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Re: Driftwood and cable heating

>Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 12:34:28 -0600
>From: " Jon Wilson" <jwilson at knology_net>
>Anyone have any thoughts on the best way to use a large piece of driftwood 
>with a slate base in conjuction with under gravel heating? Is it safe to
>place the slate in the gravel above the heating cables? I am concerned
>the slate will interfere with the convection currents, but I may be
>Jon Wilson

The slate probably will interfere to a degree with any convection induced
by the heating cables under the slate.  Hovever, as long as there aren't
any organics underneath the slate that feed bacteria so that they lower the
redox enough to reduce sulfates in sufficient quantities to poison your
tank, <breathe> it really doesn't matter if the slate interferes with any
convection that occurs underneath the wood.

The areas where your plants are will get the warm roots and possible
convection that heating cables are renowned for. 

One point on wood:  I have had bogwood rot, releasing sulphides and
methane.  I had some okay bogwood several years ago that I pulled out to
make room for more plants.  I stored this wood for a few years before
giving it to another aquarist.  They added it to a tank, where it quickly
began to foul the water, causing several fish deaths.  After removing the
wood and changing the water, the fish recovered, but the wood smelled

David W. Webb in brrrr-chilly cold Plano, TX.