While it is true that the best UV sterilizer for aquariums may not be perceived as a really necessary item that aquarium keepers have to invest in, it cannot be denied that it can provide ample perks to the overall aquarium environment.
In addition, these items are, in general, operated by a UV bulb that comes with the capability to get rid of and save your aquarium from all sorts of hazardous bacteria and other unsightly microorganisms.
Aquarium owners are insightful of the fact that a filter system is a must-have to sustain clean, safer and fresher water inside the tank. And, this could help your aquarium inhabitants to stay in the best possible condition and become more active.
If potentially harmful bacteria aren’t treated appropriately, then both freshwater and marine tanks can suffer from extreme bacteria buildup and the sprout of microorganisms that typically start from free-lingering algae.
Selecting the perfect UV sterilizer for aquariums requires a bit of preparation. In other words, you’ll need a detailed understanding of all the crucial buying factors.
Here’s a quick overview of some to offer a little head start before reading through our reviews:
- Tank Type and Size: Each UV sterilizer will only fit a selected number of applications, such as 4-watt is usable for a small tank of about 20 gallons. Therefore, buyers must match their tank’s size and type to a suitable UV sterilizer. Manufacturers will make it easy by putting all this information in the product description.
- Design: Most UV sterilizers will either be a tube type-dry bulb, tube type-wet bulb, or tray type. Choosing between them often depends on whether your tank has a cold water system. If it does, you’ll need a UV sterilizer with a quartz sleeve, also known as a tube type-dry bulb.
- Budget: The price of UV sterilizers varies much more than buyers assume. It’s a good idea to craft a budget based on your preferences. One of the critical considerations is if a buyer wants a complete filter kit along with a UV sterilizer light. If they do, the price will rise considerably compared to buying a sterilizer separately.
Aside from the important buying guides and other substantial information about UV sterilizers tackled in this article; here are the most highly recommended UV sterilizers for aquariums for you to check out so as to avoid having a stressful time deciding which one possesses the required operational as well as technical features.
Table of Contents
List of Top 7 UV Sterilizers for Aquarium
1. COOSPIDER JUP01 UV Filter
Improving a tank’s environmental quality has never been easier than with COOSPIDER’s JUP01 4-in-1 Aquarium UV Filter Machine. It’s a rare product that promises to do multiple jobs successfully and delivers without issues. Buyers would have difficulty finding a more convenient option than this one from COOSPIDER.
After all, it had no trouble offering effective performance in its four categories. It provided excellent filtration, improved water circulation, increased oxygen, and deodorized my tank. It’s a performance level that I wouldn’t see from a standard large or small aquarium UV sterilizer.
The product’s ability to various tanks is another massive highlight. Users will have no problems utilizing it within any tank between 40 and 80 gallons. As a result, it was a perfect fit for my 50-gallon with serious green water issues. It did a much better job than the Aqua UV Sterilizer it replaced.
Meanwhile, installing this product inside these tanks couldn’t be easier. Again, COOSPIDER did everyone a solid by providing easy-to-follow instructions. Plus, it doesn’t require users to make additional connections when setting up, which is a massive win for me.
One final intriguing aspect is the product’s low-noise operation. It managed to do its job without ever making me second guess my purchase because of the sound level. In this regard, I couldn’t ask for much more from this product.
I was disappointed to see users can’t adjust the water flow rate. It becomes inconvenient when attempting to set this product up to meet a person’s exact expectations.
- 4-in-1 device (filtration, water circulation, oxygenation, and deodorization)
- Effective, reliable performance in all four categories
- Adaptable to work with tanks between 40 and 80 gallons
- Simple assembly inside the fish tank without any other connections
- Low noise operation
- The water flow rate isn’t adjustable.
2. SunSun HW-303B Canister Filter Kit
SunSun’s HW-303BPro Canister Filter Kit is one of the more well-equipped choices on this list. It earns this distinction by being a complete, reliable filter kit that handles up to 100 gallons. It wil have no problems ensuring these larger aquariums have pristine water quality and environments.
