Tag Archives: UV Sterilization


Redox In Aquariums

From the full article:
THE REDOX POTENTIAL IN AQUARIUMS (& PONDS); How Redox Balance Relates to Good Aquatic Health

(With Permission from Carl Strohmeyer)

Revised 1/5/19

Aquatic Redox Overview

Redox Basics, reduction, oxidation Unfortunately this aquarium/pond parameter is Not a well known process among many aquarists, the implications of Redox for a healthy aquarium are quite far reaching, and thus important for any aquarist considering moving from basic aquarium (or pond) keeping to advanced to understand.
Aquarium keeping professionals used to believe that a higher oxidizing Redox was best, but much research as well as observations and tests have shown this to simply not be true, rather a balanced Redox.
Unfortunately many aquarium keepers still subscribe to this view, especially those who only get their information from aquarium keeping forums, even though there is so much evidence to the contrary, especially in human medical research which has shown higher Redox in sick patients than in healthy patients (especially with cancer).

Redox, also known as Redox Potential, oxidation potential, & ORP (oxidation reduction potential) describes the ability for the loss of an electron by a molecule, atom or ion to the gain of an electron by another molecule, atom or ion. Without this ability to gain electrons many minerals cannot be absorbed and properly assimilated. So it is very important to keep a healthy Redox Balance via proper dissolved oxygen levels, UV Sterilization, and proper positively charged mineral levels (such as Calcium and Magnesium).
(Please click on the picture above/right to enlarge for a better view)

These three factors have the most affect in Redox Balance Maintenance in Aquariums and ALL are important

  • Water Changes; this is the most obvious and simple, however this is often not sufficient and sometimes the new water used does not have adequate mineral ions (especially if RO water is used even in part), so supplementing with mineral replenishers (such as SeaChem Replenish, Wonder Shells, Instant Amazon, etc.) even during water changes may be necessary.

    Product Sources:
    *SeaChem Replenish Trace Mineral Ion Supplement
    *Wonder Shell; Aquarium Mineral Ion Replacement Block

  • Addition of positive mineral ions in between water changes, especially during times of stress or high bio loads can increase the Redox Reduction to counter oxidative affects on fish.
  • Use of a true UV Sterilizer which impacts Redox Balance in a different way than water changes or additional minerals; the UVC irradiation destroys destructive oxidizers in the water column which can otherwise add oxidative stress to fish. This is done by changing the magnetism of the water, aka magnetically charged water.
    It is worthy of note that with the influx of cheap UV clarifiers masquerading as true high dwell time level one UV Sterilizers sold via Amazon, eBay, AquaTop, etc; that these will not help with this aspect of Redox maintenance.

    This unfortunately is an area again where some reef keeping forums that are still in the dark ages have not caught up to human studies in Redox and rH.
    A High Dwell Time UV Sterilizer works similar to the ozone layer in our upper atmosphere (except in reverse); although the UVC emitted by the sterilizer is itself an oxidizer, the interaction of the UVC inside the unit with oxidizers such as ozone is such that the UV Sterilizer REDUCES these oxidizers and free radicals as well as potentially magnetically charges the water.
    This was confirmed by Dr. Mamoon Kundi in an email he sent to the author of another Redox article I quote from often in this article as per his work using UVC to balance Redox in human studies, and thus improving immune function.

    Reference: Aquarium Redox; Background


*Oxidation describes the loss of an electron by a molecule, atom or ion
Example: Redox processes such as the oxidation of carbon to yield carbon dioxide.

*Reduction describes the gain of an electron by a molecule, atom or ion.
Example: The reduction of carbon by hydrogen to yield methane (CH4).

Another example: Calcium or Magnesium which initially are composed of positively charged atoms immersed in a sea of movable electrons may have given up all possible electrons to cells under oxidation. It is for this reason, then, that calcium and magnesium supplies must be constantly renewed; without this “fresh” calcium (positively charges calcium and other mineral ions), etc. your Redox balance will suffer.

