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Re: Price of substrate heating -- the Overseas Cable vs the Overpriced Cable

Andrew McLeod said, in part:

> Why do all the websites seem to suggest that substrate
> heating is 
> expensive? I live in the UK and can buy a Rena Cor
> heating coil for the 
> aquarium, vivarium or terrarium for a less than £35 even
> for over 80 UK 
> gallons (96 US gallons).
> (Price for illustration purposes from
> www.aquatics-online.co.uk
> Rena Cor 15w 3.5 m  11 ft
> 30 - 50 cm x 50 cm
> 1 to 2 x 2 ft 50 - 100 ltr      10 - 22 UK gals (12 - 26
> US gallons)
> £15.25 (approx $24.98) . . . 

It's the US folk that complain about the high cost, what
little comlaining you hear.  I talked to Rena about selling
their cables in the US.
Rena considered selling the cables in the USA through
Aquarium Pharmeceuticals, I think they even merketed a few
but decided that there wasn't enough market in the US to
make the venture worthwhile.

The Renas do not use transformers -- they run on house
current so they are simple and relatively inexpensive.  And
they could be easily adapted for production runs for
110-120 V AC rather than the European 220-240 V AC.  But
they don't expect to sell enough to make it worth the
manufacture, export, and rating (UL) costs.

Seems most of the big tube-heater makers have the same
position; not a one sells cable heatrs in the US.

We wet gardeners are a dedicated lot but we don't quite
fill the balcony, much less the better seats down front. 
We rely on companies like SeaChem that have strong,
dedicated focus on our needs.  The jumbo companies like
Marineland, Rena, etc. have yet to recognize a desirable
market in aquatic gardening, prefering instead, apparently
to focus on the more massive markets.  I think it will
happen sooner or later; the big companies will present more
plant products worthy of note.  When they do, cable heaters
are probably not going to be the main products.  Even
within wet gardeners, substrate cable use is a yet much
smaller group.

So heating cables remain a very small niche product, and
and generally a very expensive one.  Different cable makers
have come into and dropped out of the US market.  New ones
are unlikely, imo.  I'm not saying that's a good thing,
just an economic fact.

Scott H.

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