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Heating Cables: Flourite + Playsand + Topsoil/Clay substrate?
I thought I would share with the listers some recent good fortune that
came my way. Here in So. Florida, marine not planted tanks are all the
rage. Yet last week I happened upon; "Sandpoint Substrate Heating Cables"
marked down from $199 to $120 to $99 to only $39.00!!! The shop was honest
and told me Sandpoint went belly up.
I took a chance. Now I need to set up the BEST substrate combination
possible. I decided on an Artclay, topsoil, playsand and Flourite blend. I
am now thinking I might be over doing it a bit.
Do convection currents flow through clay blends and playsand as
effectively as through a straight gravel/Flourite substrate? I CANNOT
AFFORD a minute of green hair, water or paste algae. I have a Fluval and a
DIY yeast CO2 reactor. I am hoping to avoid having to make my own PMDD by
18-4-10 Osmocote 9mth slow release in the substrate and Phosphoguard beads
in the Fluval.
If I seem picky yet cheap, my wife came home early a month ago and caught
me softening the art clay by blending it with RO water! Bummer! She
extracted a promise from me to fork over $25 per month for 2years by
selling plants to the LFSs or else get rid of "those God ------ tanks!!".
I need inexpensive yet effective gravel to work with the cables since I
can only afford my one bag of Flourite (hence my posts for help in locating
Blasting Sand). I plan on setting up a 39gal with 2-30W and 2-40W GTE
daylights and the new substrate.
[BTW, blending the art clay with water is a most effective way of
producing an even slurry that is easy store and to easily & evenly mix with
kittylitter, potting soil or Osmocote later. Just get a dedicated blender
or don't get caught! ]
I would especially like to hear from those who have heating cable
experience with different substrate types.