What exactly do these kill? How do they work? I have a UV bulb and lamp (used to be for my turtle), could I just put that over that tank a few minutes a day and expect the same results? Whats the difference? How many watts and GPH should a UV sterilizer have for a 10 gallon? If I used a UV sterilizer thats supposed to be for a 50 gallon in my 10 gallon, would it harm the fish or plants? Thanks in advance.
No, the turtle bulb contains a normal amount of UV, similar to the sun. UV sterilizers are a completely different matter. Your turtle bulb won't do anything to the tank, really.
A sterilizer will contain a high amount of UV that will kill off things in the water column; viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoans, parasites, algae..
You want the UV filter running through less than 1" of water, have to replace the bulb twice a year, should be run 24/7, will kill off any beneficial bacteria it comes into contact with. It's a chunky thing. Doesn't sit over your aquarium as it would burn your eyes, it's like a filter, the light is hidden away, so it wouldn't have an effect on your fish or plants.
Really, pretty useless for a betta tank.
I actually got one online from petco and they're on sale for 20% off, aside from that they have free shipping when I got it last week. I only paid 39$ for everything. IMO it's a good item to invest with specially my newly NPT setup has been getting some algae. It has been running for a good 4 hours and I must say the water has been getting clearer since I first plugged it in.
I guess it wouldn't be a bad idea. I mainly wanted it because I'm starting an african cichlid tank and since its pretty large, and will have lots of fish in it, I want to do as much as I can to prevent diseases, I also might start a sailfin ballon molly tank, but I'm not sure if I like those enough to stay interested. I guess I could also put it in my bettas' tanks every now and then for a day at a time. How many gph is the one you got?