Best UV Sterilizer Featured Image

Top 10 Best UV Sterilizers for Aquariums in 2020 (Buyer’s Guide)

Maintaining good water quality in your tank is vital for keeping your fish as healthy as possible. If not swiftly dealt with, bacteria, algae, and parasites can take over your aquarium and cause disruption.

That’s where a UV sterilizer comes in. A UV sterilizer exposes pathogens and organisms to high-intensity ultraviolet light. This effectively destroys them before they have a chance to linger in your aquarium water.

However, in order to be efficient, UV sterilizers need to have a high enough dwell time for the capacity of your tank.

To help you figure out the best UV sterilizer for your tank setup and size, I’ve reviewed an array of different units. And if you’re still not sure about whether a UV sterilizer is for you, I’ve also provided the basics on what you need to know about them.

After considering all the options our top picks were…

Review Summary

Best All-Rounder

AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine Internal UV Sterilizer With Power Head

A fantastic option for aquariums up to 120 gallons. The sterilizer uses a patented sealed UV bulb which allows for a high dwell time to improve efficiency of the device.

AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine Internal UV Sterilizer With Power Head

The Green Killing Machine aquarium UV sterilizer is a solid choice for fish tanks up to 120 gallons as it’s 24 watts and has a pump rating of 118 GPH.

It effectively removes algae, bacteria, and other nasties from your tank water due to its powerful UV bulb. It also has an LED control box to let you know when the UV bulb needs changing, which is a nice touch!

Best on a Budget

Galapara 7W UV Light Sterilizer Lamp For Aquarium

A decent choice for your fish tank as it’s both cheap and effective. The unit is energy-efficient and quickly eradicates algae, bacteria, and other pathogens from your aquarium water.

Galapara 7W UV Light Sterilizer Lamp For Aquarium

This UV sterilizer is a solid choice for aquarists who need an affordable but good-quality unit.

Galapara’s UV sterilizer is worth taking a closer look at as it’s both effective and inexpensive. The unit is easy to install, energy-efficient, and has an explosion-proof quartz glass tube. 

Editor’s Choice

Aqua Ultraviolet 25-Watt UV Sterilizer For Aquarium

It removes algae, bacteria, and other pathogens that could harm your fish within 3 to 5 days, sometimes even overnight. The design maximizes the water flow rate of the unit to improve performance, while also being visually pleasing.

Aqua Ultraviolet 25-Watt UV Sterilizer For Aquarium

My personal favorite UV sterilizer for an aquarium. It’s a little more costly than the other products, but is extremely high quality. 

This UV sterilizer from Aqua Ultraviolet is one of the best sterilizers available as it’s both powerful and easy to maintain. The unit gets to work quickly and can effectively clean your water within a few days, sometimes overnight! It also has a long-lasting UV bulb to prevent you from needing to replace it frequently.

What is a UV Sterilizer and How Does it Work?

A UV sterilizer is a filtration unit that helps keep your tank water sparkling clean. It uses a germicidal fluorescent lamp that rids your aquarium of algae, bacteria, and parasites.

A UV sterilizer is a filtration unit that helps keep your tank water sparkling clean…

The way in which these devices work is fairly impressive. Water is deposited to the unit through a pump which is then passed through a quartz chamber. Here, UV light damages the DNA of algae, bacteria, and parasites to stop them from growing. As a result, microorganisms are destroyed before they have a chance to wreak havoc in your aquarium. 

NOTE

However, UV sterilizers are only effective against free-floating organisms. If parasites, bacteria, or algae are already present in your aquarium, an UV sterilizer won’t work. 

While UV sterilizers are helpful in any type of fish tank, they are particularly useful in marine setups and ponds.

Types of UV Sterilizers

Before you use an UV sterilizer in your tank, it’s important to know the different types you’ll come across to help you find the right fit for your fish tank.

