The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading about the importance of substrate heaters. They are somewhat expensive and not many people seem to use them, so I was wondering what eveybody's thoughts were. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
I think you will find that nobody uses nor recommends them anymore.
It seems they were the thing to do years ago.
JR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,609 Posts
Like many products in the past, the present and future, they work really well, if you believe they do..........enough.........

However that same belief is often used to justify many products and methods that are questionable.

Beware of marketing and snake oils, there are plenty in the hobby.
Coincidence and correlations do not mean causation.

Merely having used them and thinking, "well maybe it worked" or if you try something out of desperation....are not really good ways of figuring out things.

You need to isolate and confirm if they work or not.
That takes a little more effort.

I used 7 heating cables for about 10 years. I isolated and tested them perhaps better than anyone.

They do not work as claimed. They do not hurt and they do heat the aquarium however. Many things do not hurt the aquarium and may simply be coincidence and often are.



Regards,
Tom Barr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,600 Posts
I'm betting you are reading the Hisock book.

There are several mistakes and a lot of bad information in that book.

If your house gets too warm in the summer for your comfort then you have no need or reason to use a substrate heater.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Ive used a diy one with great success,it does depend on your ambient room temp, Since my House is around 78+ year round I did have to use one,certain plants I could not get to grow well my set up years ago
75 gal 48x18x18
4 x pc 5000k
2 x pc 6700k
9 bags of flourite
3 bags of onyx
20 lbs of 1-2 mm gravel
I also like to refer to this
http://www.adana.co.jp/_e_product/87_index.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
would a dupla 300w thermik system be possible to use as the ONLY source of heat in a 40g tank with AS and lids with temp controller?

My only worry would be that it would burn the roots of plants or produce negative effects from over heating the substrate...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
I have a very expensive Dupla system. Hate it! After I had my tank set up for 1 month I tried to move a med sized sword I had, forget about it. It was wrapped around the cable. Also all summer the system doesn't turn on (too warm). I do not notice a difference between when the heater in use or when it is not in use. IMO it is not worth it in the least bit. I will be giving my $600-300w Dupla system away when I move my tank in about a year. I would never set up a tank with a substrate heater again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,609 Posts
Ive used a diy one with great success,it does depend on your ambient room temp, Since my House is around 78+ year round I did have to use one,certain plants I could not get to grow well my set up years ago
75 gal 48x18x18
4 x pc 5000k
2 x pc 6700k
9 bags of flourite
3 bags of onyx
20 lbs of 1-2 mm gravel
I also like to refer to this
http://www.adana.co.jp/_e_product/87_index.html
Does it really depend on your ambient room temp?
If that is the case, we should see the same results in warmer rooms right?

Are you sure it's the heat cables that allow you, after years of exoperience now, to grow plants better, or was it you did not have the skill set you do now, routines, care, CO2 attention, ferts etc?

I've used Cables in environmentally controlled rooms, as well as plain old rooms without AC, but had plenty of heat, as well as those that did not.

I never was able to attribute anything to cables after 10 years, 7 sets of them, 2 dupla, 1 sandpoind and 5 DIY'ers.

What specific plants do you feel that you cannot grow without cables?

I will say cables never hurt anything, but I've never seen one tank, one argument, not one shred of any scientific support of any sort for them.........I've been looking for about 20 years and

What I have heard is stuff like this: marketing baloney, no hard quantitative data of any sort, Claus from Tropica also saying they do not do anything ansd do not help plant growth, Tropica is Europes largest Aquatic plant grower FYI.......been around decades.........you'd figure they'd know.......

I measured the redox valves and compared the flow rates Claus told me 8 years ago and found that the cables produced flow rates about 10X too fast for optimal growth rates for roots.

So there is no support in terms of growth rates near as I, nor Claus, nor Ole can tell..............

I argued with George Booth for several post about cables years ago.
He could not substantiate any really effects other than added to ther stability ove rtghe long term and was subtle.

To which I replied, well, if it's subtle and can only been noted over long time frames(12-24 months according to George) , how can one possibly be sure given any user's routine variation over that same time?

That would hardly be significant.
George agreed.

I'm not saying that they hurt plant growth, research would suggest that they can however, but they sure do not help either.

