Worth the extra money By Chuck on 6/14/2011
Chuck would recommend this product to a friend
These UV Sterilizers are top of the line. These are not inexpensive but you really do get your moneys worth, in fact even more since the way they rate the capacity of the units is really a worst case scenario. They are rated at a "suggested" flow rate which is based on the bulb being at the end of it's 9000 hour useful life span, and also rated based on "green water" clarity, which is nowhere near what you would find in any well filtered system. When you factor in a new bulb and clear water the maximum flow rate doubles and so would the size of aquarium it is suggested to handle. I actually bought the 40 watt model that is rated for a 260 gallon tank thinking based on my past experience with UV sterilizers that you need to go bigger, but it is overkill for my 120 gal. If I had it to do over I would get the 18 watt and I'm confident it would handle my tank fine.
This is the third UV Sterilizer I have purchased for my tank and I'm sure it will be the last, because it is built like a tank. Unlike the other two which were cheap "Made in China" crap Emperor Aquatics is made in America and you can tell the difference. If you are considering a UV Sterilizer do yourself a favor and go to emperor aquatics website and read through their technical data. Once you get a better understanding of the contact times, flow rates, and UV spectrums required for effective UV sterilization you'll realize that the common cheap hobby UV sterilizers are all but useless and a complete waste of money.
Without a doubt these are far more expensive than the average hobby units, but I really think that if your budget is tight and you can't afford or justify spending the higher price, that you keep saving until it makes sense. In the end you'll be glad you did.