The UV aquarium lamp is one of the most useful accessories that have appeared in recent years, to help us maintain the quality of the water in fish tanks and aquarium tanks.
Although it is not yet widely used, both amateurs and professionals are beginning to give it the importance it deserves.
Many manufacturers of aquarium filters already incorporate it in their filters, although it is not very clear if it is the best option, since professionals do not agree on its continued use or only for a few hours.
Eheim Aquarium UV Lamp
Among the different UV aquarium lamps that are for sale, the ones that seem most effective and guarantee of use are the Eheim:
Aquarium UV Lamp What is it for?
Aquarium UV lamps are very useful to eliminate suspended algae, in addition to preventing and treating some of the diseases typical of fresh and saltwater aquariums.
Basically UV lamps «kill» all kinds of bacteria, virus or algae cells.
It can kill any type of bacteria, even nitrifying ones that are very useful for the aquarium cleaning process … but we see that now, in its operation.
How do UV lamps work in the aquarium?
Ultraviolet lamps produce ultraviolet radiation or UV radiation.
One of the applications of ultraviolet rays is sterilization (UV lamp for aquariums). At certain wavelengths, it damages the DNA of microorganisms present in aquarium water , such as bacteria or viruses, without leaving any type of residue and preventing them from reproducing.
The UV lights in aquariums are usually insulated, so that only the water is affected by their radiation. It is important to remember that we should not look directly at the light, as we could be affected.
How to install a UV lamp in the aquarium?
Aquarium UV lamps work independently of the filter. They have their own cable, to be plugged in and unplugged at our own discretion.
Aquarium filters with UV lamp also have the possibility of turning the lamp on or off independently of the filtering, so that we are the ones who decide the amount of time that we should keep it on.
In any case, if we are going to install a UV lamp for an aquarium, it must be done at the filter outlet. There are two compelling reasons for the lamp to be installed “at the filter outlet” and not at the inlet:
- The filtered water is free of impurities at the outlet of the filter, so it is much more effective . It will not have any type of particle that can act as a screen and hide bacteria or viruses.
- The second reason is that ultraviolet radiation does not distinguish between good and bad bacteria , it kills all the microorganisms it affects… including nitrifying bacteria .
As most of the «good» bacteria for the aquarium are inside the filter, if we install the lamp before filtering, the filter will gradually run out of bacteria.
How many hours does the germicidal aquarium lamp have to work?
This is an open debate, there is no single criterion. Professionals, hobbyists and manufacturers have differing opinions on how long an aquarium UV lamp should be in operation.
While some value that a daily operation of 3 to 4 hours is enough, others think that there is no problem in that it works all day, that it does not affect the balance of the aquarium.
I am in favor of the lamp working 24 hours a day when we have an algae problem in the aquarium, as it will help us eliminate it. The days it must be running will depend on the degree of invasion.
Against having it running 24 hours a day, there are amateurs who think that a bubble is created in the aquarium (totally free of bacteria), and with the slightest infection the aquarium can collapse.
Manufacturers recommendation: power / hours / liters
On the other side are the manufacturers, who have their own recommendations interested or not, we must take them into account.
According to most UV lamp manufacturers, they recommend a passage of 10-15 liters for each watt of lamp power, passing the entire water content of the aquarium once a day (at a minimum) through the germicidal lamp.
We can only make the corresponding rule of three, depending on the water that is going to pass through the lamp and the size of our aquarium.
How often do I have to change the UV lamp bulb?
Each bulb has a specific useful life, expressed in hours of use. Manufacturers usually indicate the life time of the bulb , so that we have an idea of how long it will last.
To get an idea, if a bulb has an average of 1,000 hours of useful life, if we connect it 3 hours a day, it would last us about 333 days.
In the case of UV bulbs, as they are used they lose effectiveness, so it is advisable to change them before the end of their useful life, even if they have not burned out.
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