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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have multiple Green Killing Machine 9w UV sterilizers in several of my tanks. Because I have a few of these, it gets expensive to replace the UV bulb every four months or so. If I put the sterilizers on a timer and run them only part of the day, this would mean that I might be able to go several years without having to replace the bulbs, but will a sterilizer be beneficial only running it part of the day or does it have to be on 24/7? If I can run only part of the day, how long should I run it for? Should I run it at night, in the daytime, or does it even matter when? Thanks!
 

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Many (most?) folks keep sterilizers, or at least the ones not integrated into a canister or run inline, in a box or under the tank. They come out only when there are algae issues. This may or may not work for you, but it's food for thought.

...Then again, probably most of us (myself included, with 6 tanks) don't use sterilizers in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I run it only when there's a problem like ich or green water. I burnt out my bulb running for 2 months straight.
I use the sterilizers on my tanks that have inverts and fish as a preventative measure so that I do not have an Ich outbreak in the first place. This way I don't have to treat my water with any meds that might harm my shrimps and snails or my plants. I would rather try to keep a problem from occurring in the first place rather than try to treat it after it happens. But this brings up a new question- can I use the sterilizer to treat a problem once it has already begun to occur? Rather, would the sterilizer be useful in treating an Ich outbreak or something similar if used as a treatment once the problem is already there just as well as it keeps problems from occurring with regular continuous use?

Many (most?) folks keep sterilizers, or at least the ones not integrated into a canister or run inline, in a box or under the tank. They come out only when there are algae issues. This may or may not work for you, but it's food for thought.

...Then again, probably most of us (myself included, with 6 tanks) don't use sterilizers in the first place.
I have four of these that I have been running constantly for about a year. In the tanks that have them, I have had zero problems, and in tanks that did not have them I occasionally have the odd parasite issue or other sickness. I do not typically have problems with algae blooms, so I am more interested in killing the critters in the water column that could make my fishes and inverts sick than controlling algae. I know that not a whole lot of people use them, but they work well for me in the application I want them for and in the long run I think it is cheaper for me to run them and deal with bulb replacement than to buy fish meds and deal with potentially replacing my fishes.

I am a bit more interested in seeing if, say, I run the sterilizer for 2 hours a day it would retain its' effectiveness as a preventative measure. Thanks to both of your for your quick replies.
 

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how to use your UV

How long to run it is a judgment call.

Depending on how the tank circulates water, plant density, (obstructions to flow) would determine how long to run the unit for clearing the water column. No way I'm aware of to get a complete turn over / time ratio in a blanket statement. That's going to be your call on figuring that one out. I've been involved in a couple threads that turned into all out debate on this topic so good luck with that.
I'll run the UV on my quarantine system introducing new fish for the first week if I have concerns, 50/50 on use, (guessing) sometimes I just watch the tank. If I see a problem in tank like water clouding (white) or algae bloom (green tinted water), or a fish problem I'll power a unit up.

When I have a spawn in the tank I'll run it from eggs being layed until they are eating flake.

Doing a major rescape or disturbing the substrate in any major way I'll run it for 24hrs.

Some don't even quarantine buying new fish adding them to an established system, is what is. Once bitten twice shy if you learn from it.
UV light is proven technology and a handy tool.

My opinion would be more toward running it for 24hrs once a week or once a month rather than a few hours a day.

I no longer run units 24/7
HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How long to run it is a judgment call.

Depending on how the tank circulates water, plant density, (obstructions to flow) would determine how long to run the unit for clearing the water column. No way I'm aware of to get a complete turn over / time ratio in a blanket statement. That's going to be your call on figuring that one out. I've been involved in a couple threads that turned into all out debate on this topic so good luck with that.
I'll run the UV on my quarantine system introducing new fish for the first week if I have concerns, 50/50 on use, (guessing) sometimes I just watch the tank. If I see a problem in tank like water clouding (white) or algae bloom (green tinted water), or a fish problem I'll power a unit up.

When I have a spawn in the tank I'll run it from eggs being layed until they are eating flake.

Doing a major rescape or disturbing the substrate in any major way I'll run it for 24hrs.

Some don't even quarantine buying new fish adding them to an established system, is what is. Once bitten twice shy if you learn from it. UV light is proven technology and a handy tool.

My opinion would be more toward running it for 24hrs once a week or once a month rather than a few hours a day.

I no longer run units 24/7
HTH
Thanks wkndracer for the advice. I hope not to have any debate on the thread, but like any equipment if there are options then there will be just as many opinions. I only use the sterilizer as a tool, but I am not so set in my ways that I am not open to the idea of building a better mousetrap so to speak. I think I am going to try running the UV sterilizer for 24 hours once a week in two of my tanks and keep the other two constantly on as a control for my experiment. After a few months I can post my results here as a reference for other people who may have the same question. Thanks again!
 
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