But this complete kit wouldn’t make our list without having a quality UV sterilizer. This particular one is a built-in 9-watt model and offers excellent performance. As a result, it became the green killing machine I sought when searching for a new fish tank UV filter/sterilizer.
I was also thrilled about its various filter media accessories. Its provided ceramic rings and bio balls, along with its carbon filter, were godsends for my fish tank. After all, these components ensure this kit can provide me with practical mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.
It’s also one of the more convenient filter kits available with its self-priming pump. Buyers will fall in love with this feature because it removes the burden of manual siphoning. Instead, the pump does all the work for me, which is perfect as I’m lazy.
Furthermore, I can’t praise its low noise operation level enough for similar reasons. It perfectly fits my needs as a person who is a sensitive sleeper. Therefore, I never have to worry about this option waking me up at night, unlike my previous inline UV sterilizer.
My only concerns about this kit start with its price. It’s one of the more costly choices on this list especially compared to any standalone UV light for fish tank aquariums. I’m also not in love with its heavy construction since it can make lifting difficult when cleaning.
- Complete, reliable filter kit for up to 100 gallon tanks
- Built-in 9-watt UV sterilizer kills bacteria and keeps water quality pristine
- Filter media accessories offer 3 types of filtration
- Doesn’t require manual siphoning with a convenient, self-priming pump
- Produces a low operating noise level
- A higher-priced option
- Difficult to pick up when cleaning with its heavy construction
3. JackSuper UV Aquarium
Our next option, JackSuper’s UV Aquarium Water Clean Light, is a favorite among aquarium owners for a relatively simple reason. It’s an effective, affordable choice, especially compared to costlier complete kit options. It’s an easy way to get quality performance without spending much money.
Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by how effective it was compared to what I expected. It did a fabulous job reducing green water and algae from my tank within a day. It’s a performance level that I assumed would cost a few more dollars.
This product’s attractive traits didn’t stop with being affordable or effective, either. It’s also relatively easy to use when installed correctly. It’s turned off and on via a switch on its power cord. So I can’t imagine anyone finding it too complicated.
Most people would assume a simple product like this wouldn’t be versatile. But this option manages to defy those odds, as well. Buyers can expect this clean light to deal with algae and green issues in tanks up to 800 gallons.
The versatility only increases considering its capability of working in freshwater or saltwater. So the list of possible applications becomes almost endless.
But sadly, there’s a reason this model is available at bargain prices. Unfortunately, it has subpar assembly instructions and lousy suction cup quality. Both these areas can become issues if a person isn’t careful when using this UV water clean light.
- An effective, more affordable choice
- Reduces green water and algae at rapid rates
- A simple using process with an on/off switch
- Usable in up to 800 gallons (fish tanks, ponds, pools, etc.)
- Suitable for freshwater and saltwater tank applications
- Poor assembly instructions
- Suction cups aren’t the high quality
4. SunSun UV Sterilizer Filter Pump
If you are searching for a top-rated UV sterilizer for freshwater aquariums, outside ponds and marine tanks, then this option won’t fail your expectations. This is built with a dynamic 9-watt ultraviolet bulb that works efficiently in getting rid of all conceivably dangerous pathogens, bacteria and viruses present in the tank water.
This is highly acclaimed for its versatility that it allows users to set it up without any struggle. You can install it either vertically or horizontally without the need to be troubled about the tank’s current water condition. Likewise, there is no need for additional hardware which means you can set aside some pennies.
And it is a piece of cake to mount with the help of top-quality suction cups. This unit already integrates a water pump capable of moving roughly 132 gallons of water per hour of UV light.
However, this UV sterilizer is only highly recommendable for larger aquariums. Aside from this, since it is purposely designed for larger tanks, it has the tendency to produce very strong water flow. So, if you own a smaller tank, you should avoid buying this.