Why would shutting the cables on/off for a few months to compare be such are hard, problematic test to do?

There are many aquarists who have used cable sin the past and the present that have them turned off all summer and they never notice anything related to growth/substrate etc issues.

This pattern is repeatable.

I would like to hear your reasoning why they do work and what makes you sure that it is not something you have done and which plant species are hard to grow without cables.

Every single of the over 100 species I grew with cables, I can grow well or better without cables..........

So I knew it could not be due to the cables, that they where not a significant component as Dupla had claimed going back over 20 years.
CO2 gas? Yes, that was true.
Excess NO3 and PO4 = algae, not true.
Good current= true.

Just because it says it, charge a lot, makes claims, does not mean it really works, nor that they really tested it.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
A heating cable will NOT heat your tank as a regular heater would. There may be some point where with extreme overkill in relation to Watts per gal you could heat your tank with a substrate heater but it would be different for different tanks of the same size. Substrate thickness would be a factor. Honestly I'd give you my $700 heater if I could just remove it but it ain't that simple. When I do break my tank down to move I will be getting rid of my substrate heater (I do not use it, the thermometer is not even in the tank). Maybe I can trade someone for some Apistos!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,609 Posts
Tom can I get your thoughts on heating of the tank using heating cables as an alternative to a heater? is it viable?
It can work, that's why I originally bought mine, the idea was heating the gravel would hold the heat better. But you still need a water column heater really.

The exchange rate is too slow.
If you buy into the marketing for cables, you also might be interested in reptile heat pads under the tank. If any one can show there's any different between those and cables, I'd like to see the data.

If there was a significant difference, I would hope that it is something many folks can see and know that it is due to the cables, and not mere belief, correlation, luck/chance etc.

I can add CO2 and see it, I can add PO4 and see it, I can increase light, and see it etc..........

I've just never seen anything with cables that was beneficial.

I am more than willing to repeat any test set up that anyone thinks, believes or otherwise thinks that will show a significant difference between treatments.

I tried every one George suggested, I played with them for 10 years. I'm still without any evidence they work.

I've honestly looked and looked into the literature as well.
Nothing is there.

I sold those Dupla sets I had for the clients and switch them over to Flourite and they have had much better results they can see ever since. Fortunately, some still where willing top pay 300-400$ for them.

You can DIY for about 15-30$, maybe more, but I have good electric component sources. Other vendors make much cheaper model these days, but it's a lot easier to scape and sety up a tank without them.




Regards,
Tom Barr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Does it really depend on your ambient room temp?
If that is the case, we should see the same results in warmer rooms right?

Are you sure it's the heat cables that allow you, after years of exoperience now, to grow plants better, or was it you did not have the skill set you do now, routines, care, CO2 attention, ferts etc?

I've used Cables in environmentally controlled rooms, as well as plain old rooms without AC, but had plenty of heat, as well as those that did not.

I never was able to attribute anything to cables after 10 years, 7 sets of them, 2 dupla, 1 sandpoind and 5 DIY'ers.

What specific plants do you feel that you cannot grow without cables?

I will say cables never hurt anything, but I've never seen one tank, one argument, not one shred of any scientific support of any sort for them.........I've been looking for about 20 years and

What I have heard is stuff like this: marketing baloney, no hard quantitative data of any sort, Claus from Tropica also saying they do not do anything ansd do not help plant growth, Tropica is Europes largest Aquatic plant grower FYI.......been around decades.........you'd figure they'd know.......

I measured the redox valves and compared the flow rates Claus told me 8 years ago and found that the cables produced flow rates about 10X too fast for optimal growth rates for roots.

So there is no support in terms of growth rates near as I, nor Claus, nor Ole can tell..............

I argued with George Booth for several post about cables years ago.
He could not substantiate any really effects other than added to ther stability ove rtghe long term and was subtle.

To which I replied, well, if it's subtle and can only been noted over long time frames(12-24 months according to George) , how can one possibly be sure given any user's routine variation over that same time?

That would hardly be significant.
George agreed.

I'm not saying that they hurt plant growth, research would suggest that they can however, but they sure do not help either.

