The Coralife Turbo-Twist 12x ultraviolet sterilizer, like “UV” sterilizers generally, is designed to eliminate suspended algae (e.g., dreaded “green water”), parasites, and other unsightly and/or deleterious microorganisms and pathogens by subjecting them to UV light. The Coralife Turbo-Twist model of ultraviolet sterilizer is unique, however, in that it utilizes a spiral flow design, which guides water flow more evenly through the unit’s sterilizer, thereby increasing water exposure to ultraviolet light and improving the efficiency of the water’s treatment compared to other sterilizer designs.
The unit comes with a quartz glass sleeve, hang-on bracket, and powerful 36-watt UV lamp. The Turbo-Twist may be used for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, up to 500-gallons. Less powerful units (i.e., 3x and 6x versions) are also available for smaller tanks. However, many users use the 12x model on smaller tanks as well, as this more powerful unit can be adjusted by varying pump flow rate. As with filtration equipment, it is better to err on the side a more powerful UV unit. To operate, a water pump (which is not included with the sterilizer) with a flow rate of anywhere from approximately 300 to 900 gallons per hour is required, although lower/higher flow rates may be used depending on the size of the tank or intended use. A graph comes with the unit to show the operation of the unit at various flow rates. Generally, the more insidious the parasite, the more exposure time is needed – and hence, a slower the flow rate is required to knock it out.
The 12X Turbo-Twist appears particularly suited for clarifying even the most stubborn green water problems – for example, for tanks receiving direct sunlight. Users who have otherwise given up on clearing their water have reported going from green – to crystal clear – water conditions within several days of beginning treatment with the 12x Turbo-Twist.
In my opinion, with its unique spiral-design, powerful UV lamp and reported success at taking down nasty green water situations, I believe the Coralife 15602 12X turbo-twist UV sterilizer is one of the best out there, and easily worth the money for any medium to large fresh or saltwater tank plagued by suspended algae or other unwanted microorganisms.