Re: substrate heating

Firstly Re: Slime in filter sponge (sorry I din't put that in the original
subject heading).

>From: u7211aa at sunmail_lrz-muenchen.de (Michael Irlbeck)
>Date: Wed, 07 Jun 95 08:20:16 EDT
>Subject: Re: slime in filter sponge
>>I used Seachems phosphate free acid buffer & then peat (much much much more
>>effective) to reduce pH.
> I would definitely go with either RO water or peat to reduce pH in
>the future.

I had been using RO water for over a year & got my pH to between 7.4 & 7.6
but I wanted to go lower - kinda learned my lesson though!

>I assume you mean peat being much more effective than the Seachem

Oh yes, the peat was MUCH more effective than both RO water & the Seachem
buffer but it colored the water just a little more than I wanted.

>I'm watching the slime closely. It's also on some the roots of the
>Limnobium floating plants and in the trickle filter, but not bad. My
>pH now is between 7.10 and 7.15. The stuff is really ugly. What do you
>think - algae or bacteria?

I actually think it's bacteria.  It gets in my filter in my 125 gal tank
as well as my 25 gal tank.  My 25 gal tank has been looking much better
since I added some hard tap water & increased the pH from 6.6 to 7.0.
The filters still have to be cleaned every other day though.

I used to have to shake it off the plants or rinse them in tap water but
it's less of a problem for me right now.

Also, Re: CO2 levels over 10 ppm

Well, my 125 gal tank is hovering around 8 ppm lately & the plants are
growing better than in my other tanks where CO2 is around 18 ppm, but
maybe pH is playing a role in this.  The 125 gal tank is pH 7.2 and the
others were 6.6, now 7.0.

Now, Re: substrate heating

>I get pedantic when speculation on my part (about the possible
>equivalency between under-tank heating and substrate heating coils)
>gets vehemently refuted with what turns out to be more speculation
>cloaked in science and engineering terminology.
>Some people are going through a lot of trouble to design DIY substrate
>heating systems.  I imagine they might be rather ticked off if they found out
>later that they could have achieved comparable results with a simple
>and inexpensive under-tank heater.  From this thread it would seem that
>there is no definitive answer at the moment.
>- --
>Kevin Conlin   kcconlin at cae_ca   "We're Canadians.  We HAVE to be polite"

I am also wondering if just substrate circulation by UGF is as good as
heating cables since my 125 gal tank looks just as good as a friends 110
gal tank with Dupla setup (heating cables, laterite in bottom third of
gravel, 2-3 mm gravel, CO2 tank, metal halide lights) & my 125 gal tank
has UGF, hodge podge of fertilizers, 2-6 mm gravel, DIY CO2 & 180 W of
strip lights.

I've been considering heating cables + laterite for my 25 gal tank which
has anaerobic substrate after 18 months (the 125 gal tank is 2 years old)
& I have the laterite on hand & an engineer friend looking at the DIY
heating cables article in Aquarium Fish Magazine.  

My current worry is that undergravel heating cables may overheat the tank
too much.  It is already currently 83 degrees with the heaters unplugged
& the water level about 2 inches below the lights & glass top open to
allow airflow & the aquaclear 150's to cool the water a little as it drops
into the tank.  The air temp was about 90 today but cooled down to 70
tonight but the tank stays pretty constant (even though I put a tray of
ice-cubes in!).  Last year my tanks got above 85 in the summer which
did not seem to adversely affect fish or plants but I'm worried that
heating cables may just add to this problem.  Any comments?  I'm
strongly veering towards UGF for the tank now!

Thanks for all the advice!