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Best UV sterilizers for reef tank – 2021 Reviews & comparison

Last Updated: 30.11.21


Top UV Sterilizers for Reef Tank Reviewed & Buying Guide


Do you want to purchase the best UV sterilizer for reef tank, but you’re in a hurry? Fret not; we have here all the information you need. According to the customer reviews, sales figures, and social media activity, there is a model that sits above all the others. This product is called the Sunsun CUV-118, and it can offer you everything you need for keeping your reef tank clean and clear. Depending on where you need to use it, this model is a good fit for ponds holding up to 2,000 gallons of water or 75-gallon aquariums. The unit comes equipped with high-efficiency light bulbs that will not require replacement for at least one year, so you can rest assured that you are getting a good deal. The maximum flow rate is 600 gallons per hour, enough to keep the water in your reef tank fresh. Should the Sunsun CUV-118 no longer be available, the second model in line we want to recommend is the Sunsun CUV-136.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



The best reef tank UV sterilizer may not be that easy to find, and that is why you need to pay attention to a few recommendations, first. Of course, you may feel tempted to just go for the model that is the least expensive, but that is not always a good idea. Just as is the case when you shop for a USB borescope, price isn’t everything.

How effective can the sterilizer be?

There seems to be so many different specs available for a sterilizer for a reef tank, that you may feel tempted just to skip them altogether. If you don’t want to get bored with technical details right off the bat, you can start by checking the manufacturer’s description and see if it says something about what kind of setups you can use it for.

This is the first thing you need to do to ensure that you buy the right thing and you are not just throwing money off the window. If a model is advertised as being an excellent choice for a reef tank, you should read further. You will notice that the manufacturer will say what the maximum capacity is that is supported by the sterilizer.

The best piece of advice you can get is to purchase the model that is a good fit for your reef tank at home. A model that is too weak to cycle the water in your tank and purify it would be a poor investment. You may end up spending little on it, but you will have to replace it at some point, and that will amount to extra expenses.

Always buy the unit that is suitable for your reef tank. Just as you don’t purchase an autoclave sterilizer for other purposes than the one it is designed for, you should not throw money out the window, by getting a UV sterilizer that is not a good fit for what you have at home.


What is flow rate?

The good news is you don’t need a flowmeter to calculate how much water is pumped by the unit you purchase. However, this does not mean that the flow rate should not interest you at all. This is an important aspect that can tell you something about how reliable the sterilizer can be in the long run.

A sterilizer does more than just purify the water inside the reef tank. It also comes equipped with a pump, and that serves for cycling the water and maintaining it fresh. It is preferable to go for a model that offers superior cycling power. A sterilizing light can only do so much, and you should count on a good quality pump, too.

You can use a pH meter to determine if the water inside your reef tank is suitable for your fish. But you cannot do much if the water is crowded with bacteria and algae. That is why you need a sterilizer, and preferably one that can cycle a lot of water.


No more green water, no more bacteria

The sterilizer you are going to buy will come equipped with a UV light bulb. If your reef tank is small, you should consider smaller wattage, but don’t go too low. You still want the UV light to be capable of really purifying the water.

A dependable UV light will help you get rid of all the green water in the tank, and it will also interrupt the growth of bacteria, creating a healthy environment.



5 Best UV Sterilizers for Reef Tanks (Reviews) in 2021


There are plenty of UV sterilizers for reef tanks available for sale, but this doesn’t mean that your choice will be easy. See the following products that have so far managed to garner a lot of positive attention from buyers.



1. Sunsun CUV-118 UV Sterilizer Light Lamp Clarifier


The Sunsun CUV-118 is your go-to solution if you want to get rid of all the green water in your reef tank. It can be used for different setups, and it offers more than just a simple means to eliminate the algae in your tank or pond. It serves to know that its 18-watt light bulb is effective against bacteria, too.

If you want a good reef tank sterilizer, you will not experience any disappointment, should you decide to go for this one. Its maximum flow rate is 600 gallons per hour, which is quite impressive, if you compare it to other similar models on the market.

A pond of up to 2,000 gallons or a 75-gallon aquarium will be maintained in excellent working order by this sterilizer. Everything needed for keeping the water in your tank clear and healthy, you will find in this particular model.



It doesn’t matter if you have an aquarium, a pond, or a coral reef tank that needs proper water filtration and sterilization, as this filter is going to work.

Equipped with an 18-watt bulb, this model is great at fighting bacteria so that your fish won’t fall sick due to the development of other living creatures in their water.

With a flow rate of 600 gallons per hour, you can expect it to be quite efficient in bringing the fish in your tank all the oxygen they need to be healthy and thrive.

For ponds that have up to 2,000 gallons of water, this UV sterilizer is an excellent pick, as it manages to deal with significant water masses without a glitch.

There won’t be any more green water in your aquarium, and you can rest assured that your fish are well cared for.


Fitting the hose with the unit appeared to be quite difficult for one reviewer who otherwise said that she is pleased with how the sterilizer works.

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2. Sunsun CUV-136 UV Sterilizer Light Lamp Clarifier


Sometimes, you need a more powerful UV light for your reef tank, just like you need a binocular case when you plan a trip to the great outdoors. The Sunsun CUV-136 satisfies the needs of even the most pretentious buyers, as its 36-watt UV light will make sure to eliminate all the critters from the water in your tank.

