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Re: Substrate Heating

Will Earthlink commented on the Azoo heating cables, saying in part: 

> I bought some AZOO cables from M3 -
>   http://www.marine-monsters.com/front/products/ma-subheater.html for
> my
> 120.  They come with the
> little suction cup tie downs.  You can buy a thermostat (extra) for
> the
> cables if you want.  I just
> plug mine into a wall timer which allows you to set on/off in half
> hour
> increments.
> Price for the cables was much better than I envisioned ($50-60) -
> give M3 a
> call.

I don't know if Ed still carries the Azoo cables at M3.  He was
switching to another brand, but last I heard, none were yet available
from M3.

The Azoos, while nothing fancy, certainly were a bargain as ready-made
110 volt cables go.  In about a year and a half I have never had a
single electrical problem with them.

I'm turning mine off for good.  I'd let someone have them if they can
figure out how to remove them without tearing the plants and substrate
all to heck  ;-)

I have spoken before of the virtues of substrate heating -- mainly that
they are pretty damned efficient, heating the tank from the bottom up. 
Also, as George and Karla Booth's excellent site 


points out, they can be beneficial to plant growth.  Although an awful
lot of very accomplished aquatic gardeners, including those that have
tried the cables, don't use them.

My problem with my cable is that when the lights are on, no additional
heat is needed in the cooler months, and none can be tolerated in the
warmer months.  So for about half the day (the part of the day when the
plants are photosynthesizing) the plants get by without the heater and
for about half the year they get by without it all day (24 hr.s) long. 

But at the end of summer, when it's cool enough and the cable turns
back on again after being off for months, it can convect a lot of stuff
suddenly into the water column -- I could be wrong, but I have enough
stuff to worry about starting algae blooms and I can't keep asking Tom,
even as generous as he is, "what do I do now?"  :-0

Moving ever closer towards stability,
Scott H.

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