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Well, as is normal, I suppose, for people who are getting into the hobby, the more I read, the more I have to ask! How deep does the rabbit hole go?

But on a less philosophic level, I have been doing quite a bit of reading, and some fish folks swear by undergravel heaters for their planted tanks because it allows the nutrients from the soil to slowly cycle upwards with the movement of the heated water. They also encourage a supplementary heater for the water column. What are your thoughts... is this just a way to get people to buy things they don't need, or will this truly benefit the planted tank? Thanks!

Padre
 

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Welcome to APC :D

Very few people use them. The overall census is that they are a waste of money, but as you say some swear by them. I've never used one, but some who have say they have seen little or no improvement in plant growth.
 

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I hear the major down side with them is the roots entangle around the cables. I have never used one neither has anyone else i know. i would save the money for something else.
 

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The only reason I've heard that they are good for is that they promote long term stability. SO unless you plan on leaving your tank as is for several years, don't worry about them.
 

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They were originally developed in Germany, where it gets cold. If you live in a warm/moderate climate and/or keep your living space around 75 degrees F or higher, the undergravel heater cables will most likely never turn on. If the tank is in a cold environment, during the winter perhaps, then maybe you'll get some sporadic benefit. For most people, throwing heat off the tank is the challenge.
 

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They were originally developed in Germany, where it gets cold. If you live in a warm/moderate climate and/or keep your living space around 75 degrees F or higher, the undergravel heater cables will most likely never turn on. If the tank is in a cold environment, during the winter perhaps, then maybe you'll get some sporadic benefit. For most people, throwing heat off the tank is the challenge.
I agree completely with this. I have no heater at all in my 45 gallon tank, and it still runs a bit warm, even in the winter. My 10 gallon tank, because of the smaller mass of water, will have temperature fluctuations that are probably excessive, so I have a heater in it, but the real problem with it is avoiding high temperatures, both during summer and winter. I don't see how you can have good lighting without heating the water, so getting rid of that heat is always an issue.
 
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