Think of it this way; a storage battery “works” only when a positive and a negative electrode are present to maintain an electrical current. When the positive plates become exhausted, the battery is no longer any good (even though the metal plates and other “ingredients” for the battery are still present; so it is that your GH or Calcium Test may show adequate minerals, but these minerals have been oxidized an thus rendering the test inaccurate).

The above are over simplifications of the process, so please read on as I will go into further depth as the article progresses, especially as Redox relates to aquatic health.

Oxidized Water:
Oxidized water with its Redox potential of +700 to +800 mV is an oxidizing agent that can withdraw electrons from bacteria and kill them. The oxidized water can be used to clean hands, sterilize utensils, and treat minor wounds.

Here are a few oxidizers: ozone (O3; Oxidation potential= +2.1), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2; Oxidation potential= +1.82), chlorine (Cl2) and chloramines (NH2Cl).
Further Reference: Aquarium Medications, Part 3, Chemical Treatments, Hydrogen Peroxide

Reduced Water:
Reduced Ionized with a Redox Potential of -250 to -350 mV readily donates its electrons to unusual oxygen radicals and blocks the interaction of the active oxygen with normal molecules. Substances which have the ability to counteract active oxygen by supplying electrons are called scavengers.
Reduced water, therefore, can be called scavenging water. Reduced water inhibits excessive fermentation by reducing indirectly metabolites.

Here are a few reducers, in other words, elements or processes that transfer electrons to another substance;
Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, and the process of Photosynthesis which involves both oxidation and reducing.

Elements such as most metals, as well as essential elements for aquatic life; Calcium and Magnesium are major reducers however because of this they are also most easily depleted. It is noteworthy that elements with the highest reducing or oxidation potential are also the most easily depleted in their oxidation or reducing properties.
Reference: Aquarium Chemistry, Calcium, GH, KH, pH, Positive Mineral Ions

What is important to note, is that although oxidation is a necessary part of biochemistry for fish and all animals (such as for energy production), the normal healthy state is one of reduction. During normal biochemical processes molecules that are normally reducers give up their electrons (in much the same way a car battery does until re-charged), so without a recharging via the addition of new minerals that are high in these electrons or even processes such as UVC sterilization (or even high PAR lighting), your aquatic biochemistry will suffer and eventually so will your fish!
Further Resource: Aquarium Lighting; PAR

It is noteworthy that even if you have a UV Sterilizer, but fail to change your UV Bulb every six months, this tool for a balanced Redox will quickly become less effective.

Product Sources:
*Level 1, Redox Balance Capable UV Sterilizers
*UV-C Replacement Bulbs; High Output, Level 1 Capable

One more basic generalization to consider before reading the more in depth article is this: Water that is of low pH (acid), in general, measures high ORP while water of high pH (alkaline) measures low ORP. However, in natural water (generally spring water), acidity of minus ions and alkalinity of plus ions can coexist.
More about this subject here:
Natural Redox.

It is important to note that Aquarium Redox can be a complex subject with some basic principles to also understand, however this is a subject that simply reading one section of this article will yield incomplete information. For this reason I recommend reading the whole article.

For the full article (including management & summary) please follow click here:

I also urge my readers to read this article about ultraviolet sterilization use in an aquarium or pond. This is an IMPORTANT read if you are even remotely considering the purchase of a UV Sterilizer, especially since the market of late has been flooded by mostly cheap ineffective UV Sterilizers!

Aquarium or Pond UV Sterilization
“UV Sterilization”

AAP,Hanna ORP, PH, Temperature Meter H198121
For readers seeking to step up to a higher level of Redox awareness in your aquarium, including the even newer studies in rH (relative Hydrogen) and its importance in measuring Reddox in aquariums, I might suggest a good Redox Meter such as the one pictured to the right.

Product Resource: AAP/Hanna ORP, PH, Temperature Meter #H198121


* How Aquarium or Pond Fish Medications Work
A top notch article that starts off with this page (1) about use, types, what to do and not to do and then breaks into 3 more separate web pages with even more specifics

* Aquarium Lighting; Complete
This is easily the most complete and authoritative article on the subject of aquarium lighting. It is noteworthy that there is evidence that correct lighting has a positive effect on aquarium Redox Balance

* Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
One of the best articles on the subject of the nitrogen cycle for fresh or saltwater aquariums

*Aquarium Sponge Filters
These Patented AAP/ATI Sponge Filters are FAR SUPERIOR to the cheap Chinese knock offs unfortunately sold now in many locations.

