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Re: Substrate bacteria

Having lived in England a few times in my life, and having visited in
various European countries, I suggest that the reason undergravel heating
coils are recommended is because most homes are not centrally heated to the
extent that homes are in the US or Canada.  Electricity is much more
expensive and people wear more clothing indoors than we do here.  It's quite
possible that in these circumstances, regardless of the presence of
current-making powerheads etc. the temperature of the substrate would be
significantly lower than the water.  And if there are fry in the tank,
powerful currents are a definite no-no.

I have noticed that the substrate in one of my tanks that is close to a
window that is not properly installed and hence leaks cold air in the winter
will have a noticably lower temperature than the water.  Installing
styrofoam insulation underneath and behind the tank helps somewhat provided
that a small powerhead is used in the tank.  This is not a breeder tank, so
I don't have major concerns.  However, I can say that most plants do not
seem to appreciate the temperature gradient.  Their growth is slower that
when the entire tank has the same temperature.

G. Kadar

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