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Best UV Sterilizers for Aquariums: Our Top Picks 2024

To get rid of algae and other organisms in your aquarium, a UV sterilizer is called for. I’ve got 5 great UV sterilizers for you to look at right now, so let’s not waste any more time.

Best UV Sterilizers

Top 5 Best UV Sterilizers for Aquariums: Reviews

Let’s now take a quick look at each of the top five best UV sterilizers for aquariums that your money can buy.

1. JackSuper Mini Aquarium UV Light: Our Top Pick

Mini 3W Timer Aquarium &UV-C Water Clean Light Algae Clear Green Bloom Clean...
  • 【 Application 】Updated version mini size water clean light help to clean the green water,such as...
  • 【 Lamp feature】254-nmwavelength,3watt 3inch ,110 voltage input,50-60Hz,Power Plug with timer...

This is a very small and convenient UV sterilizer for aquariums that can be placed in virtually any aquarium filter tank or sump. It comes in at just three by one inches, so it should be small enough to fit in most spaces. It should however not be placed directly in aquariums.

What’s also convenient is that it comes with a timer that allows you to choose between various timing modes. It also comes with a simple suction cup mounting mechanism, which makes life just a little bit easier.

Keep in mind that this is just a three-Watt unit, which is not overly powerful. However, it still puts out more than enough UV light to kill most algae and other such organisms. Something that I personally like about this unit is that it’s not going to break my bank account.

Pros

  • Great for small tanks
  • Fantastic price
  • Easy to mount
  • Fairly durable
  • Low energy consumption
  • Has a timer

Cons

  • Needs to be put in sump or filter tank

If you’re just looking for a small and cost effective UV sterilizer, this is it.


2. AquaShine JUP-23 Submersible UV Sterilizer

AquaShine JUP-23 Submersible UV Sterilizer for Aquarium - 13W aquarium powerhead...
  • Submersible built in water pump, air pump, and UV sterilizer.
  • Improves water quality while reducing bad odors and fish tank water change frequency.

Here we have a more powerful 13 Watt UV light sterilizer that should be able to kill all the algae, protozoa, and other unwanted intruders in your aquarium. It can also reduce bad odors while simultaneously increasing water quality.

What is really cool is that this is actually an all-in-one built in water pump, air pump, and UV sterilizer which is suitable for tanks 80 gallons in size, along with an adjustable flow rate between 50 and 211 gallons per hour. This should help keep the water clean and crystal clear no matter the case.

In terms of mounting, it comes with suction cups so you can easily attach it to the interior of your aquarium.

That said, do keep in mind that this is a fairly large unit, which means that it takes up a decent amount of internal tank space, mainly because it’s well over a foot tall. However, it is built to last, and that is something that I really appreciate.

Pros

  • Powerful and effective
  • Combination water pump, air pump, and UV sterilizer
  • Easy to mount and maintain
  • Durable product
  • Decent price

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space

If you need a combination of air pump and UV sterilizer, this is a great product to consider.


3. SZLYYDS UV Sterilizer

UV Sterilizer for Aquarium 11W UV Light for Pond, Aquarium Clean Light for Fish...
  • 【High quality material】This aquarium UV light is made of high quality silica glass,it has high...
  • 【Effective cleaning】This UV light for aquarium provide a clean living environment for your...

Here we have another extremely simple sterilizer, with this one putting out 11 watts of power. It is said to be suitable for aquariums up to 800 gallons in size, although I probably wouldn’t use it for a tank quite so large, maybe about half the size. What is however impressive is that it can be used for both saltwater and freshwater tanks.

To help make life a bit easier, it comes with dual suction cups for simple mounting, which means that you can put it virtually anywhere you see fit. However, I do recommend putting it inside of a sump or a filter tank, as you probably don’t want this thing right beside your fish.

What I also like about this unit is that it is made out of very high quality silica glass, and has great thermal expansion resistance, corrosion resistance, and overall durability. For the relatively low price that it comes in at, I think it’s by far one of the more durable and toughest units on the list.

Pros

  • Can handle large tanks
  • Easy to mount
  • Very durable
  • Safe for fish
  • Won’t break your bank
  • Great functionality

Cons

  • Should be put in a filter tank or sump

If you are just looking for something exceedingly simple that gets the job done, this is one of my favorite products to recommend.