Why would shutting the cables on/off for a few months to compare be such are hard, problematic test to do?

There are many aquarists who have used cable sin the past and the present that have them turned off all summer and they never notice anything related to growth/substrate etc issues.

This pattern is repeatable.

I would like to hear your reasoning why they do work and what makes you sure that it is not something you have done and which plant species are hard to grow without cables.

Every single of the over 100 species I grew with cables, I can grow well or better without cables..........

So I knew it could not be due to the cables, that they where not a significant component as Dupla had claimed going back over 20 years.
CO2 gas? Yes, that was true.
Excess NO3 and PO4 = algae, not true.
Good current= true.

Just because it says it, charge a lot, makes claims, does not mean it really works, nor that they really tested it.

Regards,
Tom Barr
As for seeing results in warmer rooms, I do believe that too high a temp is deterimental , I would shut it off should my tank watertemp exceed 80f
I never changed a thing,always dosed with seachem products,always maintained the setup to T,other then adding a diy substrate heater, I alsways kept it 2 degrees warmer then the tank water temp , Things that just did not grow well till I added it where glos,crinuim cala, and a few others, they survived but did not flourish
I did see a big difference in my red and zenkeri lillies, and saw a noticable improvement in the barclaya's
My system was not cables, but rather tubing with a seperate tank of water with a pump and heater,I'm sure you tired that one
Maybe my bed was too thick 5 inches?
I'm sure your way more experienced then I am , esp since I have been out of the scene for more then 5 years and there has been some advancement in the hobby
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,609 Posts
As for seeing results in warmer rooms, I do believe that too high a temp is deterimental , I would shut it off should my tank watertemp exceed 80f
So why would that not apply to a substrate then?
Also, how high of temp is deterimental and to which plants?
It gets a lot warmer in FL(100F) and CA(110-115F) than in Hawaii.
Also, it's gets a lot colder(Freezing etc). Other folks in in the USA also have some colder rooms. As cold/cool as Europe.

You also say you now shut the heater off when it gets 80F, when prior, you claimed the house is 78F year round before and that was the reason you used it and it worked, which situation is it?

I never changed a thing,
So the plants never grew and the biomass always stayed the same the entire time?

Every tank changes through time.........that's why I go back and forth several times, not just once, to make sure it's not just some other effect, say, nice root growth, as roots pump O2 and alter sediments a great deal once they grow in well. Roots also move and shift the sediment around.

Things that just did not grow well till I added it where glos,crinuim cala, and a few others, they survived but did not flourish
I did see a big difference in my red and zenkeri lillies, and saw a noticable improvement in the barclaya's
Which like warmer temps and grow faster, as do all plants, when the temp is warmer....

Gloss, Crinums, Barclayas etc are pretty weedy without any cables, other aquarists that have grown them without cables can easily vouch for that.
They do not just survive, them are weeds............same for lilies...........

So is it the cables that are really helping here?
I have serious doubts...........

My system was not cables, but rather tubing with a seperate tank of water with a pump and heater,I'm sure you tired that one
Hydrologix made something like that, Severla folks on the APD years ago tryinged a heater stick in a PCV grid, I used high flow RFUG's and CPVC which is about 1/2 the size of normal PVC.

I reasoned that this produce as good if not better current through the sediments, equilibrate the tank temp with the sediment temps even better.

This would transport waste out, solve any cold feet issues, improve circulation, add more biofiltering.

It did do that, however plants where not any better off.
Later I tried tanks without any flow through the sediment, much like most folks do today.

That yielded, as predicted by Claus and my own data, the best root and plant growth overall.

It was also simpler and cheaper to go that route.

For the time(1986-2000), many thought cables where the thing.
But comparing high, low and no flows, as well as turning them off and seeing that plants grew fine if not better to many in the much warmer summers here showed that it was not something folks could see, generally it was some other things, some variation.

When pressed, few had done experiments back and forth to see, however
we had to do that to keep temps from creating 85F+ to 90F+ and add fans etc several times a year. Yet we noted no effects to speak of on health or plant growth, other than more biomass due to warmer temps in general, not anything to do with substrate heat itself.

Some suggested that the RFUG was too fast, then I asked what flow rates might be optimal...........

