substrate cable heater?
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Old 12-30-2003, 09:25 PM   #1
nitsuj2k
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does anyone know where to get cable heaters?
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Old 12-30-2003, 09:28 PM   #2
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You probably wont find too many people advocating cable heaters here for several reasons.

However, for those of us who might be able to offer suggestions, it would help to know where you are trying to order them (IE, what country are you living in)
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Old 12-30-2003, 09:49 PM   #3
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To make a long article, short-
Substrate heating is good for planted tanks in the long run...while it may not show any benefits in the first couple of months, you will soon that your planted tank will stay healthy for years to come

www.floridadriftwood.com, is the only place that I know of sells them
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Old 12-30-2003, 10:26 PM   #4
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Lots of places sell them. If you plan on pulling and replanting with any kind of regularity, skip the cables, you'll be spending more time trying to replant cables than plants.

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Old 01-10-2004, 12:37 PM   #5
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Do cable heaters only benefit in countries that have cooler climates, like in Europe where they are very popular? And does it only show it's real potential when used in substrates with laterite or other additives, such as Dupla, Dennerle, etc.?
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Old 01-11-2004, 01:32 AM   #6
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Well if you live where you run the air conditioning 90% of the time and have substrate heaters you may find that you need a chiller for the tank. It seems the most popular locations for substrate heaters are more temperate climates.
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:24 AM   #7
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Hi,

In my opinion, substrate heating is not a requirement for a healthy, long-term tank. In the past, I've used Dupla's and Amano's heating systems and I live in Miami where the A/C is on 95% of the time.

The point os substrate heating (that is debatable) is that it creats a slow current between the substrate solution and the water column. This brings freshwater to the susbtrate solution thereby preventing anaerobic conditions that may impede root growth. It is also thought to prevent compaction of the substrate.

People have considered whether the slow current is actually created by looking at the fluid dynamics associated with heated cables. I beleive the result was that it was questionable whether the cables did what was thought they did. There had to be a sufficient temperature differential between the substrate solution and the water column to cause some sort of water movement.

Take into consideration that the same water exchange is done by the plants. Plants transport water and O2 from the water column and release it into the substrate solution via their roots. This way plants make nutrients available by creating a anoxic (low O2) environment that ensure most nutrients are in a soluable state.

Compaction can be avoided by using a proper substrate base.

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Old 01-11-2004, 11:42 AM   #8
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Personally, I wouldn't get one unless I lived in Canada or Europe; but of what I heard about them...most people that had success with them used substrate additives, not commercial substrates.

It is a fact that warm water vents deep from under the different layers of substrate in rivers and streams push different nutrients to the water column.
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:14 PM   #9
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Just to clarify, like Raul said, in natural streams and lakes, ground water filtering to the stream carries with it needed nutrients. However, replicating this in the aquarium by use of cables is questionable. At least for some.
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Old 01-11-2004, 03:47 PM   #10
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If we just for a moment forget the gentle currents, cable heaters also offer these advantages:

They are unbreakable... no glass to shatter, and since they are in the substrate they are protected, and don't run dry.

They are invisible... buried in the substrate, just one slim cable goes up in one corner of the tank.

They provide a very even warmth... they offer a much bigger surface than any other heater. Also, the heat is produced on the bottom of the tank, from where it raises up... in case of insufficient water movement.

However, in a planted tank, there is the danger of pulling out those cables when replanting large plants. It hasn't happened to me (yet), but this would be my reason to stay away from them in future. Also, they are more expensive than a "regular" heater, considering that you need an extra controller.
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Old 02-19-2004, 10:00 PM   #11
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Oh dammit!!!

I live in the UK i dont have substrate heaters in my aquariums and im about to set up a Juwel Rio 400 (60"x20"x24").

so do you guys think that i will not need one? or should I?

My existing aquariums are densley planted, but the oldest is only 14 months.

does proding the gravel help every now and then??? :lol:
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Old 02-20-2004, 07:49 AM   #12
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Want to burn some extra cash, go right ahead. But since you have JBL and Dennerle there I don't think you'll have trouble enriching your substrate. Or if you have Flourite, Eco-Complete, etc. you won't need to worry about how long they last..because they never wear down and only get better as mulm accumulates in the bottom.
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Old 02-20-2004, 08:46 AM   #13
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Yeah Im using JBL aqua basis overlayed with 2-3mm gravel mixed with JBL florapol.

I have just seen lots of different opinions over this (subrate heaters) and well I just wanted to know if they were necessary for long term planted aquaria? I get the impression that they might not be required at all. Even though a few people seem to swear by them.
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Old 02-20-2004, 10:29 AM   #14
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That was back when laterite was the only additive used...since, Fe was only available in to the roots, they need to bring the trace elements from the water to the substrate. But since now we have additives that contain Fe and all the other traces, cables are useless...How do you feel about Aquabasis? How are the results? I might be ordering it from a site in Germany, but it's going to cost me a lot to ship! :x
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Old 02-20-2004, 08:36 PM   #15
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Aquabasis has shown very good results so far. Plants are growing very lush, it is clay based, but is like a soil. Having said that if you can get the other available substrates (seachem, eco-complete) for cheaper and locally, I wouldnt go through the bother of ordering aquabasis.

Oops ive bought one cable heater, my lfs did stock them and they werent too expensive.

I guess i can compare my new set up with the others overtime. Hope it isnt too expensive to run :?
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