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>I have DIY low voltage heating cables in my 55 gal. If I
>were going to do it again, I would buy the Dupla cables
>and build a DIY transformer. While the low voltage cables
>do heat the substrate and consequently the water
>Temperature about 3 deg F, they do not get hot enough to
>cause any convection currents. Apparently, having
>convection currents is one reasons to have heating cables
>in the first place.
If the DIY cables are heating the substrate they have to be causing
some convection currents. Actually if you wanted you could run low
voltage DIY cables as hot as the Dupla cables. The reason that people
don't do that is because they don't have the DIY cables tied into a
controller that would prevent them from over heating the aquarium. If
you use the Dupla cables without a controller you would also want to
limit how hot you are running them.
The primary reason I use heating cables is to prevent the substrate
from getting cold. The room my aquariums are in can get quite cold in
the winter and without the cables the substrate will run several
degrees colder than the water.
Finally, because DIY cables are inexpensive, simple to install and are
generally a set and forget it accessory I would put them in any large
aquarium I setup.
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