Again, we get back to the flow rate, and adding plant roots in there changes all of that dramatically and exchanges the flux in many different ways.

That's all the cables do, exchange the water above. Adding some warmer temps will increase metabolism, but you can do that to the whole tank with or without cables or a RFUG.

So using a RFUG ruled out the temp issue.

The rest was just a flow rate issue.

You can also see a dramatic different using Flourite vs plain Sand, and likewise a big noticable difference using ADA aqua soil vs sand or Flourite.

Much more than with cables.

Still, when you try to see if something works, you need to try it a few times back and forth. this makes sure it's not just a one time thing.

Yes, you might do something else etc during that time that may confound things, but........ this greatly minimizes it and also you are now looking for a difference specific with the one treatment and are much more aware of the system.

Done several times, say 6-10, you have a pretty good idea if you are somewhat careful.

For the $ and the marketing claims, I need something to be a bit more than "subtle" and for it to work fairly robustly for most folks.

ADA AS has, Flourite/onyx have, CO2 obviously, etc

I've honestly really really tried with cables to see if they have any worth while merits. Any research support, any practical test we could do as hobbyists etc.

I just have never found any that supports the marketing hype.
I'd love it if someone had some experiments to show that it does work, or can work, or research.

Unfortunately I have never found this yet, but I still look for alternatives and test that might..........

Regards,
Tom Barr













Maybe my bed was too thick 5 inches?
I'm sure your way more experienced then I am , esp since I have been out of the scene for more then 5 years and there has been some advancement in the hobby
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Everyone has a different school of thought, you want to get all agrumentative about it that's up to you.
Sorry I am not nearly as technical as you are, nor do I care to be,also it's a hobby for me,plain and simple,what you may considered weeds, I call them plants,sorry oh GURU of planted tanks
Yes my room temp would stay around 76-78 all year round most 78f, even during are so called winter here, Yes I believe my heater shut off at 80f, very narrower window temp,as for bio mass, it did stay near the same, I tried to keep all plants trimed to the way I like them as much as possible, 2 hours once aweek on triming alone-that's why I got out of it
I used becasue it was something to try ,I liked the results and plan on using one again. It had nothing to do with my room temp, I wanted better circulation thru my substrate and that was what I went with
So why would that not apply to a substrate then?
Also, how high of temp is deterimental and to which plants?
It gets a lot warmer in FL(100F) and CA(110-115F) than in Hawaii.
Also, it's gets a lot colder(Freezing etc). Other folks in in the USA also have some colder rooms. As cold/cool as Europe.

You also say you now shut the heater off when it gets 80F, when prior, you claimed the house is 78F year round before and that was the reason you used it and it worked, which situation is it?



So the plants never grew and the biomass always stayed the same the entire time?

Every tank changes through time.........that's why I go back and forth several times, not just once, to make sure it's not just some other effect, say, nice root growth, as roots pump O2 and alter sediments a great deal once they grow in well. Roots also move and shift the sediment around.

Things that just did not grow well till I added it where glos,crinuim cala, and a few others, they survived but did not flourish
I did see a big difference in my red and zenkeri lillies, and saw a noticable improvement in the barclaya's
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,609 Posts
Everyone has a different school of thought, you want to get all agrumentative about it that's up to you.
Sorry I am not nearly as technical as you are, nor do I care to be,also it's a hobby for me,plain and simple,what you may considered weeds, I call them plants,sorry oh GURU of planted tanks
I asked you how you could be sure if it was due to what you claimed.
A person asked a question, folks expressed their views on the topic, and supported them. You claimed otherwise.
I asked for some support.

There's no doubt that your comment was a personal sarcastic and patronizing remark however.......

Keep it on topic, stay away from that personal baloney.

Yes my room temp would stay around 76-78 all year round most 78f, even during are so called winter here, Yes I believe my heater shut off at 80f, very narrower window temp,as for bio mass, it did stay near the same, I tried to keep all plants trimed to the way I like them as much as possible, 2 hours once aweek on triming alone-that's why I got out of it
I used becasue it was something to try ,I liked the results and plan on using one again. It had nothing to do with my room temp, I wanted better circulation thru my substrate and that was what I went with
You said it helped these plant species grow better.