Hang-On UV Sterilizers

A hang-on UV sterilizer is positioned on the back of your aquarium and is normally powered by a powerhead. They’re a good option for small aquariums as they’re relatively simple to maintain and install. 

In-Line UV Sterilizers

In-line sterilizers are installed in your main filtration system so they can sterilize your filtered tank water before it’s deposited back into your aquarium. They’re ideal for large fish tanks as they normally use high-wattage bulbs. 

UV Clarifiers

UV clarifiers are incapable of proper sterilization as they cannot destroy bacteria or parasites, only algae. Additionally, they’re only effective against single-celled, floating algae. As the main purpose of an UV clarifier is to remove algae blooms, they are popularly used in outdoor ponds.

Yellow Fish Swimming Above Aquarium Substrate
Yellow Fish Swimming Above Aquarium Substrate

UV Sterilizer Levels

Not all sterilizers can achieve the same levels of sterilization. It’s important to understand the sterilization levels a device can achieve to ensure you choose the best UV sterilizer for your tank. 

It’s important to understand the sterilization levels a device can achieve to ensure you choose the best UV sterilizer for your tank…

These levels are clarification (green water/algae clarification), sterilization (bacterial, flagellates, and light parasite sterilization), and heavy sterilization (heavy parasite sterilization).

The best devices for your tank are ones capable of heavy sterilization, but these units can be a little pricey. Standard devices can do both clarification and light sterilization, while budget-friendly devices typically only offer clarification.

UV Sterilizer Dwell Time and Its Importance

The dwell time of an UV sterilizer is the amount of time spent in the quartz chamber of the unit. The width and length of the chamber affects the unit’s dwell time, as longer and wider chambers have a higher dwell time.

By reducing the flow to an UV sterilizer, you can also increase the dwell time. However, if the device isn’t long or wide enough, then you will reach a limit to the amount of sterilization your tank water can receive. 

NOTE

The dwell time of an UV sterilizer is important as it means pathogens or organisms are exposed to more UV light, which increases the amount of damage that is done to them.

What is Redox and How Does It Relate to UV Sterilization?

Redox refers to Oxidation Reduction Potential or ORP. It’s essentially the degree of water purity in your tank water. A high-quality UV sterilizer will improve your redox potential.

It’s essentially the degree of water purity in your tank water…

It sounds quite complex, but a simple test to understand it a little better is to take a (8 oz) glass of water, add potassium permanganate to change the color of the water to a light red. Next, slowly add drops of aquarium water conditioner to see the red color neutralize to a clear brown color. 

This test shows the reduction of an oxidizer (the potassium permanganate in this scenario) by a reducer. Sodium thiosulfate is the reducer, which is an ingredient found in most water conditioners.

You can find out more information on redox potential in this helpful video:

Flow Rate and Turnover Rate

Your UV sterilizer needs to have an appropriate flow rate to efficiently rid your aquarium of algae, bacteria, and parasites. The flow rate of your device is typically measured in gallons per hour (GPH) or liters per hour (LPH).

A higher flow is better for removing algae and specific types of bacteria, while a slower flow rate is better for destroying parasites. Your UV sterilizer should have a turnover rate of 2 every 24 hours for the best results.

How to Install a UV Sterilizer

A UV sterilizer can seem a little confusing to install, but it shouldn’t take too long to get it up and running. If you already own a canister filter, then things will be a little easier as UV sterilizers have a similar setup. 

TIP

Before adding the unit to your tank, it’s a good idea to disassemble it first to get an idea of where each component goes. This will also make it easier for when you need to clean the device later.

Place your UV sterilizer away from decor and other equipment in your tank to make sure the water inlet isn’t at risk of becoming blocked. The crystal sleeve on the unit can be delicate, so take care during installation.

If you have an in-line UV sterilizer, position it last in the filtration line. This allows your tank water to go through your filter first before it reaches your sterilizer. If you own a hang-on UV sterilizer, then place it on the back of your aquarium. It’s a good idea to read through the manufacturer’s instructions to understand your specific unit’s setup. 