*Pond Algae

*Pond Care, Information

Copyright 2019, By Steven Allen



Iridovirus in Gouramis

Further Revised 1/8/19

From the full article: “EDIS; Iridovirus in Gouramis”
By RuthEllen Klinger, Ruth Francis-Floyd, John Slaughter and Craig Watson

What Are Iridoviruses?

Iridoviruses are a family of viruses (130–300 nanometers in size) that contain DNA as their genetic material and have an icosahedral (20-sided) capsid. Iridoviruses have been found in a wide variety of fish, including both freshwater and saltwater species.
Some iridoviruses have been associated with serious diseases (e.g., viral erythrocytic necrosis of salmonids) while others have only been found in apparently healthy animals (e.g., goldfish iridovirus).
One iridovirus causes a disease called lymphocystis which causes unsightly skin lesions on infected fish, but otherwise is of little consequence.

Iridovirus in Gouramis

An iridovirus was found in spleen and intestinal tissue of gouramis from the genus Trichogaster that were dying with signs of systemic disease. Mortality rates of affected fish have varied from low (0.5–10%) to moderate (50%) with death usually occurring 24–48 hours after the onset of signs. Clinical signs associated with the presence of the iridovirus have included darkening of body coloration and lethargy. Sick gouramis often stop eating and the abdomen may be distended. Internally, an enlarged spleen has been the most notable abnormality. The intestine may be reddened, and a clear amber fluid may be present in the body cavity. Laboratory examination for bacterial, fungal, or parasitic agents has frequently been negative. Through electron microscopy (EM), abundant iridoviral particles have been found in the spleens and intestines of dying fish.

An iridovirus has been isolated in cell culture and cytopathic effect (death of infected cells) has been observed. Although the iridovirus has been implicated as a possible cause of disease in gouramis, efforts to reproduce the disease under laboratory conditions have not yet been successful.

The picture below shows a Dwarf Gourami displaying symptoms that are sometimes found with DGIV (Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus). Often darkening of the body is also a classic symptom too.

Iridovirus in Dward Gourami, DGIV

Very little can be done for a fish with Iridovirus, often euthanasia is the best course of action.
Treatments to consider would be a Medicated Fish Bath along with a Medicated Wonder Shell in tank.
*Fish Baths, Dips, Swabs
*AAP Wonder Shells; Regular & Medicated. The ONLY Authorized online seller

Level One UV Sterilization can also help with prevention both by killing any viruses outright that pass through the ‘Category A’ UV Sterilizer and by improving Redox Balance.
Proper flow rate, installation, even the correct UV (as many now sold are junk), and proper maintenance (which includes changing the UV Bulb) are essential this tool being effective for prevention of Iridovirus in Gouramis.

Further reference:
RuthEllen Klinger, Biological Scientist, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences; Ruth Francis-Floyd, Associate Professor, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences; John Slaughter, Veterinarian, Hillsborough County Extension Service; Craig Watson, County Extension Agent, Hillsborough County Extension Service; Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.


*A Healthy Aquarium, Disease Prevention
An excellent step by step scientifically tested method to keep more disease free fish in an aquarium (or pond)

*Columnaris; As well as Fungus in Aquarium Fish
The Internet’s premier article on the subject of Columnaris. By far the most in depth and research/experience based article on the subject.

*How Aquarium or Pond Fish Medications Work
A very in depth article, divided into 4 total web pages

*Aquarium Lighting Facts & Information
In my experience, this is by far the best and most accurate article on the subject. Any obvious biases are well backed up by factual research.
It includes information about the growing in popularity LED Aquarium Lights.

Copyright 2019, By Steve Allen


Koi Pox; herpes virus.


