Submariner Internal UV Sterilizer Review, such as Kokos Goldfish; Reviews Part 1
In this post of Fish as Pets, I will look at a popular trend on the Internet; the anecdotal review of products that is not based on any true professional knowledge use of the product.
The problem with these reviews in both negative and positive reviews is that little though of correct design, scientific controls and parameters of effectiveness, or simply time of use is considered.
However before I proceed, I want to clarify an important point; This article/post is NOT meant as an attack on this person or forum from which I am writing this review rebuttal.
Rather this is intended to convey the importance of correct information and product research.
I feel writing such review rebuttals are important even if they may seem harsh as I receive copious amounts of communications via emails, etc. about this product and various "knock-offs" of this UV Sterilizer where the user would eventually end up with a failed product within months and/or realize the product was not aiding their fish in ways they expected since these are NOT UV Sterilizers, rather UV Clarifiers (there is a big difference).
The result was a person that would incorrectly "write off" UV Sterilization as a waste of money based on this poor purchase choice. And sadly, THIS VERY REVIEW I AM CRITICIZING HAS BEEN CITED AS A REASON FOR THEIR POOR PURCHASE CHOICE!
Back to the review rebuttal; This problem of correct design, scientific controls, time of use, and parameters of effectiveness would obviously extend into areas of product knowledge in other product such as computers where as I am certainly capable of performing many tasks on computers, I am still far from an expert about computers and while my opinions should not necessarily be discounted, they would likely be anecdotal.
With Aquarium Products, (in particular UV Sterilizer & aquarium filtration), I have spent over three decades in professional use in many different scenarios, as well as outside research, and controlled tests. For this reason I often have to drop my jaw in the reviews I read in Amazon, Kokos Goldfish and more.
I will add more post later along this subject line, such anecdotal NEGATIVE reviews about the excellent Rena Smart Filter where a positive attribute is turned into a negative.
JBJ Submariner; Also sold under Brand Names such as AquaTop
Here is a review from Kokos Goldfish (in part divided up so as to comment on):
"After looking around and doing a fair amount of research I chose the Submariner because it bypasses all of the above in one self contained unit"
REALLY?? How can anyone say they did ANY research and come to such a conclusion, even many of the consumer reviews do not come to such a conclusion, yet alone information found here:
UV Sterilization; Facts & Information
Or Professional Reviews found here:
UV Sterilizer Reviews, Information
"Most UV systems, including this one boast a 99% kill rate but keep mind enough good bacteria that colonizes and lives in your filter and tank substrates aren't effected so the delicate ecosystem of the tank remains unharmed."
Most do make such claims, but what matters the is flow rate per watt of UVC irradiation and Dwell Time (there is more than this, but this is a quick simplistic explanation.
"I thought the water in my 55 was clear and have had no problems with cloudiness. However the following morning after I had installed the unit the water was so unbelievably crystal and pristine that had it not been for the aeration it would have looked like my fish were floating in air."
Yes, almost any UV Sterilizer can perform water clarification since most are at best actually UV Clarifiers but NOT UV Sterilizers. However what about more important Level One Sterilization (or even level 2)?
Reference:UVC Flow Rate Table
"Very strong pump and outflow - 211 GPH this is the same for all three units which range from tanks up to 40 , 100 gallon and 150 gallons. "
For the design of this unit, 10 watts would be the minimum effective wattage for Level One Sterilization (Dwell Time is also an issue with this UV). However the flow rate is fine for water clarification, hence the clear water.
"Excellent build quality, the unit is surprisingly heavy and well made"
AGAIN REALLY?? Sorry to come as rude or smug, but did this person really research this product?
The Submariner has severe leakage, ballast, and shorting issues.
Compared to a VASTLY better TMC 8 Watt Vecton in just "build quality" alone there is NO comparison. As well the construction and design of the Vecton allows for vastly higher flow rates and dwell times for less wattage used!
Product Reference: TMC Professional Quality Vecton Aquarium UV Sterilizer
UV Sterilizer Problems; JBJ Submariner
Dwell Time Tests Between UV Sterilizers
"Excellent kill rate for all the nasties"
I do not think so since Level One Sterilization is not going to be achieved.
Also since this and its many clone knock-offs such as the AquaTop and others use medium pressure UV bulbs that are actually meant for nail curing and that emit ONLY 7% UVC, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to have a high kill rate!!!
Reference: Actual UV-C Emission from a UV Bulb; Aquarium or Pond
"Water conditions seem more stabilized"
They may seem to be, but again since Level One Sterilization required via flow rate, dwell time, correct UV bulb/lamp use, and more, it is doubtful that you are aiding in proper Redox Balance which WILL aid in stabilized water conditions
"Bulb replacement is needed only once a year, pre filter sponges (one comes with the unit) should be changed monthly or bi monthly depending your tank conditions - a pack of three is $7.99"
ONCE AGAIN REALLY?? This is 100% false!!
For correct maintenance all high output UV Bulbs MUST be changed every six months for maximum effectiveness. In cold weather ponds, once per year during the growing season is OK, but this UV Sterilizer is not meant for ponds, so this is a mute point.
But then the Submariner and its clones all use medium pressure 7% UVC output bulbs which only require changing once per year, which unfortunately are only good for clarification, not sterilization and Redox balance!!
Further Reference: Hot Cathode vs. Cold Cathode UV Bulb; Are Long Life, Easy Start UV Bulbs worth purchasing?
Product Reference: High Output TRUE UV Bulbs for Aquarium or Pond Use (not nail curing UV bulbs/lamps)
"The best price I found was at Fosterandsmithaquatics.com."
Need I say more!! (based on decades in the aquarium business and knowing others in the field and their thoughts about DR. F & S)
In Summary; I have noting against JBJ as a company (I have used many of their products over the years), as well this product can clear cloudy or green water; HOWEVER this is a product made in China that is sold now under many different brand names including AquaTop.
In my opinion, the reason many brands now market this Internal UV Sterilizer is due to the fact many potential users HAVE done their homework, so while one companies sales go down, another company picks up the this product and begins anew the marketing of this UV Sterilizer.
Recommended Aquatic Sites for Information, Products
AQUARIUM, POND ANSWERS
The article below is a MUST READ for anyone interested in moving from basic aquarium keeping to more advanced aquarium keeping, including better Redox Balance:
Ultraviolet Sterilization, Advanced Aquarium Keeping
Aquarium LED Lights, Lighting
By TMC AquaRay, the TRUE leader in aquarium LED Lighting
Aquarium & Pond Plumbing Parts
Difficult to find or unique parts found nowhere else!
Including: T Water Diverters, Hose Barb Adapters, Couplings, & Reducers, Ball Valves, Swing Check Valves, Return Adapters, Intake Adapters
A Healthy Aquarium, Disease Prevention
This article includes water chemistry as discussed here, as well this article includes many other important aspects of fish keeping that affect fish health.
*For a friendly, Knowledgeable, aquarium forum with in a family atmosphere:
Aquarium Forum; Everything Aquatic
Spirulina 20 Fish Food Flake
The best balanced fish flake food diet for Tetras and other fish for disease prevention
Steven Wright with input from Carl Strohmeyer