[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re:Bioplast and other undergravel heaters

Robert H <robertpaulh at earthlink_net> wrote, first quoting me, then
">>I can tell you that substrate heaters are much more efficient
aquarium heaters than other types--or so has been my experience. 
Lighting levels, potasium levels, and things like that seem to have
tremendously larger impacts on the plants than the use of substrate
heating. I can't possibly put more heat into my tanks without
overheating them.   <<

Well I am confused here. I thought substrate heaters were to simply
create a
small warm current deep in the substrate, and wouldnt be enough to heat
whole tank by any stretch. You certainly would not use them to take the
place of a water colum heater... Isnt this correct?

I think you're correct and what you say is consistent with what I am
saying.  One tries to have a low wattage substrate heater to try to
prevent it having to turn off at any time--so it maintains a steady
convection.  BUT, depending on your ambient conditions (room temp),
lights, covered tank or not, pumps (most aquaria pumps cool themselves
using the water in or from the aquarium (all Eheim pumps and filters
are good examples as are any power-heads)--depending on all those
things and probably a few more--you might not be able to add any heat
at all at some times--so even a low wattage substrate heater will need
to be shut off.  Of course, if cost and electricity use were no object
you use lots of fans on the lights and a chiller (freon
compressor/evaporator) and continue to use a substrate heater even if
you live in AZ without air conditioning.  But I can't bring myself to
heat and cool the same thing at the same time--I'd rather work on
improving my set up other ways.

As for efficiency, I was merely noting that heating the substrate
maximizes the amount of water that receives the heat as convection
takes it to the top of the tank, which is where the hotter water likes
to be.  My experience has been that once can use much less electricity
to maintain tank temp if the heater is in the substrate providing a low
steady rate of heat than if the heater is off again-on again, higher
power, and placed up in the water column.  If you had no plants at all,
a substrate heater would be a good way to heat if you wanted to
minimize use of electricity.

Even with low wattage substrate heaters, much of the time they are
adequate for maintaining tank temperature--other heaters are just
backup for those very cold nights when extra oomph is needed.  But lots
if things effect tank temp so your results may vary.  I have more than
one tank setup and my results vary. :-)

Scott H

Do You Yahoo!?
Make international calls for as low as $.04/minute with Yahoo! Messenger