So how can you explain the fact that many aquarists can grow plants at the same if not a much higher level/very fast growth rates(1-2" daily) without cables if they are as helpful as claimed? Was it due to the cables, or perhaps some other reason you had trouble growing the plants??

I'm not here to pick on you personally nor engauge in a personal argument.
Yet, not testing/no desire to do any test either is your support?

Forgive my skepticism, but it does seem quite warranted and justified.

You certainly have the right to state your belief, and I have the right to state mine. However, I also suggest some simple test anyone can do to see and can suggest other test to show that you can do other things to compare the system/treatments.

Then you can learn a great deal more about the topic, rather than guessing and hoping. You can also see what changes you did that really helped to improve the tank's health and growth.

If you are simply unwilling to do the work yourself to show and see, that's fine. But then you cannot say much about such test that you have not done either ....... it still remains an unanswered question for you.

Ambient room temps alone?
Bad luck?
Too high or too low a flow?
Not enough replicates?
Poor control over other variables such as NO3/PO4/CO2?

You need some sort of standard control to compare against.
Most simply use the tank itself and turn on/off the cables for a week, 2-4 weeks etc or a few months and see. doing this several times allows you some idea of possible issues and changes you may have made between test.

The claim is based on the "thermal circulation" flow. When there's no heat, there's not much flow.

You also need to be able to grow the plants well in both conditions.
Clearly, folks can grow Gloss like a weed without cables. You claimed otherwise. We know that cannot be true however.
So there is another issue involved here that prevented you from growing the Gloss and lilies,Crinums.

Few would disagree with that assessment.

So was it due to the cables or something else?

Sounds like, and I'm not being the least bit unreasonable here for anyone that's grow a gloss rug well knows, it was some other reason that caused poor growth.

You can easily cycle between the cables on/off for whatever time frame of interest.

All you have to do is flip a switch.
That's not technical, it's pure and simple, any hobbyist can do that I hope.

Also, see if you can grow Gloss without cables at a 1"-2" per day rate.
then add cables and see what the difference is.

Both simple things that will increase your own understanding, learn more about horticulture/improve your growing abilities.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I asked you how you could be sure if it was due to what you claimed.
A person asked a question, folks expressed their views on the topic, and supported them. You claimed otherwise.
I asked for some support.

There's no doubt that your comment was a personal sarcastic and patronizing remark however.......

Keep it on topic, stay away from that personal baloney.



You said it helped these plant species grow better.

So how can you explain the fact that many aquarists can grow plants at the same if not a much higher level/very fast growth rates(1-2" daily) without cables if they are as helpful as claimed? Was it due to the cables, or perhaps some other reason you had trouble growing the plants??

I'm not here to pick on you personally nor engauge in a personal argument.
Yet, not testing/no desire to do any test either is your support?

Forgive my skepticism, but it does seem quite warranted and justified.

You certainly have the right to state your belief, and I have the right to state mine. However, I also suggest some simple test anyone can do to see and can suggest other test to show that you can do other things to compare the system/treatments.

Then you can learn a great deal more about the topic, rather than guessing and hoping. You can also see what changes you did that really helped to improve the tank's health and growth.

If you are simply unwilling to do the work yourself to show and see, that's fine. But then you cannot say much about such test that you have not done either ....... it still remains an unanswered question for you.

Ambient room temps alone?
Bad luck?
Too high or too low a flow?
Not enough replicates?
Poor control over other variables such as NO3/PO4/CO2?

You need some sort of standard control to compare against.
Most simply use the tank itself and turn on/off the cables for a week, 2-4 weeks etc or a few months and see. doing this several times allows you some idea of possible issues and changes you may have made between test.

The claim is based on the "thermal circulation" flow. When there's no heat, there's not much flow.

You also need to be able to grow the plants well in both conditions.
Clearly, folks can grow Gloss like a weed without cables. You claimed otherwise. We know that cannot be true however.
So there is another issue involved here that prevented you from growing the Gloss and lilies,Crinums.

Few would disagree with that assessment.

So was it due to the cables or something else?

Sounds like, and I'm not being the least bit unreasonable here for anyone that's grow a gloss rug well knows, it was some other reason that caused poor growth.

