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Discussion Starter #1
A pet shop near me has some Red Sea Root Therm substrate heaters that have been sitting on the shelf for a long time, so he lowered the price on them. Are they worth resetting a tank to install, is this a good brand, are they still being made because when I tried to comparison them, they were generally on old webpages out of stock. His lowered price is good considering shipping if some of these other stores were not out of stock. One is for a 100 gallon tank, the other size for a 40, so if I did install them, should I use two of the larger size, or one large one small since that would be just under 150 gallons. He lowered the price of both sizes to the same figure, so there would be no cost difference, just concerned which would be the best configuration.
 

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I think people in general consider undergravel heating not useful for growing plants better than normal heating. So I think it would be a bit of a waste of money. Rather invest in a good CO2 system or good lights. If you have those already, buy some expensive rare plants :)
 

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Here is a quote from the box.

Aquatic Plants will display healthy growth if they are provided with "warm roots" - i.e. the temperature within the substrate is slightly higher than that of the water above.

This temperature differential between the substrate and the water induces a gentle water circulation, which both prevents the formation of stagnant areas and the build up of undesirable by-products within the substrate while providing the roots with a constant supply of the nutrients necessary for optimum plant growth and vitality.


Do you consider these statements false or exaggerated? Don't mean to put you on the spot but I would like to know if these are another case of a fish product not accomplishing its claims.
 

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Greatly exaggerated in my opinion.

Substrates don't usually get anaerobic unless they are very thick or packed. So heating it won't really improve that aspect much.

Aquatic plants also absorb nutrients through all exposed surfaces - this means through their leaves and stems as well as roots. So I doubt that the minuscule amount of current generated by the temperature difference will really improve nutrient delivery to plants.

Most of the time getting enough CO2 to the plants is the biggest lynch pin in growing plants.

As far as I have read most people have not seen a noticeable increase in plant growth with an under gravel heater. That isn't to say that it won't help, but the difference is so small that it isn't measurable.

I also considered getting an under gravel heater when I saw my LFS selling one for a discount price (40$), but then I spent the money on more lights for a new tank instead :)
 
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