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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #618

 Subject: Substrate Heat for Bogs

> The problem is my current environment. Circumstances at the first of the
> year forced me to accept a converted basement apartment, and it has no
> independent environmental controls (thermostats for heat or a/c). My
> apartment's temperature is truly at the whim of the lady upstairs in the
> house - and I do mean whims. I often don't know if I'll be wearing a jacket
> or swim trunks on any particular day regardless of the _outside_ weather.
> (Hooie! Betcha it'll be the only time I make *that* mistake!)
> Since I don't believe some of these plants would be too partial to this
> "freeze-parch" stress testing, I reckon I'll have to find a way to
> _thermostatically_ control the substrates' temps.
> Would a couple of you mind narrowing my research a little towards controlled
> heating? Only to the most general topics, such as "Do the cable systems heat
> things evenly enough, since their design aim is convective turnover?" or "Do
> the reptile pads have a working range that would be acceptable for plants?"
Reptiles pads would be my choice. They also make warm pads from Hydroponics
places that have a thermostat as well but these cost more. They could sit
inside the tank also. For this and other heating ideas these do as well as
the cables. Don't believe it? Try it.......then you tell me. I did and found
little if any difference.
It may be wise to place some sort of insulation between the pad and the tank
to prevent a crack from large temp swings. This is often a good idea for
folks without any heating cables/pads etc in colder climates as well.
Another idea is to make a small box under the tank where the pad sits a
little bit away from the tank making a space under there that is nice &
warm. Both of these ideas will even the heat distribution out as well. If
you stack the tanks often there's a fair amount of heat from the lights
themselves and you typically don't need extra heat but it sounds like you do
in your place. 
Tom Barr