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Re: New setup opinions -- and some old questions

George Booth, who knows way more than me about planted
tanks, and who is one of the reasons I (and many many
others) even started aquatic gardening, said, in part:

> . . . A UV
> sterilizer isn't really
> needed except if you have a problem that UV would help
> (disease or algae
> bloom). I'm guessing, but 25W sounds a little low to be
> effective if you did
> need it. You also need to consider "dwell time" in the UV
> filter. UV only
> works if the water is in contact with the UV for a
> certain amount of time
> (basd on wattage and gallons per hour). Check the UV
> sterilizer directions
> to determine if you are sized correctly.

At the risk of being corrected (who, me?), I'll add some
further thoguhts about using a UV.

I think that, due to the recirculation through the UV, you
can probably get by with with less watts.  I'd think that
about 8 watts per 30 gallons would be plenty.  15 might be
enough for 100 gal.  25 will be more than enough.  Put the
UV on a bypass (or Tee) off of a waterline to control the
flow rate/dwell time.  Most of the flow rates you see
posted by UV manufacturers are the same as they give for
sterilizing water in single-pass systems (like drinking
water).  I think they tend to be generous (to themselves)
when they suggest lamp sizes for aquariums  -- but then,
I'm known to be cynical now and then.

When your tank's established, turn the UV off.  You
probalby won't notice a difference if your tank is healthy.
 If you set up two tanks, do one with and one without and
see if there's a difference.

If you've got it, run it for a day or so just after a water
change, before which, of course, you scrape off any algal
accumulation on the glass -- the water change gets most of
what's scraped off, and the UV will get the rest.

If you run the UV 24/7, you won't need to clean the lamp or
quartz tube -- the UV rays will keep it clean for years on
end -- that might be worth the $20-$40 per year you spend
on a UV bulb and extra iron -- only you can decide.

Roger (or anyone who knows), if the iron oxidizes due to
UV, what happens to it in the tank?  The plants will ignore
it if the other stuff is around?  It just accumulates. 
Plants won't grow as well (quickly?) if they have to devote
resources to using oxidized iron instead of the good stuff?

Scott H.

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