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Substrate Cable Observation

I have a 50 watt (Aquarium Landscapes I think) substrate cable in my 90
gallon. It's the thick green flexible cable design that Dupla purists say
wont work because it doesn't get hot enough in a small enough zone. I
unplugged it this past summer when the tank temperature climbed too high.
Last night I put it on a timer with 4 cycles of one hour on, one hour off.
The tank temperature barely moved, but there was a new sheen of "stuff"
across the water surface at the top of the tank. Looks like gasoline, but it
is my understanding that this is some sort of protein material. After I
cleaned the sieve for the overflow, the sheen is gone, so that's not really
a problem. Is it reasonable to assume that since the heater cables caused
this "stuff" to come -out- of the substrate, then the cables are working to
pull things -into- the substrate?

Tom Wood