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BIG Tank Heating Cables?
It's a long time since I posted 'cos I've been having probs with email providers etc. (thanks Cynthia).
Just before Christmas I was offered, at a ridiculous price ($240), a 1000 gallon tank, glass construction, measuring 3.5x1.0x0.65metres 11.5ft x 3.3ft x 2ft, naturally I took up the offer as I had the space for it!
Some problems occurr with a tank this size and the biggest headache I've found is heating the thing!
Obviously using normal heaters is going to be expensive in both original price and electricity consumed, how many Jšeger heaters would I need to use (hypothetical question, no need to answer as it's not going to happen.
I then thought about using a gas heat exchanger but the problem there is the cost of gas burners.
As a result I've turned to substrate heating cables as the only viable, efficient option. I was thinking of three cables, each of 10metres (33feet) long. From my calculations, though, this would leave me using a 240volt supply (3amps, 3mm cables) without any protection from step-downs or whatever, this leaves me a bit worried, would it be safe and if not what would you suggest? Perhaps 10 cables of 3.5metres each?
On the same subject I found this site http://www.hotfoil.com/ and though it looked quite promising, I know that my parents have used the same system for frost-protection on the pipes in their house and it was very reasonably priced ($100), any comments?
F.Y.I. I'll probably be using either Sodium or MH lighting (2x400watts or more) and will use a peat/black volcanic sand substrate with cork decoration and a 300 litre (80gal.) sump to maintain a constant water level but not much in the way of filtration (let the plants do that!). I'll then be using various strategically placed pumps to ensure there are no "dead" spots.
Comments on other possible heating systems or the ones I've already mentioned would be very valuable and also anything else you might think of.
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