Fish Ich and UV Sterilization
Saltwater Ich (Crytocaryon Irritans), also known as Marine White Spot and Freshwater Ich (Ichthyophthirius Multifiliis)
are two of the toughest microorganisms that a hobbyist will encounter in the home aquarium. It is one of the most difficult parasites (protozoa) to eliminate. Ich can wreak havoc on an aquarium and its inhabitants. It can add further stress to a fish and lead to another bacterial infection.
SMART UVs by Emperor Aquatics can help stop the spread of Ich and eliminate bacteria and protozoa that can cause secondary infections often seen in fish that are suffering from Ich. When in the "free-swimming" stage, Ich can be circulated through the UV and eliminated.
SMART UVs are a safe and proven method for eliminating these harmful microorganisms. UV works by exposing the microorganisms to ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light alters their DNA, rendering them incapable of reproducing.
and medicinal treatments for Ich, UV leaves no residual in the water making it the safest method to prevent Ich. With UV Sterilization, there is no risk of overdosing or exposing sensitive livestock and corals to copper and other dangerous chemical treatments.
All microorganisms are not the same. They each require a different exposure time of UV light (UV Dose). The size, biological makeup, and life cycle of each microorganism are critical factors in determining the required UV Dose. For example, Bacteria are often many times smaller than protozoa and therefore require less UV dose (shorter exposure time and/or less UV light intensity). Fin rot is a common bacteria and is very small. It requires a UV dose of 11,000 µws/cm2 (Microwatt Seconds per Square Centimeters – a unit of measurement). Marine Ich, on the other hand, is one of the largest protozoa and will require a higher UV dose than most microorganisms you will encounter in the home aquarium. It requires 180,000 µws/cm2.
Properly sizing a UV Sterilizer system for Ich elimination in your Aquarium
Properly sizing a UV system is critically important. There are 3 steps to properly sizing a UV:
- Identify the microorganism you are trying to eliminate and its required UV dose. In this case we
are targeting Saltwater Ich. (180,000 microwatts).
- Identify your total water volume. (Display Tank, Filtration/sump, refugiums, and frag tanks).
The idea is to turn your TOTAL volume of water at least once an hour.
(I.E. if you have 300 gallons of total water volume, your flowrate through the UV should be 300GPH).
- Match the flow rate from step 2 with a SMART UV based on its flow rate for protozoa (180,000).
Select the unit with the closest “suggested” GPH to your GPH without going lower; a higher rated
model will not hurt (overdose) your system.
(I.E. 300 gallons of water = 300GPH. The correct SMART UV would be the 80 Watt Smart HO
[High-Output] UV Sterilizer - model #025080 with a suggested protozoa flow rate of 450GPH.)
Now you will have a properly sized, cost-effective UV solution to your Ich problem.
A properly sized SMART UV can also:
- Help keep your water crystal clear.
- Eliminate other free-floating microorganisms with smaller uv dose requirements
such as viral pathogens and nuisance algae.
- Help your fish reach their growth potential.
- Help your fish achieve their optimal color vibrancy.
- Help with the efficiency of fish quarantines.
- Offer peace of mind!
Click here to size, purchase, or find more information on our SMART UV Sterilizers.