- Specifically designed with built-in pump
- Known for being a vigorous ultraviolet sterilization unit
- Highly recommended for tanks that come in smaller sizes
- Can be utilized for both freshwater and marine tanks
- Easier to install either vertically or horizontally
- Not ideal of tanks that come in bigger sizes
- May produce strong flow of water
5. Coralife Turbo-Twist UV Sterilizers
Shopping for the top-quality UV sterilizer for reef tanks can be a pain in the neck especially for first-timers. By chance, this unit will guarantee a very impressive job in warding off bacteria, algae and other hideous microorganisms lurking inside the tank- this is executed with the aid of this unit’s intense 18-watt ultraviolet light.
In line with this, the light is shielded with a premium quality quartz glass sleeve that offers excellent protection from water getting inside it. As you can see, this is a clear indication of its sturdiness and the high-quality materials it is made of. It is a certified model to invest in if you are in search of long-standing ultraviolet sterilizer unit.
This unit especially requires a water pump to ensure its maximum performance, but you need to buy it separately. Indeed, the bulb appears to be not suitably fitted in the socket. These are just two of the minus points that you need to discover about this UV sterilizing unit.
- Equipped with indicator light that indicates when the unit is operating
- Ideal for aquariums containing 500 gallons of water
- Works adeptly in exterminating unsightly bacteria, parasites and free-lingering algae
- Can ensure enhanced exposure to ultraviolet light made possible by its twist-flow style
- Comes with mounting brackets meant for in-line or hang on usage
- Bulb seems not appropriately fitted in the socket
- Calls for a water pump yet this is not contained in the package
6. AquaUltraviolet Aquarium UV Sterilizer
This brand is a proud US product that is surely manufactured with strong and vigorous build quality that can ensure many years of reliable service and performance. Once you invest in this unit, all you need to purchase are some hose clamps and tubing in order to make it adaptable with your tank filter. And, with the appropriate ones, setting this unit up is no sweat.
If you explore the aquarium UV sterilizer review, you will discover that this UV sterilizing unit does a magnificent job for reef tanks that contain about 100 gallons of water. Not only that, you could possibly utilize it for ponds as well, even though it may take a while for you to see some noticeable results.
This is well worth the money precisely because aside from its sturdy build and first-rate performance, the customer service is unrivaled. Should there be some defects in the unit you purchased, the manufacturer can offer you some warranties and they usually replace the defective parts. The process of settling matters like this is straightforward, unlike other manufacturers who make the procedure a painful process to deal with.
After all, this UV sterilizing unit is not equipped with an indicator light when it is in work mode. Also, it is slightly tricky to look for the hose size for the pump filter. If these are not major flaws for you, this is a great device for your aquarium.
- Highly recommended for aquariums, water features and ponds that come in small sizes
- Topnotch build quality that makes it long-lasting
- A proud USA product that’s trusted by many aquarists around the world
- Can guarantee friendly and fast customer service experience
- Verified as an effective device to alleviate protozoa, viruses and other types of bacteria
- Doesn’t come with indicator light when operating
- Finding the hose size for the pump filter is challenging
7. GRECH UV Sterilizer
This nano UV sterilizer is a wise purchase for any aquarium owner. It is a hang-on-back that is equipped with an ultraviolet sterilizer that is especially meant for protection against various sorts of bacteria and algae. This is built with adjustable flow and can guarantee a noise-free operation mode.
In terms of setting it up, the installation can be done in minutes. Also, it is made with a practical surface skimmer that considerably aids in getting rid of hideous surface films and eliminates bacteria and algae that harm the lives of your aquarium occupants.
Over and above, if you have had a tough time searching for the right solution to clear your tank water of any contaminants, this is an awesome device you can depend on. There is no need to waste your time, money and energy hunting down a suitable unit that can take better care of your tank if you consider this brand.
In different circumstances, this best UV sterilizer for aquariums comes with a cheap quality carbon filter. So, this could mean utilizing your own in case this breaks easily. Besides, the media basket design is slightly too tight. If these are not serious defects for you, then this won’t change the fact that it is still an admirable device to invest in.
