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RE:Black stuff

>I pondered what to do. It's a low light tank, and quick-rooting plants didn't 
>seem to be an option (as they wouldn't grow). One thought was to put heating 
>pads on the bottom to increase circulation. I ran an air wand on that side of 
>the tank at night for a while to create a water current (though a very 
>low-power air pump). Checking from time to time, I noticed that it did help 
>diminish the area, but there were still rotten spots, and gas.  I'd actually 
>go in and dig with my hands and feel the gas pressure. I finally got a power 
>head for that side of the tank. I toyed with the idea of connecting a hose on 
>the output and sticking it directly in the gravel (isn't that what they make 
>undergravel filters for?), but decided to just try running it as is, to see 
>if the current alone would solve the problem. After a cleaning today, the 
>smell and gas appear to be entirely gone.

Try using a spray bar approach except bury it near the bottom of this area
pointing down. A small flow is all that's needed. This will not add extra
heat (except the pump itself) to your tank. The pad will do well. They sell
decent temp controllers for the pads now that are cheap also!
The UG filter that you are using is very much like the RFUG's that I tout
for substrates. They work great. I wouldn't use them for 12 years if they
didn't<g>. I like them much better than cables and no flow methods. 

I haven't found flourite to ever go anaerobic. Has anyone else on the APD
found it to go anaerobic?
Tom Barr