You can easily cycle between the cables on/off for whatever time frame of interest.

All you have to do is flip a switch.
That's not technical, it's pure and simple, any hobbyist can do that I hope.

Also, see if you can grow Gloss without cables at a 1"-2" per day rate.
then add cables and see what the difference is.

Both simple things that will increase your own understanding, learn more about horticulture/improve your growing abilities.


Regards,
Tom Barr
Yes I am surely not as technical as you are, hell I can not even spell that great,
as for turning the substrate heater on and off and seeing if there was a difference, there was for me, I had plants prior that where doing great with it on, turned off for 2 weeks and keep the normal routine and what them jjust stay stagnate, turned back on and they came back-maybe they got used to it ?? as for testing ,the only I monitored was iron and co2,and I gave up testing iron after a will once I got used to what my setup was consuming I really dont go all that technical in my testing, or setup's , so yes there any many variables I can not answer, and I tell you this I never will either, I just do care that much nor have the resources to do so.
ambient room temp 78 normally I am sorry but I dont keep records -shame on me :)
Bad luck, cant say at the time there where not alot of people I knew that where doing this and the other person I knew where trying to grow the same things was not sharing what he was doing, but a mutual friend said my was growing and his was not, but I know where where using same substrate and chemicals
I have no idea what you mean by the third question
I know my co2 was in control ,as for the others never tested for them so I cant say
I think as beginner it' is a helpful item to have, is it a must? no, will I use one again, yes just to get my "legs" back
I ve got alot of relearning to do ,and then some
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
Wow, things sure have changed somewhat since I was last obsessed with keeping a planted tank. I have a 55g plant tank that has been set up for over 15 years and it has gone through many different configurations in that time with varying degrees of success. I've had under gravel filters with explosive plant growth and subsequent crashes, wrong substrates (shiny black gravel to sand intended for saltwater tanks), different flavors of lighting from cheap light hoods, to HO fluorescent to metal halide pendents, ect. Well after ignoring my tank for over a year (CO2 ran out, one pendent light stopped working, it became infested with algae) I cleaned it out, got some CO2, a new CO2 electronic controller some plants and I'm back in the game. To my chagrin I discover that much has changed since I was gone-back when I was last interested, dosing nitrate and phosphate was a radical idea. Now it's accepted and even used to rid a tank of algae! I had to laugh to myself as I was cleaning out the closet, finding the containers of Thiel Aqua Tech X-Nitrate and X-Phosphate thinking "no wonder it didn't get rid of the algae! It was probably making it grow!" But back to the point of the thread: I have a under gravel heating cable in this tank. It's only been in it a couple of years so I can offer no insight into the effectiveness of it. I have it on a timer: on for 15 minutes, off for 15 minutes. My thinking was to move water through the substrate by this. It just seemed to me that whenever I was doing any major overhaul of the tank,pulling up plants to change something because it just wasn't working, that the substrate was so much more colder than the water column.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,609 Posts
Yes I am surely not as technical as you are, hell I can not even spell that great,
Neither can I, just don't care :)

I just do care that much nor have the resources to do so.
ambient room temp 78 normally I am sorry but I dont keep records -shame on me :)
You are not much different than most aquarist.
Most want the plants to grow and do what others tell them, does not matter if it works or not. Some think they are right but have never tested a thing.
some repeat the same stuff the vendor tells them.

Vendors say all sorts of poppycock however.
Does not mean they are the least bit right, just that they have something, that may or may not do as claimed, but that folks are willingf to pay $ for.

I'm much more interested in the "how" and the "why" rather than merely fixing my tank's issues.

I already know how to do that.
I'm interested in the deeper questions.

But........Few aquarist are(reading about it is okay though).

Who test the products that come in the hobby?
No one.

So most of what comes out is really an unknown.
There's no support specifically for heat cables in any research.
None. I've been looking for many years, about 10 aggressively.

But I know where where using same substrate and chemicals
I have no idea what you mean by the third question
Are you in Ohau?
I'll be there in Aug actually.
It's not an easy thing to distingush and isolate things like this.
I will not kid you.
But I can show folks easier methods and test in person and discuss it much easier. Then they can try it out etc. I had 2 clients do away with them and both have had excellent results since. We sold the Cables for about 300$ ea at the time, so they recouped the $ fairly well.

