11-20-2008, 12:12 AM
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I personally do, but there are a lot of mixed opinions on whether or not they are highly effective... it also probably has a lot to do with how carefully/correctly you set it up. Each UV unit will have a range of flow rates that is recommended for it: too fast, and it won't be able to do its job at all... I'm not sure what the consequences are if you run water through it too slowly, but I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to do that either.
Within the range of "acceptable" flow rates, if you run water through it as fast as possible, you'll only kill/sterilize bacteria... if you slow it down to mid-range, it will kill free-floating algae as well. And if its run closer to the slow-end, it will also kill parasites.
So how effective it is, and what your goal for it is, depends on how finely you tune the flow of water through it. Most people put the UV unit on the outflow of the sump right before pumping it back to the main display, however that might restrict how slow you can get the flow to go through it. Slowing it down means slowing the overall flow rate of water through your entire sump as well. I think you can also put it in a loop-back fashion, if you split the outflow of your sump between going back to the main display and back to the inlet/skimmer chamber (through the UV unit if you like). In that case, you can easily get a slow flow through the UV, just be sure that you still have sufficient flow through the main display as well after the split!
Some people claim that a UV unit will also kill/sterilize useful things as well like copepods and such, but I don't know enough to be able to confirm/deny how much of an impact this really has. Basically, as far as I can tell, it's still an open debate regarding how useful a UV unit is. If you can better use the extra money to buy a better skimmer or upgrade another piece of equipment, I might lean more towards urging you to do that, but that's just an opinion, and I'm far from the most knowledgeable person on this forum :).
Last edited by conger; 11-20-2008 at 12:19 AM..