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>What is the effect of cold feet on plant growth?
>When I pushed some plant tab fertilizer into the substrate I felt the
>substrate water cool where the water column was warm (78F on the tank
>sticker) I don't have a temp probe to measure the substrate but I'm certain
>it's the result of an open bottom tank stand and a room temp in the 60's(F).
My first question is, how are your plants growing? If everything is
growing well, then, regardless of the temperature difference, you don't
need to do anything about it. Sometimes when we learn something new, we
imagine problems that aren't there.
IF you really feel that the cold substrate might be effecting your plant
growth, the easiest fix is to simply insulate the bottom of your tank with
a sheet of styrofoam taped to the bottom. A more costly, but still easy
solution is to install an incandescent light bulb or two in the cabinet
beneath the tank.
In theory, a cold substrate can make the water stratify, and make it harder
for plants to move nutrients into the substrate and up through their
tissues. In practice, if the tank is otherwise well managed, I have yet to
see it cause a problem at normal household temperatures.