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Re: [AGA-Member] Re: UH heaters

GG Info wrote:

I guess I'm just not convinced of the value of a UG heating system, most of
the tanks I've seen don't have them and still look amazing.

As with prior comment, I'm in just too hot a climate for it to work for me. My CF lights that keep it that way. Can't afford a chiller, I've got to fight to keep the tank down to 76 degrees F, and it visits 80 regularly. Briefly hijacking the thread here, yes, I was thinking about discus, once I get the tank's nutrient levels sorted out. But I don't know if discus can handle 10-12 ppm nitrates, and I hate to put an animal into too tough an environment for them.

I understand the theory, just not sure if it really applies in a micro
system like a planted tank.

Per George Booth's older website (still good reference, too), his Barclaya (orchid lilies) really liked it, made a huge difference in a 100 gallon or so tank. This doesn't surprise me, as there's always one plant that likes special conditions! But he's in a cool climate, too.

I have read from several sources including Don Matakis that it is important
to have a closed bottom stand to prevent the substrate from cooling, but all
my stands have open bottoms save for one, and that one gives me the most

You could put up sheet foam (such as those big rolls of 1/2" or 3/4" foam you cut with scissors from places like Tap Plastics) as insulation underneath, if you were worried about it in cold nasty weather, when the house is cold for weeks. I put up a slab of it along the back wall to fend off heat radiated by an exterior garage wall. Yes, it gets that hot!

I have considered that having the bottom of the tank exposed does create a
temperature differential between the water column, and as long as the
substrate isn't cool enough to affect the roots, would actually create a
limited convection current along the same theory of heater cables.

I would think so, but I'm not an authority on it! I've seen comments that the slow oxygen flow pumped in by the plant roots actually creates convection currents without any need for more substrate circulation in most good substrates. And I'm told that you may want small pockets of anaerobic zones where iron oxides are reduced to more available forms. The roots forage in after it, protecting themselves with oxygen flow from any contact with hydrogen sulfide. You'd think this would also swap the iron back to unavailable oxides. So I don't know whether the roots have some sort of time gradient there, just enough time to drive off H2S, but not enough for iron to oxidise before they pick it up.

Any thoughts?

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