Koi herpes virus (KHV), a viral disease highly contagious to fish, may cause significant morbidity (sickness or disease) and mortality in common carp (Cyprinus carpio) (Hedrick et al., 2000; OATA, 2001). This species is raised as a food fish in many countries and has been selectively bred for the ornamental fish industry, where it is known as koi. Historically, the first outbreak of KHV was reported in 1998 and confirmed in 1999 in Israel.
Since then, other cases have been confirmed in the United States, Europe and Asia (Hedrick et al., 2000; OATA, 2001; Anonymous, 2003). This information sheet is intended to inform veterinarians, biologists, culturists, and hobbyists about KHV.

What Is KHV?
KHV is currently classified as a DNA-virus belonging to the virus family Herpesviridae (i.e., a herpes virus). Although there has been some scientific discussion regarding the accuracy of this classification (Ronen et al., 2003), more recent work (Waltzek et al., 2004) shows strong evidence that KHV is indeed a herpesvirus, based on morphology and genetics. KHV disease has been diagnosed in koi and food fish carp (Hedrick et al., 2000; OATA, 2001). Other related cyprinid species such as the common goldfish (Carassius auratus) and grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) seem to be unaffected by KHV. As with other herpes viral infections, KHV is believed to remain in the infected fish for life, thus exposed or recovered fish should be considered as potential carriers of the virus (OATA, 2001).
KHV disease may cause 80-100% mortality in affected populations, and fish seem most susceptible at water temperatures of 72-81°F (22-27°C) (OATA, 2001). This viral disease affects fish of various ages, but cohabitation studies show that fry have a greater susceptibility than mature fish (Perelberg et al., 2003).

What Are the Signs of KHV?
Clinical signs of KHV are often non-specific. Onset of mortality may occur very rapidly in affected populations, with deaths starting within 24-48 hours after the onset of clinical signs. In experimental studies, 82% of fish exposed to the virus at a water temperature of 22°C died within 15 days (Ronen et al., 2003). KHV infection may produce severe gill lesions and high mortality rates. In some cases, secondary bacterial and parasitic infections may be the most obvious problem, masking the damage caused by the primary viral infection. Behaviorally, affected fish often remain near the surface, swim lethargically, and may exhibit respiratory distress and uncoordinated swimming.

Koi Pox External signs of KHV may include gill mottling with red and white patches (see picture) (similar to Columnaris disease), bleeding gills, sunken eyes, pale patches or blisters on the skin. Microscopic examination of gill biopsies often reveals high numbers of bacteria and various parasites (Hedrick et al., 2000; OATA, 2001; Goodwin, 2003).
Internal signs of KHV are inconsistent and non-specific, but they may include adhesions in the body cavity and a mottled appearance of internal organs (Hedrick et al., 2000; Goodwin, 2003).

How Do Fish Get Infected with KHV?
The herpes virus that is responsible for KHV seems to spread in the same ways as most herpes viruses. Methods of transmission include direct contact with infected fish, with fluids from infected fish, and/or with water or mud from infected systems. Depending upon water temperature, fish that are exposed and susceptible may become infected and either develop the disease and die or become carriers of the virus (OATA, 2001). Goldfish and other fish in the carp family are not susceptible to KHV disease, and they do not appear to act as carriers of the virus (Perelberg et al., 2003; Ronen et al., 2003).

Level One UV Sterilization is very effective against this virus and although not a treatment for infected fish, a properly installed/quality UV Sterilizer should be employed for prevention.
If your pond (or aquarium) already has a UV Sterilizer, it is also imperative to change your UV Bulbs every six months for level one UV Sterilization maximum effectiveness.


*Pond Care Information
An easy to follow article about pond care with many more in depth resources as well as product resources cited

*Aquarium Lighting Information
An in depth article that I recommend and have found to be the most up to date anywhere. It includes information about the many types of lights including LED Aquarium Lights.

*Aquarium Chemistry
Probably the best article on the subject of aquarium chemistry I have found. The author gets it right with the science behind electrolytes, GH, KH and more

Copyright 2019, By Steve Allen