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dark tanks, Mother Plants, car battery UPS's

At 03:48 AM 11/22/98 -0500, you wrote:
>So why would crypts, anubias and crispus find it easier growing in a little
>darker environment? Ours do fine in really bright light (2x175w MH in a 24"
>deep tank). Besides, it's not so much the depth as the extra shading
>provided by  taller plants.  
>George Booth, Ft. Collins, Colorado (booth at frii_com)

They work harder to reach the light. Put two equal plants in two tanks and
the plant in the larger tank will be bigger, all other things being equal,
at least thats what I've noticed.

>My questions-
>1) Pets Warehouse lists many Anubias and also one Bolbitis as having regular,
>and "Mother" plants, with the price difference being 4-10 times that of the
>regular offering.  It looks like an easy way to reach the $25 minimum, but
>what is the difference, that this is justified?

Yeah, I'd say so. The small plants are a snip off the end of a MP;
the MP itself is probably huge. I was never ablt to get B. haudelotti
to grow from a small plant bt had absolutley no problem with
a very large one, fwiw.

>some desktop workstations.  The larger UPS units will run a server for 30
>minutes or more.  It might run a filter for quite a while.  It would mean an
>investment of a good UPS for each tank, though.  I don't think hooking in a
>heater would be adviseable, but at least you can keep the air pumps and power
>filters going.

A UPS is just, essentially, a car battery, a chargng circuit
and an invertor that converts 12V DC to 120V AC.

How long it will run your stuff is determing soley by the size of the
battery. I'm a bit of a car buff; one of my cars is a diesel and they
DO NOT start in the cold with a weak battery, it has to be perfect
and the bigger the better.

So, here's what I've found that would be what you
want to use if you build a ups - which isn't a
daunting prospect.

1) You can use any working car battery you can find.
It'll probably work for 5 - 20 minutes depending on
what you have plugged in.

2) Theres about 4 manufacturors that make all the
batteries. Interstate and Exide are two I rememeber.
go to a place (I use the local Farm Co-op) that sells
Exide (or Interstate) batteries as opposed to their
own name brand. You'll probably find some huge batteries
for diesels, tractors, trucks, what have you. Some of these
things are bloody enromous! I was in the coop yesteday
and noticed that the regular car size battery was 85%
of the price for a re-branded one at a car store
("Canadian tire") ($85 vs. $100) Then they had one the
size of the huge one in my diesel slab sided beast for
about $100. Then, there were a couple that there could
just be NO WAY they'd ever fit in a car. The largest
was about $170 CDN.

3) Forget conventional batteries, and use an Optima
brand battery. These are built differently, look different
and work better, with more power and much greater reistance
to be killed by regular deep-discharge. They use spirally
wound plates instead of flat cells, come in a grey plastic
case with either a red, yellow or blue top depending on
what capacity you use. About $170 CDN. You want the
blue (Marine) one. They also have an advantage that
they are a completley sealed battery. You can use them
upside down; these are the only ones you can do that with.

4) You can gang batteries together in parallel for
more time while the power is off, as well. It's
linear, so if one will run them for 5 minutes
2 will go for 10, 3 for 15 etc.

For a charging circuit, get one of those universal
adapters that puts out 12VDC; for a power convertor
get one from a car parts store.

Take them all apart, hook them up to the battery
and you have a ups.

Richard J. Sexton                                         richard at aquaria_net
Maitland House, Bannockburn, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1Y0       +1 (613) 473 1719