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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another quickie, I've never used a heater cable before but my friend is selling one, I was wondering if you guys thought heater cables were essential or not, as far as I know Amano doesn't use them but I'm not too sure on that one. I think it says in one of the books something like "a heater cable could be installed at this point if you are using one". I know Dennerle would probably say a cable was essential.
 

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You don't need it:) Take the money and get some really nice plants, lighting or a really nice substrate:) No one has been able to prove that cables help much, if at all.
 

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A heater cable is def NOT needed.
Many people swear by them. I have never used them myself and really do not see much of a need for them. A better investment would be lighting, co2, and things like that.
 

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aquatic-store.com said:
A heater cable is def NOT needed.
Many people swear by them. I have never used them myself and really do not see much of a need for them. A better investment would be lighting, co2, and things like that.
And yet you sell them...:wink:

As for your question, a heater cable IS NOT the answer if you're looking for good plant growth; as everyone here mentioned, invest in lighting and C02.
 

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It does actually mention heater cables in one of the amano books, i remember reading that quote to. I have heard that they are beneficial, but don't know of any real comparisons to prove that. I guess the theory is that in the tropics the sun penetrates to the bottom of the water then the heat sort of rises. But if that were true, you would imagine that it would be more of a light penetrating effect as opposed to a heat source. Heat tape is very concentrated. Anyone who keeps reptiles will know that its a very centralized way of heating something, that would make it impractical for under an aquarium. A heat pad may be better but they are hard to control. There is a heat rope product that looks like a bead of tooth paste ( the only way i can describe it). It doesn't have the same problems as the tape, its easier to work with, yet not as hot. If you wanted to try this it might be your best bet. I guess its one of those things, i don't think its necessary either. But with that said, perhaps you will discover some missing element....if you want it, try it, prove everyone wrong. Ive always wondered myself if its beneficial, but there is no studies ive seen the actually conclude to that. If anyone knows of any, please share.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, good points everyone. Just to point out I do use pressurised CO2 and pretty intensive lighting. I guess it's more a case of I have a chance to buy a heater cable secondhand and I've never tried one before, I'm as sceptical as you guys too but it would be interesting to see the difference, if any. A lot of companies like Dupla or Dennerle insist on them. Dennerle in particular in their 'system for fascinating aquariums' book can be quoted as saying "......substrate heating which is important to ensure that the aquarium plants have a constant supply of fresh nutrients form the substrate. The substrate is transformed into an active biological filter with an enormous surface area and numerous slow-release nutrient springs, just as in healthy, natural biotopes" . I dont know how realistic that is to be honest.
 

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neilw said:
Yes, good points everyone. Just to point out I do use pressurised CO2 and pretty intensive lighting. I guess it's more a case of I have a chance to buy a heater cable secondhand and I've never tried one before, I'm as sceptical as you guys too but it would be interesting to see the difference, if any. A lot of companies like Dupla or Dennerle insist on them. Dennerle in particular in their 'system for fascinating aquariums' book can be quoted as saying "......substrate heating which is important to ensure that the aquarium plants have a constant supply of fresh nutrients form the substrate. The substrate is transformed into an active biological filter with an enormous surface area and numerous slow-release nutrient springs, just as in healthy, natural biotopes" . I dont know how realistic that is to be honest.
I too would like to try out a heating cable(I admit!), but I will probably experiment with it on a smaller scale. The only thing that is true about heating cables is that they are supposed to promote long-term stability. Anyways, submersed plants don't depend on the soil like their emersed counter-parts, instead they prefer taking nutrients from the water column.
 

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Heater cables are loved by some, hated by others, and available through most full service fish supply dealers. I personally think heaters in general are one of the most over rated and unnecessary pieces of equipment you can buy unless your tanks are kept in colder than normal rooms, but that's my opinion.
As for the hypocrisy of not recommending a product, yet still offering it for sale, I say there is none. The final choice should be up to the customer. Imagine a situation where suppliers only sold products they personally used and "approved of". That doesn't sound good to me, especially in a hobby with so many different and often conflicting styles. If anything, I have more respect for a supplier who will be up front with you and agree that certain products are not necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes that's a good point. I remember buying my CO2 kit from a shop in Manchester - Oasis Aquarium, which I grudgingly admit to being the best overall shop for a planted tank enthusiast. Anyway the guy was asking me various things "do you have a kh test kit" "do you have a co2 char?" etc etc, he asked me if I had a heater cable and I replied no, to which he replied "well it's not really needed". Now maybe another dealer would have winced and said "what you haven't got a heater cable??? are you mad? let me show you this one".

However I've been in the same shop when I was keeping marines and I wanted to buy a cleaner shrimp, and they just wouldn't sell it to me saying it was only for a reef tank, and not a fish only tank. I tried to explain that I had live rock in my tank so effectively it was a reef tank, but they wouldn't agree with me and eventually bullied me out of the shop without anything at all. Also quite recently I bought some c. japonica and had to go through a barage of questions "how long has the tank been setup?" "do you have any loach?" etc etc. Which I don't mind in principle but then when I asked for some c. lyrata from their plant display tank they didn't know what it was so I had to point it out. Swings and roundabouts.
 
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