4. Fluval in Line UVC Clarifier

Fluval in Line UVC Clarifier for Aquarium Filters
  • A chemical-free and maintenance-free way to purify water that eradicates suspended bacteria and...
  • Helps prevent the growth of cyanobacteria that often smothers and destroys aquatic plants and does...

This is a very interesting unit because this is a self-contained inline UV sterilizer for aquarium filters. Being an inline sterilizer means that you attach it to either the input or the output tubing on your aquarium filter. It comes with very simple inlets and outlets so you can easily attach it to the tubing on your canister filter system.

This means that it utilizes the water pump and pressure created by your aquarium filter to pull water through the unit. The inside of the unit then produces UV light using CCFL technology, to help kill algae and other such unwanted intruders.

What is very impressive about this type of light, when compared to other types of UV bulbs, is that it can last up to 30,000 hours, which is about three times longer than regular UV bulbs. If you need a very powerful unit that can handle large tanks, and you don’t mind spending a bit of money, then this is a fantastic option to consider.

Pros

  • Great for tanks with canister filters
  • Doesn’t take up tank space
  • Very efficient and powerful
  • Exceedingly simple to use
  • Durable design

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive

If you happen to have an aquarium with a canister filter, and you need a UV sterilizer, and this is a fantastic unit to keep in mind.


5. Coralife Turbo-Twist UV Fish Tank Sterilizer

Sale
Coralife Aquarium Fish Tank Marine Salt Water Turbo-Twist UV Sterilizer 6X, For...
  • Removes free floating algae, parasites and harmful micro organisms from aquarium water
  • Features a unique twist flow design increases water’s exposure to ultraviolet light improving the...

Here is another fantastic inline UV sterilizer for very large tanks. This is by far the most powerful unit on the list today, and it should work for tanks up to 250 gallons in size. This model is said to be about six times more efficient than other comparable units, and it features a full 18 watts of UV output.

This should be more than powerful enough to kill algae and any other unwanted invaders in your fish tank.

The fact that it is fine to use for both freshwater and saltwater tanks is a big bonus, plus it comes with everything you need to set it up. It can be used for hang-on applications or inline applications.

The design of this particular UV sterilizer is also very unique. It features a so-called twist-flow design that helps to maximize the exposure of the water to the UV light, therefore producing the best possible results. Overall, this might just be my favorite UV light for big tanks.

Pros

  • Superior power
  • Should be able to handle even the largest of tanks
  • For fresh and saltwater tanks
  • Very durable
  • Multiple sizes
  • Very easy to use

Cons

  • Very expensive

If you truly need the best of the best, and money is of no concern, then this is an investment I recommend making.


UV Sterilizers for Aquariums: Buyers Guide

Before you go out and buy any old UV sterilizer or UV light for your aquarium, there are a few important things for you to keep in mind.

Type

First, there are two main types of UV sterilizers to consider. First, you have the much simpler type which is virtually just a UV light that you place somewhere inside of the tank. 

These tend to be quite cheap and effective, but you can’t place them right inside of a display tank. These have the light way too close to the fish, which means that you need to put them inside of a filter tank, a large filter, or a sump.

Green beautiful planted tropical freshwater aquarium with fishes, underwater

The other type is an inline UV sterilizer, which has the UV light contained inside of a unit, therefore preventing the rest of the tank from being exposed to it. 

This is generally considered to be the better type because it can be placed inside of the tank it’s required. This is also the type that you can connect right to your filter or pump to help push water through them.

Wattage

The other most important thing to pay attention to here is how many watts of power that UV light in question has. Simply put, the more watts it has the larger the tank it can handle. 

A three-Watt unit should be suitable to remove algae for the smallest of tanks, but as you can see, there are also much larger models available.

Housing

When we talk about housing, there are two important things to consider here. First, you have to consider how durable it is.

You need something that is impact, heat, and Shafter resistant, so that it is safe for you and your fish. 

Second, you also need to consider if the UV sterilizer in question is designed for freshwater or saltwater tanks, or if it can be used in both. Not all UV sterilizers are suitable for use in all types of water.