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Old 16-04-2004, 04:33 AM
Adam Gottschalk
 
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Default Substrate heater installation?


I have a 20w Tunze substrate heater. I planned to put a layer of tiny
gravel around it, then Fluorite on top, then some more gravel. Maybe I
could pack Fluorite around the heater then gravel on top? (A response on
this NG told me it should be 50/50 Fluorite/gravel, which I guess I'll
stick too.)

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Old 18-04-2004, 02:10 AM
Marvin Hlavac
 
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Default Substrate heater installation?

Hi Adam,

(A response on this NG told me it should be 50/50
Fluorite/gravel, which I guess I'll stick too.)




100% Fluorite is even better, but of course more expensive.



I have a 20w Tunze substrate heater.



I don't know about that particular one but I have heard a lot of people say
their substrate heaters didn't last very long. Mine lasted only a few weeks.
I suspect substrate heaters are of no real benefit to a planted aquarium
where the whole bottom is covered with plant routes anyway.
--
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada




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Old 21-04-2004, 12:10 AM
Dave Millman
 
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Default Substrate heater installation?

Adam Gottschalk wrote:

I have a 20w Tunze substrate heater. I planned to put a layer of tiny
gravel around it, then Fluorite on top, then some more gravel. Maybe I
could pack Fluorite around the heater then gravel on top? (A response on
this NG told me it should be 50/50 Fluorite/gravel, which I guess I'll
stick too.)


If you could return the heater and buy more Flourite, you'd probably be
happier...

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Old 21-04-2004, 10:08 PM
Harry Muscle
 
Posts: n/a
Default Substrate heater installation?

"Marvin Hlavac groups: rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants" [email protected] wrote in
message
news
Hi Adam,

(A response on this NG told me it should be 50/50
Fluorite/gravel, which I guess I'll stick too.)




100% Fluorite is even better, but of course more expensive.



I have a 20w Tunze substrate heater.



I don't know about that particular one but I have heard a lot of people
say
their substrate heaters didn't last very long. Mine lasted only a few

weeks.
I suspect substrate heaters are of no real benefit to a planted aquarium
where the whole bottom is covered with plant routes anyway.
--
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada


Substrate heaters are supposed to be of long term benefit. They won't make
your plants grow faster, better, or nicer. But they will allow you to grow
them for many many years without getting a stale substrate.

Harry


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Old 21-04-2004, 10:09 PM
Adam Gottschalk
 
Posts: n/a
Default Substrate heater installation?

In article ,
"Harry Muscle" wrote:

Substrate heaters are supposed to be of long term benefit. They won't make
your plants grow faster, better, or nicer. But they will allow you to grow
them for many many years without getting a stale substrate.


Thanks for that. I have read in several books now about the use of
substrate heaters. In addition, I'm the type of person who reasons any
given thing out before acting. It makes very clear sense that, in trying
to mimic a natural environment as much as possible, you would like to
provide some moderate constant heat in the base, the "earth". And that
just on the face of it. In detail, substrate heaters, I'm told, create
little eddies of upcurrent or something, helping to provide circulation
throughout the substrate.


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Old 22-04-2004, 02:10 AM
Marvin Hlavac
 
Posts: n/a
Default Substrate heater installation?

Substrate heaters are supposed to be of long term benefit. They won't
make
your plants grow faster, better, or nicer. But they will allow you to

grow
them for many many years without getting a stale substrate.


Thanks for that. I have read in several books now about the use of
substrate heaters. In addition, I'm the type of person who reasons any
given thing out before acting. It makes very clear sense that, in trying
to mimic a natural environment as much as possible, you would like to
provide some moderate constant heat in the base, the "earth". And that
just on the face of it. In detail, substrate heaters, I'm told, create
little eddies of upcurrent or something, helping to provide circulation
throughout the substrate.





