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OT: UV Sterilizer (also on FW fourm)

Posted By: Mr Leadfoot <leadfoot@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Monday, 16 December 2002, at 1:52 a.m.

I'm considering getting a UV sterilizer and was hoping to hear some feedback. The reason I'm thinking of getting one is because it seems like they're more cost-effective in the long run than using meds to battle diseases that come into the tank on new fish and possibly plants.

Speficifally, I'm looking closer at the Double Helix models, where the water flows in a spiral down around the bulb then spirals back up along the bulb. Sounds like this design provides more contact time with the light and water than those units that have a straight path past the bulb. Am I wrong?

I also saw a model in the drsfostersmith catalog where although the water passes straight through the unit, the unit had a "wiper" to clean the glass around the bulb. Gimmick, or necessary?

What about flow? Is a high flow that important? I would think that the slower the flow the longer the contact time, and that the wattage of the bulb would be more important. I'm leaning towards the 9 watt and 18 watt Double Helix models only because I don't much about these units, and the marketing hype they use seems logical. The largest sized tank I would use this on would be 75 gallons. I'm considering using it periodically on some of my smaller tanks when the need calls for it.

Also, what are options to pump the water through them? I understand you can use them inline with a cannister, and one guy at an LFS told me to be sure to put it BEFORE the cannister. Why is that? In case it doesn't have as high of a flowthrough as the cannister? In other words, is the guy telling me this in case the cannister pumps a higher volume, and if you put the sterilizer AFTER the cannister, you can cause back-pressure? I can't think of any other reason to put it BEFORE a cannister. In fact, I would think that (aside from the pressure thing) putting the sterilizer AFTER the cannister would allow cleaner water to flow through the sterilizer.

Another thing is that I would like to use it on a tank without a cannister, as well. The tank in question has powerheads. Can I use an AquaClear Powerhead to pump the water? If so, do I have to DYI retrofit something onto the intake side of the powerhead, so the powerhead PULLS the water through the sterilizer, or can I use the output side of the powerhead to PUSH the water through it, or would that be asking for trouble?

ANY feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Kelvin

 

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