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Re: Soil Heating Cables - or how to get warm from the bottom up

Bill Wu pointed something that wasn't obvious to me, that heaters, such
as, for example, those not originally intended to be put inside an
aquarium can be still be used because:

> You can place the heating cable under the aquarium, it will still
> heat the 
> substrate.

The substrate heating cables I have seen that are intended to be placed
inside the tank cannot be safely used out of water -- without the
substrate and/or water  surrounding the cable, they do not have a
suitable heat sink to ensure that the insulation does overheat.

I would have thought that coils intended to be buried in soil would
also rely on a considerable heat sink -- but it really depends on the
design.  Other potential under-the-tank substrate heaters are:
Waterbed heaters  -- usually extrordinarily overpriced but you can buy
similar heating blankets from Omega Engineering (type address all on
one line)


Also, Reptile tank warmers

Or enclose some incandescant lamps an put them under (but the bulbs not
touching) your tank -- incandescent lamps convert about 93% of their
input energy into heat!

Scott H.

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