Don't take my word for it, this is just one person's opinion without
scientific experiments :-) but my guess is that substrate heaters may help
in a non-planted aquarium or even in a newly planted one. However, once
roots spread all over the fish tanks bottom most likely the benefit is nil.

--
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada









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Old 24-04-2004, 06:06 PM
Kenneth Ho
 
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Default Substrate heater installation?

**** Post for FREE via your newsreader at post.usenet.com ****

My personal experience with substrate heater is very positive. In Hong Kong,
most hobbists prefer ADA's AquaSoil for their planted tanks, the down side
of ADA's Aqua Soil is that they don't last very long, they tend to break up
and the substrate would become obviously degraded in about 1 - 2 years. When
I set up my 30 Gal a few years back, I got a cheap Rena substrate heater
just to try out the benefit of substrate heater, and up to now my 30 gal is
running perfectly fine without any sign of degrading. I am now setting up a
200 gal, although I will give Flourite a go instead of ADA's Aqua Soil, but
I would still go for a substrate heater, only this time is a more expensive
low voltage model.

Cheers
Kenneth

"Marvin Hlavac" bl
e.rogers.com g...
Substrate heaters are supposed to be of long term benefit. They won't

make
your plants grow faster, better, or nicer. But they will allow you to

grow
them for many many years without getting a stale substrate.


Thanks for that. I have read in several books now about the use of
substrate heaters. In addition, I'm the type of person who reasons any
given thing out before acting. It makes very clear sense that, in trying
to mimic a natural environment as much as possible, you would like to
provide some moderate constant heat in the base, the "earth". And that
just on the face of it. In detail, substrate heaters, I'm told, create
little eddies of upcurrent or something, helping to provide circulation
throughout the substrate.





Don't take my word for it, this is just one person's opinion without
scientific experiments :-) but my guess is that substrate heaters may help
in a non-planted aquarium or even in a newly planted one. However, once
roots spread all over the fish tanks bottom most likely the benefit is

nil.

--
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada












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Old 25-04-2004, 06:05 PM
[email protected]
 
Posts: n/a
Default Substrate heater installation?

Substrate heaters are supposed to be of long term benefit. They won't make
your plants grow faster, better, or nicer. But they will allow you to grow
them for many many years without getting a stale substrate.


Thanks for that. I have read in several books now about the use of
substrate heaters. In addition, I'm the type of person who reasons any
given thing out before acting. It makes very clear sense that, in trying
to mimic a natural environment as much as possible, you would like to
provide some moderate constant heat in the base, the "earth". And that
just on the face of it. In detail, substrate heaters, I'm told, create
little eddies of upcurrent or something, helping to provide circulation
throughout the substrate.


They do NOT mimic nature at all. Why is nature better for growing
plants? Plants just grow there, it's not because that's what is BEST
for the plants.
Agricultural crops are NOT grown naturally.

Those little eddies are channelized and clog after a while. Unless you
maintain the substrate and replant, uproot etc, substrates will
accumulate too much organic matter after a few months/years.

I challenge anyone to show any significant improvement in growth using
the cables. I've used them for a decade and never saw any benefit in
some 7 tanks over the years.

It does not make any difference in the ability to make and maintain
and high level of aquascaping in a planted aquaria from anything I've
seen or heard from anyone.

Will it hurt your tank? No, but neither will sending me 20$.
You can read George and my discussions on the APD.

Reagrds,
Tom Barr
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Old 26-04-2004, 12:04 AM
Adam Gottschalk
 
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Default Substrate heater installation?

In article ,
) wrote:

They do NOT mimic nature at all. Why is nature better for growing
plants? Plants just grow there, it's not because that's what is BEST
for the plants.


Yes, in fact, it is. It's sort of a law of the universe really. All
members of the biotic community are as they are because they have
adapted, up to this point, to be optimally suited for their environments.

Agricultural crops are NOT grown naturally.


