Written by By Mike S. from the Drs. Foster & Smith/LiveAquaria Technical Support Department.
In running your system throughout the pond season, there can be the potential for problems with algae, bacteria, and parasite development. Algae growth can be very unsightly, while bacteria and parasites can affect the health of your fish.
To help minimize these risks, one piece of equipment that can be used is a UV sterilizer. These are designed to expose the water to a UV light, killing any free-floating algae and bacteria in the water. With proper exposure, parasites can also become sterilized, preventing them from reproducing in your pond.
Lower water flows will increase the amount of exposure, and increase the effectiveness. To further increase the exposure, many UV sterilizers are also designed to “spiral” the water around the UV light. One good example of this is the Turbo Twist line of sterilizers we carry.
When choosing a UV sterilizer unit to use with your pond, it is important to make sure that the flow rate of your system is within the manufacturer’s recommendations. If the water flow is too fast, the water will not get effective UV exposure. As water passes through, dirt can build up on the protective quartz sleeve, blocking the light from penetrating the water. To prevent excess debris from attaching, it is recommended to have the UV hooked up in-line after a filtration system. Additionally, the bulb can eventually lose its effectiveness as it gets near the end of its lifespan. To ensure proper operation, the quartz sleeve should be periodically cleaned, and the bulb should be changed every year.
With proper setup, water flow, and maintenance, a UV sterilizer is a great tool to add to the arsenal of controlling algae, bacteria, and parasites in the pond.
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