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Bob Dixon asked,
>And why cables? There are heaters designed to fit to >the underside
of the tank. This seems a lot easier to >me. They should be just as
efficient generating >convection in the substrate.
While there are other schemes for heating the substrate, I believe
that heating cables are really the simplest and if you DIY are very
inexpensive. Of all the DIY projects I've tried with my planted tank,
the heating cables gave me the biggest savings versus the effort
involved. For my 55g tank it cost about $25.
(transformer $11, wire $2.50, timer $11 and a few feet of 1/2" plastic
cut to 1/2" lengths for supports).
You don't need to be an electrical engineer to install these cables.
You only need to understand Ohm's law.
I don't know how much, if any, the cables contributed to my success
with my planted tank, but from my temperature measurements they
definitely are working. With the cables off the substrate runs about
2degs lower than the water and when they are on it runs about 3deg
higher than the water.
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