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Substrate heater installation?

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Old April 26th 04, 04:07 PM
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Default Substrate heater installation?

They do NOT mimic nature at all. Why is nature better for growing
plants? Plants just grow there, it's not because that's what is BEST
for the plants.

Yes, in fact, it is. It's sort of a law of the universe really. All
members of the biotic community are as they are because they have
adapted, up to this point, to be optimally suited for their environments.

You missed the point, I know of no aquatic environment where plants
are warmed from the bottom of substrate. If you are aware of one I'd
like to know.
Wetland soils are anaerobic as can be, reducing this anaerobic nature
if you want to suggest the mimicing nature idea is correct, is the
last thing you'd want to do, it causes aerobic conditions, not
anaerobic conditions.

These flow rates produced by cables are also shown not to be optimal
for aquatic plant plant growth which is about .49 liter/m^2/day of
This flux occurs without any heat generated current

Agricultural crops are NOT grown naturally.

A good farm system looks much more like "piece of nature", as far as
doing something "unnatural" like growing human food (as opposed to
gathering and hunting) can look natural. One sees a great variety of
plant types, plants are located such that they are best suited to the
characteristics of that particular ecological niche, heat-loving plants
are growing in the heat of summer, cool-loving plants in spring and fall
(opposite for those in the tropics and subtropics), short-growing plants
are at the south, taller ones at the north (in the northern hemisphere),

I'm not arguing whether argicultural practices are right or wrong(I
agree with you), the fact of the matter is that horticultural plants
can be grown in much better conditions to get greater production from
them(terrestiral of aquatic). Many plants grow in certain locations
for many reasons. Simply suggestion it is there because it's the best
place for it is a a very large assumption, many invasive weed plants
take over quickly in new habitats. Serpentine soil plants do much
better in non serpintine soil but are outcompeted by other plants,
remove those other plants, and they grow well.

By adding traces, CO2, etc, you are amplifying the tank, if back to
natural systems is more your preferred model, non CO2 tanks are quite
nice. But cables are not natural in the least and I know of no natural
system anywhere that has warmer temps below the substrate where
submersed aquatic plants grow.
If you are aware of a location where this occurs, please be forth

Those little eddies are channelized and clog after a while. Unless you
maintain the substrate and replant, uproot etc, substrates will
accumulate too much organic matter after a few months/years.

As I understand it, having read on this and talked to a couple of
commercial aqua plant growers, with regular maintenance of the top of
the substrate, just as with any tank, this is not a problem. If you're
using a UGF, for example, and you never siphon off the mulm from the top
layer of gravel, channeling and dead spots occur.

So how again does this contribute to the long term stability since you
are going in and removing plants, disturbing the substrate? It is you
or is it the cables?

Further, any tank will have to been torn down and started over from
scratch every so often exactly because it is not a natural environment,
one is only aiming to mimic one, and the tank has no natural means of
completely replenishing and cleansing itself as it would in nature.

Hummmm....I have some rather old tanks and they do quite well without
cables or needing to be torn down. I prune and remove/export
mulm/organic matter and plant biomass and add nutrients etc.
I do not think a tank needs to be torn down every so often unless it's
been neglected.

I challenge anyone to show any significant improvement in growth using
the cables. I've used them for a decade and never saw any benefit in
some 7 tanks over the years.

Rarely does a challenge count much in favor of factual argumentation. In
the short paragraph above, you have hardly proved your point.

I don't have to prove my point to you. I already know that make no
significant improvement, so do many others that have used cables in
the past. You have not provided a single bit of evidence that they _do
work_. I've used them for a decade, have you? Are you able to keep
your tanks in good enough shape and nutrient levels to make sure the
independent variables don't influence your measurements on the cables?
Tropica has, but if you don't want to believe me or them, that's up to
you. I'm pretty good at isolating the dependent variable of interest
and after a decade, you pretty much know.
The other dead give away with cables, if you live in warmer regions
during the summer the cables are off for months sometimes, I never saw
growth differences and are they good if they only work/are used for 6
months out of the year? Some use AC or a chiller, but heck, now that's
some $ and PITA. I can easily do a beautiful tank as can a new person
without them so why bother?
Take a look at the AGA winners, they don't use them, George Booth is
one of the few hold outs in the USA on cables and we've had many
discussions on this issue on the APD.

I point
this out because, obviously, this is a subject of great interest to me.
Those who have beautiful planted aquaria are few and far between.

Take a look www.sfbaaps.com.one of use use cables.
Take a look at the Dallas Forth Worth people. No cables. Take a look
at the Singapore's groups, no cables(Too hot!).
I'd be glad to send you some pics of my tanks.
I'll post a link to some of the pics on my tanks.

would it be that _most_ of those whose published work I've read or whom
I've spoken to advocate the use of substrate heater?

Let's see.... who sells them: Dupla. The Optimum Aquarium was written
by who?
The rest seem to be bandwagon but there's no evidence that cables work
or not even if they are suggested in a book.

It was suggested in most books that excess PO4 causes algae, this is
also clearly untrue. Just because it's in a book does not make it
I have routinely added 1-2ppm of PO4 to my tanks for 15 years. Take a
look at the tanks and ask around. Ask SeaChem, they make PO4 additives
directly based off my past work on these subjects.

I am of course more
than willing to acccept that they might keep to that tenet simply due to
a lack of open mindedness or otherwise, but such has not been shown to
me, certainly not "proved".

I do not think anyone will be able to prove it anytime soon. Proof is
hard and takes a lot of work. But is it a significant player in a
planted tank? That you can find out. Many folks have done excellent
examples of planted tanks without cables, look no further than many of
Amano's tanks, many of the tanks in the USA, very few if any use

Will it hurt your tank? No, but neither will sending me 20$.
You can read George and my discussions on the APD.

Oxfam gets the $20, without question. I will see if I can find your
discussions. Thanks. I've got the substrate heater and am days away from
setting up my 40H tank with it...or without it if someone can prove to
me it will be nothing but a hassle or an eyesore in a couple of years
and will not have been worth whatever benefit new plants might have
received from it before establishment.

I'm not saying it'll cause problems, I'm saying it will not help or
hurt. No significant or discernable improvement. After 10 years of
close observations, lots of money and time spent, I gave up. I never
found anything remotely significant. I do much better focusing on a
good substrate(flourite/onyx sand, mulm/peat mixed in) and dosing the
water column, the3se will get you much further in having an algae free
healthy tank.

I'll post a picture trail link shortly.
Meanwhile, see some pics from www.sfbaaps.com under gallery and the
DWF plant group, and the AGA's aquascaping contest. Virtually no
cables anywhere.

Tom Barr

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