- Designed with adjustable 211 Gallons Per Hour flow rate and furnished with surface skimmer
- One great solution to keep tank water pristine clear
- Already includes bio media and active carbon in the package
- Equipped with 5-watt ultraviolet sterilizer that aids alleviate bacteria and algae
- Highly recommended for tank size that contains 20 by up to 50 gallons of water
- Low quality carbon filter
- Too tight media basket design
What To Look For When Buying An UV Sterilizer For Aquarium
It is crucial to conduct a bit of informative research when it comes to the vital factors that you need to take into account when shopping for the right UV sterilizer for your aquarium. And, some of these consist of the following:
- Selecting the suitable unit for your application shall rely on the kind of aquarium you’re currently keeping and its size of course. Take note that the size of the tank identifies the amount of water flows the UV sterilizer requires to support.
Also, these units come in distinct sizes so to match different flow rates as well as the sizes of tanks.
- You can pick from the 3 primary types of UV sterilizers and these include wet bulb (non-quartz line tube), dry bulb (quartz-lined tube) and tray type.
- Some versions come in a hang-on style wherein users only need to hang it inside the tank. There is also an inline design that is meant to be connected to the primary structure of the tank and this can be submersed in water. Note that the classification pertains to the UV sterilizer’s position within the flow of water.
- Budget. It will be hard to decide if you do not have the set amount you’re willing to spend on a UV sterilizer. There are cheaper and a bit pricey ones. Before the final purchase, make sure to weigh the pros and cons first.
- Features. Various UV sterilizer brands come with unique and exclusive features for you to check out. Make certain that you meticulously review all of these and make some product comparisons.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is a UV sterilizer? How does it work?
The UV sterilizer for aquariums refers to a filtration unit that uses an ultraviolet light bulb when getting rid of very tiny organisms that are freely hovering or lingering in the tank water.
These units are safe to use in home aquariums, swimming pools and liquid manufacturing firms. At times, they are also utilized in outside ponds to remarkable ward off the proliferation of green algae.
Parasites, bacteria, algae and viruses are the forms of microorganisms that are alleviated after undergoing the ultraviolet sterilizing unit. The use of this unit is quite paramount and advantageous in that it can effectively eradicate microorganisms and pathogens that may potentially endanger aquarium dwellers. This is, for a fact, what sets it apart from other common water filtration units.
Microscopic organisms that are known to be water-borne are exterminated by the ultraviolet lamp through modifying their cell framework. To put simply, this method is irradiation that does not have any significant effect on the fish; however, this is very stringent when it comes to unsightly bacteria and other sorts of microorganisms.
What are the different types of UV sterilizers?
There are a total of three kinds of ultraviolet sterilizers and these are:
- Tube type-dry bulb
- Tube type-wet bulb
- Tray type
It matters to note that the main distinction between the latter types is that the wet bulb is not tied up with the quartz. In line with this, if the water system is cold, then this needs to be equipped with an ultraviolet sterilizer that comes with a quartz sleeve as this helps in making a regular cleaning, and in so doing, you won’t have any difficulty replacing the bulb.
Why do you need an aquarium UV sterilizer? (Benefits)
Once you start to keep an aquarium, you have to consider the fact that there are so many tools and equipment that you need to invest in to ensure that the fish tank is properly maintained for your aquatic pets and plants to live longer.
You need to utilize a UV sterilizer because this will play a vital function in managing the infections by ceasing the proliferation of any microorganisms in the tank water.
Not only that, this unit will also help get rid of free-lingering algae that have the potential to emerge in tank water.
Here are the stunning perks of using UV sterilizers for your aquarium:
- Helps keep the tank water pristine clear and clear of any hazardous microorganisms or bacteria.
Sometimes, the water inside the aquarium becomes greenish and considerably lessens its cleanliness and pristineness. This emerges because of the undesirable sprout of algae inside the aquarium. In this condition, an ultraviolet sterilizer can assist in eradicating this dusky condition and make your tank water more transparent in a shorter period.
- Alleviate toxic microorganisms, parasites, pathogens and other sorts of bacteria.
An ultraviolet sterilizer unit comes with the capability to destruct all potential microorganisms and bacteria such as algae buildup in the tank. It is worth noting that mechanical or bio-filtration cannot completely filter your tank from these dangerous pathogens, virus and bacteria.