And that's why conventional agrigulture in this country produces not
only terrible food, but severely harms the growers, taints the produce
in clearly demonstrable and harmful ways, destroys the land (that is
_not_ and understatement...US Soil Service estimates at least 70% of US
topsoil has been eroded since white people arrived due to the horrible
cultural practices of the earlier part of the 20th century), and makes
absolutely no room for such grand old ideas as closed-system nutrient
cycling on a farm, revitalizing the soil with carbonaceous matter such
as grain stovers, etc.

A good farm system looks much more like "piece of nature", as far as
doing something "unnatural" like growing human food (as opposed to
gathering and hunting) can look natural. One sees a great variety of
plant types, plants are located such that they are best suited to the
characteristics of that particular ecological niche, heat-loving plants
are growing in the heat of summer, cool-loving plants in spring and fall
(opposite for those in the tropics and subtropics), short-growing plants
are at the south, taller ones at the north (in the northern hemisphere),
etc.

Those little eddies are channelized and clog after a while. Unless you
maintain the substrate and replant, uproot etc, substrates will
accumulate too much organic matter after a few months/years.


As I understand it, having read on this and talked to a couple of
commercial aqua plant growers, with regular maintenance of the top of
the substrate, just as with any tank, this is not a problem. If you're
using a UGF, for example, and you never siphon off the mulm from the top
layer of gravel, channeling and dead spots occur.

Further, any tank will have to been torn down and started over from
scratch every so often exactly because it is not a natural environment,
one is only aiming to mimic one, and the tank has no natural means of
completely replenishing and cleansing itself as it would in nature.

I challenge anyone to show any significant improvement in growth using
the cables. I've used them for a decade and never saw any benefit in
some 7 tanks over the years.

It does not make any difference in the ability to make and maintain
and high level of aquascaping in a planted aquaria from anything I've
seen or heard from anyone.


Rarely does a challenge count much in favor of factual argumentation. In
the short paragraph above, you have hardly proved your point. I point
this out because, obviously, this is a subject of great interest to me.
Those who have beautiful planted aquaria are few and far between. Why
would it be that _most_ of those whose published work I've read or whom
I've spoken to advocate the use of substrate heater? I am of course more
than willing to acccept that they might keep to that tenet simply due to
a lack of open mindedness or otherwise, but such has not been shown to
me, certainly not "proved".

Will it hurt your tank? No, but neither will sending me 20$.
You can read George and my discussions on the APD.


Oxfam gets the $20, without question. I will see if I can find your
discussions. Thanks. I've got the substrate heater and am days away from
setting up my 40H tank with it...or without it if someone can prove to
me it will be nothing but a hassle or an eyesore in a couple of years
and will not have been worth whatever benefit new plants might have
received from it before establishment.
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Old 26-04-2004, 01:05 AM
Marvin Hlavac
 
Posts: n/a
Default Substrate heater installation?

Will it hurt your tank? No, but neither will sending me 20$.




Hi Tom,

:-) Actually substrate heaters may "hurt" some set ups in hot climates due
to adding more heat. Aquarium coolers are not inexpensive.

If Adam does decide to install the substrate heater in his tank I would just
give him one advice: make sure you secure it very well to the bottom. Don't
rely on the suction cups alone.

--
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada




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Old 26-04-2004, 04:23 PM
[email protected]
 
Posts: n/a
Default Substrate heater installation?

They do NOT mimic nature at all. Why is nature better for growing
plants? Plants just grow there, it's not because that's what is BEST
for the plants.


Yes, in fact, it is. It's sort of a law of the universe really. All
members of the biotic community are as they are because they have
adapted, up to this point, to be optimally suited for their environments.


You missed the point, I know of no aquatic environment where plants
are warmed from the bottom of substrate. If you are aware of one I'd
like to know.
Wetland soils are anaerobic as can be, reducing this anaerobic nature
if you want to suggest the mimicing nature idea is correct, is the
last thing you'd want to do, it causes aerobic conditions, not
anaerobic conditions.

