The Best UV Sterilizer for Aquarium (Review) in 2021

Olivia Williams
Published November 25, 2019

UV sterilizers are important equipment used in eradicating the presence of bacteria and other microorganisms in an aquarium. This is made possible due to the germicidal ultraviolet light rays that are being emitted by the UV sterilizer. No doubt, it is an essential process needed to attain cleaner and clearer water, after the free-floating algae and other parasites have been actively killed and the process of sterilizing an aquarium also helps to guarantee a healthier and safer environment for the fish inside to live in. Are you in need of a suitable UV sterilizer which will be effective at giving your aquarium a cleaner appearance? Then this list of the best UV sterilizers for aquariums is a worthy read.

The Best UV Sterilizer for Aquarium


AA Aquarium Inc. is a well-established company with over half a million products sold. This company has products that fully deliver their purposes, giving users resourceful tools to solve problems. Intuitively, the AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine UV Sterilizer is one of those products. This UV sterilizer is one of AA Aquarium’s best selling products, giving users an avenue to solve the most common aquarium issue.

As the name of this product implies, the Green Killing machine is effective at turning green water in aquariums into clear water with its working functionalities. This is targeted specifically for those who notice consistent change in the water color of their aquariums. The major cause of this change is the presence of algae, or several other bacteria, or viruses, which pose as harmful threats to the fish inside. The AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine Internal UV Sterilizer makes use of its ultraviolet germicidal light emission, in in order to kill, or to mutate the DNA of these microorganisms, and render them inactive. Unlike other sterilizers, which possesses low penetration capacities, this Green Killing machine has a high UV penetration power, effective for use in both saltwater and freshwater aquariums.

Suitable for a 50Ga aquarium or less

Contains a quick startup guide

LED notification for bulb replacement

50gph pump capacity

  • Brand: AA Aquarium
  • Model: AAUV9W
  • Weight: 1 pounds

Easy to install

Convenient LED communication feature

Works for both salt and fresh water


High price for replacement bulbs

Needs steady maintenance

Tends to stop working after a while


SunSun Group was established in 1998, and with just 20 years in the business, they have been able to manufacture over 100 types of products for many to benefit. They have multiple factories and offices which oversee the factories from Hong Kong, to the USA and with over 28,000 employees, SunSun products come out with exceptional effectivities. One of such products with high functioning capacity, is the SunSun Group JUP-01 UV Sterilizer.

This sterilizer features a powerful technique towards eliminating free-floating algae in an aquarium, as well as other bacteria. This pond UV sterilizer possesses a pre-filter sponge which adequately traps floating debris in the water, in order to ascertain the most effective UV penetration for maximum results. This process guarantees that all obstructions are out of the way, and a clean and microorganism-free aquarium is guaranteed. What’s more, the SunSun Group JUP-01 UV Sterilizer also features an extremely compact appearance, suitable for either horizontal or vertical mounting in the aquarium and also requires no circulation pump to be attached, as this UV sterilizer was perfectly crafted to have all the pre-installed features for direct use out of the box.

Adequate for 75Ga aquariums

9 watt light power

210gph flow rate

Submersible pump

  • Brand: SunSun
  • Model: JUP-01
  • Weight: 2 pounds

Pre-installed pump

Has a built-in pump

Features a pre-filter sponge


Intense water flow for aquarium

Plastic parts prone to breakage

Large size for most aquariums


AA Aquarium Inc. is back again with their line of wonderful products; hence why their aquariums equipment are undeniably of topnotch value. These products have been put through the most time-worthy methodologies during production, making these products quite effective. The AA Aquarium Mini Green Killing Machine Internal UV Sterilizer is certain of killing microorganisms that pollute the water of any aquarium. This ultraviolet sterilizer serves as a better substitution for the use of chemicals and works by emitting a germicidal ray from the lamp; what’s more, these rays kill, or stop them from reproducing.

With the Green Killing Machine, the water in the aquarium comes in direct contact with the UV Sterilizer’s lamp, and ensures that the process is faster, and more effective, properly eradicating the microorganisms. This assures users of clearer water in a little amount of time. Furthermore, this UV sterilizer from AA Aquarium has been pre-assembled to ensure that users have a friendly startup process. There is also the inclusion of a quick startup guide, helping in the setup process. And overall, it comes with a suitable and compact design, which perfectly suits all aquariums.

