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Re:exploding glass

Arthur's exploding glass experience brings up a question I have. 
When my sons' were young we housed reptiles in a 30 gal fish tank
with a reptile heater on the underside of the bottom and pressed
against the glass with styrofoam or taped to the tank (not sure
which).  Eventually (after a year or two?) the tank bottom
cracked due, I imagine, to a change in temperature that occured
to rapidly.  Since reptile pads are frequently mentioned as a
means of heating the substrate and no posts follow about cracking
bottoms it has me wondering if I should revisit this as a way of
heating the substrate.  Should the pad not be in direct contact 
with the glass?  Or does a water filled tank behave differently?

I seem to be able to grow many plants, however, success with
crypts is hit and miss.  I am in Minnesota and our house
temperature is often in the 50's.  When I work in a aquarium and
stick my hand in the gravel it is noticeably cooler than water
column temp.  Just thought that it would be interesting to
explore the effects of a warmer substrate on crypts.  Unless
others say - look elsewhere! 

Jay Reeves