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RE: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #25

I have not spoken up much, but I feel my experience with heating cables
might be of interest. I am fairly new to the aquascaping hobby (1 1/2 years)
but I use heating cables on my newest tank. The tank has only been setup for
5 months so I cannot come to any conclusions as to whether they are
necessary or even if they are a benefit. I did quite a bit of research on
heating cables when I was thinking of setting up my first big plant tank
(125 gal) and I wanted to do it right. I certainly could not afford Dupla
cables or any other commercial cable system, so I was determined to build my
own if I figure out how. Between the Krib and APD, there were plenty of
plans and suggestions. The plans are quite simple, and in then end the
hardware is relatively cheap. I found that the entire thing cost about $70
and I think that if I wasn't so excited to get it done quick, I could have
found some cheaper parts.
	I have my cables on a timer because I found that they heated the
tank a bit too much, especially in the summer. Once I tweaked a few things
while setting up the tank, I haven't had to touch them again. Being an
electrical engineer, I find the building, testing, and tweaking to be the
fun part anyway. They having been working flawlessly and keeps the bottom of
the tank nice and warm. The tank is running very smoothly. Most plants grow
great and there is very little algae.
	If anyone is interested in more specifics, please feel free to
e-mail me.
	On another note, I use a low pressure CO2 system which runs 24 hours
a day. I do not run an airstone while the lights are off. My PH fluctuates a
little, but with no known side effects. I have never noticed any problems
with fish gasping either.

Jason Luebke
System Performance Engineer
Minneapolis, MN