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RE: Heating cables

> Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 21:18:37 -0500 (EST)
> From: IDMiamiBob at aol_com
> Subject: Heating cables
> I'm confused about this whole heating cable thing.  Perhaps this is 
> just a conflict of approaches between differing schools of thought.  I 
> on this list that UGFs are bad because they cause a current across the 
> which reduces something, maybe it was the develpment of root hairs.  But
> others are fighting with heater cables in the hopes of generating current
> flow through the substrate.

Heating cables are thought to produce very much less current (often termed 
microcurrents) which are thought to be beneficial in moving oxygen and 
nutrients very slowly through the substrate without traping detritus in it. 
 By careful placement of heating cables one can assure that all areas of 
the substrate experience this equally.  As well, some plants are thought to 
grow better with "Warm feet."

> And why cables?  There are heaters designed to fit to the underside of 
> tank.  This seems a lot easier to me.  They should be just as efficient t
> generating convection in the substrate.

The theory is that cables, being thin line sources of relatively high 
temperature will cause microcurrents by convection, whereas a heating pad 
such as is used for reptiles will evenly heat the entire bottom of the tank 
and therefor not cause the horizontal temperature gradients which create 
the currents.

The very act of seeking sets something in motion to meet us;
something in the universe, or in the unconscious responds as if
to an invitation.  - Jean Shinoda Bolen