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Re: 125 and Cables

Tom Brennan wrote:
>BTW, (diatribe coming, skip if you think you need to),  I am convinced
>(while not a pre-requisite), substrate heating works. Why? I fertilize
>heavy, feed heavy (planted discus tank), do lots of water changes, but
>hardly vacuum ever, well maybe once, I lightly vacuumed 1/2 the tank last
>year and the other half just last month while doing some minor re-design.  I
>think my available Phosphate and Iron levels would be much higher if it were
>not for the steady convection and cation exchange and element reductions
>(divalent state) going on in my substrate making elements (Ammonium, K, P
>Fe, Ca, Mg and other trace elements) available to plant roots.  ALL plant
>root systems are prolific, nice structures, all nice color and no black
>root-rot syndrome anywhere.  Maybe it's too early to tell.  NO Algae except
>what was clearly induced by me and stupid...er/or learning stuff which
>cleared up quickly like in 2-3 weeks.  Anything I plant develops great roots
>and does well.   Would UGH also attribute to reducing allelopathic levels in
>the water column also?

How about all those water changes, eh? Are they to blame? Your removing
everything and starting over each time. I do essentially the same thing with
maintenance and could claim the same thing. They do work IMO too.
But........mulm is a great additive to a plant tank, not vac-ing your tank
is a good thing, not a negative thing. My water has 1.0ppm of PO4 and it
goes down to .5-..6 in a few days. The tank's plants are sucking it out
rather than the cables action I would bet. Most of my tanks don't have
cables but I do have both methods(actually three main ones, no flow-osmosis,
low flow-cables and high flow- RFUG's). I'm about to retire the cables as
seeing they just don't do as well as other methods IMO and for my routines.
So many other folks out there do it without cables(Amano,Neil, Karen,
myself, etc but not George!) so can everyone and save yer dough for
lighting/CO2 etc.

 Try heating pads. The same process should work as well. I found this to be
the case. Mighty cheap too. Also, I didn't like adding more heat, especially
during summer, than was needed and this guy Matt lives in Florida. This
brings up an interesting point about the much touted cables.

Unless the temp (outside the tank/inside the tank) is stable...... the flow
rates and so on are going to be different depending on ambient outside temp.
It seems that the cables will not do much in the summer adding no
heat(unless you live in a very cold part of the world or like air
conditioning the house and tank) no circulating water through it (the
gravel) unless you like very warm water. My summer temps here go over 90's
F,30's C) So it doesn't work at all during this time unless I set the temp
for 90+F. It's a seasonal device? So in the summer you don't get the
benefits?  Well, you could air condition the place but just to use a cable
set up? Seems like if you get too warm you can't use its benefits. What's
more important, a stable flow or a stable temp? Unless you have a stable
temp inside the house things will move around regarding the flow rates. The
larger the temp difference, the more water will flow through the substrate
and this will cause the system to cycle according to this temp difference.
Same goes for smaller tanks but you can get away with  temp variations with
larger tanks better, unless you live where it gets warm, then there's only
the cooler,chiller, air conditioner,fans etc. or wait till winter<g>. 

Come on........ for money also? That's the knife in this methods heart. I
can build them cheaper but it is a hassle and cheesy. If I spent some time
noodling I could come up with something nice looking but would have to spend
more on it. I built 4 of them and they worked very well.
RFUG's do as well and don't heat the water. Try growing a lace plant with
cables over the long term. Tell me what happens. Bet they don't last a
year........unless the cables are off<G>. All the Aponogetons did extremely
well without heat.

>> Matt
>> In sunny Florida, where the tap water is liquid rock, and the
>> tanks boil if
>> you try to put any light on them.

Good old Karst makes for good caving! Hey maybe add cave water to cool it
down<g>! Add the CO2 till you get the PH down to where it should be with
that liquid rock. You have too much flow on your pump(1200gph) unless you
add a ball valve to slow the flow.  If you like Congo's and want to see them
in a MH open top tank look at my weed choke swamp. 2 have committed suicide
over about two years out of 15 fish.
It's a 90 gal with Congo's and MH's and about 300GPH. Ph of about 6.7or 6.8,
KH 5.5, GH 9. Fe 2.0 ppm at least and cables.

Oh, BTW, I have a nice set of Sandpoint (remember them?) heating cables for
sale, complete 250 watt set up for a 150 to 75 gallon tank if someone is
interested. Paid 400$ Pretty much just like Dupla's stuff. Please email me
>Tom Brennan
>(In Spring-like No. VA.  Hey anybody want to go Spelunking this weekend?)

Yea but it's too far to drive from CA. I'd like to see the tanks too! Dr.
Barr is my Dad, he is very well know in the caving grottos. Check them out
for folks to go caving with. They often have something going on.
Dad wrote the definitive book on Caves of Tennessee. 
I'm a transplant from Kentucky. 
Tom Barr