TIP

Once your UV sterilizer is installed, check it thoroughly to make sure it’s working correctly. The water should be sucked in and pumped out smoothly.

Fish Tanks inside a Pet Store
Fish Tanks inside a Pet Store

How Long Should I Run My UV Sterilizer Each Day?

The amount of time you should run an aquarium UV sterilizer each day is open to interpretation, but most aquarists use one either 24/7 or for a few hours each day. This allows the unit to maintain efficiency and keep your water sterile at all times.

However, some fishkeepers prefer to only run a sterilizer when there is an obvious issue with their tank water, such as during an algae bloom. In these cases, the sterilizer is only used until the problem disappears.

TIP

It’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific unit as some devices might be unsuitable for long-term or continuous use. 

How Many Watts Does My UV Sterilizer Need?

UV sterilizers are available in a lot of different wattages, so it can be a bit confusing when it comes to figuring out what size you need for your tank.

As a rule, it’s generally recommended to use 10 watts per 75 gallons of water for a saltwater aquarium and 10 watts for every 150 gallons for freshwater setups. In an outdoor pond, this is increased to just 10 watts per 1000 gallons as the sun naturally produces UV rays.

Do Aquarium UV Sterilizers Require Maintenance?

Like all aquarium equipment, UV sterilizers require maintenance to maintain their effectiveness. You’ll need to keep the pump for the unit clean, replace the UV bulb, and make sure the crystal sleeve is free of any gunk or debris. The frequency of maintenance depends on your tank setup, inhabitants, cleaning ritual, and the material of the sleeve. 

TIP

The crystal sleeve can be easily scratched, so make sure you’re extra careful when cleaning it. If the sleeve has too many scratches on it, then it’ll need to be replaced.

How Often Should I Change the UV Bulb?

To ensure your sterilizer continues to work efficiently, you need to change the UV bulb regularly. I’d recommend changing the UV bulb on your sterilizer once every 6 to 12 months. Even if your bulb is still working after this time, its ultraviolet output will have decreased.

Best UV Sterilizer Reviews

Best All-Rounder

AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine Internal UV Sterilizer With Power Head

A fantastic option for aquariums up to 120 gallons. The sterilizer uses a patented sealed UV bulb which allows for a high dwell time to improve efficiency of the device.

AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine Internal UV Sterilizer With Power Head

AA Aquarium’s Green Killing Machine UV sterilizer is a fantastic option for aquariums up to 120 gallons. The unit is 24 watts and its pump is rated at 118 gallons per hour (GPH), so it shouldn’t have any issue working with large tanks. 

designed to go inside your tank, it makes it easy to conceal and hide…

As this unit is designed to go inside your tank, it makes it easy to conceal and hide. It also means that there’s less chance of the unit leaking as no components are stored outside of your tank.

Easy Installation

Installing the device is relatively straightforward and shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes. No tools are required for setup and you get assembly instructions with the unit to help you figure out where everything needs to go.

uses a patented sealed UV bulb which allows for a high dwell time to improve efficiency…

The sterilizer uses a patented sealed UV bulb which allows for a high dwell time to improve efficiency of the device. In addition to this, it makes changing the bulbs a lot simpler. As UV rays can cause damage to plastic housings, it’s great that the bulb is sealed so you don’t need to touch the glass.

Led Control Box

My favorite feature about the Green Killing Machine UV sterilizer is its LED control box that informs you when the bulb needs replacing. This is useful as it can be easy to forget when to replace the UV Bulb for your sterilizer.

However, there are a few downsides of this UV sterilizer by AA Aquariums. Firstly, the instructions for the unit are a little unclear. Secondly, the LED control box can be a bit unreliable or stop working altogether. And lastly, the device can have durability problems, such as components not fitting together very well.

Despite this, I still think the UV sterilizer is a great option for your tank as the positives greatly outweigh the drawbacks.

