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UV Sterilizers

Common Aquarium Microorganism UV Dosages

Target Microorganism
The size, biological make up and life cycle of a microorganism all play a critical part in successful germicidal disinfection. By way of comparison, there are approximately 65,000 known protozoa and only 45,000 bacteria of which all require their own specific UV-C dose. A microorganism's size plays a significant roll in the UV dose required to irradiate it. Protozoa are often many times larger than bacteria and therefore, require a much higher UV dose. The speed (flow rate) at which the waterborne microorganism travels through the UV housing (across the UV lamp field) establishes the UV dose (µWs/cm²) received (see chart below).

Chlorella vulgaris 22 mJ/cm2
Aeromonas salmonicida 3.6 mJ/cm2 (log-3)
Pseudomonas fluorescens (fin rot) 11 mJ/cm2 (log-3)
Listeria monocytogenes 16 mJ/cm2 (log-5)
Streptococcus sp. (seawater) 20 mJ/cm2
Bacillus subtilis (spores) 22 mJ/cm2 (log-3)
Vibrio anguillarum 30 mJ/cm2
Yersinia ruckeri 30 mJ/cm2
BKD (Bacterial Kidney Disease) 60 mJ/cm2 (estimate)
Flavobacterium psychrophilum
(Salmonid Bacterial Coldwater Disease)
126 mJ/cm2
Vibrio sp. (oyster) 155 mJ/cm2
Saprolegnia diclina (zoospores) 40 mJ/cm2 - 170 mJ/cm2
Sarcina lutea (Micrococcus luteus) 26 mJ/cm2 (log-3)
Ceratomyxa shasta 30 mJ/cm2 (log-3)
Perkinsus marinus (dermo disease) 30 mJ/cm2
Trichodina sp. 35 mJ/cm2 (log-3)
Myxobolus cerebralis (TAMs, Whirling Disease) 40 mJ/cm2
Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (freshwater white spot) 100 mJ/cm2
Amyloodinium ocellatum 105 mJ/cm2
Trichodina nigra 159 mJ/cm2
Cryptocaryon irritans (marine white spot) 280 mJ/cm2
Costia necatrix 318 mJ/cm2 (log-3)
KHV (koi herpesvirus) 4 mJ/cm2
ISA (Infectious Salmon Anemia) 8 mJ/cm2
CCV (Channel Catfish Virus) 20 mJ/cm2
IHNV (Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis/CHAB) 20 mJ/cm2
OMV (Oncorhynchus masou Virus) 20 mJ/cm2
IHNV (Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis/RTTO) 30 mJ/cm2
VHS (Viral Hemorrhagic septicemia) 32 mJ/cm2
CSV (Chum Salmon Virus) 100 mJ/cm2
AHNV (Atlantic Halibut Nodavirus) 105 mJ/cm2
IPNV (Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus) 246 mJ/cm2
Log-1 = 90% Log-2 = 99% Log-3 = 99.9% Log-4 = 99.99% Log-5 = 99.999%

Microorganism Life Cycle

Life cycle is another critical factor that requires consideration when applying UV sterilization. For example, the marine parasite Cryptocaryon (saltwater whitespot) is an excellent representation of how complex a microorganism's life cycle can be. Cryptocaryon has a four part life cycle. A warm water parasite, cryptocaryon can be lethal to many species of marine fish. Diagram A is very descriptive, showing the many characteristics of this microorganism. The aquaculture community has waged battles against cryptocaryon and have lost, specifically at the encysted (Tomont) stage, simply due to it's evasiveness by attaching itself to its substrate. Disease outbreaks still occur even with filtering the water column using extremely fast flow rates.

Cryptocaryon Life Cycle

Prerequisites of achieving successful UV disinfection

  • Identify the "Target Microorganism", consider its physical and life cycle characteristics
  • Determine its "Required" UV Dose
  • Determine the condition of the water to be treated (water temperature & UV transmissibility)
  • Contact your UV manufacturer, ask questions regarding their UV equipment's capacity compared
    to your specific needs
  • Select the UV Sterilizer model that best suits your application requirements
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