LED notification for bulb changes

50 gph pump flow

3 watt bulb power

Sealed UV bulb

  • Brand: AA Aquarium
  • Model: AAUV3W
  • Weight: 8.6 ounces

Quick installation process

Helps to notify on bulb changes

Great for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums


Prone to having electrical faults

Tends to stop working after a while

Steady replacements required


Aqua Ultraviolet is a renowned manufacturing company which was established in 1975, with headquarters in Temecula, CA. They are well known for their ultraviolet sterilizers, as well as other products and the major reason behind their success is that their products are adequately produced and tested for effectivity. The manufacturers also provide adequate control, ensuring that users get the utmost best and the Aqua Ultraviolet Advantage 2000+ Aquarium Sterilizer has proven itself in those tests.

This product comes from Aqua Ultraviolet’s Advantage Series, which are best sellers in the market and comes with a 15 watt power lamp, which effectively penetrates the bacteria, and free-floating algae, in order to deliver clean and sanitary water in the aquarium. This UV light sterilizer is also effective for small ponds, and has an amazingly fast rate of delivery. Within the span of 3 – 5 days, this sterilizer actively kills or renders the microorganisms inactive for use and the major advantage about this product is that it is uniquely lightweight and compact, ensuring ease of installation for the users.

Inline ¾” Barb

8  feet power cord length

Sterilizes freshwater from 200 to 500 gallons

Sterilizes salt water up to 75 gallons

  • Brand: Aqua Ultraviolet
  • Model: 617750002675
  • Weight: 1 pounds


Great flowrate capacity

High quality product


Does not control green algae at sides and bottom

Extended period without water flow will damage sterilizer

Not submersible


Here is the second product from Aqua Ultraviolet; Aqua Ultraviolet 25-watt Classic UV Sterilizer. With the high range of control they have on their products, customers can’t get enough of what Aqua Ultraviolet has to offer. They also provide excellent customer service, which adequately helps users through installation processes, and ensure their purchases are effective and deliver maximally. This quality product delivers on the topic of sterilization, alongside others and has a lightweight and easy to install feature, making it convenient for all users.

It also possesses an easy maintenance advantage, for bulb replacements, and several others. What’s more, the engineered design that makes this product a unique pick, is the implementation of a durable lamp for sterilization. This lamp has an outstanding usage spam of up to 14 months, ensuing longer sterilization uses, and value for your money. Additionally, this feature also provides an avenue for users to save some extra costs on replacements, which other products will require. Overall, this aquarium sterilizer is effective for aquariums, as well as small ponds as well.

25 watts lamp power

Lamp span of 14 months

Sterilizes fresh water from 500 to 1200 gallons

Sterilizes salt water up to a level of 150 gallons

  • Brand: Aqua Ultraviolet
  • Model: A00337
  • Weight: 4 pounds

Lightweight sterilizer

Effectively sterilizes and clarifies

Easy installation process


Tiny rocks can break the quartz sleeve if sterilizer is installed before the filter

Not submersible

Bound to kill good bacteria as well


Here is the third product from the Aqua Ultraviolet for effective aquarium sterilization, the Aqua UV 15-watt Advantage 2000+ Hang On UV Sterilizer. This product belongs to the advantage series line of products, with an effective microorganism killing rate and has a wonderful 15-watt lamp power, which emits the ultraviolet germicidal rays that are responsible for sterilizing the water. What’s more, it has excellent features accompanying it and can be used for both aquariums and ponds. For the best effectiveness, this UV sterilizer has been empowered with a great freshwater sterilization capacity, as well as salt water sterilization capacity. From 5 to 200 gallons of water, freshwater is guaranteed of being clear and clean.

Also, for water rates up to 70 gallons, this pond sterilizer actively makes saltwater aquariums clear and clean and has a high penetrating capacity which adds to its effectiveness, making it an outstanding product for use. Alongside other sterilizers from Aqua Ultraviolet, this product has a durable lamp with a long span and can last up to 14 months, before there is a need for replacement. This ensures longer periods of usage, and maximum satisfaction. Furthermore, this UV light for fish tank can also actively serve as a sterilizer and a clarifier.

