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Old 11-22-2013, 09:56 PM   #1
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Dumb questions

So after doing some reading there is some things I have found that were interesting and odd in my opinion. I realize that this is old info and I find that I am really, really curious about them.
1. heating coils under the tank or the substrate? I have used heat mats under my seed when I start them but I have never heard of them for aquariums.

2. Does anybody, or has anybody used vermiculite? I find that is the most interesting question. I get that it would be messy as all get out. But maybe used mixed with a good dirt bottom and capped well? Past being messy are there any draw back to using it as maybe a soil amendment? I am interested because of it's high CEC.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:42 AM   #2
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1. I read about this in a book entitled "The Optimum Aquarium". I believe the idea behind this (besides heating the water) is to either enhance uptake in the roots or promote nutrients in the laterite based substrate into the water column. It has been a while since I read it (~1990). I could not afford the expensive heating coil mat by Dupla so I created a false bottom out of plastic egg crate and sheets of acrylic with a submersible heater beneath it. It was working fine until I noticed a short in the heater. Removal and replacement would require a total tear down so I used conventional heating afterwards.
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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Heating mats were used a lot years ago but not so much today as plants can grow just as well without them. IMO they were a pain and yep a total tank tear down was needed if you wanted them out or if there was a problem.

As for vermiculite I think many use it when mineralizing soil for a dirted tank. Personally I just like to use Organic Potting Soil and deal with the excess nutrients being leached into the water. I see no need for it at all but that is just my opinion.
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