Best UV Sterilizers for Fish Tanks

This post may have affiliate links, which means we may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you).

The ocean naturally cleans itself but a fish tank never has the ability to naturally clean itself due to the lack of natural mechanisms. But having clean and fresh water in your fish tank is very important for your fish to stay alive. Without clean water, fish can’t breathe. So it is impossible to have a thriving aquarium in absence of clean water. Poor water quality leaves the fish vulnerable to many parasites and disease which may be deadly.

Usually, fish tank keepers chose an internal filter which utilizes a mechanical cleaning framework and active charcoal. Unfortunately, these can’t evacuate all microalgae and pathogens. This is why buying a UV Sterilizer is essential to have a clean aquarium. It is a great addition to mechanical filters in your aquarium.

What is a UV Sterilizer for Fish Tank?

It is a water filtration gadget which uses the UV light to eliminate the presence of germs and bacteria floating freely in the water. This is a great device to control the circulation of microorganisms and algae in the aquarium.

What do UV Sterilizers do?

Fishes when contract any disease put their owner in a lot of trouble because it is close to impossible to provide treatment to these small babies. In addition, infections spread at a faster rate within confined spaces, which is your fish tank. This is where the UV sterilizer comes into play. UV sterilizers help prevent the spread of infections by killing the microorganisms and parasites that carry disease. They are simply able to do so because UV is mutagenic to viruses and bacteria on certain wavelengths (particularly from 260nm-270mn). This means that the UV breaks the molecular bonds in the DNA of microorganisms and causes them to die.

Is it possible for UV Sterilizers to harm the Fish?

The answer is a big no! They are only used for the purpose of providing the fish with a clean environment to thrive in. In fact, the absence of UV light will show an under stimulated pigment whereas in the presence of UV light they tend to have more vivid colors. This happens because the UV light stimulates the pigment to move faster and reflect more light.

However, you may need to turn the UV Lights off in case off medication because the UV light will make the tank completely sterile and this will also kill medication. Another instance where you should consider turning them off is when you are cycling a new aquarium.  UV light will kill any free floating organisms exposed to it, it will also kill any beneficial bacteria in the water column that passes through your sterilizer.

Furthermore, it is pertinent for hobbyist to understand that a UV sterilizer is incapable of killing the beneficial bacteria because it is found in live rocks, bio filters and in the substrate of your aquarium. The UV sterilizer is only capable of killing the free floating bacteria.

In all reality, you should be far more worried about accidentally cooking your fish with a bad heater, which is why we always recommend installing a temperature controller in every tank. 

What are the benefits of using a UV Sterilizer in your Fish Tank?

The benefits are very straight forward and concise. The single most important reason being the fact that it will kill harmful free floating bacteria. Microorganisms tend to harm your fish and stress them potentially killing them. Moreover, it will save the owner from wasting a lot of time in the seasonal bloom of algae. The tank would be already prepped to fight off the incoming dangers.

It will keep the water clean and transparent maintaining the beauty of your fish tank. It can remove the cloudy condition that may persist in the aquarium at times making it look as fresh as possible.

Having said that, it must be understood that the UV Light does create a sterile environment in the aquarium but it does not target the parasites that may already be attached to your fish. Regular water changes, good filtration systems, and regular fish tank cleanings are still recommended.

Now let’s move on to discussing some of the most suitable UV Sterilizers for your fish tanks. The following suggestions aim to make your choice easier in buying the right product for your tank!

Best UV Sterilizer for Fish Tanks

SunnSun JUP-01 UV Sterilizer Submersible Filter Pump

This is perfect for tanks up to 75 Gallons. It is suitable for use in both fresh water and salt water tanks thus making this a very versatile option for users. It is a built-in water pump and it does not even need any additional hardware. It can be mounted easily with the use of suction cups either vertically or horizontally. The only drawback is that it does not last too long.

AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine Internal UV Sterilizer

This machine provides the most ideal way to keep your tank healthy. It is exceptionally powerful in clearing algae, killing off microscopic organisms and destructive parasites present in the water. It is a completely submersible UV sterilizer for aquariums with a power head in a single unit. This product is very easy to install for a beginner and does not require any extra hardware.

Coralife Turbo-Twist UV Sterilizer

An intense 18-watt ultraviolet light deals with the dangerous free floating microorganisms very effectively. It is equipped with indicator light that indicates when the unit is operating and comes with mounting brackets meant for in-line or hang on usage. This is a very well equipped product. It also provides easy maintenance.

AquaTop In-Line UV Sterilizer

This product is very easy on the pocket and easy to use too. It comes in a variety of sizes fit to every aquariums use. This sterilizer can be connected to a water pump, powerhead or the return pipe of the canister filter and is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater setups.

AquaTop Canister Filter with UV

The most ideal choice if you are looking for an external filter with an inbuilt UV sterilizer, this filter is available in three different sizes.  The package include filter media to get you started. Moreover, it is very simple to setup and is quiet when running.