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UV 24/7

In a message dated 1/24/02 3:58:40 AM Eastern Standard Time, Nicholas writes:

<< Guess what ? No Algae. I can't believe it !
 I think it is mainly due to the UV sterilizer running 24/7.  >>

I had a bad time with GW for a while so I first purchased a Vortex diatom 
filter before realizing this treated only the symptoms. I later purchased a 
UV sterilizer and the GW is history now.

I keep the UV sterilizer running 24/7 and I truly believe this helps. It may 
be overkill, but what else am I going to do with the thing -- let it sit in 
the box? Plus I have a hunch starting up the tube repeatedly shortens its 
life as much or more than just running it full time.

I think the toasted trace element concerns are a non-issue, as I see nothing 
I could interpret as a deficiency in this tank. 

I've also had the Vortex running 24/7 for the last two weeks rather than just 
sit in a closet.  I paid good $$ for those devises and I believe in using 
them. Plus, I told my lovely wife they were absolutely crucial before I 
purchased them in the first place and even though I never make mistakes -- 
she checks...

The water in that tank is absolutely crystal. People have hurt their hands 
trying to reach in and touch the plants.

I get much more pearling now too, maybe because the Vortex helps circulate 
the CO2 and nutrients better. When an SAE plunges it's head into a mass of 
Riccia, it releases an explosion of oxygen bubbles, tiny balloons that 
shimmer like stardust as they rise to the surface.

I like this combo so much I think I'll plumb and install it permanently on my 
next tank. I bought a recharge valve for the Vortex that allows one to 
isolate, shut off or index the water from the intake and outflow tubes to the 
filter itself without losing siphon. This permits those tubes to be hidden by 
running them up the back behind the aquarium and I keep the canister itself 
in the cabinet under the tank and out of sight. This valve lets me remove 
just the filter hooked to a short length of tubing for cleaning and 
recharging thus leaving the inconspicuous and difficult to install plumbing 
in place with an intact siphon.

I'm concerned there may be some drawback to this 24/7 setup I'm not 
perceiving (other than $$$), but two weeks into the clinical trials and it 
only seems to be getting better.

I hope this filtration issue is not too off topic for some, but there really 
are not many filters designed specifically with the aquatic gardener in mind. 
As usual, we must do most of it ourselves and sharing experiences really 
helps with this.

Bob Olesen
West Palm Beach