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I have 2 under gravel heating cables : 1 old (3-4 years) by dennerle and the other is new - a chinese product.
My question is : what should I use? Dennerle is a very good product but old. can I trust it to work few more years or just choose the chinese new product?
 

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Ahh the old Heating Cable question, one topic that always creates debate. Since you already have them may as well use it. I really don't think it matters which one you use.

For lots more discussion of the efficacy of Heating Cables preform a search for the term Heat Cable on this site and you will find some interesting discussions.
 

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Probably the most highly debated aspect in the hobby. In lamen terms there is no scientific evidence to prove it really benefits aquatic growth in any form!

I know Tom will probably chime in... :wink:
 

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WELL, I GUESS NOW I HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING....:)

I used them 10 years(7 of them).
I cannot say they did anything.

I compared them against higher flow substrates and no flow substrates.
As predicted, the no flow performed the best and certainly is the cheapest and simplest method around.

Many many folks use them and do extremely well, eg Amano, folks in the USA and elswewhere.

I think those that start off with them as newbies tend to keep them since they already have them.

They work if you have faith they do.

No one has ever come close to convincing me this is nothing but something else to sell(for a lot of $).

I've done a lot of comparisions, so I know both sides of this issue.

One good thing can be said: they don't hurt as long as the temp does not need to get too hot(eg if you live w/o AC and the ambient temps are rather high, like all summer).

But you sure do not get much for your $ from them.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tom' what are you actually saying ? they don't really create currents in the aquarium (and benefit the roots etc' etc') or that they do but it doesn't really matter?
If you don't use them and you have lower PH in the substrate and smaller sized gravel, are you saying that even without them, there will be no H2s production and all that stuff?
 

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jerime said:
Tom' what are you actually saying ? they don't really create currents in the aquarium (and benefit the roots etc' etc') or that they do but it doesn't really matter?
If you don't use them and you have lower PH in the substrate and smaller sized gravel, are you saying that even without them, there will be no H2s production and all that stuff?
Crap,
I wrote a great thing and the damn site deleted it when I submitted.

They create currents, but that does not help.
pH will tend to neutratlity in any wetland soil unless you add lots of organic matter down there at a given rate.

No H2S will form unless you have a lot of OM down there to feed the bacteria, which will remove all the O2 in a feeding frenzy. This will cuase H2S reduction. Othwerwise at a low rate of mulm/OM accreation, there's no way for the H2S reducers to live, they must have anaerobic concditions.

Bottom line, cables have never been shown to do anything, I have not seen anything that says plants need cables to grow well, they are not a nutrient or light.

The problem is that over 12-24 months, doing a controlled experiment is very very difficult. If you do a controlled experiment, then you address the confounding factors, low CO2, nutrient status etc.

Porous iron/trace metal rich grains like Fluorite are better, they provide the aerobic regions for the larger roots, faster decomposition (O2, aerobic bacteria are 18X faster at breakdown), much higher surface area, the tiny root hairs can get at the anaerobic regions in the internal spaces and reduce the Mn, Zn, Fe etc for uptake.

This provides the best of both worlds andn protects these anaerobic regions when you uproot plants.

Do cables and sand do that?
Nope.

Bottom line: you'll see a significant difference using onyx/flourite with a little peat/mulm added vs a cable/sand + mulm, peat set up.

Cables do not hurt IME, but they do not help either.
I just have little need for them as well as does everyone, they just know it and believe they need more gagdets to be successful.

Simple is better, focus on what causes a plant to grow, nutrients, CO2 light.

Do not get confused with all the product mumbo, becuase in reality, that's all it is.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Tom Barr
 

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Tom, I ended up reading about the debates(where Roger Miller talked about Ole Pedersen's experiment) on The Krib and I found out something interesting: that submersed aquatic plants' circulate the water in the substrate by transferring it from their roots to the water column. Do you find this true?
 

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The temp in the room where my aquarium is located is pretty low. I do notice a difference in temperature below the leaves of my glosso, just from running my fingers through the glosso. Why are hydroponic people so much pickier about these things than aquatic gardeners. I thought that heated roots in terrestrial plants help spread runners faster (growing trays, etc.).
 
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