Specs

  • Size: 16” x 10” x 14”
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • Wattage: 24 W
  • Includes Pump: Yes

Pros

  • Patented sealed bulb for safety
  • Subtle and compact design
  • LED control box to make replacing bulbs simple
  • Fairly simple to set up

Cons

  • Assembly instructions are a little unclear
  • LED control box can stop working
  • Possible durability issues

Best on a Budget

Galapara 7W UV Light Sterilizer Lamp For Aquarium

A decent choice for your fish tank as it’s both cheap and effective. The unit is energy-efficient and quickly eradicates algae, bacteria, and other pathogens from your aquarium water.

Galapara 7W UV Light Sterilizer Lamp For Aquarium

Galapara’s 7-watt UV sterilizer is a decent choice for your fish tank as it’s both cheap and effective. The unit is energy-efficient and quickly eradicates algae, bacteria, and other pathogens from your aquarium water.

a decent choice for your fish tank as it’s both cheap and effective…

The unit features an explosion-proof quartz glass tube for high transmission of UV rays to make sure your tank water is as sterile as possible. It also has an independent power switch to make it safer to use.

Easy to Install

This aquarium UV sterilizer is easy to install and includes powerful suction cups to ensure it is easy to position and stay in place.

However, the device is not intended for long-term use and should not be placed directly in your fish tank. The unit works best inside your filter and should only be turned on for a couple of hours a few times each week.

Specs

  • Size: 9.1” x 2.95” x 1.57”
  • Weight: 6.2 oz
  • Wattage: 7 W
  • Includes Pump: N/A

Pros

  • Energy-efficient UV light bulb
  • Explosion-proof and effective
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Can’t be placed directly in your fish tank
  • Can’t be used long-term

Editor’s Choice

Aqua Ultraviolet 25-Watt UV Sterilizer For Aquarium

It removes algae, bacteria, and other pathogens that could harm your fish within 3 to 5 days, sometimes even overnight. The design maximizes the water flow rate of the unit to improve performance, while also being visually pleasing.

Aqua Ultraviolet 25-Watt UV Sterilizer For Aquarium

The Aqua Ultraviolet UV sterilizer is a great investment for your fish tank. It removes algae, bacteria, and other pathogens that could harm your fish within 3 to 5 days, sometimes even overnight!

The design maximizes the water flow rate of the unit to improve performance…

The design maximizes the water flow rate of the unit to improve performance, while also being visually pleasing. It has an easy-to-release twist cap to make maintenance for the quartz sleeve quick and simple.

In general, the UV sterilizer is easy to install to ensure you don’t lose countless hours assembling or cleaning it. The instructions included with the unit are also clear and detailed to make this process stress-free.

Indoor and Outdoor Use

You can use this UV sterilizer outside or inside, so it’s suitable for both ponds and indoor aquariums. 

The bulb has a lifespan of up to 14 months…

My favorite aspect of the unit is its UV light bulb, which is both powerful and long-lasting. The bulb has a lifespan of up to 14 months, so it doesn’t need to be replaced as often as some other UV lamps. 

The only issue with this aquarium UV sterilizer is its quartz sleeve, which can break or leak after around a year of use.

Specs

  • Size: 20” x 3.8” x 6”
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Wattage: 24 W
  • Includes Pump: No

Pros

  • Clear assembly instructions
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Long-lasting UV bulb
  • Well-designed

Cons

  • Quartz sleeve can leak or break prematurely

Coralife Turbo-Twist 3X UV Sterilizer

Works well and keeps your aquarium water free of bacteria, algae, and other pathogens. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Coralife Turbo-Twist 3X UV Sterilizer

has a double-wall construction to improve the longevity of the device…

This UV sterilizer from Coralife has a wattage of 9W, making it suitable for aquariums up to 125 gallons. It has a double-wall construction to improve the longevity of the device, as well as a twist-flow design to enhance efficiency.

Indicator Light

Coralife’s UV sterilizer features an indicator light that lets you know when the unit is actively working. It also includes mounting brackets to make installation easy.

