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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #78

> Question 1 (Substrate heating):
> From reading many articles in various sites, substrate heating is
> recommended by many people for long term growth and maintenance of a
> aquaria. Currently, my thoughts are to add laterite to the bottom section
> the substrate along with some form of heating coils.
> In one particular site, it was noted that in aquarias using heating coils
> a primary heat source and using metal halides, temperature flucuations may
> occur in the substrate. During the 'day' cycle, the halides would heat the
> water, thereby switching off the coils. The coils would come back on
> the night cycle.
> a) Wouldn't this mean that the biochemical processes and water 'movement'
> the substrate be limited to times where the plants are not
> b) Does anyone have experience/comments on the DuplaThermik coils? In
> Australia, DuplaThermik coil setups are significantly cheaper than that of
> DuplaFlex (even if I got a different brand transformer and temp
> and the added costs of dedicated heaters. The benefit I saw with the
> DuplaThermik was that it would continuously heat the substrate and provide
> constant water movement and biochemical reactions in the substrate(abeit
> less vigorously).
I am using a Duplathermik heater in a 58 gallon. It is way cheaper than the
traditional Dupla heating units. I have to turn it off at times because of
the heat it produces. Otherwise it is meant to run all the time. The theory
is that you will need a supplemental heater for the water.  I have been
running a fan to cool the tank. Of course in the particular room I have it
in it is always quite warm to begin with. The theory is convection currents
will carry nutrients to the plants. I also have laterite in the bottom. The
heater for the water never turns on. I have it set at 76 and the average
temp is 77 with the fan running. Of course the heat from the two
fluorescents is somewhat of a factor. You can get this set as a standalone
heater or as a creativ set with individual trays for supposed planting ease
without disturbing the plant roots or the substrate. Will I use the creativ
set again? Probably not. I really don't see any advantages to be honest. I
don't like the partitions for additional planting or aquascaping. My
recommendation would be to use the standard heater without the trays. You
need no thermostat or transformer for it. If you would like more info on
where to get one, email me privately. Don M.