Lifegard Aquatics AquaStep Pro UV Sterilizer - 15W
|Average Customer Review: ( 2 customer reviews )
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Form and function Mar 11, 2010
This is a very nice UV filter. It is designed to hang off the side of the tank or sit on a shelf/floor. If you are not hanging it off the side, you will need to buy a seperate hanger set for the hoses to hang over the side (plus probably hoses - it includes 4 feet which is not enough if you are not hanging it). You'll have to figure that part out on your own, perhaps using canister filter replacement parts. It comes with a water diffuser but that is only able to be used for side of tank mounting/hanging. If you have a smaller tank, you may not be able to hang it since it is pretty long (mine is 130 gallons). In this case, you can use a tee connector (not included) and plumb it into the output of your canister filter. You will have to figure the plumbing out on your own though. Most people use a ball valve to control the amount of water into the UV filter. The slower the water moves, the more good it does.
It also does not include a pump. I used a 160gph power head that I already had that fit the included hose perfectly. It also includes 3 metal hose clamps. Be careful of plugging in the UV bulb as it is keyed and will not work if the key is not ligned up properly. Also the ballast is totally seperate from the unit. It is designed to be screwed into something or else layed on a shelf. This is good since the electronics are totally seperated from the rest of the unit. You are able to change the bulb without even turning the pump off.
So far, so good. No results on whether it works or not as advertised (I assume it does as UV filters are very effective and this unit is very well designed)) but installation was easy.
Sprung a leak (s) Sep 23, 2010
By S. Kelly
I got this unit maybe 3 years ago and it worked well, but developed a slow leak from a seam on the top. It was a very slow leak, so no big deal. Then 2 weeks ago a seam on the bottom began leaking badly, and could have been a 75 gallon disaster if I had been out of town. Things get old, and break, and that's normal. I replaced the ballast for this at one point, and that's understandable, it is on 24-7. My issue with this is that the plastic case for it sprung a bad leak (it leaked around 5 gallons over the course of one night) and the leak was from an area on the case where there are no movable parts. Of all the things that can go wrong with a device like this, one should not have to worry that the case is going to randomly spring a leak and drain your tank onto the floor.
Despite the fact that I have a relatively new bulb and ballast for this unit, I can't just replace the casing and go on with it because I don't trust the manufacturing quality. Instead I bought a unit called the "green killing machine" which sits completely inside the tank. It was also cheaper and a higher wattage that this. Despite it's silly name, it seems to be at least as effective as the Pentair. And if it springs a leak I won't end up in court with my downstairs neighbors.
I'm giving this 2 stars because it was totally effective at controlling algae. If your setup is such that a leak from this won't be a disaster then this thing would be fine. It looks as if they have changed the design of their UV sterilizers and are phasing these out. I'm still keeping away.