However, in this condition, an ultraviolet sterilizer unit can effectively annihilate all those toxic organisms and free your aquarium of any of them.
- Ends the proliferation of lingering or hovering algae.
In reality, one of the most stressful concerns in terms of owning a fish tank is managing the rapid multiplication of algae. Many a time, after destroying them, they keep proliferating on the water and make it a painful experience for you to get rid of their existence on a regular basis.
This is where the importance of owning a UV sterilizer unit comes in. As you can see, the reason is quite obvious; this unit could basically halt the production of these hideous microorganisms and help make your tank totally free from any possible algae accumulation in the coming days.
- It enables users to regulate free-hovering or lingering algae or deal with the adolescent impulse stages in your freshwater tank. A UV sterilizer unit definitely works straightforwardly and it is smooth sailing to use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do UV sterilizers actually work for aquariums?
UV sterilizers have gained a reputation for being very effective in aquariums. But it relies on buying a high-quality option to achieve this performance. If you do, these products will have no problem eliminating issues like parasites, green water, or algae.
For instance, the SunSun UV Sterilizer Filter Pump has done a fabulous job in my aquarium. It’s made cleaning and maintaining the tank much easier than ever. As a result, it’s made this hobby much less time-consuming and a lot more fun!
Where should you put the UV sterilizer in the aquarium?
The placement of a UV sterilizer relies entirely on where your filtration system is located. It is a vital piece that works to ensure the tank is pristine. Its traditional place within this system is last, right behind your mechanical filter.
So if your filtration system is set up outside or inside the tank, the sterilizer is put in the same area. It can then work alongside the other parts to ensure top water quality. From there, it’ll sterilize the water and kill those pesky microorganisms within the water supply.
How long should you run UV sterilizer each day?
The truth about UV sterilizers in aquariums is these devices should be running 24/7. It’s the only way to ensure a top-end option like the GRECH UV Sterilizer or Fluval UV Sterilizer can do its job effectively.
But you’ll encounter a few situations where these devices must be off. A typical example would be adding beneficial bacteria to the tank. In this case, the UV sterilizer would be counterproductive to this task.
After all, the entire purpose of aquarium UV lighting sterilizers is to kill bacteria. So these devices become a nuisance to encouraging the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
How often do you replace a UV sterilizer bulb?
Generally, the accepted lifespan of a UV sterilizer bulb is 9,000 hours or one year. So you’ll need to replace them before they hit these points, or their effectiveness will wane significantly. I even find it helpful to change them out early to avoid any performance dropoff.
I should also note this guideline is only an average. Some UV bulbs will last longer, while others can burn out quicker. Reading through your chosen model’s instructions is essential to use UV sterilizers effectively.
What size UV sterilizer do I need for my aquarium?
Selecting an appropriately sized UV sterilizer is relatively easy. After all, manufacturers will match these products to various gallon sizes in the product description. So it becomes an effortless exercise if you read these vital resources.
However, if you’re looking for a more precise answer, UV sterilizer size is determined by wattage and tank gallon capacity. Here’s a quick look at the acceptable guidelines among experts and what you can follow if a brand doesn’t provide recommendations:
- Up to 40-gallon tanks: 4 to 8-watt UV sterilizers
- 40 to 90-gallon tanks: 12 to 15-watt UV sterilizers
- 90-gallon tanks and above: 20 to 40-watt UV sterilizers
But again, this process goes much smoother if you know your tank’s size. So it’s best to figure this information out before diving into this marketplace. It certainly made me feel more confident when buying my first UV sterilizer for planted aquarium tanks.
What are the most trusted UV sterilizer brands?
There are limitless UV sterilizer brands for you to select from whether you shop in local stores or shop online; however, some of the most favorite brands of wise aquarium hobbyists and pros include the following:
- Aqua Ultraviolet
- AA Aquarium
What is the warranty?
Please be guided that different UV sterilizer brands offer distinct types of warranties. So, the type of warranty you can get will depend on the manufacturer of the brand you chose and this will oftentimes differ with that of other brands.