These flow rates produced by cables are also shown not to be optimal
for aquatic plant plant growth which is about .49 liter/m^2/day of
flux.
This flux occurs without any heat generated current

Agricultural crops are NOT grown naturally.


A good farm system looks much more like "piece of nature", as far as
doing something "unnatural" like growing human food (as opposed to
gathering and hunting) can look natural. One sees a great variety of
plant types, plants are located such that they are best suited to the
characteristics of that particular ecological niche, heat-loving plants
are growing in the heat of summer, cool-loving plants in spring and fall
(opposite for those in the tropics and subtropics), short-growing plants
are at the south, taller ones at the north (in the northern hemisphere),
etc.


I'm not arguing whether argicultural practices are right or wrong(I
agree with you), the fact of the matter is that horticultural plants
can be grown in much better conditions to get greater production from
them(terrestiral of aquatic). Many plants grow in certain locations
for many reasons. Simply suggestion it is there because it's the best
place for it is a a very large assumption, many invasive weed plants
take over quickly in new habitats. Serpentine soil plants do much
better in non serpintine soil but are outcompeted by other plants,
remove those other plants, and they grow well.

By adding traces, CO2, etc, you are amplifying the tank, if back to
natural systems is more your preferred model, non CO2 tanks are quite
nice. But cables are not natural in the least and I know of no natural
system anywhere that has warmer temps below the substrate where
submersed aquatic plants grow.
If you are aware of a location where this occurs, please be forth
coming.

Those little eddies are channelized and clog after a while. Unless you
maintain the substrate and replant, uproot etc, substrates will
accumulate too much organic matter after a few months/years.


As I understand it, having read on this and talked to a couple of
commercial aqua plant growers, with regular maintenance of the top of
the substrate, just as with any tank, this is not a problem. If you're
using a UGF, for example, and you never siphon off the mulm from the top
layer of gravel, channeling and dead spots occur.


So how again does this contribute to the long term stability since you
are going in and removing plants, disturbing the substrate? It is you
or is it the cables?

Further, any tank will have to been torn down and started over from
scratch every so often exactly because it is not a natural environment,
one is only aiming to mimic one, and the tank has no natural means of
completely replenishing and cleansing itself as it would in nature.


Hummmm....I have some rather old tanks and they do quite well without
cables or needing to be torn down. I prune and remove/export
mulm/organic matter and plant biomass and add nutrients etc.
I do not think a tank needs to be torn down every so often unless it's
been neglected.

I challenge anyone to show any significant improvement in growth using
the cables. I've used them for a decade and never saw any benefit in
some 7 tanks over the years.


Rarely does a challenge count much in favor of factual argumentation. In
the short paragraph above, you have hardly proved your point.


I don't have to prove my point to you. I already know that make no
significant improvement, so do many others that have used cables in
the past. You have not provided a single bit of evidence that they _do
work_. I've used them for a decade, have you? Are you able to keep
your tanks in good enough shape and nutrient levels to make sure the
independent variables don't influence your measurements on the cables?
Tropica has, but if you don't want to believe me or them, that's up to
you. I'm pretty good at isolating the dependent variable of interest
and after a decade, you pretty much know.
The other dead give away with cables, if you live in warmer regions
during the summer the cables are off for months sometimes, I never saw
growth differences and are they good if they only work/are used for 6
months out of the year? Some use AC or a chiller, but heck, now that's
some $ and PITA. I can easily do a beautiful tank as can a new person
without them so why bother?
Take a look at the AGA winners, they don't use them, George Booth is
one of the few hold outs in the USA on cables and we've had many
discussions on this issue on the APD.

I point
this out because, obviously, this is a subject of great interest to me.
Those who have beautiful planted aquaria are few and far between.


Take a look www.sfbaaps.com.one of use use cables.
Take a look at the Dallas Forth Worth people. No cables. Take a look
at the Singapore's groups, no cables(Too hot!).
I'd be glad to send you some pics of my tanks.
I'll post a link to some of the pics on my tanks.