For the most part, the device works well and keeps your aquarium water free of bacteria, algae, and other pathogens. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. 

However, the device can have a couple of durability problems. The mounting brackets can break easily, while the device itself can suffer from a short lifespan. 

Specs

  • Size: 13” x 9.8” x 4”
  • Weight: 4.15 lbs
  • Wattage: 9 W
  • Includes Pump: No

Pros

  • Twist design provides your tank water with ample UV exposure
  • Indicator light to notify you when device is working
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Can have durability issues like a short lifespan

Emperor Aquatics Smart 25 Watt UV Sterilizer

If you can afford to spend a bit extra on an UV sterilizer for your aquarium, then this one from Emperor Aquatics is worth considering.

Emperor Aquatics Smart 25 Watt UV Sterilizer

If you can afford to spend a bit extra on an UV sterilizer for your aquarium, then this one from Emperor Aquatics is worth considering. It has a wattage of 25 W and is best suited for tanks up to 125 gallons or ponds up to 2,360 gallons. 

watertight and corrosion resistant, so it’s a great choice for outdoor use…

The design of the unit is watertight and corrosion resistant, so it’s a great choice for outdoor use. To increase the durability and longevity of the device, it’s constructed from thick and UV resistant plastic. The UV bulb is also rated for up to 9,000 hours, which means it doesn’t need to be replaced for quite some time. 

Assembly-wise, the UV sterilizer shouldn’t be too difficult to put together or maintain, which is a plus.

Size

My only gripe with the device is its bulkiness. The UV sterilizer is fairly hefty in weight, so it’s not the most subtle or lightweight. However, other than appearance, the unit itself is well-designed and effective.

Specs

  • Weight: 18 lbs
  • Wattage: 25 W
  • Includes Pump: No

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Watertight and corrosion resistant
  • Relatively simple to install

Cons

  • Bulky design

SunSun JUP-23 13W UV Sterilizer

The device comes with everything you need to get crystal clear and healthy water for your fish. designed to provide easy but effective UV light control thanks to its built-in pump.

SunSun JUP-23 13W UV Sterilizer

If you’re looking for a filter that has an UV sterilizer built into it, then this one from Fibre shop is a solid pick. The pump power of the unit is 8 watts and has a maximum water flow rate of 211 gallons per hour. This makes it suitable for tanks up to 150 gallons. 

The UV light swiftly removes bacteria, algae, and other free-floating microorganisms from your tank water to keep your fish as healthy as possible.

designed to provide easy but effective UV light control thanks to its built-in pump…

The unit is designed to provide easy but effective UV light control thanks to its built-in pump. For this reason, installation is simple as you don’t need any additional tubing or a circulation pump. The device comes with everything you need to get crystal clear and healthy water for your fish.

One major downside of this UV sterilizer is its durability, which can affect its performance or causes it to break. The unit is also not the best UV sterilizer for fish with heavy bioloads, such as Koi.

Specs

  • Size: 3.25” x 3” x 12”
  • Wattage: 13 W
  • Includes Pump: Yes

Pros

  • Offers filtration as well as UV sterilization
  • Easy to install
  • Works effectively

Cons

  • Possible durability issues
  • Might not be the best UV sterilizer for fish with heavy bioloads

Aqua Ultraviolet 8W Advantage UV Hanger Model

Slim and lightweight to provide maximum UV effectiveness. The unit rapidly clears your tank water to keep it free from bacteria and other pathogens.

Aqua Ultraviolet 8W Advantage UV Hanger Model

Another good UV sterilizer from Aqua Ultraviolet is their Advantage series model. The design is slim and lightweight to provide maximum UV effectiveness.

slim and lightweight to provide maximum UV effectiveness…

The unit rapidly clears your tank water to keep it free from bacteria and other pathogens. The sterilizer normally only takes 3 to 5 days for noticeable results, but it can sometimes take just 24 hours. 

