UGF with Heaters

Anne Hull Seales asked on June 15, 1996

>I understand some folks have had success obtaining substrate circulation
>using a UGF plate with small heaters in the uplift tubes.  Talking about this
>with my husband this morning, he wondered how you balance the need for
>heating the tank with use of these very small heaters - do you still keep a
>larger heater going?  How far above/below the little ones do you set its
>thermostat in order to both keep the tank at temperature AND allow the little
>ones to do their substrate work?

I liked the idea--the simplicity--of the system Karen Randall described on
the Krib, and so decided to imp lament it; unfortunately I scoured the
_country_ and could not find the Schego 7.5W mini heaters anywhere!
(Everyone told me they had a very difficult getting them for several
months)  What I ended up doing was using 25W mini heaters, one on either
side of a 30"X12" tank. To prevent any heat damage to the uplift tubes, I
replaced the thin plastic 1" tubes with much thicker (but clear) 1" PVC
tubes I bought at my aquarium supplier...I set the heater, after much
fussing with a silly control system, at around 78F.

Because I live in Southern California where it is warm A LOT, I wasn't
concerned with providing great amounts of heat year round, and routinely
keep my house at about 70F-78F. What I have found is that the heaters are
on a lot, and will anticipate replacing them every year at least, as I
think these poor little 25W'ers struggling to heat 30 gallons will wear
them out rather quickly. The water temperature has been pretty constant at

Also I have 3-4" of gravel in this tank, and so thought the extra wattage
might help the "pull" through the substrate, but not at any dramatic rate
such as with regular UGF's... I have been measuring the temperature in both
the tank, and 2.5 inches under the substrate, and the temperatures have
been identical.

The system is only a few weeks old, and so cannot comment on if it "works",
though I have to come to value Ms. Randall's opinions and advice greatly,
and if I remember right the idea was developed by Claus Christensen of
Tropica, and if you can't trust Mr. Christensen and Tropica, who can you

Todd March
tmarch at primenet_com

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                   Todd March
                         tmarch at primenet_com

          "There is no need for temples; no need for
           complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our
           own heart is our temple; my philosophy
           is kindness."
                                The Dalai Lama

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