Why
would it be that _most_ of those whose published work I've read or whom
I've spoken to advocate the use of substrate heater?


Let's see.... who sells them: Dupla. The Optimum Aquarium was written
by who?
The rest seem to be bandwagon but there's no evidence that cables work
or not even if they are suggested in a book.

It was suggested in most books that excess PO4 causes algae, this is
also clearly untrue. Just because it's in a book does not make it
true.
I have routinely added 1-2ppm of PO4 to my tanks for 15 years. Take a
look at the tanks and ask around. Ask SeaChem, they make PO4 additives
directly based off my past work on these subjects.

I am of course more
than willing to acccept that they might keep to that tenet simply due to
a lack of open mindedness or otherwise, but such has not been shown to
me, certainly not "proved".


I do not think anyone will be able to prove it anytime soon. Proof is
hard and takes a lot of work. But is it a significant player in a
planted tank? That you can find out. Many folks have done excellent
examples of planted tanks without cables, look no further than many of
Amano's tanks, many of the tanks in the USA, very few if any use
cables.


Will it hurt your tank? No, but neither will sending me 20$.
You can read George and my discussions on the APD.


Oxfam gets the $20, without question. I will see if I can find your
discussions. Thanks. I've got the substrate heater and am days away from
setting up my 40H tank with it...or without it if someone can prove to
me it will be nothing but a hassle or an eyesore in a couple of years
and will not have been worth whatever benefit new plants might have
received from it before establishment.


I'm not saying it'll cause problems, I'm saying it will not help or
hurt. No significant or discernable improvement. After 10 years of
close observations, lots of money and time spent, I gave up. I never
found anything remotely significant. I do much better focusing on a
good substrate(flourite/onyx sand, mulm/peat mixed in) and dosing the
water column, the3se will get you much further in having an algae free
healthy tank.

I'll post a picture trail link shortly.
Meanwhile, see some pics from www.sfbaaps.com under gallery and the
DWF plant group, and the AGA's aquascaping contest. Virtually no
cables anywhere.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 26-04-2004, 04:23 PM
[email protected]
 
Posts: n/a
Default Substrate heater installation?

Will it hurt your tank? No, but neither will sending me 20$.

Hi Tom,

:-) Actually substrate heaters may "hurt" some set ups in hot climates due
to adding more heat. Aquarium coolers are not inexpensive.


Yea, tell me about it:-)

If Adam does decide to install the substrate heater in his tank I would just
give him one advice: make sure you secure it very well to the bottom. Don't
rely on the suction cups alone.


Yes, even the best suction cups, which are made by Dupla are sujected
to movement. Then you do not get the micro currents that Dupla suggest
help.
If currents to the substrate do help, then why not like the RFUG I
used for a about 20 years also not do the same thing? Does the same
thing as the cables, just at a higher flow rate, grows plants
great/the same as cables did over the same time period. I made my own
grill from heat resistent plastic to keep the distance from the tank
bottom the same.

Many folks turn their cables off over the summer months, Folks in SG
don't/cannot use them at all yet routinely set up beautiful tanks.

George Booth runs his AC at 72F so he has a "Dupla" air conditioner
I think he and I beat that horse to death on the APD over the years.
I used reptile heating pads on the bottom of the tanks and I would
certainly argue that these do the same the thing as a cable system.
The increase in bacterial reminerilization of nutrients due to temp
increase could account for slight differences rather than flux.

But substrates and their role in planted aquaria are of great interest
to me on a number of levels.