Anti-Leak Feature

The return spout for the device goes on the back of your fish tank or filter box to help prevent leaks or connection issues, which is handy. It also has a 0.5” barb fitting to allow for easy connection.

Both of these features make the sterilizer very easy to set up and maintain. In addition to this, the assembly instructions included with the unit are clear and straightforward to make things even simpler. 

Long Lasting UV Bulb

My favorite aspects of this sterilizer are its clear quartz cap and long-lasting UV light bulb. The former makes it easy to spot when the sterilizer is turned on as it glows. The bulb is very durable and can last up to 14 months, so it doesn’t need to be changed very often.

Unfortunately, the UV sterilizer can break prematurely or stop working altogether. The unit also needs a fairly powerful pump in order to work efficiently, so it might struggle with a pump that doesn’t have a high enough rating or water flow rate.

Specs

  • Size: 11” x 13” x 0.82”
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Wattage: 8 W
  • Includes Pump: No

Pros

  • Slim and lightweight design
  • Easy to install
  • Quickly sterilizes your tank water

Cons

  • Can have durability problems
  • Needs a powerful pump to work effectively

SunSun JUP-02 5W Aquarium UV Sterilizer

The device has a wattage of 5 W and has a built-in pump with a water flow rating of 119 gallons per hour. This makes it ideal for tanks up to 40 gallons.

SunSun JUP-02 5W Aquarium UV Sterilizer

SunSun’s submersible UV sterilizers are another good pick for your aquarium. The unit removes and controls the formation of algae, bacteria, and other free-floating microorganisms from your tank water.

ideal for tanks up to 40 gallons…

The device has a wattage of 5 W and has a built-in pump with a water flow rating of 119 gallons per hour. This makes it ideal for tanks up to 40 gallons.

Easy to Install

Installation is relatively straightforward as you don’t need any additional tubing or a circulation pump. Simply place it directly into your tank water or sump and you’re ready to go! In addition to this, the device comes with mounting brackets and suction cups to make assembly even simpler.

one of the best UV sterilizers to try for a garden pond…

You get a large mechanical pre-filter sponge included with the sterilizer, which catches debris to optimize UV exposure. It’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use, so it’s definitely one of the best UV sterilizers to try for a garden pond.

The main problem with this UV sterilizer is its short lifespan. The device is prone to breaking fairly quickly or stops working altogether. Generally the sterilizer isn’t too challenging to put together, but there are no instructions included with it.

Specs

  • Size: 10” x 3” x 2.75”
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs
  • Wattage: 5 W
  • Includes Pump: Yes

Pros

  • Ideal for garden ponds
  • Fairly simple to install
  • Comes with a pump

Cons

  • Can have a short lifespan
  • Doesn’t come with assembly instructions

AquaTop In-Line UV Sterilizer For Aquarium Water 10W

AquaTop’s UV sterilizer is very easy to install and successfully keeps your aquarium water free of any pathogens.

AquaTop In-Line UV Sterilizer For Aquarium Water 10W

This UV sterilizer from AquaTop can be installed in-line or as a hang-on unit, so it’s incredibly versatile. You can simply connect it to your water pump, power head, or on the return line of your canister filter.

can be installed in-line or as a hang-on unit, so it’s incredibly versatile…

The device is 10 watts and has a maximum water flow rate of 211 GPH. It’s suitable for both freshwater and saltwater applications.

AquaTop’s UV sterilizer is very easy to install and successfully keeps your aquarium water free of any pathogens. I really like the design of the device as it’s attractive, refined, and compact. The latter makes it simple to conceal and fit inside small tanks. 

Easy to Install

Unfortunately, the sterilizer does have a few issues. The bulbs can burn out fairly quickly and the unit itself can be prone to performance issues and leaking.

