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Re: undergravel heaters

"Well I am confused here. I thought substrate heaters were to simply
create a
small warm current deep in the substrate, and wouldn't be enough to heat
whole tank by any stretch."

It might depend on where you live. Here in Austin (103F yesterday) I can't
use my undergravel heating system very much. If I leave it on 24/7 the tank
temperature climbs over 80F, and both the fish and the plants become
lethargic, I don't know how to describe it, they just aren't happy. This in
a room air-conditioned to about 74F. The tank is completely enclosed except
for the front glass, so it does hold heat better than many setups. It's only
a 50 watt cable in a 90 gallon tank. I have a timer for it, but I haven't
plugged it in for months now. These were developed in Germany, where it
apparently gets a lot colder than it does here in Texas. There are so many
other things you can do that have a much bigger impact. A pressurized CO2
system and compact fluorescent lights at 3 watts/gallon are a better
investment, imo. That and a simple blasting grit with laterite substrate (AP
brand laterite is cheap and effective) plus a *complete* fertilizer regimen
will get you where you want to be. Now, this is not to cast aspersions on
the experience of a certain someone with awesome tanks in Colorado, I'm just
saying that local climate may have some impact on the design of your system.
YMMV, IMHO, SLAPP clause as necessary, etcetera.....