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Re: UV Lamps (Here's a better subject for you Scott :))

>Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 05:03:53 -0800 (PST)
>From: "S. Hieber" <shieber at yahoo_com>
>Subject: 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, ;-).

Yeah yeah, it's just one of those things when you're on a roll of
putting in a few replies - I realized when I hit send that I hadn't
changed the title. Oops! The other two posts had better titles!
Hahaha... :)

>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.

Oh yeah, for sure. When you consider the expense of a unit it is
definitely something to think about. And of course those manufacturers
do want to sell their gizmo's :)

>You know of UV lamps that aren't pricey.  The bulbs alone
>tend to run about $20-$40 and the lamps much much more. 

Well I have seen some units that are around 2/3 of that price for the
globe, and around 1/2 the price of the RL units. However, I do wonder
about their efficiency compared to the higher end units.

>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.

Definitely... I suffer a terrible condition called 'laziness', which
leaves me relying on my uv unit to mask my rather stunted maintenance
regime! Nah, just kidding :) I've just found it a convenient little unit
that just adds that extra 'edge' that I wasn't quite getting using just
the standard filter system (even with fine filter flosses etc). Diatom
filters have their disadvantages as well as advantages. The UV adds a
bit of extra 'peace of mind' I guess. Always looking for a source to the
problem is the best solution rather than masking it however. I know what
the problems were in my tanks and, without going into details, I just
found it easier (and believe it or not, cheaper) to use a UV module to
remove the side-effects than to fix the source.

I agree as well - a UV unit is a low priority I'd say for the 95% of
planted aquaria hobbyists out there. If you have a spare $200 then go
out and grab yourself some lovely young discus from which to derive some
breeding pairs or grab a fancy pl*co :)

My extra 2c :)

Adam Shaw