluded it was the decrease of plants I had recently. (I had hydrophila was growing leaves just to lose them all and become taller and taller sticks.) I did a pretty major water change, but it just came right back. With this green water even if I add other plants back I have no guarantee of the plants getting what they need up against all the algae. I'm thinking the solution, for now, is either a Diatom filter or UV sterilizer to clear the water while I get more plants and establish them. I want to use a diatom filter but I can't really find any products online (I'm probably looking in the wrong places who knows) But that leaves a UV filter which I am very unfamiliar with.
Will it do its job effectively without other types of filtration in place?
I've seen warning about using ferts with UV sterilization, I don't use those, however, I do have straight-up organic garden soil below the gravel. Will the nutrients it releases into the water be chemically affected?
Do the cons of a UV sterilizer, whatever they may be, make it worth my time to research more about that elusive diatom filter?
Or am I looking in the completely wrong direction on how to solve this issue with filters and there's something I don't know that I can do for this algae problem?
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Old 12-25-2020, 07:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The UV filter isn’t a “filter”, but if you already weren’t using one, it should not matter. That said, once it kills the green water algae, you will want to do a water change I think. It will do the job of killing the green water algae, as well as any other floating pathogens.
I dose EI and also run a UV sterilizer in my 29 gal, and have not noted any bad effects.
My only caution would be, if you haven’t been using filtration in a natural tank, an in-tank UV will produce significant flow, which may stir up sediment, which may lead to other short term issues (solves by a water change).
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Old 12-26-2020, 03:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: UV Sterilizer in an Otherwise Filter-less Soil Aquarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshbest View Post
I've been running a dirted aquarium for a while now and recently I've had an outbreak of green algae in the tank. I made no change in the water or light I used so I concluded it was the decrease of plants I had recently.
Will it do its job effectively without other types of filtration in place?
I've seen warning about using ferts with UV sterilization, I don't use those, however, I do have straight-up organic garden soil below the gravel. Will the nutrients it releases into the water be chemically affected?
Do the cons of a UV sterilizer, whatever they may be, make it worth my time to research more about that elusive diatom filter?
Or am I looking in the completely wrong direction on how to solve this issue with filters and there's something I don't know that I can do for this algae problem?
A UV sterilizer should take care of green water within 1-2 days. You don't need any other filter.
The UV light destroys the chelators used to provide micronutrients, so it can cause iron deficiencies. (Plants only take up chelated or bound iron.) However, I never found UV sterilizers to cause problems.

The worst that can happen... If you see iron deficiencies in your plants, turn off the UV lamp and just run the filter pump. I only turn on the UV lamp when I need it to fight green water algae or stop a fish disease outbreak or to protect valuable new fish from bacterial disease. I rarely use it, but it surely comes in handy when there's a problem!
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Old 12-26-2020, 08:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: UV Sterilizer in an Otherwise Filter-less Soil Aquarium

Alrighty, thank you guys very much! I think I will get one.
Does anyone have a recommendation for a particular submersible model?

Last edited by Freshbest; 12-26-2020 at 09:21 PM..
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