The superior capacity of this model places it in a league of its own. If you own a 4,000-gallon pond, this device will work wonders. The same thing goes for 180-gallon aquariums. If you have such a large setup, you should consider the Sunsun CUV-136 as the most suitable solution.

The light bulb is guaranteed to work for one year. You will find many easy replacements for the bulb, when the time comes, and it is good to know that the installation process is fairly easy, too.



First of all, this is a powerful unit, as its 36-watt bulb is designed to deal with the bacteria and algae overgrowing in large masses of water.

The good news is that you can use this model for ponds, too, and not only for fish tanks that you want to keep indoors.

For ponds, the maximum capacity of water mass it can handle is 4,000 gallons, which is pretty impressive, seeing that the model is still reasonably priced.

As for aquariums, models that can accommodate up to 180 gallons of water can be sterilized adequately by this unit without any problems.

The manufacturer offers a warranty of one year for the bulb, and you will find it easy to find replacements for it when the time comes.


Be aware that while this model might be an excellent pick for your large pond or tank, for smaller units, it can be overkill and difficult to fit due to its bulky size.

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3. Perfect New UV Sterilizer Light Water Clarifier


The reviews of reef tank UV sterilizer you can read online can tell you that a model that works with a 36-watt light bulb is more than recommended if you have a large reef tank. You cannot provide your setup with the most suitable purifier if you don’t invest a little, but the good news is that this model is priced decently, too.

The ultraviolet filter will eliminate all the unwanted creatures living in the water that can dirty the tank and cause your fish to become ill. There is nothing more beautiful than a reef tank with clear water, and this is exactly what this model will help you to achieve.

An important advantage that this model will bring is that it is efficient at eliminating odors, too. The device is built with durability in mind, so you can rest assured that you are making a sound investment when you pick this particular model.



For a large reef tank, there is hardly a better choice than this, for the simple reason that it comes outfitted with a 36-watt bulb that will do the work.

This unit will deal with bacteria and other parasites with ease, and you will find it a good pick for your pond or a large tank.

Even more, it is capable of dealing with microscopic pathogens that could make your fish ill without you being able to identify the cause quickly.

Its construction is durable, and you will find it a sound investment, particularly since it comes with a reasonable price tag.

Unpleasant odors from the water will be readily removed, to provide the fish in the tank with proper living conditions.


This UV sterilizer is quite big, as it must accommodate a large bulb, and therefore it won’t work that well for a small aquarium.

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4. iMeshbean UV Sterilizer Light Aquarium Fish Tank Clarifier


Reef tanks can greatly benefit from UV sterilizers that come equipped with a high-efficiency bulb. Bear in mind that the device will work continuously, and that means that you should invest in a durable item. The iMeshbean 36W should be on your shortlist, as it offers all the advantages of a high-quality item.

All the unpleasant smells will be eliminated with the utmost efficiency, and all the waterborne pathogens will be obliterated, as well, to create a healthy environment. The quartz glass chamber looks very nice, so you can rest assured that the device will not detract from the beauty of your reef tank.

When the chamber opens, the power will be immediately turned off by the safety switch installed on the model. You can use the window to monitor how dirty the item is. You can use the mounting brackets provided for easy installation.



If you want a UV sterilizer with high efficiency, this 36-watt model is right up your alley as it can deal with large water tanks with ease.

One thing you’ll like about this model is that it manages to eliminate all the bad smells and does more than remove the algae and bacteria that turn water green.

For a healthy environment, you can’t beat the results you can obtain by installing this UV sterilizer in your fish tank or a pond.

Even more, this model can be seen as a great way to improve the appearance of your aquarium or pond, due to its beautiful design.

A safety switch prevents any malfunction as it turns off the unit when you open the chamber.


You won’t find this model a good pick if you only want to filter and sterilize the water in a smaller aquarium, as its bulky size won’t allow easy installation.

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5. Uv Sterilizer Light Clarifier


Not everybody needs a model that is as powerful as the ones mentioned earlier. If you have a small reef tank and you see no point in investing in a device that is way too powerful for your setup, here is a solution that is as budget-friendly as you desire. The Sun 13w is highly appreciated by buyers who chose it for its excellent performance.

You might not expect such an item to be extremely efficient when dealing with larger quantities of water, but there are users who claim that even their 300-gallon ponds are easy to keep clean with the help of this device.

They also praise the ease of installation. It must be noted that this is a quiet model, so you will not be disturbed by its continuous operation. You can monitor it just by looking at it, and it is highly efficient for various setups.



For owners of a small reef tank, there are hardly any better choices, as this 13-watt unit will make sure that the water is clean of pathogens and bacteria.

Superior performance recommends it most, something you can tell by the positive reactions from those who have bought it and tried it so far.

You may be surprised to hear that this UV sterilizer can work with ponds, too, up to 300-gallon models, something that is beyond the call of duty for a model this small.

Another positive aspect of this model is that it is easy to install; many buyers are interested in such items since they don’t want to call specialized services for that.

Furthermore, it is a quiet unit, so you won’t have to worry that it might disturb your sleep.


Some people talk about the fact that the unit comes with instructions that are not particularly helpful.

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Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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