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U V Sterilizers
I have only used one brand but have some suggestions that might be
UV lamps are pretty simple things, actually -- a flourescent lamp with
a bulb that has a high UV yield, and a water jacket around the bulb.
Some of the prices suggest they were designed by the likes of Verner
When I was shopping, each store seemed to carry one brand, purportedly
because it was "the best." However, each store had a different single
brand. Some makers argue that their bulbs last longer, yet the higher
price makes bulb replacement more expensive in the long run. For my
situation, and given the prices at a particular vendor at a particualr
time, Aquanetics was the most reasonable buy.I have used Aquanetics
without any problems.
When you select, it might help to consider the cost of replacement
bulbs over the expected life (10 years is likely since the only part
that will "wear" and fail besides the bulb is the transformer).
Most UV makers suggest a certain size UV lamp for a given size of tank
and rate of water flow. Then they suggest you replace the bulb at half
life because the level of effective UV has decreased to about 60% or
so. It can be cheaper to just buy a bigger UV lamp from the start,
which is then still effective for yhour tank well below 60% and replace
bulbs less often.
Two small lamps (say 15 watts) can be cheaper than one larger lamp (say
30 Watts) because the large lamps can be disproportionately more
expensive, especially if you have to have them shipped.
Lock down a bulb supplier before you buy. Some vendors carry lamps but
not replacement bulbs (go figure).
I have read that UV rays can break down chelators, thereby affecting
the availablity of iron to plants. I think George Booth, among others,
can confirm whether that is so.
Read all the warnings that come with the Lamp -- UV rays can be
dangerous to eyes and skin.
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