90 degrees elbow barb provided

Sterilizer weighs 4lbs

Can be used as a sterilizer or clarifier

Great for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums

  • Brand: Aqua Ultraviolet
  • Model: 617750002866
  • Weight: 1 pounds

Extremely lightweight

Easy to install

Easy maintenance


Not submersible

Does not control green algae at sides and bottom

Extended period without water flow will damage sterilizer


Coralife has a trusted reputation, based on product delivery. They produce various lines of marine aquarium supplies and equipment, for essential needs and have an array of effective products ranging from protein skimmers to filters, as well as LED aqua lights, and light fixtures. Their intuitive manufacturing processes and the delivery of these products, have bridged several gaps in marine resource needs. An insightful product form Coralife, which effectively provides results on the topic of effectiveness, is the Coralife Turbo Twist UV Sterilizer.

This sterilizer has an intuitive design which was specially crafted to enhance productivity level. What’s more, the twist design enables a more pronounced and effective amount of water flow, in order to eradicate several microorganisms in the water of aquariums faster. This twisted design also ensures the water flows at an even rate to properly deliver effective results. Another resounding feature is that it has a high ultraviolet light ray emission, guaranteeing effectiveness. Overall, UV sterilizer comes uniquely designed with a quartz glass used in the construction of the bulbs, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the emission of the germicidal light rays.

Twist flow design

Features mounting brackets

Suitable for aquariums up to 250 gallons

Has an operator indicator light

  • Brand: Coralife
  • Model: 100115601
  • Weight: 5.6 pounds

Adequate for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums

Has a suitable hang-on feature

Channels even water flow rates


Prone to leakage

Leakages prone to causing shocks in the aquarium

Bulb fittings are unstable


Jebao Co. Ltd is a top manufacturer, which specializes in the production of several equipment and accessories such as pond and aquarium accessories, as well as fountain equipment. They also specifically deal in the production of home decorations, which are of top notch quality. Jebao was founded in 1998, and since then, has pushed through diverse technological innovation, in order to deliver effective products. These processes have enabled them to acquire several international certifications, and an outstanding reputation in their line of work. A product from Jebao’s aquarium equipment which shows the quality they offer, is the Jebao 36-watt Aquarium UV Light Sterilizer.

This UV sterilizer has an outstanding 36-watt bulb power which is effective at completely erasing the traces of algae and other microorganisms in aquariums. Furthermore, it has a high emission rate which instantly kills these organisms from the onset of use and offers suitable options for placement for effective results. Overall, this sterilizer can be placed either vertically or horizontally, allowing for proper sterilization procedure and as it also possesses a quartz sleeve used for construction of the bulb, it allows for a pronounced and effective emission of germicidal rays.

Takes 3-5 days for proper sterilization

Quartz sleeve bulb construction

22 feet cord length

36 watt power

  • Brand: Jebao
  • Model: Pu-36
  • Weight: 7 pounds

Lightweight feature

Easy to mount

Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater aquarium


Parts prone to breakage

Tends to stop working after a while

Needs high maintenance


outstanding quality, and have been intelligently crafted to suit the pockets of those who desire it. The founders are a group of aquatic enthusiasts, keen on bringing useful resources to many with their products which has enabled Aquatop become a regular sought-after brand with effective products to tell the story. The Aquatop In-Line UV Sterilizer has a 10-watt bulb system, which is effective at eliminating the presence of harmful microorganisms in an aquarium.

This product also features an ideal amount of water flow for sterilization, ranging up to 211 gph. This ensures a suitable amount of time required to fully sterilize the water situated in the aquarium, and ensuring clearer water. What’s more, this sterilizer features a lightweight advantage, weighing just 2.65 lbs and there is also an easy-to-install feature – all coming with a budget-friendly price attached to it. The effectiveness of this product, and the value it presents, makes this sterilizer a worthy pick. There are also bonus features, such as a 70 inches length of cord, which makes it convenient to connect to a power supply.

10-watt bulb wattage

211 gph maximum water flow

In-line or hang-on sterilizer

70-inch cord length

  • Brand: AquaTop
  • Model: AQUATOP-IL10-UV
  • Weight: 2 pounds

Lightweight feature

Effective sterilizer and clarifier

Great for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums


Prone to leakage

Sleeves can easily break

Starter is not replaceable, if damaged

Best UV Sterilizer for Aquarium Buying Guide & FAQ

Things to Consider When Buying an Aquarium UV Sterilizer

  • Wattage of bulb

The wattage of bulb that a UV sterilizer possesses actively determines the amount of light rays to be emitted. The higher the wattage, the more UV light rays will effectively kill the microorganisms in the aquarium.