I think as beginner it' is a helpful item to have, is it a must? no, will I use one again, yes just to get my "legs" back
I ve got alot of relearning to do ,and then some
Well, try to isolate things.
One method to address the nutrients, dose something like EI and make sure no nutrient is limiting(dose non limiting nutrients). That will rule out the nutrients.

The other thing is to have moderate light, you may have high light is so chose, but this places more demands on CO2. I tend to try both mod and high light systems, sometime slow light as well.

If the light/CO2/nutrients are running well, you have a tank temp of say 80 F, then any added benefits from heating cables will be much more prevalent then.

Why?

Because you addressed all the growth factors other than heat cables.
Now you have to keep up on those nutrients/CO2 while you run the test, that's not too hard.

The other nice thing about such test like this, it improves your tank and plant's health.

So the overall result, even if you believe two different things about the cables, will result in much better plant tank health.
So it's not just a worthless test, it actually is a quite illuminating test for many.

They are like "Whoa, the plants are growing like mad and the plants I troubles with now are growing much better now as result."

Plants grow namely from 3 main things, light/CO2/nutrients, as long as you clean filters/maintenance etc, you can rely very well on those 3 components for ALL growth related issues generally.

You'll note, cables are not included in there.
Try something like EI dosing methods.

Generally folks that use cables often are not aware of adding PO4 and NO3, K+ dosing etc. If so, look into those more. They will give you much better results than many think with good CO2.

I think once you start doing that, you'll be able to go back and compare the cables result to these and see pretty quickly what worked, and what was really going on.

I was no different than you at one time in the past, I thought they worked and had them on all my tanks and talked clients into full Dupla systems.

I'm wiser today however.

Hope to see the folks in HW this Aug, you folks have quite a few people into this hobby there actually.

I'll be meeting with Charles Delbeek as well, he works at the Waikaki aquarium and is a fairly well know reef and coral person.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,609 Posts
To my chagrin I discover that much has changed since I was gone-back when I was last interested, dosing nitrate and phosphate was a radical idea. Now it's accepted and even used to rid a tank of algae! I had to laugh to myself as I was cleaning out the closet, finding the containers of Thiel Aqua Tech X-Nitrate and X-Phosphate thinking "no wonder it didn't get rid of the algae! It was probably making it grow!"
I argued viciously to support PO4 and NO3 dosing as did a few others.
Yesterday's nut is tomorrow's mighty oak.
Some still think I'm a nut:)
Maybe I am, but I know a few things about plants.


I have it on a timer: on for 15 minutes, off for 15 minutes. My thinking was to move water through the substrate by this. It just seemed to me that whenever I was doing any major overhaul of the tank,pulling up plants to change something because it just wasn't working, that the substrate was so much more colder than the water column.
So try this: use a reptile heating pad, they can be set for 80F etc or whatever.

That will address the thermal convection issue.
Other folks used a styrofoam poster board.
Some tried RFUG, search the APD and my name and you ought to find a few threads there.

But I also was able to have the same results(unheated CA home, 50-60F's for a few months of the year).
The 15/on/off cycling works somewhat.

But if you have water going in/out of fine sand bed, with detritus accumulation.........the sand , like a sand filter, will clog and you will no longer have any flow since it's now blocked.

When you uproot tanks, does not matter with cables or not, they need a water change, this is not due to cables or not, this is due to low O2, algae spores pulled up and the release of organic N, NH4 etc.

You ever stepped into an aquatic weed bed?
The sand is colder than the water above it.
And where it is warmer, it's only warmer at the top surface due to light, not deep thermal springs.

I've never once seen an aquatic weed bed where the sediment was warmer than the water.

Ever(until you get near the 4C mark, that does not apply to our tanks)).
The upper layers of a lake etc are often warmer, sometimes 10-20F.
So cold is "more natural" if you buy that line of reasoning.

Think about and try it.
Even sand on the beach, it might be hot from the sun on top, but 1" below?
It's cooler.
Same deal if not more so in natural systems.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top