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Scott quoted part of Dupla's contention.....
"If the aquarium water is heated for example, by means of an immersion
heater, only the water becomes warm, while the substrate or gravel
remains at room temperature, thus turning black and foul with the
plants suffering from the notorious "cold feet". "
>> That might be true in a home without modern central heating, or where
heating costs are so high that people keep their thermostats set below 68F
during the winter to conserve fuel and $$$, but how true would it be in most
North American homes, especially if there is a layer of styrofoam under the
tank to provide insulation? I know that I start to squirm if the room temp.
goes much below 70F, regardless of the outside temperature or the time of
We keep our house at 68F during the day and 60F at night during the part of
the year when the furnace runs. I've never had a substrate turn black and
foul, nor have I had any noticeable problems as a result of running my tanks
without substrate heat. I do usually insulate the bottom of the tanks in
some way, but there have been a number of tanks that I've run long term
without insulation on the bottom, and they don't have problems either.
I can't tell you for sure that things wouldn't be even "better" with
substrate heat, but considering the fact that my tanks are successful over
the long run without cables, and the addition of cables would cost me more
money, both initally, and in terms of monthly electriciy costs, I have yet
to be convinced that it's something I need.