  • Size of the aquarium

The size of the aquarium to be used with the UV sterilizer is to be greatly considered. This is because UV sterilizers come with specific features that work according to the size of the aquarium. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the UV sterilizer, it is important to effectively ensure that the size of the aquarium correlates with the specifications of the UV sterilizer.

  • Span of bulb

All UV sterilizers come with several time frames for which the bulb can fully operate. After this period of time, the bulb will need a replacement. It is important to consider the span of bulb of a UV sterilizer before purchasing, as it will determine the maintenance level the sterilizer requires.

  • Installation process

An important feature to consider when purchasing a UV sterilizer, is that of installation. It has to be generally convenient, as this will determine how well the sterilizer can be maintained.

Aquarium with fish plants and rocks

Benefits of UV Sterilizer for Aquarium

  • Cleans green water

The functionalities and processes by which the sterilizer operates, helps to eradicate the microorganisms causing the water of the aquarium to turn green overtime. Most UV sterilizer actively sterilizes the water, and serves as a clarifier.

  • Kills bacteria

Aside from killing protozoa and algae in the water, UV sterilizers are effective at killing floating bacteria in the aquarium. These bacteria are termed as harmful microorganisms, which tend to give infections to fish, and are highly detrimental to their health. Hence, the major benefit involved in the use of a UV sterilizer is to prevent fish from having infections by killing the bacteria in the water.

  • Kill Parasites

Sterilizes that are extremely effective, help to eradicate the presence of parasites in the water. UV sterilizers are also great at eliminating the floating materials that serve as food for the parasites. This is an important process because the floating materials they feed on, aids infection of fish in the water.

Types of UV Sterilizers

  • Hang-on or in-line sterilizers

These are sterilizers that involve mounting via a hanging process, in a specific position, in order to actively channel the water flow for sterilization.

  • Horizontal and vertical UV sterilizers

These are sterilizers that require mounting in either a horizontal position, or a vertical position for full effectivity. There are some, however, that come with the advantages of being placed either horizontally, or vertically.

  • Double helix UV sterilizers

These sterilizers have a unique method of functionality, ensuring the water passing the UV light, does so in a double motion. This guarantees pronounced effectiveness, at an increased time rate.

Best UV Sterilizer for Aquarium FAQ:

Q: How Does a UV Sterilizer Work?

A: A UV sterilizer work via the emission of germicidal rays. The lamp used for the production of the UV sterilizer produces this light at an extremely high wavelength. The process of the water being sterilized first starts with the water in the aquarium passing through or around this lamp. Then, the germicidal light which is emitted from it, kills the bacteria or free-floating algae, or any other harmful microorganisms in it. Then this process continues over a period of time, until the water in the tank is completely sterilized.

Q: How to Install a UV Sterilizer?

A: The first step of installing a UV sterilizer is ensure it matches the size of the aquarium to be mounted on. After this step, it is essential to set up the housing of the sterilizer according to the specifications given by the manufacturer. This will ensure the full effectivity of the sterilizer, and that replacement and maintenance will be an easy breeze. Then, it is required to install the UV sterilizer bulb accordingly, after which will follow the power supply. Then, the fittings should be properly checked, if tightened enough, and then the valves are opened, for the suction of the pump to begin.

Q: Can UV Sterilizer Kill Fish?

A: UV sterilizers are only engineered to kill the free-floating microorganisms which are situated within the aquarium, and does not have the specifications or features to harm the fish in any way.

Q: How Long Does a UV Sterilizer Bulb Last?

A: Depending on the type of UV sterilizer, and the nature of the bulb being used, lamps used usually last from 6 – 14 months. After then, a replacement is required to enable the UV sterilizer continue in its working process. Some UV sterilizers come with indication lights that inform users of when it is time for a replacement, while others have to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q: How do You Clean UV Sterilizer?

A: The most essential part to be cleaned in a UV sterilizer is the quartz sleeve. The UV lamp is to be unscrewed, as well as the bolts surrounding the sleeve. Then, the quartz sleeve is to be cleaned with a cloth which has been fully immersed in a subtle acid, such as vinegar.


  1. UV Sterilizers Control Bacteria and Algae – Animal Planet
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