Nonetheless, nearly all ultraviolet sterilizing units are backed up by warranties that will benefit consumers for a long time. In general, various types of warranties that you can come across include 30-day money back guarantee offer, a certain period of time warranty (1 month, 6 months, 1 year, etc.) and some manufacturers offer replacements in the event that consumers receive defective items.
How to install and use?
Setting up the UV sterilizer unit in your aquarium is not complex at all. As a matter of fact, the installation can be a breeze to handle with a little insight into how this unit works. What matters the most is you strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when setting up this unit.
It is fundamental to ensure that you properly set up the necessary fixtures that support each other to sustain a calculated distance from unfortunate incidents.
Not to mention, UV sterilizer units are not made equal. Therefore, it is imperative to check out the installation procedures and make sure that you comply accordingly to avoid malfunction issues.
To guarantee effective performance, a UV sterilizer must be placed after your mechanical or biofiltration. Additionally, the rate of flow through the ultraviolet sterilizer unit must be regulated hinged on the direction of the manufacturer.
This assures that the sterilizer unit is aiming at the microorganisms and not the residues and this must also have the appropriate amount of exposure period to exterminate the pest. Note that your selected sterilizer unit should possess easy-to-understand instructions for both installation and operation.
You can install different UV sterilizer configurations; there are those that are hung on the fish tank walls, housed within a canister filter, tucked within the tank stand or a stand-alone version. These are also ready for use in distinct models; each of them is designed to aim at aquatic pests and not your budget specifically.
Nearly all units utilize hose barb connectors that are connected to the right water pump or some are designed to enable add-on connectors as a hose barb attachment or as a PVC slip fit.
Also, by integrating an ultraviolet sterilizer unit into your amazing aquarium management skills and efficient filtration components, it will be much easier to enhance the clarity, cleanliness and health of your most precious fish tank.
Where to buy?
Top quality and efficient UV sterilizer units are not really that bothering to find. The truth is, you can consider visiting local fish or pet stores in your hometown to check out if they sell various brands of this unit. By shopping in person, you can take a careful look at the brand you’re eyeing to buy and you can personally or closely inspect it with your own two eyes.
In case you’re not the type who shops personally and you prefer a mouse click when shopping, then you may browse different online shopping sites like Amazon, eBay, Lowes, Walmart, Petco and Petsmart and other renowned shopping official websites that offer myriad of UV sterilizer options for you to check out.
How to care & store?
For most ultraviolet sterilizer units, the UV bulb will require to be replaced after a period of six months of consistent use. Nonetheless, this time may differ so be certain to adhere to the directions of the manufacturer.
Meanwhile, when setting up or replacing a bulb, it is not advised to look directly at the bulb when the UV sterilizer unit is switched on. This is because it could irritate or seriously damage your eyes.
Indeed, the quartz sleeve needs to be inspected on a monthly basis; it should be removed and tidied with the aid of rubbing alcohol. There are bigger ultraviolet sterilizers that are especially designed with wiper mechanism units and these can be set up for plain sailing maintenance.
It is most suitable to disconnect the UV sterilizer from the electricity when administering maintenance; this is to provide much needed shield against potential shock. When switched on, take in mind that the bulb gets really hot when in the air and it is more likely to break when submersed in water.
If not used, you may consider keeping it in a safe and dry storage place to reserve it for future use.
To sum things up, you have learned from this article that utilizing the best UV sterilizer for aquariums is a practical idea. Be that as it may, it is very imperative to take into consideration that these sterilizers also necessitate the attention of an aquarium keeper in order to ensure that they are consistently functioning properly.
See to it that you take the time necessary to mull over the available options and pick the one that best matches your requirements and style so as to come up with the most outstanding results. Otherwise, it will be inconceivable for you to enjoy the perks of a reliable and functional UV sterilizer that aids in alleviating the toxins from tank water. Needless to say, with the right unit, you can save hundreds of dollars, time and energy.
The UV sterilizer brands that are comprehensively reviewed above can help you make a well-informed decision to avoid wasting your money on inappropriate and useless units.