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UV - A Philosophical Comment

 >Using UV as a prophylactic for a certain period of time each day or
 >constantly raises another issue.  * * *  I wonder if it might not also be
 >leading to the breeding of fish with immune systems that were weakened * * *
 >So, does anyone have any thoughts?

This is very much philosophical as I haven't used a UV, but . . . sometime 
ago I read a post, perhaps to this list, perhaps to another, from someone 
who had a large tank full of cardinal tetras who kept a UV running all the 
time.  The bulb burned out and it took the person a while to get another 
and get it installed and most (all? this is from memory) of the cardinals 
died in that time.  That person's conclusion was that by conditioning the 
cardinals to water pretty much free from all pathogens their immune systems 
had been weakened to where they couldn't handle living in ordinary aquarium 
conditions.  Since these are my favorite fish - although losing a tank full 
of anything would be devastating - that story has stayed in my mind.

Also I personally am one of those people who believe exposure to dirt and 
germs on some levels is good for healthy living creatures and their immune 
systems.  I think it's James McPherson in his BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM who 
mentions that during the Civil War the soldiers who died of disease at the 
highest rate weren't the city boys from impoverished backgrounds, but the 
farm boys who hadn't been exposed to many of the diseases that flourished 
in the crowded camps.

I'm not advocating swimming in sewers, but I don't think living in an 
almost sterile environment is good unless you're sure you can keep it that 
way for a lifetime.

Ellen O'Connell
Parker, CO
mailto:oconnel4 at ix_netcom.com