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Re: UV lamps -- Watts the right size

Adam Shaw said some things about UV lamps.  Good stuff even
if he can't title his responses descriptively, ;-).

> Not stepping on your feet here Scott.. 

Don't mind being being stepped on, unless you're wearing

> what Scott
> said, I believe the wattage of UV sterilizer required
> would depend on a
> variety of factors - efficiency of the sterilizer design,
> quality of the
> UV bulb, as well as environmental factors such as the
> quality of the
> filter system in removing suspended matter, lighting,
> amount of plants
> and stocking rates as well as quality of water change
> water (introduced
> micro-organisms and algae) etc.

Sure thing.  But I want to stress the general point that a
person probably needs a lot less UV lamp than the
manufacturers might have you think -- and that's if you
need one at all.

> I run a good quality (though rather pricey) Rainbow
> Lifegard 8 watt UV
> module on my 60g planted

You know of UV lamps that aren't pricey.  The bulbs alone
tend to run about $20-$40 and the lamps much much more. 
For less money you can run a Vortex that will also clear
out green water, cloudy water, waterborne ich and other
protozoans and bacteria, and a lot of waterborne detritus
at the same time.  Of course, if your water is cloudy with
bacteria or green with algae (which is still better than
being green with envy), the cause should probably be
addressed -- you might need more plants, a better balance
of nutrients, some help from Tom Barr, less fish food --- a
diatom filter won't fix the problem unless the problem is a
temporary condition of too much floating detritus.  A UV
won't fix the problem either (it might indefinitely mask it
which is an acceptable although expensive way to get that
result).  So, at least with a UV you can run it constantly
and ignore the problem and it's much quieter than a Vortex.

A UV is a very expensive piece of equipment that has it's
uses but it's certainly not necessary for healthy planted
tanks.  If you're setting up a tank, a UV should be at the
very bottom of your list of things to buy if you don't run
out of money getting all the things you really "need" or
can get a lot more benefit from -- like lights, CO2 tanks
and related hardware, nice substrate, some very nice fish
and plants, or even a nice piece of driftwood.

I have tanks with and tanks without UV, the water is clear
in all of them.

Scott H.

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