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Re: Substrate circulation

> Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 00:14:14 -0600
> From: "Guillermo Vega-Toro" <gvega at gte_net>

> I just got a new 115 gal tank and I wanted to use this time granular laterite
> (DuplaritG) and no UGF. My question is, if I dont use a UGF,  will I need
> heating cables to provide water circulation under the substrate? If no UGF
> or heating cables are used, will the substate go anaerobic and "spoil"? I
> will be using 3 inches of 3mm gravel. Do any of you have had a similar setup
> (gravel/laterite, no UGF, no UGH) for over a year?

We did this before we could afford heating cables. I would not worry about the 
substrate going bad, based on our experience. We never had any anaerobic areas 
or problems of that nature. 

However, after about 18 months we noticed a slow down in plant growth. We think 
this was due to nutrients in the substrate not being replenished.  IMHO, the 
plant roots sucked all the nutrients from the substrate/laterite and there was 
no mechanism to replace them. In the Dupla system, heating coils provide enough 
circulation to bring nutrients down to the lower layers providing long term 

In another tank with laterite and substrate heating coils, optimum growth was 
maintained for at least 5 years (we had to move the tank when we remodeled).