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Re: undergravel heaters
"Well I am confused here. I thought substrate heaters were to simply
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.....