Tropic Marine Center (TMC) Vecton, & Advantage UV Review

By | June 20, 2011

Revised 1/7/2014

TMC-Sterilizer-aquarium-and-pondTMC has long been a leader in the aquarium/pond products industry in both innovation and price.
In the case of their UV Sterilizers, TMC is not the ‘first’, nevertheless what they have done is build a well designed Ultra Violet Sterilizer line based on the most proven and practical design.

These Sterilizers are rugged in their build, with UV-C exposure times that are unsurpassed compared to comparable UV Sterilizer wattages.
TMC brings together quality & design along with price, making their UV Sterilizers/Clarifiers second to none when price and quality are factored in together. As an example, a TMC 110 PRO will easily equally or even out perform any Aqua 114 Watt UV for vastly less $$$.
See: 110 Watt Professional Pond or Large Aquarium System UV Sterilizer

The TMC Advantage and Vecton Ultraviolet Sterilizers design makes these among the most easy to service.
When compared to ALL compact UV Sterilizers that are so popular as of late, servicing of the quartz sleeve and UV lamp is much easier with the TMC units.
I know of many who have accidentally broken their compact UV Sterilizer sleeves when attempting to service the UV since most are seated in a way these often have to be pried out. This is not the case with the TMC UV Sterilizers.

As well TMC provides most replacement parts at reasonable prices, unlike the vast majority of UV Sterilizers now flooding the market (especially the Asian built units). Many compact UV manufacturers in particular do not either supply parts or do so at very high prices. Others utilize proprietary UV Replacement Bulbs (such as Tetra) that are difficult to obtain or are quite expensive.
This is NOT the case with TMC, as every UV Bulb they utilize IS an industry standard UV Bulb/Lamp.
See: TMC UV Replacement Bulbs, Guide


Reference From; UV Sterilization; Dwell Time Test between UVs:

*In a very telling controlled experiment between a Quality Compact 13 Watt UV Sterilizer versus a TMC Vecton 8 Watt UV shows the big difference between the TMC Advantage and Vecton UV Sterilizers vs Compact UV Sterilizers
Using a Rio 600 (200 gph), with 2 feet of 5/8″ ID tubing; the dwell time inside the Vecton was 2.6 seconds, while the 13 Watt Compact (Terminator) was 3 seconds.
It is important to note that the Terminator 13 watt holds DOUBLE the water volume at 20 oz. water (meaning a less efficient design with more water not within the optimal .3 cm exposure zone) versus 10 oz. of water for the 8 Watt Vecton.
Reference: Rio 600 Pump

It is noteworthy to keep in mind that the Terminator is one of the best designed Compact UV’s, as well, it is noteworthy that the popular Turbo Twist Compact UV has an even higher water volume due to even less efficient water contact design.

The result is 6.66 ounces of water per second is exposed to UVC irradiation for the 13 Watt Terminator while 3.84 ounces of water per second is exposed to UVC irradiation for the 8 Watt Vecton. MORE IMPORTANTLY the results are 1.95 watts of UVC energy per second for the Terminator 13 watt versus 2.08 watts of UVC energy per second for the 8 Watt Vecton

What does this mean?
The Terminator is a very good compact UV, however when you consider the 8 watt Vecton actually has a higher dwell time due to actual time per ounce of water held close to the UVC lamp and although the 13 Watt Terminator has a higher energy output, the lower dwell time basically renders these two UVs nearly equal in aquarium/pond gph capacity (the 8 Watt Vecton was actually slightly better). So with the TMC Vecton and Advantage you will be getting more UVC Sterilization per watt (as well as a more durable long life UV)

The bottom line is the TMC Vecton & Advantage Premium High Dwell Time UV with almost 100% water exposure to UVC of less wattage is often going to out perform a Compact UV of higher wattage!
See the authorized North American Seller:
Tropic Marine Centre Vecton, Advantage Ultraviolet Sterilizer, Clarifier

For Ponds; with this in mind, many pond keepers do not realize that a good, properly installed UV Sterilizer can be more than just a clarifier, as when run at level 1 sterilization one can lower disease incidence both directly and indirectly via improved Redox Balance.
A good dwell time coupled with the proper flow rate and turnover rate of the pond as per this dwell time can and will allow for this.
See Reference: Flow Rate & Turnover Rate Table

