Are UV sterilizers useless?

  1. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    I bought one for my 50 gallon tank when I was setting it up because I had planned to keep young electric blue Jack Dempseys which I know are susceptible to internal parasites. This thing cost me 100 bucks and so far I have lost 2 EBJD's to parasites (these fish aren't cheap either). Did I waste my money?
     
  2. 1971roadrunner Well Known Member Member

    I used to run UV's and was a firm believer in them however not any more and no need. I will say that in order to get the benefits A LOT of research and understanding is required. The flow rates though them to accomplish different things and the strength of the bulb, ability to clean and be cleaned, quartz tube or not etc..etc..I know the UV's I used were quite a bit more $ than yours and the bulbs and power required were expensive. I had mine hooked up to a timer to run occasionally as most people do. These are some of the things you may want to look into. Good luck and sorry about the loss of your fish.
     

  3. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    Well the first group of EBJD's I bought were smaller, about 1 inch, and I lost a couple of them, so I decided to go for the bigger 3 inch ones this time around, and now again one of them is constantly hiding... he still tries to eat but he spits out his food. For the first month or so he was fine and now this.Is there anything I can do to save him, I really like him.

    Additional symptoms: his poop appears white/clear, I have seen him flicking once. I suspect some type of parasite. I have added aquarium salt to the water in an attempt to slow down the progression but I don't know what else to do.
     
  4. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    I think the concept is not useless, but the execution often is.
     

  5. jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    I have a 4+ year old EBJD and he's had a lot of issues. I suggest treating the tank with parasite clear (or another med with metronidazole as well as medicated flake food.
     
  6. Marie1 Well Known Member Member

    What was your flow rate with it? They can help if used correctly. But as mentioned above, often aren't. I think you are better off saving your money and making sure you are keeping your water clean with water changes, and not leaving your lights on too long or letting sunlight in your tank. They do work well for algae blooms, but algae is easy to keep at a minimum in my experience. I understand your need to want one with EBJD. Maybe if you can slow the flow rate down, you will get more benefit from it for parasites.
     
  7. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    Ok thanks for the advice I will try the things that you mentioned. I had an EBJD before that I got to about 4-5 inches and I rehomed him due to lack of space at the time. Never had any real problems with him. How with the new ones I haven't been having much luck despite taking precautions. I heard the bigger the get the less likely to suffer parasites, but it doesn't seem to be working for me.
     

  8. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    In order for UVC light to provide a certain level of sterilization, a proper flow/exposure rate between the UV units bulb/quartz sleeve must be achieved as well as the proper amount of microwatt exposure.

    UV is only effective for free floating organisms, not anything that has come in contact and made a home in your fish. UV light cannot distinguish between good and bad bacteria, so I only recommend use in established tanks.

    I use UV in my large tanks to help control disease outbreaks. Unfortunately, most UV add ons or small units sold do very little to control bacterial or parasitic growth and only serve as water clarifiers versus providing true level 1 or 2 sterilization. I highly recommend the Aqua UV brand units. What brand and model UV unit did you purchase?
     
  9. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    My UV sterilizer is a Aquatop, rated for up to 75 gallons.

    I just went out and bought medication. I was gonna go with the metronidazole as suggested by jetajockey but the guy at the store told me it's much more likely to be a bacterial infection and suggested I buy KanaPlex by SeaChem, and all but guaranteed that it would work. So I trusted him and bought it. All I need to know is should I quarantine him in my empty 10 gallon tank, or keep him in the 50 and treat the whole tank?
     
  10. jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    LFS advice can be kinda sketchy. I'm not sure how a gram negative antibiotic will help with the stringy poo symptom (which indicates internal parasites to me), but Metronidazole is the standard on most of the cichlid forums I've been on. It's what I used with mine as well and he's still alive and well to this day. As a side note, I have used kanamycin flake food as well as triple sulfa to treat columnaris-like flareups.

    He may know something that we don't, though, so there's no telling. I don't think it'll hurt to try anyhow.

    I suggest googling around to see what other people have experienced with EBJDs and the stringy poo issue though.
     

  11. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    I agree about the LFS advice being sketchy sometimes, but this guy has been working there for forever, and he seemed really confident after I described the symptoms to him and he handed me the meds, he essentially guaranteed it would work. It's a 2-3 day treatment so if I don't see any improvement in that time frame I'm gonna try metro. I have decided to quarantine my little guy in the 10 gallon while I treat him, because it would be too much hassle to remove the carbon from my canister filter and re-prime/start it and remove my UV sterilizer, and I only have a limited amount of meds. Just added the first dose. Here's hoping he pulls through.
     
  12. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    I agree with jetajockey, I would research the use of Kanamycin against internal parasites as it is primarily a gram negative bacteria medication. Metro is primarily gram positive and has shown effective against internal flagellates, this is why it is used for treating hole in the head disease and internal parasitic infections. Best of luck, lets us know how he does.
     
  13. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    Yes Riviera, I was iffy myself, I even went back to him after reading the label and seeing that it's meant to treat bacterial/fungal problems, me thinking my fish has a parasite (cause EBJD's I have heard are more likely to have them). But the guy seemed so confident I couldn't not try it. I will definitely try the metro after though, if this doesn't work. I will keep you posted on his progress.
     
  14. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    I think the Kanamycin will do great treating any infection caused by the parasites, though, in my opinion, a parasitic treatment would still be needed to take care of the primary cause of infection.
     
  15. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    So do you think I should still treat with metro even after he gets better, as a precautionary measure?
     
  16. jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    With most fish I wouldn't, but with EBJDs and other notoriously sensitive fish, I would.
     
  17. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    I'm not sure if it's supposed to work this fast, but he has noticeably perked up since I put him in quarantine. Whereas in the big tank he was always hiding in a hole in the log and breathing rather heavily, now he is swimming around and exploring his tiny new home, his breathing has returned to normal, and he looks quite alert. I'm going to try feeding him soon to see if he will swallow his food rather than spit it out.
     
  18. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    Update: day 2 of treatment, he will get his second dose tomorrow. Still not eating, still has white/clear/stringy poop constantly. Otherwise acting normally.
     
  19. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

  20. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    How can I know what he might have? It seems like there are so many possibilities but the only thing I have to go on is the long stringy white poop (he has this constantly, it's always coming out of him despite not having eaten in days) and not eating. He's still not eating btw. I'm gonna try to tempt him with blood worms today.

    Also if I decide to go with the metro treatment (as this one doesn't seem to be working) is it safe to use them in tandem? Will metro still be effective for a fish that has not been eating? Can it get absorbed or does it have to be administered through medicated food? Cause if so I think I'm screwed, he won't even look at food any more.