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Substrate heating

>>In a message dated 2/9/99 6:34:54 AM Mountain Standard Time, Aquatic-Plants-
>>Owner at actwin_com writes:
>>>  Now, Neil and Karen seem to be of the opinion that if substrate heat is
>>>  useful at all it is only useful in the long term (+ 1 year), while George
>>>  B. seems to feel that they are necessary for a true "Dupla style tank".

George wrote:

>No, George B. thinks that the benefits of substrate heat are only
>observable in the long term as greater tank stability. Karen and Neil, I
>believe, think substrate heat is only useful for increasing the rate of
>chemical and biological processes in the substrate, thus providing better
>I have NOT observed better growth when comparing similar tank set ups with
>and without coils (both having laterite in the substrate).  Both grew
>plants equally well. I DID observe that the tank without coils developed
>problems (more algae, slower growth, certain plants didn't do as well)
>after 12-18 months. 

I don't know about Neil, but Karen is perfectly willing to believe that
substrate heating does everything that George says they do.  But since I
have not had the problems that George has mentioned in tanks 12-18 months
old, and have had many tanks go long periods of time without problems and
without cables, I can't justify the added expense for myself.  I _really_
can't justify the added expense for people who are under lighting their
tanks and using yeast reactors in efforts to keep costs down.