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Old ideologies: Heating cables in substrate, 10dkh?


8 Dec 2019
Hello all,

I was digging through some old fish books that I have collected - as my knowledge and experience increases, they make more sense. My first read through Ecology of the Planted Aquarium was fun, but upon skimming it a second time (with more experience) it makes more sense.

I found a copy of The Optimum Aquarium in a pile of fish books (https://www.amazon.ca/Optimum-Aquarium-K-Horst/dp/3925916024); I found a link here on amazon.

At first, I was wondering at how antiquated these ideologies would be, but as I read/skimmed through so much of this knowledge actually aligns with the most recent stuff that I have read and is richer than others.

The thing that shocked me was that they were growing plants like Rotala Macrandra in 10dKH and 12 dGH with daily automated 3% ish WC, in a 2500 Gallon tank. The CO2 was regulated with a controller - so they always had neutral pH (7) and always had 28 ppm CO2. The substrate was 10cm - 23 cm tall deep!!!! Upon reflection, in combination bacterias that reduce Iron and other minerals, it actually makes sense - to make these minerals readily available for plants.

Their heating was done with cables under the substrate to heat from the bottom up <-- does anyone still do this?

As I skim through the back of the book, I find all CO2/KH/PH charts, oxygen levels based on temp, etc --- perhaps a nice reminder in this day in age not to push books off to the side.

It even talks about trickle filters and surface skimmers - oxygen/co2 ratios etc.

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