It is unfortunately all too common for some to run a 9 watt Tetra UV or Laguna 8 Watt UV on their pond at flow rates well too high to perform anything more than clarification, and often poorly at best.
As an example a commonly used 750 gph water pump for the Tetra 9 Watt or Laguna 8 Watt would not perform level one sterilization, and even with installation of a diverter or ball valve to slow or divert the flow, often the turnover rate will than be incorrect.
This same flow rate would not be a problem in a pond under 2000 gallons for the 15 Watt Pond Advantage!
See: TMC 15 Watt UV15 Pond Advantage UV Sterilizer

TMC has three basic types of UV Sterilizers;
Please click on pictures below to enlarge

*The Vecton UV, Aquarium Sterilizer Line, primarily designed for Aquarium use.
See: TMC Vecton UV Sterilizers

• You can see from the picture that this is a well constructed UV Sterilizer with maximum UV-C exposure and unsurpassed UVC dwell time which includes little space for water to pass outside of maximum penetration, unlike many UV Sterilizers on the market.

• This Sterilizer is very compact for a straight tube UV with opposing hose barbs for ease of installation.

• The Vecton utilizes a very long life and reliable magnetic ballast and starter, unlike most UVs that now have cheap electronic ballasts that often only last a year or two.

• The Vecton is manufactured from impact resistant, translucent polycarbonate.


*The Pond Advantage UV Sterilizer Line, built for ponds, but excellent for aquariums too. The Pro Clear UV30 has the highest dwell time per watt of energy than any other UV Sterilizer (including many TMC models as well).
See: Pro Clear UV30 Pond (& Aquarium) UV Sterilizers

• As with the Vecton, the TMC Advantage is a well constructed UV Sterilizer with maximum UV-C exposure which includes little space for water to pass outside of maximum penetration, unlike many UV Sterilizers on the market.
Vastly superior to the Coralife Turbo Twist in UVC exposure time

• With the higher dwell times of the 15 Watt, 25 Watt, & especially the 30 Watt Advantage; bypass valves or ball valves are often not required for many pond pumps often employed.
Many other smaller, low dwell time UV Sterilizers/Clarifiers such as the Tetra, Laguna, Coralife require water to pass through the UV at a slower rate to achieve level one sterilization.

• The Advantage UV includes a very rugged outer shell that blends well with many ponds and is equally at home in aquarium applications.

• The Advantage UV utilizes a very long life and reliable magnetic ballast and starter, unlike most UVs that now have cheap electronic ballasts that often only last a year or two (examples of UVs with poor ballasts include the Coralife and Laguna).

• Can be used with Vinyl Tubing Sizes; 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, or 1″ ID OR Rigid pipe adaptors, for connection to 1 inch (40 mm) solvent weld rigid PVC pipe, are included with the unit. These adaptors are held in place with screw on collars, allowing the disconnection of the rigid pipe, leaving the unit or the rigid pipe in site for ease of servicing and maintenance.


*The PRO series as in the 110 Watt Pond PRO UV, primarily for ponds, but these are also useful and popular for large aquarium or systems (such as central filter systems)
See: 110 Watt Pond PRO UV; Professional Sterilizers for Large Pond or Aquarium Systems


• As with the Vecton & Advantage, the TMC Professional is a well constructed UV Sterilizer with maximum UV-C exposure which includes little space for water to pass outside of maximum penetration, yet without the gimmicks of many other premium UV Sterilizer commonly sold.

• Suitable for ponds up to 19,200 gallons (dependent on stocking density and the amount of sunlight the pond is subject to) or Aquarium Systems up to 1800 gallons (for level one sterilization).

• Very heavy duty PVC construction that resists UVC degradation as well or better than any other UV Sterilizer.

• In my opinion a very compact UV Sterilizer design for this size UV (about 40 x 15 inches); it is relatively easily hung sideways on walls for aesthetics.

• Simply the best professional grade UV Sterilizer for the price!

A suggested web site to purchase a TMC UV Sterilizer with whom the owner has decades of experience in UV Sterilizer design and professional use:
tmcuv2tn3Tropic Marine Center UV Sterilizers at American Aquarium Products

This website and its owner has been using and designing Ultraviolet Sterilizers professionally dating back to 1978.


Even if you find a better price for a TMC Vecton or Advantage (which I have found their prices to be among the lowest), you will NOT get more accurate information, especially when you consider the time and research that went into the article below:


UV Sterilization; How to Use Correctly
I highly recommend reading this above article if you desire to move past the basics of fish keeping and therefore keep a more healthy aquarium or pond.
This in depth information and knowledge makes this website THE PLACE TO PURCHASE A UV STERILIZER for your aquarium or pond.


Copyright; Misti King

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