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Aquatop has been a relatively recent addition to the aquarium hobby, but has continued to raise the bar in terms of the value it delivers in its filtration equipment. Indeed, the CF500UV canister has the specifications you would normally find in an expensive external unit: a 5-stage filtration system; a 525 gallon per hour pump; a 9-watt UV sterilizer; a self-priming mechanism; and a large filter housing (18 inches by 12 inches by 11 inches) that can hold lots of media.
The 9 watt UV sterilizer itself is a fantastic feature. UV sterilizers are intended to eliminate unsightly or harmful organisms suspended in your tank water, such as bacteria, algae and parasites. As such, this is a fantastic feature for battling the dreaded “green water” problem that plagues so many fish tanks. Green water is really just a suspended algae that takes advantage of high light levels and available nutrients in the water. It can be a really nasty problem, especially if you have fish that produce lots of waste and/or strong lighting, or natural light shining on your tank.
In addition to the built-in sterilizer, the CF500UV is a great buy simply because it is very large and has a strong flow rate. The heavy lifting of any filter is in its capacity to provide lots of surface area and flow to support beneficial bacteria which are responsible for breaking down fish waste (i.e., ammonia) into less harmful compounds. With the CF500UV, you can use a lot of biological media, including some DIY materials if you care to, such as pad scrubbers, lava rock, etc.
Moreover, the consensus from the many happy users is that the unit is easy to set up and use, and it runs silently. Believe me, the value of silent operation cannot be understated!
All in all, Aquatop’s CF500UV canister filter is a super deal given its low price tag. If you need a large canister filter with UV sterilization capability for a tank up to 175 gallons in size, and cannot afford to go for the more expensive brands, the CF500UV is a very good option that seems to be delivering serious bang for the buck.
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