I've had:

High flow(RFUG's)
Low flow (Cables)
No flow (Just gravels/sand)

over the years to look at the role of flux in/out of the substrate.
No flow, like Claus's discussions with me, produced the best growth of
any of these three systems with root submersed plants.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 26-04-2004, 05:04 PM
[email protected]
 
Posts: n/a
Default Substrate heater installation?

http://www.aquatic-plants.org/
http://www.sfbaaps.com/
You can see me having dinner with Amano and speaking on plants at ther
AGA conference(I did last year as well and other societies including
marine plants to reef clubs)You'll see me at this years meeting in
Baltimore. Amano will be there yet again. He's a nice guy and good
person.

http://192.38.244.204/go.asp?show=tropica

Here's the AGA site:
http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/

Some of my own stuff:
Both SW and FW plants:

http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/...6&uid=1473668&

So if you want examples of how well folks can do this hobby without
cables, I think I've supplied enough ammo. But a winning aquascape is
more the skill of of the it's owner than a method or system. I can
force most systems to work if I want to. But I don't like to do that,
I'd rather find the best optimal growth and easiest method to get the
desired effect.
Finding a balance with whatever system you chose is a goal of mine to
help others do better. I also try and save folks a lot of $ on set
ups, but ultimately you will do what you want. I cannot force you to
save money or do less work than you need to:-)

Books on plants are sorely outdated and have many assumptions that are
incorrect.
The cost for these tanks is also a hinderance to many, I try and find
good methods that are cheap and universally available. I do suggest
spending good $ on CO2, fluorite/onyx sand, Florabase etc and
lighting(more light is not better though) but for fert's and other
routines, simple and cheap.
I add

KNO3
Traces(TMG, Flourish, CMS)
KH2PO4
CO2/Light(these are seldom adjusted)

Weekly 50-70% water changes(takes about 45 minutes to change several
tanks totaling 170 gal)
Prune and trim/clean first, then last thing do the water change.
Bob's tank has a ton of Discus, he adds less KNO3 etc. Have high PO4
in the tap, delete the KH2PO4 etc.

My tanks go from 6 w/gal down to 1.3 watts/gal and non CO2.
Enjoy browsing.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 27-04-2004, 10:09 AM
Adam Gottschalk
 
Posts: n/a
Default Substrate heater installation?

In article ,
) wrote:

I also try and save folks a lot of $ on set
ups, but ultimately you will do what you want. I cannot force you to
save money or do less work than you need to:-)


Based on your sheer tenacity, your pointing out where money is better
spent, and your focus on minimizing complexity, I'm pretty sure I've
decided to go without the cable. I don't have a CO2 tank/regulator
setup; I consciously opted to get the substrate heater first and the CO2
setup later, using just those dissolvable pellets for now. I don't much
like such "throw away" items as that anyway. And, certainly it's a
relief to imagine there will not be an unnecessary, ugly set of cables
sticking out from the tank.

Here, though:

" George Booth is
one of the few hold outs in the USA on cables"

it becomes a little clearer to me that this, in good faith, is still an
issue of some contention, however little. Beginner that I am, please
understand, it seemed a little contrary to the literature, which, as you
note, is almost certainly sorely out of date (as the literature is on so
many topics).

It is very, very surprising to me to read you write that a tank need
never be torn down. I'd probably not be happy with that just because I
like to tweak things a lot :-)

I will follow your links in the coming days. I'll try and sell my 20w
Tunze substrate heater on eBay (unless someone here wants my unused
one). I've had some bog wood (Indonesian I think) soaking for about 5
weeks now, a couple of heavy root pieces, and a couple of heavy square
chunks. I've changed the water a couple of times, and it's still
leaching out a little brown. I'm enamored of the idea of the wood laid
out with a plush carpet of green. Here's to hoping.
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Old 27-04-2004, 06:12 PM
[email protected]
 
Posts: n/a
Default Substrate heater installation?

I bought cables when I first got into plants very heavily after Dupla
came out.
Many folks did and this trend sort of stuck with the hobby.
But later as you get better at figuring out what works and what does
not, then you know what you really need and don't.

But I was no different than most new folks about all this.
You just want things to succeed is all and want to get it right from
the start.
That can be done, see James' winning tank AGA last year, that guy had
8 months in the hobby.

Regards,
Tom Barr


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