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Thanks to Erik and George for the info on heat gradients produced by
different wattages of substrate cables. I had read that section of the
archives a while back but forgot momentarily that it was there (and wasn't I
the one who recently recommended that people check the archives???).
As I had said, I did make a heating manifold for my big tank last year and
was able to measure a very definate increase in temperature within the
gravel but was never able to cite that heat gradient as a plus or minus
factor in the growth of the plants. My immediate interest was sparked by
being able to pick up a Bioplast system at fire sale pricing. I just want to
see if it can produce any sort of heating gradient at all in a substrate,
and if it can, how the differential compares to actual buried cables.
Like Neil, I sometimes use styrofoam underneath my tanks (more for
cushioning than anything else) and a check earlier today in all of my tanks
indicates that the substrates are either the same as or only slightly cooler
(2 degrees C max.) than the water column. None of these tanks have substrate
heaters but I do see great plant growth in all of them.
Being somewhat of a "techno geek" (God will get you for that Neil <g>) I do
admit to a fascination with the concept but I'm practical enough to realize
that I can't afford it. That is, unless Neil wants to part with the unused
one in his closet. I have a new 30 gallon tank it would fit perfectly in.
I know it's already the 7th of January, but it's not too late for New Year's
Resolutions and I have one to suggest - let's as a group let go of the
"bleach wars". I too am concerned about what new list members might be
thinking of us all.