Specs

  • Size: 12.8” x 2” x 2”
  • Weight: 1.75 lbs
  • Wattage: 10 W
  • Includes Pump: No

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Easy to install
  • Can be used in-line or as a hang-on unit

Cons

  • Can leak or suffer from performance issues
  • Bulb can have a short lifespan

rOXIN 7W Submersible UV Sterilizer For Aquarium

a decent option for your fish tank as it effectively removes algae and bacteria. It’s best used in a sump or filter, but it can be used in a divided aquarium.

rOXIN 7W Submersible UV Sterilizer For Aquarium

best used in a sump or filter, but it can be used in a divided aquarium…

This 7-watt UV sterilizer is a decent option for your fish tank as it effectively removes algae and bacteria. It’s best used in a sump or filter, but it can be used in a divided aquarium. This means putting a divider in your tank and placing the sterilizer in one half.

NOTE

Your fish should not be exposed directly to the UV light from the unit as it is extremely powerful and can potentially harm them. It should only be used for a few hours every 3 to 4 days. To be on the safe side, I’d recommend removing your fish from your tank while using this UV sterilizer and placing them into another aquarium or container.

The unit comes in with simple instructions that are easy to understand, which makes setup relatively straightforward. For the most part, the device effectively removes algae and bacterial blooms, but it’s not clear whether it’s as effective against parasites.

Unfortunately, this UV sterilizer does have a couple of drawbacks. The unit is not as high quality as some other sterilizers, which means it can burn out quite quickly. In addition to this, the device is not intended for long-term use and requires some setup before application. 

Specs

  • Size: 11” x 13” x 0.82”
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Wattage: 7 W
  • Includes Pump: N/A

Pros

  • Simple to set up
  • Very powerful
  • Effectively removes algae and bacteria

Cons

  • Can have durability issues
  • Not intended for long-term use

Conclusion

After considering all the options our top picks were…

Best All-Rounder

After looking at a range of different products, I think the best UV sterilizer to use in your fish tank is the AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine Internal UV Sterilizer. It’s 24 watts and includes a pump that is rated 118 gallons per hour. 

The device is easy and quick to install, so it shouldn’t take too long to get it up and running. It has a patented seal UV light bulb that makes maintenance simple and improves the dwell time of the unit.

Led Control Box

I really like that the UV sterilizer has a LED control box to notify you when the bulb needs changing. This is a really handy feature as it’s easy to forget to change the bulb in an UV sterilizer.

The only issues with the sterilizer are its durability and unclear instructions. The LED control box can be a bit unreliable and the components for the device don’t always fit together too well.

Other Great Options

If the Green Killing Machine UV device doesn’t seem like the best UV sterilizer for you, then I also recommend the Galapara 7W UV Light Sterilizer Lamp For Aquarium and Aqua Ultraviolet 25-Watt UV Sterilizer For Aquarium.

Best on a Budget

The former is a good choice if you’re on a budget as it’s inexpensive. Although you might think the unit is subpar due to its price, this isn’t the case. The aquarium UV sterilizer is effective at getting rid of bacteria, algae, and other pathogens in your fish tank water. 

The main downside of the device is that it isn’t intended for long-term use and cannot be placed directly in your aquarium. It works best when placed inside your filter box and activated for a couple of hours a few times each week.

Editor’s Choice

In contrast, the Aqua Ultraviolet 25-watt aquarium UV sterilizer is a little pricey but extremely efficient. It can rapidly clean your water in 3 to 5 days, and sometimes within just one day!

The design maximizes the water flow rate of the unit to improve its effectiveness. It’s also easy to install and claim due to its easy-to-release twist cap and clear assembly instructions.

Durability

The best feature of the device is its long-lasting bulb, which has a lifespan of up to 14 months. Most UV bulbs have a relatively short lifespan and need to be replaced frequently, so it’s great that Aqua Ultraviolet’s sterilizer doesn’t share this issue.

Despite its highlights, the device does have one major downfall as its quartz sleeve is prone to breaking or leaking prematurely. While frustrating, I don’t think it should put you off considering using the sterilizer in your fish tank as it has a lot of positives.

Share

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on print

Share

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print