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plenums and heating cables


>Date: Thu, 2 Oct 1997 18:35:09 -0600 (MDT)
>To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
>From: matu at mail_unm.edu (Matu)
>Subject: plenums and heating cables
>Several random comments/questions about plenums and heating cables.
>1) As I understand it, in the Jaubert system, water diffuses through the
>gravel and into the plenum due to anoxia (the universe has a strong
>tendency to become homogeneous, thus oxygenated water will go mix itself
>with anoxic water and vice versa). The fact that some bacteria use this to
>reduce nitrates in the process is of little use in a planted tank (we
>voluntarily add nitrate to our tanks in PMDD for crying out loud, why would
>I want some bug to turn it back into a fairly useless gas). What is of
>interest to us is to have that slooow water movement through the gravel,
>revitalizing our substrates. This is especially the case in nutrient poor
>substrates with nutrient traps like laterite. I don't think a plenum will
>bring as much movement as heating cables can, but it's a heck of a lot
>cheaper and it can hardly hurt.
>2) I get the feeling that if you had just one strip of heating cable in a
>plenum (as opposed to a zig zag in the gravel) you might be able to get the
>same type of water movement as with a classic heating cable set up, yet it
>would require much less cable, a smaller transformer and less electricity
>(read less $). It would almost be like a very slow UGF.
>3) I have a hydroponics catalog which sells heating cables for hydroponics
>setups. They are much cheaper than the aquarium stuff and they are meant to
>be kept wet. Has anybody looked into this?
>P.S: I'm sipping on some bourbon, so please, if I said something really
>stupid, don't hit me too hard:-).
>P.S: I know I'm late but thank you very much for all the great info on how
>to take pictures of a planted tank. It was much appreciated. Got to love
>this list.
>"I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way." Mark