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Re: Cables/ deep gwavel

I say:
>> Deep gravel beds always have done better than the shallow ones for me and
>> most everyone's tank I've ever seen. All three methods stand to gain from
>> this addition. Warmth as well if you want to drive your tank "faster".
>> higher surface areas etc.
> Could you define deep and shallow in this context?

4 inches or more(medium). Even to 6-8 inches(deep). Shallow(1/2 to 3 inches
or so). I have used deeper depths with better success every time. Happier
roots, more room, more bacteria, more reduction, more of a nutrient
sump...more gravel in my tank:(
Solution that I personally like is a nice slope towards the back of the
tank. 6 inch minimum in the back and I come down to about an inch in the
front. Roots, rock, terracing etc can create deep sections and this can help
add depth as well without detracting from the tank's look as much. Many of
Amano's and other Dutch aquarist use something like this at some level.

But I don't use nor would suggest someone to try a cables et up with 2
inches of gravel. 3+ and 4-5 would be better IMO. I like 6 or so.

I do have a minimalist gwravel (sworry Mr Fudd) depth in one tank at about
1/2  an inch on perhaps 40% of the tank's surface and about 1 1/2- 2 inches
on 50% and about 3 on the last remainder.
I added gloss to the thin part and then tried hargrass (sworry George) and
then Riccia stones. I have Crypt. crispatula var balansae in this shallow
gravel as well. Everything grows well. The material is flourite.
Overall, I'd say the thin gravel is touchy if you replant often or prune
lots. Anytime it is disturbed it doesn't bounce back like the deep gravel
beds. Some reductive zones will be of great importance as well(not all
shallow- too aerobic). You can have spots of pure aerobic areas(1/2 to 2 or
so) and spots of reductive zones(4-6inch or so) in the vertical column
rather than the just using the flat horizontal plane and still have a
similar effect. Or sloped towards the front etc.
> And has anyone done any expierimenting with the placement of heating cables
> in the gravel. Not pattern, but rather vertical position within the gravel
> bed (i.e. 0.5" above the bottom / 2" from the top, middle, etc...)? I would
> think the small currents would have optimum locations within the gravel bed.

Neat idea but what happens when you guys remove yer cables when thar's a big
old sword plant or if the cables are 2 inches in the middle of your tank?
Every time you prune and remove plants, the cables move and get shifted
around. If you have the big old dupla cables this is not as big an issue
(but they do move unless you dig all the way down there and reset them back)
and with the Sandpoint are worse for this issue. The little old 20-30 gauge
wire for many DIY are extremely difficult to set and keep in this manner.
If you have them in the middle of the gravel bed this would be an even worse
The substrate moves and is active due to the plant's roots moving, shifting,
transporting etc.

What happens to the cables that use to heating in the warm gravel bed when
you expose them to the cool water above? Think about the thin wire DIY'ers
use. I fried some this way personally. I didn't shock myself but it could
happen with thin wire and the wrong set up. Good insulation, good fuse set
ups, even buying the dupla cables MAY SAVE YOUR NECK. I had a 3 volt
transformer and a fuse and a small tank when it happened. I taped the heck
out of my wire from then on.......Use caution and set it up for over kill.
Tom Barr